Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's not business, it's personal.

A friend of mine recently experienced a miscarriage and my heart has been hurting for them...It's funny how God places things on my heart & I feel compelled to write about it. Then, this week I received a Doppler request from a special couple. They have experienced 3 miscarriages and are currently pregnant with their 4th pregnancy. They have no living children. She wrote to me thanking me for the service Beats for Bristol provides. She told me how her family, friends, and her doctor brush aside their losses and don't validate her feelings of grief, guilt, devastation, and anxiety. Her doctor has the business-as-usual attitude about pregnancy loss and she is tired of hearing
the common go-to responses people so quickly use.....
*Miscarriages are common, almost everyone experiences one.
*You're young, you can have another baby.
*Something must have been wrong with it, so it's better this way.
And on and on they go....I'll give people the benefit of the doubt that they often try to be comforting or reassuring, but in their ignorance, they are usually the opposite to the grieving mother.
I reassured this mother that her feelings were valid & while miscarriage may be statistically common, it doesn't take into account the personal side of that pregnancy.
So let's get strait to the point....
Miscarriage is different for everyone.
We experienced an early miscarriage prior to our pregnancy with Bristol. And while it was a loss, it was a different experience for me personally. We didn't know we were pregnant until after the loss had happened. I never had a positive pregnancy test, and therefore I never emotionally attached myself to the pregnancy. So when our loss happened, I was shocked...but also somewhat detached (if that makes sense). But working with women who experience pregnancy loss, my heart hurts every time I hear thoughtless or cold remarks, or talk to a mother who feels isolated because her feelings aren't socially accepted. People openly grieve all types of losses- pets, jobs, relationships, cancer- but apparently we aren't allow to grieve the loss of a baby because it's common. I don't care what statistics say, losing a baby, pregnancy loss, miscarriage - whatever you want to call it- is not normal or common.
It's personal. And everyone has a different experience.
To the couple who has been trying to conceive for months, years even, miscarriage can be heartbreaking. To the couple who has undergone rounds of fertility treatment, miscarriage can be devastating. To the couple who has experienced prior losses, miscarriage can be traumatizing. And to others, it may mean something else.
The instant a woman is pregnant, she starts planning for her baby. Dreams begin and hope fills the heart. So when a pregnancy ends, those dreams & hopes are shattered. Nothing can get them back, and nothing makes it better.
So instead of downplaying miscarriage, or treating it like a regular, daily thing- think about what you say-
and how you say it.
Simply say, "I'm sorry. I will keep you in my prayers."
Don't remind them that statistically
25% of pregnancies end in loss.
Who cares about statistics when it's you?
When talking with my friend she told me what her brother said about her loss. I don't know all the details surrounding their conversation, but my heart jumped in my throat when she said he told her, "It was just a miscarriage. Get over it." What hurtful words and (in my opinion) immature & ignorant perspective. That attitude reminds me of The Godfather  and a clip from You Got Mail (1998 Meg Ryan movie). But if you think about it, people have the "it's not personal, it's business" attitude when it comes to a lot of things. Unfortunately, as our culture evolves, it seems we drift away from the personal side of things....and some things need to stay personal.  
So in the spirit of Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) let's get back to being personal. Life is precious. And all of us have hopes & dreams that are personal to us. Instead of, it's not personal, it's business attitude, let's embrace, it's not business, it's personal attitude. Because whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.


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