Undoubtedly, a miscarriage is one of the most painful experiences an expectant mother can face. The pain engulfs you and it is one of the few experiences in life where the pain is physical and emotional at the same time. A mother may heal physically quickly, however the emotional trauma can take a lot longer to heal. Whilst it may seem unusual to see the word ‘productive’ with ‘miscarriage’, that’s exactly how I wanted my miscarriage to go. I wanted to heal emotionally and physically as soon as I could. I didn’t want to prolong the pain. This is because this was my second miscarriage and I had learnt from the mistakes of my first one.
When my doctor scanned me for what should have been my 12 week scan. She told me that the baby had passed away 3 weeks earlier. I quietly said ‘Alhumdulillah’ to myself. She then went on to explain the procedure and the hospital admissions process. I didn’t hear what she had to say as I was doing dhikr of “Alhumdulillah” in my head. I walked home heartbroken with tears streaming down my face whilst I whispered regularly, ‘Alhumdulillah for my miscarriage’. Did I feel ‘Alhumdulillah?’ No. This was a very much wanted and planned for pregnancy. This pregnancy was fraught with anxiety from the very beginning as I was fearful of losing my baby. This is because I had lost another baby in the same way, just a year earlier. However, I knew that if my lips uttered ‘Alhumdulillah’ whilst my heart was broken, it would only be a matter of time before my lips and heart reconciled with each other. Eventually I stop hurting and would see the wisdom in His decision.
Alhumdulillah for my miscarriage
I started to count my blessings. Alhumdulillah, Allah had blessed me with two healthy children before two of my unborn babies had been returned to Him. Alhumdulillah, for the support of my husband and my friends who helped me during this painful time. Counting my blessings redirected me to focus on the positives of the situation and stopped me from feeling sorry for myself. Even when I began to haemorrhage as a complication of the miscarriage, I was grateful that I was in hospital care and not at home. I had selfish reasons for being grateful. I was hopeful of the reward that Allah has promised those who are grateful. Allah reminds us “And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for the benefit of his own self” (Chapter 31: Verse 12). I also desired more children and was hopeful that if I was grateful during my miscarriage, Allah will bless me with more children in the future. Allah has promised the believers “If you are grateful, I will increase you” (Chapter 14.Verse 7).
Seeking comfort with the words of the Holy Prophet (saw).
Whilst my heart was full of complaints and I was tired of going through this process again, I was mindful not to say anything that displeased my Lord. I was reminded of the words of our Prophet (saw) when he was saddened by the death of his beloved son and said “Our eyes shed tears and our hearts are filled with grief, but we do not say anything except that by which Allah is pleased. O, Ibrahim we are sorrowful due to your separation.” (Sahih Bukhari)
I was sent the following hadith from one of my dear friends. The Holy Prophet (saw) said, “The miscarried fetus will plead with his Lord if his parents are admitted to Hell. It will be said: “O fetus who pleads with your Lord! Admit your parents to Paradise.” So he will drag them out with his umbilical cord until he admits them to Paradise.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah). This hadith brought tears to my eyes. It showed me that our tears and heartaches are never in vain in the sight of Allah.
Take advantage of times when duas are accepted.
When I was told that my miscarriage had to be induced in the hospital, I knew that there would be a lot of waiting around. So, the night before my hospital admission, I wrote out a list of duas where I poured out what I was feeling. When I was waiting for the hospital staff to attend to me, or when I was in extreme pain, I read out from my dua book. This helped me to take advantage of a time, when duas are guaranteed acceptance from Allah. Allah promises us in the Quran “Is He (not best) Who responds to the distressed one when he calls upon Him” (Chapter 27:Verse 62). I particularly sought a lot of comfort from the following hadith that my mother had sent me and did a lot of tasbi of the following when I felt at my lowest.
Umm Salamah (ra) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying, “When a person suffers from a calamity and utters “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. O Allah! Compensate me in my affliction, recompense my loss and give me something better in exchange for it”, then Allah surely compensates him with reward and better substitute.” Umm Salamah (ra) said: When Abu Salamah (ra) died, I repeated the same supplication as the Messenger of Allah (saw) had commanded me (to do), so Allah bestowed upon me a better substitute than him; the Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself [Muslim].
When I went home, I had a number of friends who wanted to see me. Alhumdulillah I had dear friends expressing their desire to cook meals for me and pick up my children from school. I accepted all the help that they offered me. My blood loss meant I couldn’t stand up for long and was in no position to cook or do the school runs. This was in stark contrast to my previous miscarriage where I covered up my pain from the world.
In my previous pregnancy, most people didn’t even know I had miscarried. I threw myself into my old routine of going to the gym, coffee mornings and socialising almost immediately. I’d get together with my friends and I would talk about mundane things, whilst I’d feel like screaming on the inside. Consequently, it took me a long time to heal from that miscarriage. This time I talked. I opened up to anyone who asked how I was doing. I was most fearful of discussing the issue with my three-year-old daughter, who would kiss my stomach every night and would talk about a baby sister that she was so convinced I was having! When I told her, the baby had gone to Jannah and mummy was feeling sad about it, she was quiet for a moment and then told me brightly “Doesn’t matter! We’ll ask Allah to put another baby in your tummy!” SubhanAllah, the positivity and optimism of my three-year-old, reminded me that I have a Lord that is Al Mubdi (the beginner) and Al-Mu’id (the restorer) the One who can restore what we have lost.
I was very proactive in trying to heal myself. After a miscarriage, it may take weeks or longer to physically recover. The body goes through the same changes that an expectant mother would have with a full-term delivery. I listened to my body. If I was tired, I rested. I ensured that I ate a diet that helped replenish blood loss. I found doctors that helped me find out my nutritional deficiencies and worked hard at correcting them. Our bodies and mind are interconnected and both must be taken care of in order to reach optimal health. As I began to feel stronger physically, I also felt stronger emotionally. Our bodies are an amanah (trust) from our Lord. We are unable to worship Allah as He deserves when we are not in optimal health.
My miscarriages have made me appreciate more strongly what I have already been blessed with. It’s been two weeks since my miscarriage and already I can see some of the wisdom behind what had happened. Even the timing of the miscarriage is a blessing for me. I remember very clearly asking Allah, to help me get the most out of Ramadan just a few weeks earlier. Ramadan is a month of Shifa (healing) for the broken heated and I am fortunate that I have entered Ramadan with a softer heart and eyes that are quick to shed a tear.
The sadness at losing a pregnancy is a feeling that a mother will always carry with her. However, I feel extremely fortunate that I have a Lord that doesn’t let our tears and pain be in vain. I have strong faith that Allah – the Mu’id will restore what I have lost and replace it with something even better. Meanwhile, I derive a lot of comfort in knowing that I have two children on Earth and two in Jannah, and inshAllah one day my older children will be introduced to their two younger siblings in Paradise.