sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
My wife and I have 11 living nieces and nephews, and at various times during the holidays, we saw all of them. When you add in our own three children, we have plenty of kids to love on. But something struck me particularly hard this holiday season. Even with all the kiddos in our family that I hold dear, I miss the four nieces and nephews that we’ve lost to miscarriage.
It’s a joy to have a good relationship with my siblings and in-laws; to watch their little ones grow. My kids have a special bond with their cousins and getting together with any of them is like a vacation or Christmas gift. I treasure the moments I can play silly games with them and sneak them treats that I refuse to give my own children.
Even with all that love and an indescribable amount of chaos when we’re all together, there’s a hole in our family that remains. We’ve papered over it the best we can, and no doubt a great deal of healing has taken place, but I can’t escape the feeling: I miss them.
I never held them or wrestled or pretended to drop them. I never tickled them until they couldn’t take it or had a dance party with them. I never made them grilled cheese or hugged them when they got hurt. But I miss them.
I never bought them a Christmas gift or let them stay over with my little ones. I never took them to the park or got them McDonalds, succumbing to their pleas for ice cream. I never made a deal with them that if they cleaned up their mess, they could watch a Disney movie. And still, I miss them.
The wound persists, but isn’t as gaping as when they first died. I’m no longer in shock, unable to do basic tasks without feeling the sting in my heart. I ache over their loss sometimes, but mostly, I miss them.
My lost nieces and nephews weren’t present this holiday season, but they weren’t forgotten. Something nags at my soul, reminding me that our extended family won’t be complete in this life. It’s haunting in a way, and yet, it makes sense because I love all four of them.
They are missing from our family get-togethers, but in a way, they remain quite present – because I miss them.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Associate Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University
Talking about Miscarriage
By: Emily Carrington EPLA President and Founder
It has been 6.5 years since my first miscarriage. When it happened I wasn’t sure how to talk about it.
Since then I have had two more miscarriages and two live births. I have shared my story with other women publicly and privately. I have written my story, spoke my story, cried my story. I have started the Early Pregnancy Loss Association (EPLA), I have met with doctors, pastors, and nurses. I have traveled around the country to conferences and served as an editor of this blog.
And I still don’t really know how to talk about miscarriage.
But I didn’t start EPLA or this blog because I know how to talk about miscarriage. I started EPLA because I knew that we have to talk about miscarriage.
Because I started talking I started realizing how many women shared my experience. I realized how many women felt confused, frustrated, and sad. I realized how long the sadness lingered.
Because I started talking, other people started talking to me. As we talked and shared we came together with a vision that no one would suffer miscarriage alone.
Your voice matters in this story, and we invite you to share it with us here at Hope Blooms.
It doesn’t matter if you know how to say it. It doesn’t matter if everything makes sense to you yet. What matters is we share our experiences and suffering with each other so we might better love, understand, and care for one another.
If you would like to share your miscarriage story with us, please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. The editors will review your story and let you know if it has been selected for publication.
We are honored to do this work, and we hope to hear from you.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.
Cultivating Hope in the New Year
By: Maria Servold EPLA Editor
There’s something special about January. Even though the Christmas decorations are coming down and the long, dark days blend into each other, there is a spark in many of our hearts - a spark of hope that the new year may promise something special.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions; they are often goals to achieve or things to do. Even if making concrete goals isn’t possible for you, it is always a good practice to cultivate hope at the beginning of a new year.
One of the hardest things to do after a pregnancy loss is to have hope - hope that you will heal, hope that you will be able to achieve pregnancy again if you desire, hope that you will always remember your lost baby.
In this new year, let hope be your resolution. Hope is strong, and can get us through almost anything.
Last weekend, I bought myself a bouquet of tulips. They were bright yellow and orange - a welcome sight among the gray of a Midwest winter. Not only were they pretty to look at as they slowly opened over the week, they also reminded me to have hope in what is to come: springtime, sunshine, and healing for those who are suffering after a loss.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College.