5 Lessons From Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

Misdiagnosed Miscarriage @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Thank you, thank you for celebrating Baby Duncan’s re-announcement into the world. For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I were delighted to discover we were pregnant after two years of hoping and dreaming. Then, we were informed we had lost our little one  — after two weeks of waiting for the miscarriage to naturally progress we still hoped, but also prepared ourselves for the loss. However, amazingly, two weeks later we were given beautiful, happy news: Baby Duncan lived and was thriving!

Many women experience miscarriages — it’s a unique, difficult event. In many ways I walked through a miscarriage: receiving the death sentence from our practitioner, losing hope, losing blood and clots, and waiting for the loss of life. It’s an event that changes our hearts and lives forever.

Though rare, there are also many women who experience misdiagnosed miscarriages. My goal is to share a few lessons I’ve been given from our experience. I want to give hope to women who have been told they may miscarry as well as lend courage and practical insight to those who have indeed lost their lovely, darling baby.

5 Lessons I Learned From Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

Get a Second Opinion or a Second Ultrasound 

When a couple receives news that they may lose their baby it is devastating. And while many women lose their babies quickly, miscarriages can take several weeks for the process to occur naturally. During that time, I would encourage the couple to get a second opinion and ultrasound.

Physicians make errors and equipment do fail. After being diagnosed with our miscarriage I discovered a site called The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage. Several hundred women were misdiagnosed due to tilted uterus’, low HCG levels, mistaken blighted ovum’s, or quick assumptions and human error.

If your diagnosed miscarriage is taking time and you are experiencing little to no cramps, I believe it is perfectly acceptable and practical for you to ask for a second opinion or ultrasound.

If Possible, Let the Miscarriage Proceed Naturally 

When a couple is diagnosed with a miscarriage they are given options with how to let the miscarriage proceed: medicine to induce the miscarriage, a D&C surgical procedure, or allowing the miscarriage to proceed naturally.

Friend, one thing I am grateful for in my story is that we gave our “miscarriage” time. I am thankful our midwife explained that the body heals faster given time to proceed naturally. I am grateful we avoided medicinal or surgical methods.

If possible, give your body time to process naturally. Of course, there is no judgement; a miscarriage is already a difficult and life altering event. However, if you do decide to advance your miscarriage through medicine or surgical efforts please get a second opinion and ultrasound before you proceed. 

There are misdiagnosed miscarriages and there are women who, unknowingly, took actions to purge their babies when in fact, they were never experiencing a miscarriage at all.

Let Yourself Mourn and Heal 

Sweet person, if you’ve been told you may miscarry give yourself the time and space needed to grieve. Losing a baby at any stage is a difficult, trying experience because you have lost so much. You may feel numb, angry, and depressed. You may feel nothing at all. It’s okay, I know, I’ve been there.

The “strong” thing is press on with life but that is not the real, authentic, needed thing to do. You lost something very precious to you. Take time to scream, cry, and eat a few overflowing bowls of fruit loops.

Then, when you’ve truly given yourself to mourning, heal. My friend Angel has beautiful, life-giving words for those needing to heal. She experienced the loss and gains of ovarian cancer and discovered that, even after a year, she needed healing.Her words might be just the thing you need — I know I needed them.

Let Others Love You 

It’s easy to go through life’s sufferings and trials alone. Women with miscarriages may feel that their “problem” is too small to bother others with. If you had already announced your pregnancy, you may feel needy and embarrassed by the attention announcing your miscarriage brings.

All of these feelings are normal.

Sweet friend, let others help you. Though I was embarrassed by my need I was blessed when people stepped up to fill it. I had one friend pick up coffee, lunch, flowers, and a endearing gift when she heard of our loss. Another promised to bring dinner when I lost the baby and loaned me her heating pad for comfort. Several folk went out of their way to ask me how I was doing. My parents planted a rose bush in honor of our baby and the whole family came to help us move when I wasn’t feeling strong enough to do it on my own.

Dear one, it is especially important to let your husband help you. Your mate may not be expressing his grief as vibrantly but he still feels it. For Dalton, what hurt him most was watching me suffer. Letting your husband hold you while you cry, encourage you, and bless you not only helps you heal but helps him as well.

Continue Taking Care of Yourself 

This is simple yet incredibly profound. After we had been told we lost the baby I sort of turned into a zombie. 😉 A not-showering-all-week, when-did-I-brush-my-teeth-last-?, no shave summer, zombie.

(Sorry for the TMI)

I simply didn’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything let alone wash my hair. Now, looking back, I see that that hindered me and kept me from growing out of the fog and sadness I was in.

Of course, you won’t feel your best and if staying in your pjs helps then do it. Just don’t do it forever. Give yourself grace while taking steps to take care of yourself.

Most of all, trust. 

Losing a baby is so difficult and no one can understand or care for you except for the One Who made that baby and then, in His divine wisdom, took it away. Our Heavenly Father loves the miscarrying woman; He will gently carry you through the waves of grief and days of darkness you may experience. He will comfort you when all else fails.

Some days you may not see His loving hand but it’s there — carrying you when you can’t even seem to get out of bed.

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Grief and Beautiful Life Lessons

Grief in Your Miscarriage with AuthenticVirtue.com

Thankfulness equals healing (so do donuts and coffee but that’s a different story) in the grief of a miscarriage.

Losing something is hard. Two weeks and four days ago we were told our baby had died; over the last eighteen days God has rained goodness without end … and with little of my help.

Within the past two weeks I’ve done little to further and grow my walk with the Lord. I’ve been busy with out-of-town trips, preparing to move and settling into our lovely new rental. When I have been  home I’ve ran errands, unpacked, cleaned, and been down with flu-like symptoms. Spiritually speaking, I’ve done so little of what so many advised me to do: worship and draw close to the Lord through prayer and His Word.

I have done so little to draw close to my Maker and Keeper of my soul.

Yet, He loves me still. I haven’t done much to grow closer into His image, yet, He holds my soul in the safety of His nail-scarred hands. I haven’t done anything — yet, He carries me along, providing me with what I need to simply be. 

I haven’t done anything.

Yet, he does everything.

Thank You, LORD, for carrying us through the past two weeks. Thank You that despite my little effort You continue to hold me safely in Your arms. Thank You that you have given me the ability to do life through these last two long, sick-filled weeks. 

I do nothing for You, yet, You give everything to me. 

If I were to give advice to anyone in our situation I would tell them to simply be. Simply be what you are as you push your way through grief. The spiritual thing would be for you to read God’s Word and pray your way through grief. But that might not happen.

So, in those times, simply be. And, instead of being afraid that you’re not doing enough spiritually, choose gratefulness. Choose to see that you never could do enough to be enough. Even when you were pregnant you weren’t able to do enough.

But God is enough. He is enough to carry you through your grief — even when you don’t feel like reading His Word. And through Jesus, He has made you enough. I’m so thankful God is big enough, strong enough, and good enough to carry me through this season of life. 

Aren’t you?

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Resting in Jesus Means Letting Him Refine Us // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Ah … it’s a good day at the Duncan house. Coffee is poured, candles are lit and, best thing of all, my heart is finding a place to rest.

You’ve all been such gems listening to my worries and sending encouragement my way. Thank you. Thank you for being the Body of Christ and being such a good friends.

We went to our first ultrasound and saw our little one, all seven weeks and four days growth of him. We couldn’t hear the heartbeat but our midwife felt confident that baby’s positioning and size were marks of a healthy, growing baby.

Isn’t God good?

The funny thing was that I left the clinic still worried. It’s like my heart had become addicted to worrying because worry is the only thing I can control.

Dalton challenged me to do something different.

He challenged me to trust in God. To place my trust in His great goodness and love and power. He challenged me to rest in God’s care, let go of worry, and enjoy this time.

You know what? He’s right. He’s 100%, perfectly, wonderfully right. Giving up worry and control isn’t easy for me — I like holding the reins on my life. But I’m starting to suspect that the 2+ years of waiting to conceive and now disconcerting spotting aren’t accidents.

God is placing me in circumstances I wish I could control but can’t. As one friend said, “God has a way of allowing or giving us exactly what we need in our life to help refine us.” I think it’s time I let Him.

So, first step? I’m going to start celebrating Baby Duncan like he/she will be arriving December 28th instead of thinking of the worse possibilities. I’m going to start literally preparing for my little one. I’m going to start giving thanks for baby’s future instead of dreading what I fear is his/her present.

I’m going to have a friend over for coffee and cinnamon rolls and we’re going to laugh and celebrate our good God.

How are you going to start trusting God today?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

You’re Not Called to be Superwoman // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

It’s a curse, wanting to do and be everything. Whether it’s the world telling you you need to do more or your own personal chase for perfection, we often feel that to be successful, thriving people we need to be superwomen.

It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and false.

I have my own personal issues with wanting to do and be everything. I want to be the perfect wife and in my mind that means dinner must be on time, the house cleaned daily, bills balanced and paid, etc. I need to do in order to be.  

The funny thing is that my husband rates the perfect wife differently. Yes, he loves having dinner warm and ready and he enjoys coming to a home clean, fresh and calm.

But he doesn’t think my getting things done is what makes me his perfect wife.

It’s when I greet him at the door with a smile, pay attention to his jokes, and take time to laugh with him. He says I’m the perfect wife because he says I’m his best friend. And I’m his best friend because I take time for him, choose him, and pursue him. He’ll wear the dirty pants I forgot to wash, and do it with an understanding smile and wink. It’s when I get angry and pout over unwashed laundry and put distance between us that he struggles.

You see, it’s all about abiding instead of doing.

Jesus Christ loved to emphasize that. Yes, we need to do good works. Yes, our lives should declare our relationship with Christ through good fruit.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Coffee Series

But we don’t do that by checking off to-do lists and endeavoring to be women we’re not. We do that by abiding, resting, acknowledging that there is no good in us and anything we can do good is a gift form our good Father. It’s evidence of Him in us.

I know abiding can be hard. That’s why we need each other — let’s pray, encourage, and lift each other up as we journey together at being better at abiding. With Christ we are more than conquerors … of perfectionism and the nagging fear that we’ll never be good enough. 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

When Your Love Affair with Getting Your Way Gets Out

Dealing with not getting your way with AuthenticVirtue.com

Have you ever been completely wiped out by your self-will?

Today was one of those days. One moment I’m rejoicing in life then something deep, emotional and fearful sweeps over me. Suddenly, I’m agitated, grumpy and morose. I start fighting Dalton over the most ridiculous conversations. Today’s argument: Do animals sin?

You should have seen the ugliness coming out from me over that unique conversation. (Wait, no, I’m glad you didn’t.)

Dalton pressed his way through the store aisles with his business while I slumped behind feeling like I was out of control and didn’t know why. What’s wrong with me? Am I hormonal? Emotional? Tired? I’m a child of God, I know better then this. I know better then this.

We talked on the drive home. Dalton, I don’t know why I’m acting like this; I don’t know why I’ve been arguing with you all week, I just feel like I have to win even if it’s dumb.

His gentle response? Maybe it’s because you haven’t been getting your way this week. 

Ouch. He’s right. I haven’t been getting my way this week. I’ve had a lot of issues going on this week that crossed my will: a dispute with a family member, Dalton not able to get work off for my mother’s birthday, my relatively tight work schedule which keeps us away for Mother’s Day, plans postponed … and my flesh is hating it.

I feel like I keep my requests to a minimum; as a realist personality I know life has limitations and it requires you to be careful with budgets, making plans and scheduling work. I know these things because I’m a by the rule book kind of gal who respects boundaries and black and white possibilities.

So I’m careful about most of my wishes — I don’t request wild, expensive, impractical things (normally). And in my mind, my frugality deserves being rewarded. When I ask for something I expect to get it. 

UGH. How did that bit of old man survive the sanctification process? How in the world did I miss crucifying that bit of fleshly thinking? How did I allow such selfishness rule my thinking and behavior, unseen, for so long?

It does no good to pout but that’s what I want to do; it feels good to mourn my sinful nature. But I need to fly to the mercy seat of God and let Him pull this ugliness from me. I need to let Him complete the work in me and address my love for my getting my way. He alone can let godly sorrow work good things in me — not days of binge cookie-dough eating and pouting.

I learned relearned a few things today:

  1. Even if you feel justified in getting your way God requires His people to have submissive, meek hearts to His revealed will — even when it means not getting your way.
  2. I’m not there yet. I still have a lot of growing, maturing and sanctification to go and that’s okay.
  3. Marrying husbands who gently point out truth in your life is an absolute gift. (Go for guys like that.)

Friends, can you relate? Tell me what God is revealing in your heart and life right now? Let’s grow together and pray for each other. Leave a comment so we can get started. 

Choosing joy, forgiveness and coffee this evening,

Frannie