Monday, March 17, 2014

MOM Brea Part 3: Support and Encouragement Through Loss

If you would like to catch up with MOM Brea's story:
To the momma reading this who may have struggled through infertility or pregnancy loss, Brea would like to offer up some words of encouragement for you.
"Pregnancy loss is an isolated club whom no one wants to belong.  Be true to your emotions and honor your feelings.  Everyone who has lost a baby will react differently, but whatever you're feeing in the days, weeks, months, or years after a loss is your truth.  Take the time you need to heal and feel whole again."
A "fantastic" resource Brea recommends is  Sidelines.  Sidelines is a non-profit, high-risk pregnancy support network of trained volunteers who have experienced similar issues. 
Maybe you have not personally experienced infertility or loss, but know someone who has.  It certainly has the potential to become the big elephant in the middle of the room, and it can be daunting to find the words of support.  Brea has some suggestions for those who aren't quite sure how to offer support to a loved one in this situation:
"Refrain from passing judgment or offering advice.  Listen to understand, not to reply.  Let your loved one know you support her.  Check in with her.  We felt so lifted up by the overwhelming response to our losses; we received cards, texts, emails, cards, prayers, silent hugs filled with love, and visits from family, friends, and even friends of friends who just wanted to say 'I'm sorry' or 'You're on my mind today'.  Even 3 years later, I'm truly touched when someone remembers how difficult March and April are for me."
Unfortunately, I have been on both the offering and receiving end of support. 
I delicately maneuvered around the appropriate gestures while Brea, and many others close to me, marched on through the battle field of infertility.  I have offered up very specific intercessory prayers for friends to have babies before I did (both before my first pregnancy and while we were trying for Baby #2) longing for them to experience the joy and thanksgiving of a little miracle before it happened for us.  And you know what?? Each one of those specific prayers was answered!!  I was blown away by God's faithfulness and love, and overjoyed for those highly anticipated pregnancies. 
After I shared my story, I received many private messages and emails from mommas who have been there; who have felt that pain, and understand how confusing it can be to navigate.  My miscarriage is far from what Brea had to endure, and it pales in comparison to the problems of this world and the life-threatening obstacles others battle every day, but it is mine and it will always be a part of who I am.  Don't devalue your grief mommas.
Near the end of 2013, I came across a book written by a blogger I follow, Natalie Lesnefsky, The Busy Budgeting Mama.  It's called Mommy Has an Angel and she wrote this book after the sudden and violent loss of her best friend to domestic violence.  Natalie wrote the book from a child's innocent perspective blanketed in a beautiful simplicity, because it was her own children's humble prayers that helped her to grieve and heal. 
I bought this book as a gift for Brea, and remembered it was tucked away upstairs when I experienced my miscarriage in January.  I dug it out and read it quietly by myself in my bedroom, then read it out loud to my daughter Lucy.  I found comfort in those sweet, colorful pages.
If you would like to purchase Mommy has an Angel for yourself, or for a loved one who may be grieving through any type of loss, the book can be purchased HERE.



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