Miscarriage and the 12-Week Rule

The 12-week rule. Every parent out there knows what the 12-week rule is. It means that you shouldn’t tell anyone that you’re pregnant within the first 12 weeks “in case something happens.” Because, if anything does happen, it will most likely happen during those 12 weeks.

On the 24th of October, I took a pregnancy test and was elated to see the two lines that told me I was pregnant with our second child. It was a glimmer of joy during a week of bad news. I was so excited to tell my husband. He really needed good news that week. We told immediate family and a couple of close friends. Other than that, we stuck to the 12-week rule.

On the 28th of November, I had an ultrasound. The baby was almost five weeks behind on growth. No heartbeat. We were devastated.

What was meant to bring the joy of life instead brought the sorrow of loss.

It’s called a “missed” miscarriage. My baby had died, but my body didn’t know it. I continued to have regular pregnancy symptoms as my mind and heart were grappling with reality.

As I was being wheeled down to an operating room a few days later, I couldn’t wait for them to put me under anesthesia. I had a mild panic attack (first ever) the day before just thinking about the procedure. All I wanted was a moment to be numb to it all. After the procedure, the anesthesiologist woke me by saying, “Tiffany, wake up. Everything went well.” To me, nothing about this went well. Tears began to flow instantly. I refused to open my eyes until my husband could be with me.

It officially felt final. My body was catching up to what my mind and heart had already been told. It was heartbreaking all over again. People say that having children is like having your heart walk on the outside of your body. Having a miscarriage feels like having a part of your heart die. The physical effects alone last weeks. They give you a prescription for the pain, so it is manageable. The emotional pain is excruciating.

Within less than 12 weeks, my life changed. Twice.

I love that the 12-week rule allows you to mourn in private. I don’t like that the 12-week rule implies that you have to keep it private.

Everyone is different. For me, keeping it private would have perpetuated the feeling of shame that tried to rear its ugly head at me. It’s both isolating and lonely, but life isn’t meant to be lived alone. Life is meant to be lived in relationship with God and with one another.

When someone offered to create a meal train for us, we said yes even though it meant everyone would be aware of our current struggle. I’m so glad we did. It allowed the church the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our little family. This has been an enormous blessing for this momma that had no vacation time left at work (shout out to Christian employers: if you have an employee that miscarries, fight for her to have time off. She has experienced a death in the family that the world doesn’t recognize as a death. She’s not in her right mind, so she may not even ask, but I can tell you that even a couple of days off would have meant the world to me).

Being open about it also opened the door for women who had been through the same thing to reach out to me. That has meant more to me than anything!

The situation sucks. I’ve never been an emotional person, but everything becomes an emotional experience after a miscarriage. Taking a shower, getting ready, using the restroom, your commute to work. Everything becomes an emotional experience. But, it will get better. So many women out there can testify to that. Suffering silently won’t allow you to see that, though.

It can be awkward at first.

There will be people that don’t know what to say, so they try to avoid conversations at all costs. That’s ok. It may make situations feel lonely, but I wouldn’t have known what to say either, so I understand.

There will be people that say some of the dumbest things. That’s ok too, even if I spend the next 30 minutes in the bathroom crying. They didn’t understand, so I’ll show them grace.

As lonely as it can feel to experience both of those types of people, it doesn’t outweigh the benefits of those that have gone out of their way to care for you.

Every text. Every hug. Every card. Every meal. Each one has meant the world to us. Even if I don’t respond to your text right away, it was a helpful reminder that we aren’t in this alone, and for that, we are so grateful.

I’m thankful that being open about our journey has given people the opportunity to love on us. Because, trust me, we need it.

I also hope that being open about our journey opens the door for young women who may experience this in the future to reach out to us. At the beginning, it’s hard to know who you can talk to that will understand. Going forward, that person can be me. I get it. I understand. I’m here to be your sounding board. I will cry with you. I’ll let you shout, scream, punch a wall, or whatever you have to do with no judgment. I pray it doesn’t happen to you. If it does, I’m here for you. You don’t have to suffer silently if you don’t want to.

Leading into October, I felt as though I should take the last three months of the year off from blogging. Now I know why. It’s almost poetic that my last post was about memorizing the Bible so that God can speak to you through it even when you are too weary to pick it up for yourself. I’ve needed that now more than ever, and He has been faithful to use those scriptures to speak to me.

I wasn’t able to intricately weave those passages into this blog post at all. Instead, I will leave you with a few of those passages that spoke to me during this time. They aren’t for everyone going through this, but these are the ones God chose for me.

 

“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Matthew 11:6 (ESV) (unanswered prayers)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

He did not forsake my baby or me. My baby is with Him and He remains with me.

“This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.”

Hebrews 12:27 (NLT)

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.”

James 1:2-5 (MSG)

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Romans 8:26 (ESV)

34 thoughts on “Miscarriage and the 12-Week Rule

  1. Shawntell Scott says:

    Tiffany, your such an amazing woman!!! We truly love you and your family. You have turned to God in this most difficult time and he’s going to use you in a mighty way. He can turn your ‘ashes’ into ‘beauty’!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lori says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping me understand a little of what helped you. I hope and pray you find peace through your journey of grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna Miller says:

    So so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for your beautiful heart and bravery to reach out during a time when you probably just wanted to hide away from the world. Praying for you, beautiful Sister, and your family. I could feel both sadness and hope in your post. Much love and hugs sent your way!! xoxo Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anewwivestalecom says:

    So sorry for your loss. I can both sympathize and empathize with you on this one. Beautiful testimony, and I truly appreciate you sharing your story and being an advocate for women that have gone through this. It’s a time in your life when you want to talk, but feel like you shouldn’t. It’s lonely, devastating, and heartbreaking all at once. Hoping this helps someone going through this, it certainly helped me. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hilary Cobb says:

    This is such a beautiful post, although I’m so incredibly sorry that the situation that prompted it happened. Thank you for baring your heart in a difficult season. Continue to mourn and grieve, it is a huge process (and one I don’t think we ever fully “get over”).

    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shequitherjob says:

    So-so sorry you have experienced such a heartbreaking moment. I remember going for my scan and the doctor shaking his head and asking for a second opinion. It honestly is the hardest thing I think any woman can go through; however, you are very strong and very kind to share this with the world. I pray you get your rainbow after the storm.

    I remember when I went through this, and someone told me that the baby had a purpose and had fulfilled it. Yes it may have been for a short time but your child with always be with you in your heart and by spirit, guiding you like the angel she/he is. That thought has really helped me get through the struggle and pain and hopefully will others who read this too. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaylee jernigan says:

    so proud and happy that you were able to share this, it takes a lot of courage to open up to others and some times even to God. you are constantly in everyone’s thoughts and prayers, and you are loved very dearly. this will impact so many women in such a positive way!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joannenwood says:

    Thank you for sharing! I really mean that. I have loved how open and raw you have been, so I could pray for you and your family. You truly have a beautiful and blessed family. And I am sorry you had to go through this. I have no words but know my heart hurts for you guys and I am praying. Your story is powerful and it has touchef me and it will touch many. May you be overwhelmed with His comfort, love, peace and healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. beauty4ashes247 says:

    Thank YOU for sharing! It’s so taboo. But I’m breaking the silence too. 5 miscarriages and years of infertility. I’m sharing to help others. Please consider following me to help BUILD the network of sharing to help others. I also have a newly formed youtube channel dedicated to helping others.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. krishy79 says:

    I realize I could have left a comment on the other site, but I wanted to do it in a more personal place. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your experience. I am not married and have never had a child, but I know there are so many who will//and have (obviously) resonate(d) with your story. Thanks for being brave and vulnerable. I have been through cancer and found that there were also moments that my body and heart weren’t in sync with one another. Hugs to you! ~Krishana

    Liked by 1 person

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