Three Things I Wasn’t Expecting to Grieve in the Midst of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

RachelKiser_200TallRachel Kiser
Blogger | Mom of Two


Three Things I Wasn't Expecting to Grieve in the Midst of Recurrent Pregnancy LossThis is a blog post that I have narrated a million times– in my head, in my journal, in prayers in the middle of the night, in conversations with friends and in vulnerable talks with my husband… just never publicly, and never so pointedly. I am incredibly grateful that we live in an age where pregnancy loss is being de-mystified. Although there are many things about it that still aren’t understood, it’s talked about. It’s a discussion. More and more women feel comfortable coming out of the woodwork and saying, “Yes, we have lost children,” or, “We are having trouble getting pregnant.” I know I say this phrase a lot, but it’s healing, and writing about things that are healing is, in a way, my purpose.

The thing that hit me the most as I began to process our three losses is this: you grieve a lot of things when you walk through this. What many (myself included, at one time!) don’t understand is that you’re not simply grieving the loss of a life, although that is the most gut-socking part of it all. That grief is a novel’s-worth of sentiment, and it never really goes away. I know, personally, I experienced so much encouragement from those around us– but nothing could prepare me for some of the more unexpected things I found myself going through as the weeks and months ticked on. So, in an effort to be transparent, here are three things that I was not expecting to grieve as we walked through recurrent pregnancy loss.

I mourned my former trust and faith in my body. You just never think it will be you, if that makes any sense. Whether it’s conscious or not, when we’re young, we have a sense of strength and vitality. We suppose that really, anything we put our minds to is possible. Limits are an afterthought. In my mind, my husband and I were the ones who would decide when to start building our family. We would be the ones to decide how many children we would have. When that slowly began to crash down on us, I felt lost. So much of who I am on a bodily level was created to bear life! Why can my body not sustain a pregnancy? I felt like something in me was failing, and despite a gamut of blood tests, ultrasounds, physicals, you name it, we couldn’t figure out why. I felt so broken, and so unable to do something that I was made to do. I felt helpless: completely powerless. Coming to terms with your own limitations is difficult, and this is something major I had to release control of.

Something else that I didn’t quite expect to feel was sadness and guilt over (what I perceived was) disappointing my husband. I was losing his babies, too. They weren’t just mine. I couldn’t keep them safe, and that racked my hurting heart with shame, never mind that I was not actually culpable for these losses. One thing that I’ve noticed about miscarriage is that almost all of the sympathy and care for a family going through it is directed at Mom. In so many ways, this is appropriate- it was I who went through the morning sickness and exhaustion, and it was my body that went through the physical pain of miscarriage, time and time again. My husband, though, dealt with both his own sadness as well as watching his wife go through hell. Because I was suffering, there were many times that he had to be strong and carry me. His hopes and expectations were shattering along with mine, but he held me, he prayed, he listened, he encouraged me not to give up… and it broke my heart all the more. It’s painful to write about now, but it also reminds me that it’s possible to be even more bonded together with your spouse in true hardship.

Perhaps the most shameful thing that I grieved during these losses, though, was my ability to fully rejoice with those around me. In a way, it stings to write this for all to read. We all want people around us to believe we have suffered valiantly, right? I share these earnest feelings because, truthfully, they caught me very off guard. I felt jealous when women were being blessed with healthy pregnancies and babies. Nobody is, or was, more aware of how intensely selfish that is. That’s one of the many things about suffering– it can cause us to turn into an ugly, monster version of ourselves if we let it. I remember taking a break from social media so I wouldn’t have to see one more black and white fuzzy ultrasound pregnancy announcement. At one point, I even blocked the majority of young married women on my Facebook, just to save myself the inevitable feelings of envy. I got upset when friends of mine had children very close together in age. I was in tears when a newlywed couple got pregnant on their honeymoon. I tried to rationalize these otherwise unreasonable feelings with cries of, “But it’s MY turn!” and “Why not me?” I needed constant reminders that childbearing– and life– is not a competition. I was not losing anything because of someone else’s gain. It wasn’t that I didn’t want others to experience the joy that is new life, it was more that I just felt broken, as I said above, and didn’t want to feel alone in my brokenness.

I share these things because it’s important to know that, beyond the immediate grief, there are many, many things that may take you by surprise as you process and heal. Own them. Work through them. Even just let them be what they are for a while. You will never fully move on from or get over your loss, but the broken places won’t stay this broken forever. I can only speak from my own personal experience, but there is value in transparency. Have grace on yourself when something you don’t expect hurts, and extend grace to others when their pain makes little sense to you.



RachelKiser_200TallAbout Rachel Kiser

Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.

View all posts by Rachel Kiser here.



21 Comments on “Three Things I Wasn’t Expecting to Grieve in the Midst of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”

  1. My husband and I have lost two babies in the last six months. So many unknowns and so many questions of why that will never be answered but in this time we have found that through the pain, we pray, we might be able to comfort someone else. We might have our own plans for our perfect life/family but God’s plan is always better and we must wait with Him for the perfect plan He has for us. Nevertheless, the hurt is still there and we have the right to feel every emotion but we know time will heal our current wounds.

    1. I am so sorry for your losses Collette, but you have such a bright outlook on it and by sharing will inspire others. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I just lost my baby girl a few days before Christmas. I was 31 weeks. Second Christmas in a row of losing my dream. The part about feeling like your body failing you is so true. Even though there is absolutely nothing I could have done different either time I hate that my body won’t keep my babies.

  3. Thank you for sharing. It’s hard to put into words how awful it is to lose a baby but it helps to hear from others.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I recently went through a miscarriage. I am still processing it. I feel sad, but comforted knowing I’m not alone in this. Thank you

    1. Mary, I am so, so sorry for your loss. It is a big one that isn’t completely understood. Thank you for taking the time to share a snippet of your story on this post. I hope that you find love and support in your community in this hard time. Hugs, sister.

  5. Thankyou for sharing! Sending prayers. I lost 4 children. 3 miscarriages and 1 SIDS death. I definitely can relate.

    1. Destiny, my heart just fell when I read your comment. You have been through so much. So kind and gracious of you to pray for me with all you have walked through… I hope that, even though your children’s losses will always be with you, the burden gets lighter as time goes on. Hugs to you.

  6. I think the things I grieved most were 1) the lack of closeness with my child after my miscarriage and 2) the lack of friends who reached out and could speak hope and comfort in my life. Chadd and I both struggled with being close with Grayson, because we were unable to be excited over someone we may not get to meet. Chadd especially. But when we finally started telling people, and reaching out to those that had experienced it before, we were met with a hush-hush feeling- where no one could help us understand what we were physically about to go through, or emotionally about to go through.

    1. Caity, I am so sorry for your loss. I am encouraged by your transparency. I don’t know how something so relatively common can be so hard to talk about… I’m sorry that your experience was tough in that way, too. hugs, friend.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and prayers, Felicia! The beautiful outcome of all of this was the birth of our son- we say all the time how worth it he is.

    1. You are so right, Caron. The beautiful thing is, those of us who have been there are able to understand and be there for those we meet who are there. Thank you for your comment, blessings to you!

  7. What a beautifully written article about something so difficult yet so common. I have a friend who lost 3 babies in a row and I’m sure she was very angry at her body and herself.

    1. Lori- how heartbreaking for your friend. Such understandable feelings when you’re going through something so difficult.

    1. Kyra- I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you’re able to find someone to encourage you through what you’ve been through… and that someday you’ll be able to be that person for someone else. Hugs.

  8. Thank you for sharing. It’s hard to talk to people who haven’t experienced the same/similar thing.

    1. It makes having people in your life who DON’T understand, but who listen and care, that much more valuable, doesn’t it Laura? But it’s true. Support from people who know what you’re going through on a personal level is one of the best things.

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