Many times I have brushed this experience off as wishful thinking. Only who would ever wish the pain that I have felt over the years remembering that day?
Just a Faint Line
I lived in Gulfport, MS at the time. I had a three year old beautiful boy. I had an internship at a wonderful church. I had a husband who went to work and hurried to come home to me each day. It was a rich time in our lives.
Having had one child, we hoped to have two children. At least. We had been trying almost two years, but we weren’t really worried. These things take time, right?
Each month came and I hoped and I wished and I became excited. This will be the month! Surely!
Each month left and my hopes were dashed. At times, I felt almost a depression.
Then . . . one month I was late, so I took a pregnancy test.
It was a faint line, but it was a line! I took a picture of it just to prove to myself that it was really a line.
But when it is that faint of a line, you wait. You don’t rush into the doctor. You wait a few days and you take another test. I waited a day. Maybe two.
My period came instead.
I went to the doctor to ask them what had happened. They didn’t say. They just shrugged it off. They made me feel small and insignificant. And most of all, they didn’t bother explaining anything. Rather than giving me what I needed, they just pushed me away and avoided the entire situation.
I asked around to those friends I trusted. Some told me that I must have been mistaken, it was probably just a late period. Some said, who knows. A few friends, very few, told me what I needed to hear. If the pregnancy test has a line, then you were pregnant. Out of all the world only a few people legitimized my feelings and made me feel that my grief was valid.
That day, I lost something. I lost the faint line on the pregnancy test. I lost the hope of having that specific child at that specific time in my life. Whether or not the pregnancy was ever fully viable, I grieved for what was lost.
I lost the faint line on the pregnancy test.
I write to validate other women in their grief. I write to open the floodgates of freedom to those who have held their pain inside for too long. You did experience a loss! You did go through something to which other women can relate and many feel the same grief and depression that you have experienced! Don’t let anyone tell you that it was just nothing.
While at times chemical pregnancies will register on pregnancy tests, the loss that woman experiences when she goes from having exuberant hope to experiencing overwhelming despair is real. If there is a line on a pregnancy test, the woman who is 3 weeks along, 4 weeks along, 5 weeks along, or however early it might be MUST have the support of other women around her to deal with her loss. Even a chemical pregnancy creates legitimate grief!
Here are some practical ways that you can reach out to a woman who has experienced a miscarriage:
- Accept her grief. She needs to grieve. You can’t fix it and you don’t need to tell them it’s going to be okay. It’s not.
- Don’t act like it didn’t happen. Ask her how she is doing and offer a shoulder to cry on.
- Do not try to talk her out of her feelings. Acknowledge her loss. Be sure she knows that it is not her fault.
- Do not give her advice. She doesn’t want it, nor does she need it.
- Let her talk your ear off or let her be silent and cry. Either one is helping her to express her grief.
- Tell her that she is completely loved and that you can’t even imagine how she must be feeling right now. Truth is important.
- If you are too uncomfortable to be around her, then find another friend to be a present support. Distance is better than a present person who won’t reach out.
- Fix her meals. Be sure to find out what types of foods she is comfortable eating. It’s practical and appreciated.
- Ask her if you can clean her kitchen or house. She may decline, but sometimes a messy house increases depression.
- Spend the day with her. Watch stupid movies. Bring a relaxed atmosphere with you that allows her to open up or let her process.
- Help her with her other children.
Thank you for reading a little bit about my life. I hope this helps someone out there to come to terms with an early pregnancy that was lost. Since so many people won’t help, it takes other women to be the support system for women who experience this loss. Early, but poignant.
How To Support Someone After A Miscarriage Or Loss – BellyBelly