>Bleeding Heart


DSC_0655, originally uploaded by jshannon331.

This is a Bleeding Heart plant. I always thought that was so morbid. It’s a beautiful, flowering plant- why give it a name Twilight-vampire worthy?
I didn’t understand until this week.

I was seven weeks pregnant when I miscarried this past Saturday. Putting it into an actual font, on a page makes it a real, actual occurrence. I’ve been with friends who have lost babies before me, have heard flippant Doctor’s explanations of causes and have had the fear/awareness/dread of one since the moment we conceived. That being said, just to be clear: I stay far away from over-sharing anything that could be interpreted even remotely personal due to the fact that :

A. I don’t want you to know everything in my life
B. I’m sure you don’t care all that much anyway and would much rather read my witty film reviews, lack of housekeeping abilities and funny school anecdotes about students.

But in talking with my best friend and sister-in-law (who drove up from Philly on Tuesday after just moving down there just to sit and grieve with me) she encouraged me to share with you certain information people may not be so forth-coming with, concerning this deeply emotional and physically taxing circumstance. So, with deep breaths and all the uncertainty that comes with the future these are the things I know- but please bear in mind that EVERY pregnancy is different. Every, unique pregnancy is normal. If you have morning sickness, sore breasts, a pee-problem or not any symptoms at all- it’s all normal, because you are the only you that has ever been pregnant before.

No matter how early on you are in your pregnancy, you are allowed to either feel the loss deeply, or move on quickly. Both are acceptable- even if you feel them both at the same time, or in the same day.

You are not guilty. Miscarriages, for whatever reason, are decided upon conception. DO NOT over-analyze your last run, your last glass of wine, your last cup of coffee. None of those things had anything to do with it. I was so blessed that I was surrounded by reassuring friends (who are doctors!) to remind me of this fact.

Talk to people about it. This is touchy for some. People are so frightened to tell others about an early pregnancy until they know “for sure” their pregnancy has a good chance of survival. To speak the truth in love, you will never know. Let me say it again: you will never know. It’s part of humanity. Part of motherhood. You cannot predict or control the future- why start now? I am so blessed that our family and friends knew we were pregnant- they surrounded us with love, and food and flowers when we lost the baby. I needed them so very much. What if they had never known?

You will bleed. And feel crampy. Some, for only a few days. Some, for weeks. For me, this is the worst part. I avoid going to the bathroom at all costs. It’s not the physical aspect ( though I feel drained, unable to process thought, exhausted and in pain) but the emotional, visual reminder of what I have lost is too much for me right now.

There is beauty in loss. This is not trite, nor is it denial. I am so sad. My heart bleeds. But just as this plant, there is a beauty to the bleeding. I have truly felt God’s presence, strong and sure this week. I have been raised and lifted up by women who have suffered the same loss before me and have gone on to rear beautiful children. I have been able to lift my hands in surrender, understanding in a new way what it means to feel the freedom of knowing that there is nothing that is in my hands. The cords have tightened around my husband and I, drawing us together. I have seen the good the Lord has done in the land of the living (Psalm 27) and I cannot deny that, though I question the purpose of this hurdle in my life, I still believe He loves me, grieves with me, and will turn all things for good. Because He sees the beauty in my bleeding heart.


2 thoughts on “>Bleeding Heart

  1. >Jenny,It takes so much emotional energy to share something like this – thank you for summoning that energy and pouring it into beautiful writing. Keep on writing, girl. If you don't mind, I would love to print this out and let clients who are also working through grief from miscarriages read this – your words and so wise and validating. Also know that for the next two weeks, I quite literally have nothing to do. I am in Caldwell, at my parent's house, sitting on the couch. Should you need anything, I am close.

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