06 November 2016

Tears, Utter Confusion, and Laughter after Miscarriage

I feel more like a David than a Paul these days.

When I saw my dream for my future shatter and crumble in the arms that cradled it so carefully I didn't find it so easy to say

"I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation."

I admire Paul. I want to be more like that. I wish I could be content, even in this. But instead I want to cry out, to scream, as it seems David did when he wrote many of his Psalms.

And then there's this:

"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more."

A verse which has a very interesting meaning and story in Scripture, but the Rachel right here whose one child is gone is less interested in exegesis than in simply feeling solidarity with the one in the verse.

I've tried to read about life after miscarriage in the past few weeks--but I've noticed that the calm, peaceful, hope-filled sorts of articles tend mostly to be written by moms whose loss occurred 1, 2, 3, or 5+ years ago. They don't sound as low as I still feel. Writing about this in the very days and weeks of having to accept this loss is probably crazy. Taking time and knowing that things take time is a challenging concept for me.

There was such joy. I never want the darkness of October to overshadow the light of September. Because there was light. And I wish I could talk about that light without awkwardness or spontaneously bursting into tears. There was fun and excitement and jokes. The responses from our family members when we told them the good news ranged from "Hallelujah!" to "What does this mean?" to "Okay...Good job..." depending on the personality of the person told. I wish I could tell my pregnancy symptom stories with the other moms.

Seriously, guys, for a month there, speed bumps felt like roller coasters. I could not handle going over them--it was as if I was suddenly on a ship being tossed by stormy seas the instant the car jolted over a speed bump. There are 4 speed bumps to get out of my apartment complex, and 4 to get back in. I contemplated walking all the way to the front of the building to escape from most of the speed bumps. I implored Angel to drive at a snail's pace in order to crawl over the bump. I avoided leaving the building because the very thought of those speed bumps brought on seasickness. It was intense. Oh yeah, and I once threw up about 30 seconds after eating a chapati--after never having thrown up in over a decade. Guys, a chapati is like a tortilla. There's nothing more basic and non-vomit-inducing than a tortilla. I was constantly thirsty and woke up multiple times in the middle of the night to drink water and eat tortilla chips. The day before I found out I was pregnant, I ate a bowl of ramen and four slices of pizza for dinner--surprising Angel with my appetite.

But it's hard to laugh about me being intimidated by speedbumps when I don't even notice driving over them anymore.

One of the most difficult things is not feeling like 'me' anymore. It's weird. I've been 'me' my whole life. How could losing someone important to me make me feel like I've lost my very self? Spunk, joy, excellence, everything that felt like an integral part of my identity feels distant from who I am at the moment. I look at old pictures of me and don't want to take new ones if I can help it because I feel like I don't even look like myself right now. I just want to be the old me again. The creative thoughtful overly-sensitive limelight-lover who gets a little too excited about everything and has boundless energy. Now I feel like I don't even have the energy to accomplish my own responsibilities, let alone dream of new ones.

And besides that, what about next year? I thought I knew what 2017 would look like. Not the details, but you know, the generalities. I definitely wasn't traveling back to America at all, as I'd be pregnant and then taking care of a tiny baby for the whole year, and that trip is brutal. I had a plan in place for scaling back on commitments. I'd take a break from teaching for June and July and get back into it in August. Now what? I have no idea. November and December are full of commitments that have existed since earlier this year but it's hard to even see life after December 31st. I know that, logically, it exists. But old plans are gone and I feel like it's better to not make new ones.

I don't feel very comforted by anything at the moment. But I cling to something else that highly-contented Paul wrote, because even if I don't feel like him right now, I'm sure he was on to something:

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

I've seen this verse everywhere on the internet shortened to "The pain you're feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming." And I can't figure out where that shortening came from, and I think it's kind of a terrible paraphrase that's a little too self-centered and fails to really capture and clarify the meaning of the verse. There may not and possibly won't be glory revealed to us in this lifetime. If any, maybe a little. There are glimpses of glory, I believe, from time to time. But right now there really, really are sufferings. All I know is that no matter how much pain exists right now it's nothing in the light of the new heavens and the new earth. Although my heart still cries, that comforts the logical, linguistic side of me. Because when something is 'not worthy to be compared to' means we can't even imagine the difference.


  1. Rachel, my heart aches for you. Remember it was Paul that said, "we are saved by hope. but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it...And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:24-37ish. Paul also said something that I say to myself every morning: "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Philippians 4.13
    I don't know what you're going through, and I don't quite know the perfect way to comfort you, but Christ does. And through Him and His love, you are being strengthened for greatness. (although I already think you're pretty great.) Keep your chin up, Rachel. You are so, so loved and He has a great plan for you. xX

  2. You've been on my heart and mind, Rachel. Warmth and love your way <3

  3. My heart aches for you friend. I can't imagine the pain and ache you feel. It's as if there are no words encouraging enough without it seeming to make your pain smaller. I love that there are different personas of the Bible. God didn't smite David because he cried out why. God continued to love David and pursue David. God didn't love Paul more because he found contentment (and honestly, it sounds like it took him a while to get there anyway. Let's be real, Paul was probably in his 50s or older. You're still in your 20s.) You're not okay right now, and it is OK to not be okay. Your angel baby knows you love her. And right now she could be sitting in the Father's lap, or playing with him and other kids that are already in Heaven. Just because you didn't get to hold her in your arms on this earth doesn't mean you won't. Take your time to grieve. You're surrounded by people who will lift you up when you're weak.

  4. I hate that you've had to go through this but I love that you're being real and vulnerable with your readers. I haven't gone through this, but I know many women have, and like you said, the ones who share their experience share it much later down the road. Your sharing is likely helping many other women who are sharing in your suffering.

  5. You have been on my mind frequently and you remain in my prayers. It's okay to feel low and I hope that you don't feel like you need to rush the process of grief and that you are surrounded by those who can provide for you during this time.

  6. It's only been a few months since my list miscarriage, but I understand about the posts. Maybe it's because I've had so many, or just my personality, but I have only lost hope a few times. After the third miscarriage, I became clinically depressed and couldn't get out of bed for two weeks. But I don't think I wrote about it on my blog. I couldn't write at all during that time. It so was so bad I wanted to stop existing, just so the pain would go away. My husband took off work to stay with me because it was easier when I wasn't alone, but one day I just got out of bed. And started...trying to live again,

  7. My heart goes out to you! Miscarriage is so hard- most people can't understand unless they've been through it. I wish I had advice for you other than time will heal and prayer will help. Sending you a big virtual hug!

  8. Rachel, you are amazing. It really is such an incredible gift that you are sharing this pain and suffering with all of us, and I really appreciate that a lot. I am so glad that God is speaking to you through the Psalms as you grieve the loss of your child.

    Oh, and that line you've been seeing on the internet-perhaps people are quoting Josh Wilson's song, "Before the Morning," because there's a line in the song that goes like that.

  9. There is so much comfort in the real people of the Bible who questioned and were sad, angry, confused. I think it's a blessing that those verses were included and not just those that talk about being content and peaceful, etc. Although of course those are comfort in their own way in different times. I don't know if you follow Cassie from "Sage the Blog," but she had a miscarriage a few months ago and wrote about some of it, and she might be one to read more about someone in that place currently rather than someone who is a bit more removed. If you're interested. Praying for you!

  10. I love that you shared some of your pregnancy symptoms with us here. That time was so precious and those memories are ones you'll want later. That little life is worth remembering in tears and in joy. Praying for you still.

  11. I love how you share your heart. There may not be any blog posts out there by mommas who are only a few days/weeks past the loss of miscarriage - but think about the mom who might find comfort in your words now or in the future. Thank you for your honesty and courage in sharing! I'm not going to pretend that I know what the loss of a miscarriage feels like, but I do know what loss feels like - and I know what it's like to feel like all of your plans are falling apart. And all I can say is, don't worry too much about tomorrow. Instead focus on doing what you need to do to get through the day, or the afternoon, or the hour. Take time to mourn and heal. Sending so many prayers your way.

  12. Oh Rachel, I'm so sorry! I've been where you are and I understand how you are feeling. There is nothing I can say that can take your pain away, but know that I am sending prayers for comfort and healing.

  13. I'm still praying for you. Paul did say those words, but I also think that there is a time to grieve, and I think Jesus understands that. He himself wept so I think He knows we as human in a fallen world need to cry and grieve.

  14. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. I know all too well how it feels - and like you it is very recent and very raw. My post about it was a couple weeks ago - if you missed it and want to read about my experience you can see it here:

    I'm not sure exactly what to say other than know you're not alone. It's been such a dark time over here as well, but I will say that the last week or so has gotten a bit easier. If you would like to chat ever, shoot me an email. *hugs*

  15. I want to encourage you to keep writing about this. Keep writing as much as you feel led to. It will help you and it will absolutely help others as well. It really will. My heart breaks for you because I know how you're hurting.

    I don't know if you've ever read these old posts of mine, but you might want to check them out if you have some time. (I hope they can help you even just a little)

  16. I'm so glad you're writing with such honesty and vulnerability. My circumstances are very different, but a part of me can relate deeply to much of this. Praying for you and thinking of you.

  17. Oh Rachel. I'm still praying for you, lady. This is so beautifully emotional. I'm glad you can still write even if it's not much comfort to you. I appreciate that you can share with us and we can try to be of some encouragement.

  18. I know that for me and probably for a lot of other ladies out there, miscarriage is such a raw subject for so long that we just CAN'T write anything about it at all until a year or more later - when we've gained some perspective and emotionally healed a bit. I can't believe you are able to put your own feelings so eloquently into words so soon afterward.

    I feel the same temptation to want to be a "good" Christian and be able to go through the worst of situations with a sense of calm and peace all the while, but over the years I'm thinking that it's okay to feel what you feel. God can help us grow from very difficult and awful experiences, but growth doesn't happen all at once. It's okay if it's a long and painful process to become like Paul (who I'm sure, by the way, had his David moments as well.)

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your heart! It's been awhile yet again since I've been here but my blogging friends have not been far from my mind including you!
    I know about the waiting and hoping for a child, FINALLY getting pregnant, losing the baby and in my case being told that I probably miscarried because my eggs were old and to add to the pain that I'd probably have less then a 5% chance of having a baby WITH THE HELP of fertility treatments. Though it's been almost 4 years since that loss, writing and remembering it even now still puts a lump in my throat. After the miscarriage, a song by Meredith Andrews, Not For A Moment, played in my head over and over. I don't remember hearing it but when I did hear on the radio, I was like this is it! It was God reminding me that He never left me even in that very discouraging season. Even as I type this holding now my second live baby, I'm reminded of God's faithfulness and goodness. Rachel, I don't know what plan God has in all this but I do know that whatever it is for you, it is good. I know I've said a lot already but you have a story, testimony, to share of God's faithfulness even through this hard time. You'll be able to look back sometime later and see what God did!