Sunday, March 22, 2015

Helps for Ministering During Miscarriage & Infant Loss - By Tracie Peck

Helps for Ministering
During Miscarriage & Infant Loss
By Tracie Peck

It was 4 yrs ago that I began my journey through miscarriage and ultimately infant loss.  We had three beautiful healthy children and had a desire to grow our family again.  I remember that it was Christmas time in 2009 when I experienced my first miscarriage; than again in 2010, another.  I must say those were difficult times, especially the first one which resulted in a D & C in January of 2010.  The second one was very early and I hadn’t known long at all.

 However, the most difficult of all was when I became pregnant again the third time, only to learn at 20 weeks into the pregnancy that the life wasn’t viable.  Thus began the journey of our little girl, Charity.  She did not develop kidneys at all and there could not be lung development due to low amniotic fluid.  We would go every two weeks for an ultrasound only to see everything the same. And long story short, we placed her back into the arms of Jesus after loving her for 1 ½ hours. 
That was a very difficult journey to walk through and I know there are others who have also walked similar journeys.   I have heard from some of you and also from others who have asked “How can I help? How can I minister to someone in a journey such as this?”
Here are a few things that I have thought about that can help you make a difference in a hurting life.

A LISTENING EAR--Listen…Listen…LISTEN—Many times words are not necessary or appropriate.  Mom just needs someone to listen to her. Sometimes she may even say some “off the wall” things as she processes these things in her spaghetti brain.  Take it in stride and offer an “I’m Sorry you are facing these things”. Also a Hug and a shoulder to cry on does wonders!

ASSURANCE—Assure her that she is OK in her grief.  There is no right way or wrong way to grieve.  It affects everyone so differently and hits at the most unsuspecting time.

PHONE CALLS--Through the first few weeks or during a prolonged journey give a phone call every once in a while.  Ask how their last appointment was or how she is feeling.   This is a real gift!  Most people are not comfortable calling during crisis.  They don’t know what to say.  Again, all you have to do is listen.

PERSONALIZED GIFTS--Some families want to name even the smallest of babies.  I would encourage them to do that.  Those little ones are always a part of us.  A personalized gift is nice.

CARDS—Let the couple know you are praying for them or thinking of them. Even at the yearly anniversary this is welcomed. Cards can be read over and over.

GIFTSA birthstone gift is nice.  A helpful book is meaningful as well. A picture of Jesus holding a small baby was a great comfort to us and is one I like to share with my friends and acquaintances going through an infant loss.
ACTS OF SERVICE--Supper for the family is always a blessing when your mind is too full of what is taking place to think of what to fix to eat.  Another HUGE blessing was a house cleaning.  I had to swallow my pride to allow someone in to do that, but it was HUGE to me to have it done.  I know she received a blessed from it as well.  That was her gift. Let me just throw this in….let people share their gifts with you even though it is hard sometimes.  You will both be blessed from it.

PHOTOGRAPHY—for infant loss, pictures are the only memories you have.  If you can give the gift of photography, that is priceless!!

REMEMBER--Talk about  the baby any time it is appropriate.  It can be hard for “Mom” when she feels like her baby is forgotten.  Sometimes this is hard for people to do because you are afraid of how it will make “Mom” feel.  However, more often than not, she will be so happy that her little one is remembered.

PRAYER--Most of all PRAY!  Your prayers will carry them through like nothing else.  I am sure all of you have experienced something in your life somewhere, when you couldn’t pray and had to rely on the prayers of others for a time.  This is such an encouragement.

Unfortunately death and loss are a part of our broken world.  It is so good to know someone that will reach out to you in love, and you in turn, can reach out to someone else who is hurting.  II Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father and mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

About Tracie:          

Tracie spent several years as an MK in the Turks and Caicos Islands before her parents felt called back to the US.  They then moved to Frankfort in 1988 where they lived for many years.  As a young person she was very involved in her church with ministry to the children.  She was also able to take a short term missions trip to Honduras and visit The Holy Land. She received her bachelors in missions in 1995 was involved in missions for several years on the home front.  Mike and Tracie were married in 2000.  They have 3 children,  Kendra (12), Abigail (10), and Benjamin (7).  They have worked in Children's Ministry, spent time in Haiti, and have done their best to live where God can use them as He pleases.  Their greatest desire is that their lives glorify Him!