Resources That Offer Hope in the Midst of Heartbreak
If you have found your way to this page I imagine it's not under the best of circumstances.
I am so sorry. I ache and grieve over your loss with you.
Below you will find a list of different resources that helped me and continue to help me as I heal from miscarrying our two sweet babies. Please feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to! Going through a miscarriage can feel so isolating at times, and if you need someone to listen who understands how you feel, whether you're feeling angry, sad, confused, lonely, guilty, etc., I'd love to be that person for you. And once again, I am so, so sorry. I pray you can find some comfort from this page.
BOOKS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT MISCARRIAGE
- Grieving The Child I Never Knew: A Devotional for Comfort in the Loss of Your Unborn or Newly Born Child by: Kathe Wunnenberg
- I love this book. The author had multiple miscarriages and also lost her infant son so she has a wealth of knowledge on this topic.
- What Was Lost: A Christian Journey Through Miscarriage by: Elise Erikson Barrett
- This book is very factual. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of the author's writing style and I haven't even finished it yet. But as she recounted her own miscarriage story I could really relate to all of the feelings she had, and some of the statistics and facts she presents really helped justify the way I feel and gave me permission to grieve how I wanted.
- Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by: Shauna Niequist
- For some reason this book was so healing to me. Shauna wrote this book about a season in her life where she suffered a miscarriage. The book is not solely based on miscarriages, but she talks about her's often and the way she described her feelings resonated deeply with me. It was an easy read and I loved her style.
- The Down and Dirty Truth about Miscarriages: On Letting Go of Control and Holding on to Hope by: Emily Blackwell
- I read this e-book in one sitting. The way Emily wrote about her own two miscarriages resonated with me deeply. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I wept, but it was the perfect mixture of her words and His Word. It validated all of my feelings and allowed me to feel justified in my grief. This book is now one of my go-to books to recommend to other brokenhearted mommas walking through miscarriage, or even to people who haven't experienced a miscarriage but are seeking to gain perspective.
- Silent Grief: Hope For Surviving Early Miscarriage by: Kendra Graber
- This was another e-book that I read in one day. It was just so comforting to read Kendra's words about miscarriage.
OTHER RELATED BOOKS
- Holding Onto Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God by: Nancy Guthrie
- This book is amazing. Nancy tells her own story while simultaneously taking the reader through Job's story of suffering. Nancy had one healthy son, followed by a daughter and then another son who were born with a rare condition that caused them to slowly die within six months of being born.
- I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by: Angie Smith
- This book is also amazing. Angie Smith is an amazing writer. She beautifully weaves in the story of Lazarus as she tells the story of her pregnancy with her daughter, who was diagnosed with conditions causing her to be "incompatible with life" while she was still in the womb. In the beginning of the book, Angie briefly mentions that she had a miscarriage as well and how hard that was for her.
- Hope Heals by: Katherine and Jay Wolfe
- This book has nothing to do with miscarriage, but it deals with deep suffering. Jay and Katherine Wolfe share their story of Katherine's massive brain stem stroke at only 26 years of age and how Jay walked through it with her. Jay provides profound words on suffering that I truly think will stand the test of time and Katherine speaks about how their suffering transformed into their calling.
ORGANIZATIONS / FREE SERVICES
- The Will To Choose T-Shirt Ministry
- I LOVE what this precious family does in honor of their sweet son, Will. If you are a bereaved parent you can request a free t-shirt witha hand-lettered design featuring the words "He will wipe away every tear" (from Revelation 21:4). It is such a special shirt that I wear all of the time.
- Held Your Whole Life
- Request a free necklace and keychain (just pay shipping) with the words "Held your whole life" engraved on both pieces.
- From the website: "This is a place for bereaved families who have experienced the loss of their baby(s) in-utero, whether through miscarriage or still birth. These precious lives never had to experience suffering or sorrow, only love. It is such an inspiring gift to our babies to have held them their whole lives. So many of us understand the immense pain and anguish of giving birth in silence and having our babies torn from our lives. We are left with broken hearts, emptiness, and shattered dreams. We want to give recognition to the babies born in silence when they are often not acknowledged because they did not take a breath. We hope that by gifting a keepsake necklace or keychain with these beautiful words, you will know that your child counted. We hope that you will find comfort and healing through those of us who have survived, and share your baby’s beautiful story so that we may remember them."
- While We're Waiting
- You can request a Hope Package to be sent to you or someone you know grieving the loss of a child.
- Umbrella Boxes
- You can request for an "Umbrella Box," a sweet care package made by a fellow bereaved momma. Consider donating to her ministry because she is bombarded with requests!
- Project Bear
- The mission of Project Bear is to bring empty arms reprieve. You can request a free stuffed teddy bear from this ministry!
- National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN
- The very site of this memorial is where an abortion clinic used to stand. Now it is dedicated to memorializing babies who were miscarried and babies who were aborted. For $10 you can order a Certificate of Life and there is also an option to purchase a brick paver that will be placed in their memorial garden. You can even request to have a private service for free in the memorial garden when they place your brick paver.
- The Church of The Holy Innocents is a church in New York City.
- Excerpt from their website:
Often children who have died before birth have no grave or headstone, and sometimes not even a name. At The Church of The Holy Innocents, we invite you to name your child(ren) and to have the opportunity to have your baby's name inscribed in our "BOOK OF LIFE." Here, a candle is always lit in their memory. All day long people stop to pray. On the first Monday of every month, our 12:15pm Mass is celebrated in honor of these children and for the comfort of their families. We pray that you will find peace in knowing that your child(ren) will be remembered at the Shrine and honored by all who pray here. We will inscribe the names of babies who have died before and at birth in our Book of Life, and as always, we invite you to visit the Shrine if you are in New York City.
- Excerpt from their website:
- This varies by state, but at least in Ohio, and I know in several other states, you can request a "Fetal Death Record." Since our sweet miscarried babes don't get a birth certificate sometimes it feels unfair, like the world is saying they didn't even exist. But you can fill out a form (in Ohio you have to have your doctor verify the facts) and you will be sent a certificate. As I was filling out the form for Ohio it asked for the mother and father's names - it is nice to be recognized as parents! In Ohio, this certificate is free for parents who lost their child before 20 weeks due to unknown causes.
The first four podcasts below are from Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
- Grieving a Loss
- Nancy Guthrie, who wrote a book listed above, is interviewed about her losses. She gives advice on things you can do to help as you heal.
- I Will Carry You
- Angie Smith, who wrote a book listed above and her husband wrote a song listed above, is interviewed about her experience being pregnant with her daughter with the knowledge she would not survive outside of the womb, as well as how the Lord carried her through her pregnancy and after little Audrey passed.
- Hope for an Aching Heart
- Margaret Nyman is interviewed about widowhood. Even though this is different from pregnancy and infant loss, there were still many things she spoke about that helped. She also wrote a devotional, technically for widows, but healing and comforting to anyone walking through grief.
- The Blessing of Thorns
- Listening to this series of podcasts leading up to Thanksgiving was what got me through the holiday. Thanksgiving was a mere 11 days after my miscarriage. Even though deep down I was thankful for my life, it was hard to go around the table that year sharing what I was thankful for (thankfully Michael spoke for the both of us). This series inspired me on Thanksgiving Day as I wrote in my journal; I titled the page, "Roses Among the Thorns." It was comforting for me to list my blessings as roses among the thorns since I felt like I was living in a thorn patch. Thinking of it in this way still allowed me to acknowledge the pain I was feeling.
- Grace Through Loss
- Vickey Boozman and Kathy Ferguson are interviewed however I have not listened to this series yet, but it came up as a related series when I was searching for the others listed above.
- The Mud Stories Podcast with Jacque Watkins
- I LOVE this podcast. Jacque interviews women about their "mud stories" or times of trial and suffering and how the Lord was with them even in the thickest and messiest of mud. It is so encouraging to listen to.
- Joy Comes in the Morning
- This ministry is specifically for women who have had a miscarriage. I wanted to find one for miscarriages only as so many ministries regarding loss tend to focus more on stillbirth and infant death. Joy Comes in the Morning has a letter writing ministry that I signed up for where another woman who has had a miscarriage is assigned to write you letters for the first six months after your miscarriage and then on the one year anniversary of your miscarriage. The cards I have received have been beautifully written and filled with hope. Michelle, the founder of this ministry is the sweetest. She occasionally e-mails me just to see how I'm doing.
- I Am Fruitful
- A ministry dedicated to husbands and wives struggling with infertility and loss.
BLOGS / BLOG POSTS
- When Miscarriage Shakes Our Faith featured on In The Everyday and written by Lauren from I Am Fruitful
- A Heart Surrendered (This is Michelle's blog, the founder of the ministry Joy Comes in the Morning, that I mentioned above. This link takes you directly to her miscarriage category so you can see every blog post written by her that even mentions the word miscarriage.)
- Hope in a Miscarriage - 12 Verses from Recklessly Chosen
- Scriptures for Miscarriage from Better Than Eden
- 15 Comforting Scriptures for Women Who Have Suffered from Miscarriage from Every Child is a Blessing
- My Baby's Heart Stopped Beating from Desiring God
- How Long, O Lord? from Proverbs 31
- We Lost a Child and Gained Something Greater from I Am Second
- A Prayer For The Waiting Time from Emily P. Freeman
- Exploding the Myth: God Doesn't Give You More Than You Can Handle from The Life I Didn't Choose
- How a Heavy Heart Gives Thanks from Desiring God
- The Beauty of the Dry Spell from Deeply Rooted
- Love the Life You Never Wanted from Desiring God
- Why God Took So Long To Give Me A Baby from Barren to Beautiful
- Embracing the Grief of Miscarriage from Revive Our Hearts
- A Trial Most Unexpected from Niki at Frame of Reference
- I Will Carry You by: Selah
- This song was written by Angie Smith's husband, a member of the group Selah.
- He's Always Been Faithful by Sara Groves
- That's the Place I'm Longing to Go by: The Collingsworth Family
- Perfect Way to Start by: Craig Aven
- Craig wrote this song after his wife had two miscarriages
- Wonderfully Made by: Craig Aven
- Keepsake/Memory Box - If you are wanting to make a keepsake box to save things from your pregnancy a great place to look is Marshall's, TJ Maxx, or some craft stores.
- Journals - Journaling was very important in my healing process. For the first several weeks I journaled in some way everyday. I only wish I would have selected a journal with more pages, however I still love the journal I chose. The exact journal that I use came in a pack of three from Francesca's but is no longer available. Here is a similar one from Target. Target, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx are where I buy the vast majority of my cute journals.
- Mom Mugs - I mentioned in a blog post how a friend sent me a cute little mug with the words "Awesome Mom" front and center. It meant so much to me. If your miscarriage was your very first pregnancy it is hard knowing whether or not you are considered a mom. You are. And if you want a cute mug to remind you of that precious fact, I'd suggest Marshall's or TJ Maxx!
- Pandora Charms - I already had a Pandora bracelet, but after my miscarriage I really wanted things to help commemorate our sweet little baby. An early miscarriage doesn't leave you with many keepsakes, but my husband bought me two new Pandora charms in remembrance of our sweet girl. This charm is similar to the November birthstone color (November is the month I miscarried) and I liked it more than the birthstone charm itself. And he also got me this charm, which says, "You are so loved." Because our baby is SO loved.
- Bella Hope Lockets - I ordered this locket from Bella Hope Lockets on Etsy. The shop owner was so sweet when I asked her to change the wording to "as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." I specifically chose this quote because it can be for future children as well, whether they live on earth with us or not.
- Stamped + Finch - I ordered this hammered gold bar necklace from this shop on Etsy and love it. It is so delicate and beautiful. The sweet owner was willing to stamp both sides for me; the front says "hope" and the back says "momma <3" -- Usually I wear the hope side but on especially hard days I turn it around to remind myself I am a momma to my two precious babies.
- Burden Bearing Baskets - An Etsy shop that my friend Melissa and I started as the result of both of our losses and wanting to help comfort others who are grieving. After my second miscarriage I created this Miscarriage Keepsake Memory Box; a comforting gift to send to a woman experiencing a miscarriage. Along with grief care baskets, we have other curated gifts of comfort to help you in the midst of loss; a great alternative to flowers!
- Joy in Christ Devotional: A Study on Philippians and Colossians was written by Kristin Schmucker shortly after her daughter, Sophia, was stillborn. If you're struggling to get back into the Word after your loss, this could be the perfect study tool to use as you spend time with the Lord.