Thursday, October 2, 2014

Miscarriage: A Crown of Beauty for Ashes

These are the “tell-all stories” of six women who have experienced the heart-ache of miscarriage and the roller-coaster emotions of becoming pregnant again.

You will be moved by the ashes of their broken dreams but, as you lean in to look more closely, will begin to notice the crown of beauty they unknowingly wear.

Why talk about miscarriage?

We women love to tell our birth stories…home birth or hospital delivery room, natural or caesarian, length of labor, epidural, tearing, helpfulness of nurses – we can go on and on!

But not many women know how to talk about their miscarriage.  It’s an awkward topic…full of pain, lost dreams, and grief.

At the same time, many people don’t know what to say to someone they love who has experienced a miscarriage. Is it better to say nothing than the wrong thing? How do you reach out to someone– without feeling like you are just “making it worse?”

I would love to invite you to enjoy this free e-book “Miscarriage: A Crown of Beauty for Ashes” that I have created  (as a .pdf you can click here to download).

This e-book contains…
·        Stories: Real-life, tell-all stories of 5 amazing women (plus my own) who had a miscarriage in the past and are now currently pregnant.
·         How To Help A Loved-One Who Has Miscarried
·         Miscarriage Resources

Not sure about an e-book yet?  Read some inserts from the e-book right here on this blog…

Who is this e-book for?

The truth is that we all experience promises that die, must struggle through processing our own grief and learn to embrace new hope and dreams. These stories are for everyone.

Let us encourage your heart and bolster your hope in a God that really does love us all perfectly…through the gift of ashes that transforms into beauty in our lives.

This e-book is for those who have never had a miscarriage: With as high as 1 out of every 3 women YOU know having experienced a miscarriage…this e-book becomes an invaluable tool for better understanding their pain – how they felt, the gravity of what they lost and the painful emotions involved with the journey of another pregnancy.  Learn what to say and how to help them with the healing process.

For those who have experienced a miscarriage: Whether you are still working through the grieving process or feel as if you have “moved on” – these stories and resources will help you reflect, feel as if you are not alone and bring hope that there is a God who knows your sorrows and has custom designed your life to perfectly shower you with his goodness and gifts at exactly the right time.

How relevant is this e-book?

Every statistic is a face…every number is someone you know…a co-worker, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, and neighbor.

15-35% chance of a woman in the childbearing range having a miscarriage

Women under 35 years = 15% chance of miscarriage

Women between 35-45 years = 20-35% chance of miscarriage

20% (that’s 1 out of 5) recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage
50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, usually before the woman knows she’s pregnant

80% of miscarriages happen before 12 weeks

In these real-life stories you will see how each of us took our own time…our own path to embrace grief & joy, death &; new life, pain & healing.

Please grab a cup of coffee, get comfy and lean in close to hear the heartbeat of these incredible mothers.

Here are some snippets from each of the contributors to our e-book…

Meet Heather

Miscarriage.  What an ugly word.  This was a word that I was certain would never have to enter my life…thinking miscarriages only happened to people who were at risk and here I am, healthy and young.  Not a chance this could happen to me!

Little did I know that ugly word was about to enter my life in a very real way.The memories of that day, Thursday, October 17th 2013 at eight weeks along, will be forever etched into my life.... 

There is a deep grieving that took place as I mourned the loss of, not only my first child, but of all of the dreams and plans I had for that little life. 

The difficult part to mourning the loss of your child, even one as young as 8 weeks, is that it can be hard for people to empathize.  In the beginning people became awkward and if you listened closely, you could hear the faint “I am sorry”.  Nobody knew exactly what to say.  Did I even know what to say back?  Words of encouragement, no matter how comforting, would not suffice. 

Meet Danielle

My husband and I were one year married when we had a surprise pregnancy.   We were a bit apprehensive at first, as we had just applied for insurance (so the birth wouldn’t be covered) and it was much sooner than we’d planned.  It didn’t take us long to get excited though!  

But at three weeks pregnant, only a week after discovering our baby’s life, I suffered a miscarriage.  It was painful, traumatic, and devastating to us both.  The LORD had already given us promises and encouragement for this little life, so how could He allow it to be taken away?

Though I miscarried naturally I was required to have a D&C to make sure nothing remained, and the recovery – emotionally and physically – was slow.  The grief was overwhelming. No one seemed to know what to say, and I felt a lot of guilt.  I have always wanted children, and knowing my first response was concern rather than instant joy made me feel I was somehow responsible...

Surrendering jealousy and bitterness was sometimes a daily practice.  I was a mother too, yet my baby and my experience seemed so easily forgotten. 

Read Danielle’s full story…

Meet Jennifer

I had my miscarriage in the fall of 2001 at 11 weeks into my pregnancy. We hadn’t yet shared the news with ANYONE, as we wanted to safely make it past the 12 week mark. My husband, the doctor and I knew about the baby. That’s it.

I miscarried the baby naturally in the common restroom in the ER waiting room as I was waiting to be seen by a doctor. One memory that sticks out was the very awkward conversation I had with the check-in nurse to state that they might want to “get my baby” from the toilet in the bathroom. UGH.

This was my first pregnancy, so what made it especially difficult is the unknown. I didn’t know FOR SURE what was happening; I didn’t want to alarm anyone, including my husband and my doctor, so the pains I began feeling went largely unrecognized by anyone but me... 

The hardest mental battle after the miscarriage was the negative, internal self-talk. I allowed negative thoughts that went something like this… “You know, that ONE thing you wanted to do in life? Be a mom? Yeah, forget about that. Obviously, you’re not capable of having a baby. You’re not good enough. Your body is damaged goods.  Dream on, girl, it’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN for you.”

Meet Julie L

My experience with miscarriage began long before I ever had one. I always felt very deeply for people that I heard had a miscarriage. I couldn't imagine how they were feeling and how they dealt with such a confusing loss, but my heart was always very grieved and overcome for them. I guess it was God's way of gently preparing my heart to one day experience that loss.
Because we had our daughter Sarah in 2008 with a normal pregnancy and delivery, we never thought about miscarriage when we got pregnant again in 2010.

I still remember what day it was and where I was when I began bleeding. I immediately began to worry and called my doctor. I was only seven weeks along and hadn't even gone in for my initial 9 week doctor appointment.  They had me come in several times to check my hormone levels and they were in fact dropping, which is the case with miscarriage. 
I hated how cold and matter of fact the nurses were, telling me I was losing my "fetus." How could they talk about my beautiful baby that way?
I hardly made it to my car before I bawled. Friends and family surrounded us in prayer, and we pleaded with God to save our little one. However, after the miscarriage was confirmed and that there were no complications, I bled for a few days and we thought it was over.

We were heartbroken. We cried out to the Lord, questioned Him, doubted Him, got mad at Him and even wondered if there was something that we had done wrong to cause this.

Meet Deanna

I was overwhelmed by the physical sensation of passing the baby, the horror of realizing what had just happened and briefly seeing that tiny sweet baby at the bottom of my toilet.  Can you believe I’m even typing those words?!  My sweet tiny baby lying at the bottom of my toilet?!  Sigh... 

The next few months were so hard.  I had already been planning, of course, for the future and so to roll back those plans, even if they were just in my mind, was agonizing.  The loss of the future.  Oh man, that was rough. 

After the numbness wore off, I just had this PAIN inside me like I have never felt before.  It felt so deep, so profound, so overwhelming.  I was unprepared...  

There were pregnant women everywhere.  I never felt like I was mad at them, but seeing them just made me so sad for what I had lost.  My heart was so broken and so full of pain, but I didn’t have an outlet to get that sadness out.  I had to keep it together for my kids, my business, my responsibilities, etc.  I felt like I had no time to grieve. 

Meet Julie O...

Once in the ultra-sound room, the feeling of despair sank deeper and deeper into my heart. The black and white screen told the stark truth - our once happy, jumping baby seemed to be crumbled into a tiny heap in the corner of my womb. Death, after 100 well-lived years or just nine weeks in the womb, is still death – cold, harsh, definite - a loss of monumental proportion in our hearts.

Going home that night, I decided to pass the baby naturally.  For me, it seemed to be the most private, comforting path between two terrible choices.

Days passed and nothing happened. I began to wonder if I had made the right decision. Every day was a painful reminder that where I once carried life…my body now housed death.  Every step I took, every errand I ran, every meal I ate for those seven days was with my dead baby inside me.  The waiting was agony.

Thank you for taking the time to lean in close and hear the stories of these mothers!

Please download the e-book here and use this as resource to pass on to those working through the process of a miscarriage. 

Miscarriage: A Crown of Beauty for Ashes (the tell-all stories of 6 women)

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