Hope for the Grieving Mom on Mother’s Day

May 09, 2014 3 Comments

Words by Allie Rasmussen // Image by Jennifer Trovato

What truths about God can we cling to when facing the heartbreak of a miscarriage, especially on the upcoming celebration of Mother’s Day?

This year marks my second Mother’s Day. I am the mother of a loving, rambunctious toddler who loves to tell everyone he knows that he’ll be “two in June.” This year also marks my first Mother’s Day grieving the loss of a baby through miscarriage. I should be pregnant right now, and jokingly wondering how I’ll survive the impending summer heat with an enormous belly. On days like today, the loss is a little more palpable, a little more raw and real. I’m not anti-Mother’s Day by any means; it’s good and right to honor and celebrate the mothers in our lives. But if you’re grieving a loss, you may need some space to remember and reflect.

This is simply my story, along with passages of Scripture that are speaking to me in this season. One thing I know, though, is that everyone who goes through a miscarriage grieves in different ways. My hope is that even though our stories are different, you can at least find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone on this bittersweet day.

 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…Your eyes saw my unformed substance” (Ps. 139:13,16a ESV).

I take a pregnancy test in the morning with my toddler, Hudson, clamoring at my leg. “Whatcha doing, Mama?” he asks. Oh, how things have changed since I did this the first time a little over two years ago. I don’t pace around the bathroom and wait for the result this time—there are race cars to play with on the floor and yogurt bowls from breakfast to clean up. I snuggle my little boy, knowing that this may be the last time I know for sure that it is just the two of us.

I head back to the bathroom. Positive.

We hunt all over town for a “Big Brother” shirt, and finally find one—with a fox on the front—at the Children’s Place. It’s $5. I always love a bargain.

My husband, Tim, comes home and I place the Big Brother fox shirt on Hudson, videotaping the scene with my phone. Tim meets us with a confused look. “Wait, is this true?” he asks.

Radio silence, a knowing look, and then laughter as we kiss and hug.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

It’s our first appointment. The nurse asks if I’m nervous after she takes my blood pressure. It must be high. I nod silently. I’ve been having some symptoms of miscarriage that I never had with Hudson, and we moved our appointment up a day to check it out.

The ultrasound takes a long time. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to silences and grim faces and “I’m sorry”s.

We talk about our options, but I can barely think. I don’t remember much of what was said, only Tim’s tear-stained shirt.

In one moment of coherence, I stop the doctor as she leaves. “Wait,” I ask. “Can we maybe have a picture from the ultrasound? I know it’s already gone, but I just need something to remember it by.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (2 Cor. 1:3-4a).

We lose the baby five days later, at home.

I lie in bed that night and bitterly remember: that stupid fox shirt.

I cry again, but know deep down how right it was to have bought that shirt, to have celebrated on the day we took a positive pregnancy test. For four short weeks, a little brother or sister for Hudson was growing inside of me. Just because she didn’t make it here, doesn’t mean she wasn’t worth celebrating.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

On this Mother’s Day, we grieving moms belong to a club we never asked to be in. We grieve for what we lost, and also for the accompanying dreams. May 11th may be an unwelcome date on your calendar when you’ll be reminded once again that your baby isn’t here to snuggle or chase around or make you breakfast in bed. You know exactly how far along you would have been, or how old they would have been today.

While the pain remains—especially today—I’ve learned not to push it aside, but to let it be a part of me, mingled with the joy of everyday life.

We grieve deeply, but not “as others do who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). We have hope to press on because we see His good gifts to us, even in our pain: our salvation, family members, His Body surrounding and comforting us.  We have hope in knowing that this life never has the last word. Think of what awaits us that we do not yet see: God himself, along with the precious itty-bitty babies that we never got to hold or know. We have babies to miss but to rejoice in meeting someday, with the One who saved us from our sin and promises all will be made right and new.  Author Timothy Keller writes, “If the death of Jesus Christ happened for us and he bore our hopelessness so that now we can have hope—and if the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened—then even the worst things will turn into the best things, and the greatest are yet to come.”*

Someday, the pain will be gone and joy will be all we feel. Someday. 

Since we have such a hope, though with tears in our eyes and with a shaking voice, we can still sing, “It is well with my soul.”  Even on Mother’s Day.

*Quote from Timothy Keller’s excellent book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Penguin Random House, 2013) p. 318.

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Allie Rasmussen is a wife, mother, and writer residing in Denver, Colorado. She writes regularly about life, Colorado living, and good books at daysliketheseblog.com 




3 Responses

Taylor Casey
Taylor Casey

May 28, 2014

Thank you so much. If only I had read this before Mother’s Day. It was my first Mother’s Day since my miscarriage and it was such a hard day. I wasn’t expecting it to be either. I started feeling guilty that I was so emotional and sad. For I already have one son. How come I’m not so joyful and happy to celebrate this day with him? I tried so hard to be joyful but sadness overtook me. And nobody understands. Kept saying at least you have a son. Which I am so utterly thankful for. But I still mourn for my baby that went to be with Jesus before I got to know him/her. Sometimes I feel like I am weird cuz I still have hard days although its been 3 months since my miscarriage. I feel like people are saying come on get it over it already. But then I read posts like this that remind me that it’s normal and that it’s ok. Now I struggle with jealousy as all the women around me are pregnant. As my friends and family announce another bundle of joy coming soon. It hurts. It’s so hard. But I know Jesus is my strength. And until He blesses me with another precious baby to hold as my own, I will bless His name and be thankful for all that He has given me. For I am truly blessed. And I am so thankful to be a mama to my beautiful son. Thank you so very much for these words. For sharing your story. It helped me so much this morning. Lord Jesus, I pray for Allie. I pray that You would continue to comfort her. Please bless her. Lord help us to trust You. Help us to heal. Help us to rejoice with other women who are getting pregnant and having babies. Help us to wait patiently for the time that You bless us with more babies. And unil then may we be busy about our Fathers business. Help us Jesus. Thank you so much for your grace and faithfulness. Thank you for your comfort. And thank you for all that You have blessed us with. You are good. Amen.

Lydia
Lydia

May 09, 2014

Thank you for this beautiful post, Allie. You don’t know me but it is almost as if you took exactly what was in my head and put it into words…I lost my 5 or 6 week old (not sure the exact age) baby last week on the same day I found out I was pregnant. Knowing that Jesus is the first face my baby will see when he or she is in heaven makes my pain much more bearable and gives me so much joy. I named my little one and had a ceremony in the backyard with a rose bush planting to help me to get through the loss easier. My sweet baby will always be in my heart, and it helps me to see now just how precious and sacred life is and to value it even more than I ever did before.

Kate
Kate

May 09, 2014

What a bittersweet balm to my wounded heart. I miscarried only yesterday, our first baby. I have been dreading Mother’s Day, expecting the jealousy and pain of loss to overwhelm me. And yet I know that I am a Mother already. That God gave me that little life for such a short time, and that it is now safely in the arms of his and my Heavenly Father.

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