Husband & Wife Articles


 

Love and Loss

Miscarriage brings grief and hope amid personal growth

By Ashley Cadaret

This month has been a difficult one for my family and me. My husband and I were thrilled when we found out in February that I was pregnant. I was so excited to experience another pregnancy and have the opportunity to hold a newborn again, not to mention the chance to make my sweet, wonderful 2-year-old son a big brother. So when the eight-week ultrasound revealed an unviable pregnancy, I was devastated. I felt lost, alone and heartbroken.

The national tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, coincided with my own personal tragedy and made the shock and overwhelming emotion of miscarriage nearly unbearable. As America mourned, so did I, and more.

It has been an incredibly dark, difficult time. But in the darkness, even in this time of loss and heartache, I have found small moments of grace and incredible moments of God.

When I was asked by Fathers for Good to write the “Husband & Wife” columns for April, I thought that this final column would be a happy one. But perhaps I can offer a few thoughts that will help others who have experienced or will experience what I’m going through.

Friendship: I have learned how to be a good friend and to accept help from those who aren’t afraid of being around suffering or hurt. I am usually terrified of seeing other people’s suffering and understand why some people feel like they have no idea what to say and therefore say nothing at all. But it makes me appreciate the friends who reach out even more.

I have been showered with love more than ever before in my life. My friends have brought me food, mailed me care packages, and called, texted and emailed me every day to check in. I have truly felt the comfort of Christ through the love of their support. I have been uplifted by their prayers and touched by their concern and love.

Ministry: A friend told me, “This is the type of club that no woman wants to join, but once you enter it, there are so many of us here with open arms to embrace you and just be there.” My aunt expressed similar sentiments, explaining that her pregnancy losses were heart-wrenching, but she feels that she can now minister to women who’ve experienced loss themselves. I find that I’m already learning to have more compassion for others. We never really know what those around us are going through, so offering grace and support without bounds is what I aspire to do. I’ve had a small glimpse of what it’s like to suffer and grieve, and now I feel called to minister to others.

Hope. The day before my final blood work would confirm the loss, I went with some friends to hear Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel speak. It was a moment of grace, really, to hear this man speak about hope.

I began to try to use my suffering as an opportunity to look for hope.

With my first pregnancy, doctors thought something was wrong. They mentioned three separate conditions – Down syndrome, neural tube defects and “water on the brain.” My husband and I went through weeks in a limbo of tears and waiting. Still, I had hope. And now we have a healthy, sweet child named Gabriel.

With my second pregnancy, there was no heartbeat. Once again, our weeks were lived in that same limbo — more tears, more waiting. This time, there was a great loss in our lives, but s till I have hope. Hope that there will be another child. He or she may not be at the “right” time, but there will be another. That is the only way I can get through this.

Ashley Cadaret lives in Ohio with her husband and 2-year-old son. She works at a Jesuit high school, holds an advanced degree in religious studies and designs websites. She shares recipes, tips on frugal and green living, and tales of motherhood on her blog, Our Little Apartment.