Sunday, December 9, 2007

Clarifying...

I feel the need to respond to some comments on my blog about miscarriages. I think perhaps people have misunderstood my point in the original post. I am not judging those who are not deeply scarred by their own miscarriages. This post is not addressed to you particularly-- except in your contact with other women. I am also not judging those who find it difficult to understand or share in our grief. I simply intended to remind you to apply the same grace to women grieving miscarriages that you would to those who have lost children already born-- an emotion you may also not be able to fully share in. Especially to those of us in the unique situation of infertility plus miscarriage, where the loss of a child is intensified by the years (in some cases) of longing, prayer and effort that goes into those few short weeks of bliss.

The "double-standard" I referred to was not based on feeling that people didn't understand, or empathize properly, but rather that they expected me to "get over it". They "encouraged" me in a "oh well, better luck next time" kind of way, rather than validating my motherhood over this child. They were uncomfortable talking about my baby, or hearing the details of what happened. There are very few people in whose presence I feel comfortable referring to "my four children."

I don't mean to lay down a "harsh judgment" of my fellow believers, but rather to admonish (and perhaps enlighten) you regarding your attitude towards mothers of miscarried babies. Be careful, be sensitive, be kind. Ask questions, listen to what we have to say. Be ready to ask us if it was a boy or girl, what we named our baby, how long we were in labor--all the questions you would ask any other mother. Not every mom is going to want or need to go into this kind of detail, but some of us do! For some it's a part of the healing process-- and on behalf of all my suffering sisters, I want to say it can be a perfectly normal part of the process. Not morbid, not faithless, not obsessive, not extreme or narcissistic. It's not a universal part of the process, but one that we, as Christians who claim that God "knit me together in my mother's womb", ought to be prepared to deal kindly with.

2 comments:

Denise said...

Oh Lisi,

This was so comforting to me. I kept feeling so akward when I wanted to talk about "Our Baby" as if something was wrong with me. But even though it was miscarried, we LOVED that child. We prayed it into existance and the fact that it lived even a few short weeks to me was evidence in God's handiwork, His answered prayer, and His love to give us a child. My labor/contractions were very real and it does seem to heal the hurt of living that miscarriage by being able to share it.

I have had MANY women try to be very kind and loving toward me, but they ended up making my spirit close harder in me, because I left the conversation crying because of them. While meaning comfort, they may have said something like "Miscarriages are usually from an abnormality so it's God's way of sparing you a special-needs child." A good rule is, if you wouldn't say about the death of a living, breathing child of age 3, don't say it in reference to a miscarriage.

Lisi communicates a truth here and I do ask you lovely, Christian, godly women to hear her and try to be a sweet, listening soul to the suffering ladies you may meet. Miscarriage often feels like a shame we have to hide.

Herb of Grace said...

You've hit the nail on the head there, Denise, with the comment that "miscarriage feels like a shame.." That's a major thing I am reacting to in these two posts. There's no reason to feel shame-- either over the m/c itself, nor over the emotions it dredges out of you.