Grief

Pregnant Mama, Take the Belly Picture

Dear Pregnant Mama, take the belly picture.

You just peed on a little white stick and watched two solid, pink lines appear from the nothingness. You’re barely five weeks along but there’s a child growing within your womb, a little bit of your DNA mashed into an ever-growing and dividing clump of cells.

You place your hand tenderly against your stomach and feel nothing but skin and a little bloat. There’s no evidence that this little one is here. Your stomach muscles have yet to stretch and give way to the life within. Everything is seemingly the same, and only you know it’s all begun to change.

And so, you feel silly asking your partner to take a belly picture. It seems strange to stand sideways against the wall and take a picture of “nothing.” You tell yourself that you have time.

But sadly, not all of us do.

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A Letter to My Husband After A Pregnancy Loss

Last year, while working on a book about pregnancy loss, I had the privilege of interviewing over thirty, fellow, grieving mothers.

A few of the questions I asked revolved around marriage and how relationships with a spouse or partner had been affected by loss. Almost all of the mothers commented on the differences in grieving style — how men and women process and release their grief in such unique and sometimes confusing ways. We don’t always understand the other’s grief, but I was equally encouraged by the many women who shared how their marriage was strengthened and encouraged throughout this time. We found this to be true in our experience too — these differences can ultimately be our strength.

So this letter was written for the marriages in the midst of grief: those still struggling to understand each other and yet, fiercely fighting for something that is so-very-worth-fighting-for.  Continue reading

When the Pregnancy Test is Negative – Surrendering all to Christ

Cautiously prodding a crumpled tissue out of the way, I carefully reached my hand down into the garbage can and fished out the used pregnancy test. I’d tossed it in moments earlier but now I was second-guessing myself.

I held the test up close against my face and squinted, hoping against hope that somehow that would change the answer. Maybe I hadn’t waited long enough? Maybe there was a very faint line and I’d just missed it?

One lonely pink line stared back at me and my heart sank. The pregnancy test was definitely negative.

Again.

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Instagram Hashtags for Mothers Grieving Pregnancy Loss

You may not know it, but there is a whole community of grieving mothers right at your fingertips. Until I lost my babies, I never realized what key support could be found online — but when it comes to pregnancy loss and feeling less alone, the internet can be a beautiful place.

We all know how difficult it can be to talk openly and honestly about our grief: about the fears we’re facing, and about the challenges and milestones we’re navigating. But now that we all carry social media around in our pockets, it’s easier to begin documenting and openly sharing about life after loss. We can choose to do so anonymously or under our own name, with a private account or for the world to see. We can set our boundaries and invite people to share in our heartbreak and celebration.

And for those looking for community within the pregnancy loss world, Instagram is a key place to settle in.  Continue reading

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