Pregnancy & Infant Loss

It was years ago, but it seems like yesterday. I was 11 weeks into my pregnancy and anticipated hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. “There is no heartbeat.” Those words were devastating. I wondered what I had done wrong. Why had this happened? What now?

Seeing other people go through the same thing has also helped me to know I was not alone in this struggle. This week as I coached a loved one through the pain and grief of a miscarriage similar to mine my thoughts turned to the many mothers whose hearts are broken and who are grieving perhaps silently and alone. As we approach Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on October 15th I pray you will be comforted and find the peace you seek.

I have found myself saying, “My early miscarriage doesn’t compare to what others have gone through.” But comparing yourself to anyone never does any good. During that time my whole world was collapsing. Grief is grief no matter the cause. Everyone grieves so differently and on their own timeline. Never pass judgment on yourself or others and their grieving process.

Physical Support

Once my mind realized my baby was no longer growing it thankfully kicked in gear and I was able to miscarry naturally in the privacy of my home. I’m not sure what was worse, the pain in my heart or the pain in my body. I laid on the floor and cried and cried as I popped pills to help with the physical pain. The contractions came and went just like labor but unlike labor this pain wasn’t bringing me a baby. It just hurt.

  • Apply a few drops of Clary Sage essential oil to your lower abdominal area to promote contractions and assist in passing remaining tissue.

  • Apply a soothing oil like Lavender or Deep Blue to your abdomen or lower back for pain relief as needed.

  • Continue applying layers of Clary Sage and Lavender to your abdomen or to the bottoms of your feet to balance both your physical and emotional needs.

I asked Stacy to share her experiences with loss. She shares, “Saving you the gory details,  I miscarried at almost 15 weeks and delivered a baby boy at home.  I became very sick and neither I, nor the multiple doctors I saw, realized that I hadn’t delivered the placenta.  Needless to say 10 days postpartum, we ran into some big problems and it was time for an emergency dilation and curettage (D&C).  I learned much like Julie on my second miscarriage 11 week appointment that my baby did not have a heart beat.  Not playing that game again, I opted for a D&C to speed that process right along.  Whether you decide to let your body do it naturally, or receive help is up to you and your decision will be right.”  

Emotional Support

I felt so alone. But know that you’re not. Miscarriages are actually fairly common especially in the first trimester. About 10 to 15 in 100 pregnancies end in miscarriage and about 1 in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. There is a whole group of mothers grieving just like you. Join a Facebook group and connect with other moms going through loss. Maybe you will be an answer to her prayers.

Don’t grieve alone. This is the time for you to let others help. If possible, let others bring in meals or clean your home. If you have other children let them go play with a friend or stay with grandma. 

I like to compare emotions to slivers. If you don’t remove and care for a deep sliver it will fester, become infected, and become more painful than before. Emotions are the same way. If they are not expressed in healthy ways they will fester and bubble up being expressed in unhealthy ways. Let yourself cry. Don’t shove it down. Grief is normal.  You will most likely find yourself rotating through the following emotions: denial and isolation, then anger, bargaining, depression, followed with acceptance. Journaling is an excellent way to express yourself, keep track of what you’re feeling, and the best part is you don’t have to worry about what others think because it’s for your eyes only.

Console is an essential oil blend designed with grief in mind. This beautiful blend with it’s florals and tree oils is comforting and the perfect balm for your soul. What do we bring to funerals and decorate our cemeteries with? Flowers. This aroma puts you on a hopeful path of emotional healing.

Balance is another oil blend that will help you through it. Balance offers a tranquil aroma suggesting harmony to the mind and body, and balance to the emotions.

Frankincense and Wild Orange together are yummy. Do you need a little citrus about now? Listen to your body and use your oils accordingly. Did you know there’s an entire book about how to use essential oils for your emotions? This has been such a help to me, my family, and many friends.

Unfortunately care providers have been known to encourage mothers to forget it happened. Doctors and nurses are not trained in grief and how to help you handle it. Find someone who can help you and be sympathetic to your circumstances. If professional counseling is needed, get it. Assume the best in others and that they mean well even if it doesn’t come out that way.

How to Help Another

Many times well meaning friends often say very hurtful things. Don’t be one of them. Saying things like, “Oh well, you’ll have another one”, or “At least you still have other children”, and “It’s all for the best” are like daggers to her heart.

Instead say, “I’m sorry. This must be very disappointing for you.” Or, “Sometimes things we can’t explain come our way. I’m sorry for you.” Many times a grieving mother doesn’t need advice. She needs you to love her and hug her and let her work through her grief. Cards and letters are appreciated. Flowers will show her you care. If she has kids, watch them for her. Help with the housework and chores. Remember actions speak louder than words.


Loss affects husbands as much as it does you. He grieves deeply but expresses it differently. He probably feels powerless and recognizes that there’s nothing he can do to make it right. Some men can’t and don’t handle the sight of blood especially when it’s coming from the woman he loves. Many husbands are confused and at a loss as to what to do to help you. When difficult circumstances hit us we tend to look for someone or something to blame. Don’t blame each other. This can lead to marriage issues that become difficult to resolve. Be open and honest with each other about how you’re feeling.

Husbands, rearrange your schedule. Be home more. Patiently give her time and space to heal. Grow together rather than apart. Give the children attention. Pray with her and for her.

Stacy also shares, “Do ask your spouse or your partner how THEY are doing with everything.  I found out about 3 weeks after my D&C on miscarry #1 that my husband hadn’t been given the chance to work through everything and had been trying to menatlly manage and calm me and our two little girls because he felt that was his job.  One night, we were sitting on the couch discussing life and I asked him how he was doing.  My fearless, strong, manly husband broke down and sobbed.  This was good for both of us because we were both grieving.  We had both lost that little boy.”


Sometimes parents will try to shield their children from death but this does more harm than good. They understand more than you realize and they need to know they’re not the cause of your sorrow or the cause of the baby’s death. Explain what happened in simple terms on their level. Tell them the baby is with Jesus. Assure them the baby is happy and not in pain. Openly discuss it with your child. It’s okay for them to see you cry. Crying is not wrong. Life is full of joy and sorrow. Death is a normal part of living. Being faced with death at a young age (such as with a pet) can help them later in life.

Things That Helped Me

Prior to my miscarriage, we had recently announced our pregnancy. This allowed others to grieve with me and be considerate. I didn’t have to suffer in silence. My mother, husband, and one sister in particular helped me through it. We moved almost immediately following the miscarriage which allowed me to avoid awkward questions or looks of pity. A book I discovered as a doula has helped me heal even more years later. It’s called Empty Arms by Pam Vredevlet. It is filled with hope and support for those who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or tubal pregnancy. My belief in God- knowing that He loves me and was aware of my situation made all the difference. I felt His love. I have watched Dave and Monica for years. He and I went to school together.  They have struggled with infertility and loss but their faith is inspiring. Watch part of their story in this short video.

Forever Changed

Every experience we have changes us. After my miscarriage I became more empathetic. I want to do all I can to help others. If I can turn my pain and suffering into a blessing for anyone else it will be worth it. My miscarriage brought my husband and I closer together as a couple. They say when difficult things hit us we can either become bitter or better. Thankfully I chose the latter. You might become bitter and then become better, and that is okay too. My faith and trust in God and His timing grew. In my journal a few weeks after my miscarriage I shared, “Life is amazing- that our bodies are able to heal themselves and also create another life is nothing other than a miracle.”

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