A four year journey to parenthood can result in quite a library of baby-making books. We have shelves of books that cover everything from eating for fertility to charting cervical fluid, to what questions to ask your reproductive endocrinologist. If reading books about baby-making actually contributed to making a baby, we’d have a 3 year old running around.
When we experienced our miscarriage in May we were caught by surprise. Until that time our struggle had been to make a baby, we hadn’t even really considered the possibility that I might not be able to carry a pregnancy to term. Our hearts were unprepared, and we are so thankful for dear friends and family who stepped up to help shoulder our burden.
We were given a few resources that really meant a lot to us, and I wanted to share them with you today. Knowing how to encourage and support a friend through the painful experience of a miscarriage can be difficult, and I want to share with you resources for miscarriage that really helped us in the days and weeks after our loss.
Resources for Miscarriage
Honoring a Child Born to Heaven – K.M. Logan
This was the first book I read after our miscarriage, and in many ways it helped me realize that many of our feelings and desires were perfectly normal. We’d already created our vase for our glory baby, as it was so important for us to memorialize that precious life. This book is a fairly quick read, although painful at times. Facing the loss of a pregnancy is difficult, and finding ways to honor that lost life is healing to the spirit.
Safe in the Arms of God – John MacArthur
My husband and I often wrestle with theology, and even more so after the loss of our pregnancy. One night I cried into my pillow, my words barely understandable, “Our baby is in heaven, right?” and my husband responded, “I think so, Babe.” I was so angry that we even had to ask that question. A dear friend of ours, who has been through two miscarriages, sent us Safe in the Arms of God, and my husband and I read it together. As much as this is a book for grieving parents, it is a book about theology. John MacArthur outlines Biblical truths about the nature of sin, the nature of God, and where babies go when they die. It was the single most healing book that we read following our miscarriage.
Grieving the Child I Never Knew – Kathe Wunnenburg
This book reads more like a devotional, and offers lots of space for journaling thoughts about miscarriage in general, and devotional inspiration in particular. My best friend gave this to me a few weeks after our miscarriage, along with a sweet card about how much she loves us and our sweet babe. I never did finish the journaling, primarily because I’ve kept my own journal for many years now, and I didn’t want my thoughts and reflections to be spread out between to journals. But the truths in this book offers encouragement, and even a sense of companionship, at times. There’s so much comfort that comes with knowing you’re not alone, and that your feelings are normal reactions to a difficult and painful situation.
All three of these books were given to us by friends.
We have not yet read When the Cradle is Empty.
Other ways to encourage a friend through miscarriage:
Pray for them, and let them know.
But don’t necessarily expect or require a response. People grieve in very different ways, and some may seek community and fellowship while others may want to be alone. Communicating your own grief, thoughts, and/or prayers is almost always appropriate, but know that they may not have the strength and resiliency to reply to every card, note, and offer of prayer.
Send a card or flowers.
Losing a pregnancy is very different from losing a loved one who leaves this earth full of days with a beautiful life to celebrate. In many cases there will never be a memorial service or funeral. But that couple just experienced an excruciating loss, and sending a sympathy note or token of condolence will help legitimize their loss, and will probably be a sweet encouragement in the midst of many dark moments.
Remember their loss.
Keep in mind that their life has changed. They are parents, they just don’t get to hold their sweet baby. Holidays, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day will never be the same; there is a life that should be there to celebrate, but it was snuffed out too soon, and will forever be absent on those special days. Your friends may not want to talk about their miscarriage, honor their wishes, but find subtle and unobtrusive ways to honor the sweet life that was lost. Or they may want to talk about their baby, and the lost dreams and expectations, be a listening ear, even when it is awkward.
Being a friend through the darkest days is hard, and often times it takes thick skin, a tender heart, and calloused knees. And sometimes it is awkward and it feels like there is nothing right to say, be there anyway. Be the friend who loves at all times, even the painful ones.
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17