About Zephy

A few weeks ago, I had a miscarriage. I was 7 weeks pregnant so it was early days – but enough to start being excited and expectant about new life . We’d just got round to choosing the baby’s nickname – Zephy.

It was quite unsettling and we weren’t really sure how to react. So I thought I’d share some of what we felt here because I want to be honest about what we went though, and also to promote awareness that miscarriage does happen to a lot of people.

  For starters, I really liked the nickname Zephy. Does it now become redundant or can we use it for the next pregnancy? I guess that really depends on how we view the miscarriage. Was it actually a baby or does the fact that I miscarried mean that actually the cells never formed into a baby?

People kept offering consolatory remarks like – The baby went straight to heaven. You can look forward to meeting it there. Whilst the comments were nice sentiments, I’m not sure they were either true or helpful. I think the helpful bit depends on whether the statement is true. But is it? Again, was it actually a baby? If it was then I agree with the idea that it probably went to heaven. But if it wasn’t a baby then surely it cant have? How do I know? Am I obsessing about something that I should just not think about?

This whole, “what actually was it?” question probably dominated most of my thinking as it brings up all sorts of other questions. For example: if it was a baby then should I be grieving? Is it like losing an actual live person? If it wasn’t a baby then should I be grieving? Why would I be upset when it was just a collection of cells?

I think the main cause of sadness/disappointment is the loss of potential life. And the fact that we’d been trying for ages (well 6months) so there was a relief in finally being pregnant that was lost. What if it takes another 6months or more to get pregnant again? There was already going to be a 20month age gap when we’d wanted them close together. Now there’ll be even more. Am I just sounding stupid for worrying about something like that? Do I trust that God works all things for the good of those who love him? Or would I rather everything happened on my terms (yes, probably, is the honest answer)

Apparently around 25% of pregnancy’s end in miscarriage. But it’s not really something anyone ever talks about. As a result I think we didn’t expect it to happen to us. Maybe that’s because the way we view life is based more on our experiences and the experiences of our friends, rather than on the facts and figures we get given.

Advice generally given is to not tell people you’re pregnant until after 12 weeks because of the high risk of losing the baby. With our son, we told family as soon as we knew (about 5-6weeks), and we told some friends as we saw them or by phone if they were very good friends! We didn’t tell everyone (facebook!) until I was past the magic 12 weeks. In that instance – it made no difference anyway because everything was fine.

With this pregnancy we’d told family and a few friends – similar to last time. Telling them I’d miscarried was difficult, but not any more difficult than coping with the event itself. Would I tell them this early next time? I think so. I think that I’d still want people to get excited with. And I’d definitely still want the support of family and friends if we went through a miscarriage again. In fact, I’ve told more people that I had a miscarriage than I told about the pregnancy in the first place.

So what did I feel? I think mostly I felt confused. I guess some of the emotions were:

  • sadness – because it does feel like a loss
  • disappointment – that there’ll be a much bigger gap between our kids than we might have wanted
  •  relief – that I miscarried so early and painlessly rather than at 10, 12, or even 30 weeks
  • thankfulness  – it made me appreciate how straightforward my first pregnancy was
  • Worry – that I’ll miscarry again, or wont get pregnant

Four weeks on and I still haven’t found any answers to the questions that came up. But I think that’s ok. I think it’s ok to doubt, and to ask the hard questions and not get answers. But maybe I’ll promote some discussion and maybe I’ll allow people a chance to talk about an issue that’s often hidden because it’s seen as personal or taboo. It is personal, but I think we’d have found it easier to deal with if it was something that was more openly discussed.

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3 Responses to About Zephy

  1. Katy Myers says:

    Thanks for writing this. We know of 4 people at College who miscarried about the same time as you. It is really helpful reading your thoughts in order to get some idea what they must be feeling. These books have been recommended which you may find helpful. Safe in the arms of God by John MacArthur (apparently good for self help) and Trace the Rainbow (can’t remember author).

    Love you lots.

  2. Pete Myers says:

    Dear Liese,

    It’s really brave of you to share these sorts of thoughts and experiences with the world like you are, well done. Kate and I are reading through the Psalms at the moment, and what’s struck me is how important it is to be honest with God, it seems to me that it’s through that sort of wrestling we do that the Lord, as you say “works all things for the good of those who love him.” What’s interesting is that the climax of that chapter is all about the assurance God gives through the gospel that he will stick with his people through hardships, and nothing can separate us from him. I think Paul’s point is that the assurance of God still stands, even though I don’t feel assured.

    I’ve found that when I get doubts about the truth of God, it’s generally because I’ve first been made to doubt that God is good. Which is why I get a lot of comfort from John 11v35. Even though Jesus knew that only moments later he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead (he’d deliberately delayed his journey, so that he could raise Lazarus rather than just heal him, vv. 4-6, 14-16) he still cried at Lazarus’ tomb. Jesus has some genuine truth that “everything will be ok eventually,” but he doesn’t rush into sharing it. Instead, Jesus first waits and cries with the women that he loves so much (v. 33).

    I hope that you feel there have been people around you who could cry with you through all this. I hope also that you feel some comfort in the fact that Jesus cries with his people. We’ve been praying for you guys, and have cried about it also. Wrestling with coming to terms with what God says takes time. Could be weeks, months, or years, and not just the hard bits, even coming to terms with God’s promises can take time. You’re right not to rush.

    But eventually, in good time, I do hope you find comfort in what I think the Bible does teach about human life: it is a gift of God, for which God fashions a body in the womb (Psalm 119:15-16). Before you knew Zephy, before you knew Nathan, before you had even been born, God knew Zephy, and had plans for Zephy (Jer 1:5). In contrast to the world’s view of humanity, we aren’t nothing until we make something of ourselves, a person is defined by their relationships, not their capacity, and as a covenant child, Zephy is defined by the most absolute and real relationship there is. He was chosen in Christ by his heavenly Father (Eph 1:4), and has been taken back to his heavenly Father.

    Yours in Christ

  3. Pete – thanks for your general encouragement. I have to say though I’m not sure I agree with your last paragraph. I don’t feel angry with God or really doubt his purposes, I’m just not sure there ever was a human life. Don’t want to argue about it though, so I’ll just leave it at that!

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