Suffering in Silence

  © Copyright Carol Walker
and licensed for reuse under this
Creative Commons Licence

The last 72 hours have been an emotional roller coaster for my family.
My daughter, who celebrated her first anniversary July 10th, had a positive pregnancy test Wednesday morning.
We were thrilled for her and our son-in-law.
Today, she miscarried.
Shortly after leaving the doctor’s office, she texted me and said, “I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond to this.”
You know what? I don’t know how to respond, either. I don’t even know what to say to her, my own child, beyond, “I’m so sorry.”
I had planned to post a poll today: “What should my grandma nickname be?”
Instead, I find myself in a state of shock, not just hurting for my daughter, but hurting for the multitudes of friends and family whose miscarriages took place “under the radar,” and wondering how many women out there are still suffering in silence.

  • Those who have endured the pain, loss, and confusion alone because they didn’t have anyone to turn to for comfort or counsel. 
  • Those for whom the twin demons of guilt and shame crept through the fog of grief and sorrow to torment them further with self-doubt and fear for the future. 
  • Those who felt as if they were somehow at fault – as though they had failed – and didn’t have someone around to tell them any different. 
  • Those who have been offered empty platitudes and casual reactions.
  • Those who suffered at the hands of insensitive medical personnel shuffling them through a cold, clinical system. 
  • Those whose husbands or boyfriends lashed out in anger (or worse, relief) because they couldn’t process their own emotions about the experience.

If any of those descriptions are yours, my heart goes out to you. May God reach out and bind up the broken places in your heart with His divine love and mercy and grace, and may the sweet spirit of the Lord whisper words of comfort, encouragement, and peace in your ear.

“He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.” Ps 147:3 TLB

“You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” Ps 56:8 TLB

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.” 
Ps 73:23-26 NIV

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9 thoughts on “Suffering in Silence

  1. Laura C says:

    I can totally agree with this article, it seems there isn't a way to deal with this issue. I certainly wouldn't want to ignore it or give a pat answer, but really, what is there to say? Especially when I can't give her a hug. Maybe you could do that for me?

  2. Dina Sleiman says:

    Sometimes I think our modern science actually plays a part in this. Thirty years ago a woman wouldn't even know that she had a miscarriage at this early stage of the game. I hope that doesn't sound insensitive. I mean it the opposite way because I've seen so many women traumatized by miscarriages that nature (God?) probably just inteneded for the to perceive as a late cycle. But I am indeed sorry for your families loss and pain.

  3. Jenny Thomas says:

    First, I love you. Having been here 4 times myself, I still don't ever have the right words. What I know is no matter what the timing as soon as you knew about this pregnancy you were instantly filled with hopes and dreams for that child, so this hurts. It will hurt today and probably tomorrow, you will surround yourself with the Word and with praise and you will still hurt, but the Word and the praise will do its work in you and the hurt will come to an end. I wish that I had a time frame for you on that one. After the shock has warn off and life has moved on don't be thrown off guard by the occasional blue day that will come in a month or 6, a year or even 5. Just go back to the Word that mended your heart in the first place, it will do it again.

  4. Heather says:

    No one really knows what to say. And most people say stupid things rather than keeping quiet.
    I MC on Jonathan's birthday in 2008. My little sister, who has suffered MC too many times said one of the best things to me. She told me to just take the grief as it comes. Today you might be sad, and tomorow you might feel better. Then 6 months from now you will be sad about it all over again, and that's just fine.
    I hope Caitlin knows how much we love her.

  5. Niki Turner says:

    @Laura – I think open, honest conversation is the only way women will be able to help other women through this. Just the comments we've received from others who've been there have been so helpful and encouraging.

    @Dina – That is true. The advent of at-home early pregnancy tests has increased awareness of pregnancy loss much the same way our high-tech testing has increased the numbers of early cancers detected. With cancer, it's a good thing, because there's treatment. With pregnancy, not so much. I suppose it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. Thanks for your prayers!

    @Kaafleem – Thank you so much for sharing your wise words. Sometimes the greatest wisdom and comfort come from the greatest trials, don't they? Blessings to you, and peace!

    @Heather – If there's any good that has come, it's definitely been a renewed awareness of the power of prayer to soothe the wounded soul. And acknowledging the grief, and not trying to avoid it, hide from it, run from it, deny it, or otherwise pretend it isn't there is sound advice. We're all so afraid to grieve, but accepting it as a necessary but temporary part of the process is crucial to complete healing, IMHO. Thank you, for sharing, and for praying! ((hugs))

  6. patti says:

    Oh, Nikki, this just breaks my heart for you and for your daughter.

    My poor mother had three babies say hello to this earth, then just as quickly say goodbye PLUS miscarriages.

    She too suffered from callous comments and…silence.

    Thank you for sharing with us. I pray that God will give you a peace that passeth all understanding.


  7. patti says:

    Niki, still praying for you.
    God bless your family during this time.


  8. Niki Turner says:

    Thank you, Patti, for your prayers! How difficult that must have been for your mom, especially in a generation when "female" issues weren't discussed openly at all.

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