As I watched Carrie Underwood sharing about the heartbreak of her three consecutive miscarriages, I immediately recognized that face. It’s the face you make when you’re trying to keep the tears from coming. You want to appear strong, but talking about your pain forces forward that surge of emotions anyway. While she spoke, I wanted to reach through the screen and wrap her in a huge hug. I’ve been there too and I want her to know she’s not alone.
I also want Carrie and women everywhere to know this: you get to be mad about your miscarriages.
I say this because I listened to Carrie say it took her three consecutive miscarriages before she finally gave herself permission to get mad. She felt, like so many other women do, that a life rich with blessings discounted her from the anger associated with miscarriage. I know this feeling well. I used to feel the same way. It took two miscarriages and the stillbirth of my daughter for me to finally get angry. I thought it was my duty to focus on all the good in my life and to ignore the heartbreak of pregnancy and infant loss. It turns out, that wasn’t doing me any good. I didn’t really begin to heal from my losses until I realized I had permission to be mad.
You get to be mad because miscarriage sucks. No matter how early or late you lose your baby, the physical and emotional pain is real. It doesn’t matter how many blessings you can count. Those blessings are separate from this heartache.
Miscarriage is not the loss of a pregnancy—it is the loss of your dreams. From the moment you see that positive test, your mind begins to dream of motherhood. You imagine baby clothes and first birthdays. You daydream about baby showers and nursery colors.
Then one day, it ends.
Losing the baby hurts, but it’s losing the dreams that can cause such incredible pain. Those dreams you imagined for your baby, they are nestled so deep in your heart that when they have suddenly torn away, the pain seems unbearable.
I know when you share about your miscarriages that others, in their efforts to comfort you, will want to point out all that you should be grateful for. In your own efforts to ease your pain, you will be tempted to heed their advice. You will not want to appear ungrateful for all you have by talking about what was taken away. After all, who can be mad when their life is teeming with incredible blessings?
You can be mad and I want you to get mad. You need to acknowledge the anger because it will not be ignored. You can push it down, you can cover it up with joy, but anger will demand space. So, give it space and when you do, you will ensure that the anger won’t one day consume you. I know that making room for anger will open up space for hope to find its way back in again.
So, to Carrie and to all the other moms who have experienced miscarriage, I want you to know you are not alone. You are not alone in your heartbreak and you are not alone in your anger.
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