This week’s special guest is my long time friend Kat Schmoyer — Our relationship goes way back to when she was sophomore in college, when she attended the church my husband helped to start and pastor. This was the fall of 2008 when we met so I had only known her for a few months when my son was born and then died. We stayed in touch all these years and my heart broke for her when I learned about her two miscarriages. She has shared publicly and openly about the heartache of losing two babies and did so in a way that was hopeful and affirming to women who have experienced miscarriage. I am grateful for her to be sharing some of that hopeful and affirming wisdom in Episode 009. Listen in as she talks about her story of loss, grieving differently than her husband, going back to work, what joy amidst mourning means to her and so much more. I hope this episode blesses you today.
How To Tell A Miscarried Mama You’re Expecting by Kat Schmoyer
MEET KAT SCHMOYER
I’m Kat and I help creatives make dreams a reality through resources & business education. I’m the founder and visionary of Creative at Heart Conference & the lead planner behind Dear Sweetheart Events. I’m also an educator, speaker & business coach.
My HS sweetie, Matt, and I work together in our 2 stoplight town with our dog, Knox. Since 2016, we have walked through 2 miscarriages on the road to our current pregnancy with our son. Jesus has gotten us through some of the darkest times in our lives & in our marriage, and we cling to His Hope daily.You can find Kat over on her website and also on her Instagram account @katschmoyer.
ASHLEE: 01:14 Hello friends and welcome to this week’s episode on the joy for mourning podcast. This week’s guest is a woman who I have known for a long time. I first met her as a college freshman a million years ago. I’m her second semester. Nope. Her Sophomore Year of college was the same semester that I gave birth to my son and then buried him just six weeks later. Over the years we’ve stayed connected and I’m forever grateful for the ways that she has loved women well amidst her own suffering. I’m so excited to welcome my sweet friend, catch Moyer to the joyful morning podcast. Welcome, Kat.
KAT SCHMOYER: 01:55 Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.
New Speaker: 01:57 Yeah. I’m so grateful that you were willing to share your story with us and that you’re joining us today. So I have lots of questions for you, um, specifically about what it looks like to find joy and sorrow and grieving with hope and what that practically looks like. But first in case there’s someone who may not be familiar with who you are, tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you spend your days doing?
KAT SCHMOYER: 02:22 Um, well, I actually own several small businesses, so my husband and I worked together and we live in a tiny little rural town in Virginia that you’ve probably never heard of before called Timberville and if you’ve heard of it before, that’s awesome. Um, and we work from home and I’m a wedding planner and I also host a conference called creative at heart conference for creative small business owners just to really encourage and empower women who are starting their own business. Really looking to. I’m just kind of fulfill the dreams that they have for themselves and for, um, for their business. So yes, that’s just a little bit about what we do on a daily basis. That’s awesome.
New Speaker: 03:03 If there’s somebody who’s listening in who isn’t aware of your story, would you mind sharing with us your story?
KAT SCHMOYER: 03:13 Absolutely. Um, so in 2016, my husband and I experienced two miscarriages. I’m back to back so relatively close together. Um, it was the first year that we had decided we were quote unquote trying are going to try to, you know, start a family and we’d been married for about three years at that point and um, about six months in to that whole process we had our first miscarriage and then immediately following that first miscarriage we got pregnant again and had our second miscarriage. I had a never, um, I never really known anyone who had had miscarriages before. Um, and so it wasn’t some, I mean, I know you never go into pregnancy thinking like I wonder if I’m going to have a miscarriage, but it was never on my radar. It wasn’t something that was, you know, a part of my family history or that I’d had super close friends experience. Um, so for me it was just a lot of shock and a lot of, I don’t understand. I never thought that this would happen to me kind of feelings because it wasn’t something that was on my radar at all. And then to experience one, but then too, like so close together in such a short timeframe was just a lot for my heart to kind of handle it and process through.
New Speaker: 04:27 Yeah. What kinds of things? Um, my, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and I remember suddenly you grieve for children all together just with when that’s your first experience with miscarriage or elite or with pregnancy. That was my experience. That’s how I felt. Um. Do you feel like, did that happen in your heart also? Especially because you had two miscarriages? Like did you think, what did you think after that second miscarriage?
KAT SCHMOYER: 05:02 Um, a lot of things. I think for me, grief wasn’t a part of my life at all until miscarriage. Um, I’d never experienced death closely. Um, I never had, you know, even my grandparents were still living at that time, so I never had, you know, like close family or close friends who had passed away. So it was not only opening this like big door of grief and just what that looks like. But then miscarriage is a very interesting and different type of grief. Um, there’s a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to miscarriage and the way that we grieve that, so it was not only to then start experiencing grief, but then to start experiencing it from the miscarriage, like if you point, it was just really hard on my heart to kind of walk through that and figure out, well what’s right for me. Um, being a wedding planner, you probably can guess I’m very type A, so I wanted black and white, like this is how I’m going to grieve, like this is what’s going to happen. And it took me just opening up more and realizing that it wasn’t going to look black and white. There was going to be a lot of gray. There was going to be alive, messy and just almost embracing that, um, for me to really start to like walk through that healing process of grief.
New Speaker: 06:18 Yeah. What is one thing that you wish you had known in those early moments of grief that you can kind of look back and see now? Um, I know that it’s kind of a tricky question and sometimes we don’t maybe learn those things for years or ever. But what’s one thing that you wish you had known then that you can kind of see now more clearly?
KAT SCHMOYER: 06:47 That is a really hard question. I’m saying there’s things I feel like I wish that I had clung to more. Like even though I was very open about miscarriage from pretty much the beginning, like within the first few weeks of our first one. I’m like, this community was, I think were you just getting this started? You know what I mean? So like, right, like there wasn’t like the facebook group for this. Like I wish that there had been that, you know, so I could, I just found a lot of um, I love community. And so I found a lot of um, just affirmation and my feelings in confiding in people whether it was like this stranger on facebook, you know, you know, quote unquote stranger on facebook or you know, a good friend. So I think that’s something that I look back and I wish that I’d clung to it even more fully than, you know, what I did.
KAT SCHMOYER: 07:35 Um, in terms of what I like, what I’ve learned as I look back, I think it’s just, and this is one of those where like, it’s, we all, I think we’re going to learn it everyday of our lives, but I struggled a lot with what did I do wrong? I’m that big question. Like it, it was my fault. I did something, especially for me with the second one because in my mind, oh, okay. I had this first one. So the Lord is teaching me something. Let me figure out what he’s teaching me. Okay. God, I got it. You taught me this thing. Oh wait, you’re doing it to me again? Like I, it, I struggled with um, uh, with what did I do wrong and what was like, just that whole process for me. And so I think looking back, I wish that I hadn’t been as hard on myself and realized I didn’t do anything wrong. Like I did not. If you have a miscarriage, it is not something that you did wrong. I’m physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s not on you. And I dealt with a lot of guilt feeling like it was all on me.
New Speaker: 08:35 Yeah, no, that makes sense. Um, and I love what you just said. Um, if you’ve had a miscarriage, you didn’t do anything wrong. Um, and I do think, I think for all women, no matter what kind of lost the experience, that feeling in those lies creep in way easier. We would like or way easier than we would probably even admit. I don’t even know if we would say that out loud and I, I didn’t say that out loud early on. Um, but for sure. And part of that was because I was afraid that if I said was this my fault that someone would affirm that it was my fault and that feels so scary to say like, okay, could it, could this have been prevented? Um, that’s just something really hard to deal with. Um, what, um, you said community was so helpful and you wish you had, you know, taken more advantage of that. Um, what kinds of things were helpful about a community? Like what, what about that? Because I know a lot of people when they’re grieving, just hide in isolation. Um, maybe because I don’t know why, I don’t, maybe because it just hurts too much to seek out community. Um, but what kinds of things about community were helpful? Um, or, or even on the flip side of what things were hard about community after experiencing your loss?
KAT SCHMOYER: 10:11 Yeah. So I said before that for me, miscarriage was such an interesting kind of grief. Like not only was that like truly my first experience with grief, but you’re, you’re grieving something that you never saw, you know what I mean? Like you never, you never met that baby. Um, or you know, like had like massive memories, you know, with that child images with that child, things like that. And so for me, community meant other women who affirmed like, Hey, I get it. Like I feel the same way you feel and I never met my baby either. Um, and, and that was so helpful for me because I struggled with, um, how should I grieve or is my grief even appropriate because I never met my baby. Um, and I struggled with those various levels, like everyone’s grief is different and we, we pull a, we pull the guilt trip thing because we’re women and we just like to guilt trip ourselves.
KAT SCHMOYER: 11:10 But we also, um, I think we also can put so much pressure on ourselves, like you were saying like I’m a failure. I did something wrong. And so it helped me to find affirmation with other women that a, they felt those same things that they felt like maybe they did something wrong too. And so we could talk about that together and like verbally process all of that. Um, but it was also just helpful to find that I wasn’t alone and like the crazy thoughts that I was having, whether it was the questions that I had about like spirituality and like heaven through miscarriage or anything like that. But also just in like physically, like being able to talk to women about, okay, now my body is doing this. And what the heck does this mean? Like how, like what am I doing now? And just to have other women that I could talk to about, um, that wasn’t my ob Gyn, you know, that was somebody else who understood and had, for me the faith background was also really important.
KAT SCHMOYER: 12:04 So had that belief. Um, on the flip side where like having community can be harder I think is, it does put it at the forefront of your mind more so when I first started, when I first shared about our miscarriage, I did it because I felt like I needed to affirm the life that was lived by our child and we had a miscarriage. Our first one was, I’m. Both of them were in the first trimester. Um, but I, I wanted to just affirm that life. And so that’s why I shared publicly about it. But then that did open a door for other women who could then say, oh, I shared that post, I’m gonna, go message her, I’m gonna. Send her an email. So it might then become apparent, like I might get that email on a day when I’m not really thinking about miscarriage on that day. Like I’m having a great day, I’m not necessarily sad that day, now I’ve got this email and I want to respond. So that’s like the tricky side to sharing and opening up, but at the same time, like that’s what makes grief tricky and that’s what makes it, you know, pop in and out of our lives and sometimes the most unexpected of waste. Yeah,
New Speaker: 13:12 I can definitely relate to that. Even after, um, I mean when, when we experienced our miscarriage, that was in 2006. So. So social media wasn’t, it wasn’t what it is today. So there wasn’t a big like announcement about that loss. Um, when my son died because there was a funeral and memorial and we lived in a small town and everyone knew and people came out of nowhere telling me horror stories after my son died. And it wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was that my heart didn’t have the capacity to carry that burden and the one that I had to leave. And so I, it came to a point where I had to um, you know, tell people I can’t, you cannot tell me anymore stories. Um, you know, I had a at the time, I had a 16 month old that I had to raise while grieving and people would tell me stories about 17 month olds dying in their sleep and I just, I couldn’t, there was too much fear wrapped up in that. And um, yeah. So I think if for people listening, one helpful thing is maybe not always just being really wise about the stories that we share with other knowing that when a woman is fresh grieving, like when it’s new, that it might not be the most appropriate time to put another heavy burden.
KAT SCHMOYER: 14:42 Absolutely. And for people who like do share, something that was really helpful for me was realizing like just because I’ve decided to share about our miscarriage and then we shared about our second one and I’ve shared about my process even since then, it doesn’t mean I have to share everything. Like there are still certain things that I hold dearly in my heart and like my husband and I talk about her. I talk about like with just my mom or you know, something like that. So just because you decide. Yes, I feel called, I feel led for whatever the reason I want to share this story. You don’t have to feel like you have to now be an open book about any and all things. Um, that’s just a piece of advice I always try to tell people who ask me like, should I share my story? Or like why did I decide to share my story?
New Speaker: 15:28 Yeah. I think that’s really, really helpful. I loved what you said that you initially shared because you wanted to affirm those babies’ lives and I think that’s a great reason and I think that also gives you the, you’re the authority on what you’re allowed, what you want to share and what you don’t feel like sharing. I think sometimes in our culture of social media transparency and authenticity, sometimes we mistake that forgiving. There’s this necessity to give a 100 percent of the information and that just isn’t it? That’s not true. Our lives weren’t created to be lived in front of 20,000 people or whatever. It’s like they were in our lives. We’re meant to live with the people right in front of us and those people know everything. And um, I think as long as there are people that you’ve invited into your grief and maybe that’s just one friend or two friends, um, I think as long as that’s happening, you don’t have to share anything, but if you want to share, no, that you don’t have to share, you can share whatever you want.
New Speaker: 16:37 You don’t have to share all of it or you can share all of it. But, um, I think that that is super, super helpful point. That’s really helpful. Um, yeah, I think that’s really helpful what you said. I’m sorry, I’m going to back up a little bit. You said one of the things that you struggled with being a type a person. I’m very driven, very black and white. I can identify with that very black and white. There must be a perfect way to grieve or right way to grieve. What would you tell a mom who’s new on this grief journey about that lie that she might be believing that there’s a perfect way to grieve or, um, there’s a right way to do this?
KAT SCHMOYER: 17:20 Yeah. Um, well, there isn’t a right answer. There is not. And what I had to learn was that there’s a lot of beauty and the fact that there is not a right way to grieve. So rather than cleaning to, okay, where’s my checklist? Like have I like, did I cry enough? Did I write that I journal enough about it? Did I talk with this, my pastor about it? Rather than going down this list, I truly in you, whoever out there, you know, is listening and is like walking through a season of grief. You can grieve however you feel like you need to grieve. Um, there might be days where you’re like, it’s harder to get out of bed today. Like today’s a harder day to just like be on facebook or beyond, you know, um, read this particular blog post. And then there might be days where none of that stuff phases you and like that commercial doesn’t bother you like it did the other day or whatnot. And that’s okay. You can feel and experience all of those emotions however you need to experience them. And so for me it took just embracing that and finding freedom in that and realizing that, um, it, it was okay for me to have this up and down like a rollercoaster for however long that needed to happen versus feeling like, okay, well once I’ve done x, Y, and Z, I’m now going to be quote unquote over it and I’m not going to, you know, look back and feel those same things again.
New Speaker: 18:44 Yeah. Did you feel any guilt? I’m in the days where like the first few days were you found like your heart was a little bit lighter, like you had joy again, not joy, like, like the unceasing joy, but like when you felt happy again, did you feel like, did you feel any guilt over that?
KAT SCHMOYER: 19:07 Do you know what I’m asking? Um, I think we can feel guilt over every process. Like every aspect of the process and yes, I absolutely would if, again, like I, I am an emotional person anyway, so for me to cry isn’t really a big deal, which sounds terrible, but for me to get, for me to be emotional really isn’t a big deal. But um, you know, if it was that one commercial that hadn’t, you know, oh, I finally got to watch, like watch the whole thing and I didn’t tear up this time or you know, a friend told me that she was expecting and it maybe it didn’t stay in quite as intensely as that other friend who had told me, you know, weeks before or something like that. Um, yes, I definitely think that there’s guilt that goes along with that and I think that’s normal and that’s a part of grief too.
New Speaker: 19:57 Yeah. And being able to recognize that it’s like a false guilt that there’s no reason to be. To feel extra emotions that aren’t necessary. Right. I just, I do remember feeling very unsure. Grief is just messy in there and because there’s no like, formula or perfect way to do it, often we, we just think when we’re experiencing one emotion, we think that we should be experiencing the other emotion. So I remember when I would be so in the depths of sorrow that I would feel guilty about not feeling, you know, happiness or joy in that moment. And then likewise, like I remember the first time laughing and feeling an intense sense of guilt because I wasn’t sorrowful anymore and I just think that’s our nature and being able to say, okay, this is, this is how I’m grieving right now in this moment. And that is good and grief is helpful and it can, um, show us depths of our heart.
New Speaker: 21:04 It can help in so many ways. It can be helpful in just allowing ourselves to be in the moment instead of wishing that we were feeling a different thing. I don’t know if that even makes sense. It does. Um, one thing that you just said that I think would be helpful, um, and then I wanted to talk about with you was when other moms would tell you that they were expecting, and I remember you wrote a blog post a while ago that said the title was how to tell a miscarried mom that you’re expecting, um, will you tell us a little bit about that blog post kind of where that came from and then maybe some tips for other moms who are experiencing this?
KAT SCHMOYER: 21:48 Yeah. Um, so, um, miscarriage because it’s such a, again, like that interesting like kind of grief. Um, I feel like everybody handles it differently. And so when I publicly shared about our miscarriages and, um, would share, you know, about just kind of things, I didn’t just say like, oh, we had a miscarriage and then closed the door. I continue to allow that door to be open through various social media posts or my blog and things like that. So I’ve found that, um, I was getting mixed responses from people when they were then pregnant in terms of how people were telling me that they are pregnant and so for me that blog post was kind of just a way for me to put it out there like, hey guys, disclaimer, this is solely my opinion from a miscarried mom perspective, but this is how it would be super helpful for me if you told me you were pregnant, were just super selfish to put on your blog. But I’ve found that, um, it’s more than that.
New Speaker: 22:48 Oh, hold on. I just want to say that’s not selfish. I think anytime, yes, that was going to benefit your heart, that’s gonna probably be helpful to your heart because that’s what you were processing it. But I don’t think that, I am sure that there were other women who appreciated that blog post. So I’m just throwing that in there. It’s not totally selfish. Um, I think that that’s probably. This is something that probably needs to be addressed because we, women who don’t, who haven’t experienced miscarriage don’t often know how to handle those sensitive moments. And so it’s okay for us to educate with grace, you know, not in this like I’m better than you because I, you know, I know how to handle this better more so just like I want to help you and I want other women to not be hurt in the process. So anyways, just. Sorry to interrupt, I just want.
KAT SCHMOYER: 23:44 No, no,
New Speaker: 23:47 no. That actually leads to the fact that since that post has been live, the most people who have responded to me, like emailed me about it, our moms who have never experienced miscarriage and who again, like you were saying like I felt like I need someone to tell me like I need someone to educate me on how to do this and how to now tell my friend or my sister or whoever that I am expecting. And so that was really what I wanted that post to do was to just explain. So I, in that post, I broken into two sections and I spoke to women who had never miscarried and, and tried to educate them a little bit more on like the thought process behind a miscarried mom. And then I also spoke to miscarried moms because I think that that’s a misconception too that some of us have, like we forget if we forget that not everybody has experienced all of the same emotions and all have the same life experiences that we have.
New Speaker: 24:39 So if someone told me that they were expecting and they didn’t tell me in the quote unquote right way or the way that I wanted them to tell me, I would immediately jumped to almost anger or bitterness rather than sitting back and saying like, wait a second, how did I feel before I’d experienced a miscarriage? Like I looked at pregnancy and through such a naive lens before I experienced what I experienced with it. And so it’s not fair for me to put all of these like predetermined judgments on a woman who’s never experienced that either. So I thought it was really helpful to explain both sides of the story and try to speak to both women, um, in hopes that everyone can be educated a little bit more and can walk through that process better. Um, for me, what hurt the most was when friends wouldn’t tell me that they were expecting, like they thought that hiding it from me would save me from the pain and I understand why I’m, I absolutely can, can understand why they wouldn’t want to share, but in not sharing that Ivan didn’t get to experience any of their joy with them and I didn’t get to hear about the nursery or, you know, I don’t know, hear about that doctor’s appointment or things like that that are exciting, good, like fun things in their life.
New Speaker: 25:55 And then it ultimately like kind of drifted apart friendships because they’re experiencing this massive life change and I’m not as a part of it as I would’ve liked to have been. Um, so that was hard for me, you know, when I had friends who, you know, started to conceive and wouldn’t want to tell me for fear of hurting me. Um, and that was another reason why I wanted to share that post. Yeah, I think that post was super helpful and I’m going to include a link into the link to that post in the show notes. I think that’s, it just is helpful. Um, I think too, just knowing that when you experience loss, we can just make a blanket statement that people are going to say and do really dumb things that feel very hurtful in the moment. Um, but it’s important to remember just like you said, that they don’t know. Sometimes. It’s not that they’re super selfish or it just that they don’t know. And so, um, I think
New Speaker: 26:59 having a heart that shows grace to somebody in those moments might look like helping them to understand better. I remember pulling aside a friend right after our miscarriage, um, and she asked me if my sister in law was pregnant. She had no idea that I had a miscarriage, um, because we hadn’t, we hadn’t shared it publicly and so only a few people knew at the time. And I remember her sitting me down and saying, Hey, is your sister in law pregnant? And I remember flying off the handle, like I did not handle that with grace because in the moment there was so much fear about when my sister in law who had been trying to get pregnant was going to be pregnant. I knew it was like this impending thing and I just, it was as if I couldn’t handle, I couldn’t handle that. And then when she brought it up I was having to deal with something that I just didn’t want deal with. And I remember not handling that very graciously. She was asking from a position of, you know, she was just naive, like you said, about pregnancy. And it would’ve never occurred to her that I was literally morning the life of a baby in that moment and,
New Speaker: 28:09 and feeling so much fear about a future pregnancy announcement. Um, and having to walk through that with family. She had no idea and I did not handle that graciously. Um, but I do think that there is a lot of good that can happen when somebody maybe says the wrong thing to us. And we handle it with grace. And that doesn’t always mean not saying anything. I think educating people is very helpful and can be full of grace in that that means you’re loving them well by helping them to understand the scope of how you’re feeling and then they can in turn love other women well who are also doing. So I don’t think I’m that not saying anything is helpful. I think addressing it with grace is helpful, but sometimes we can get really,
New Speaker: 29:04 I don’t know what the word is. We can just self righteous. Maybe we can just become really angry about the stupid things that people say to us is really hurtful things. And I just don’t think. I think what you just said was super helpful that they just don’t know. They don’t. And oftentimes we don’t know until you’ve walked through it. So just tenderly and graciously helping people to see that is probably really helpful. Um, I want to switch gears and talk about, something that I’m assuming a lot of women who are experiencing loss have to deal with and that is um, like going back to work amidst like suffering and loss. And um, during grief, so what did it look like for you to go back to work? I’m amidst just your body and, you know, feeling broken probably physically and emotionally, feeling broken. Both of those things. What did that look like for you?
KAT SCHMOYER: 30:10 It was really, really hard. We can just start off by saying that so that if anyone out there is walking through that same season, um, I know that it’s really hard. At the time my husband was working like a traditional nine to five. He was a teacher so he wasn’t like we weren’t not running the business together. Um, and with working from home and running my own business, you would think like, oh, well that’s great. Like you work from home. So if I need to lay on the couch for the heating pad or you know, have a slower morning, like you absolutely can. And while yes, there are some really awesome conveniences to some of those things, it also makes it really difficult because you are everything for your business. Um, so there wasn’t employees I could pass things off to or a boss. I could just say I need another sick day.
KAT SCHMOYER: 30:56 I was all, all of those things and to carry that on top of also trying to find like space and freedom to, you know, feel and grieve and do whatever I physically, spiritually, emotionally like needed to do was a really, really tough season. Um, it’s actually because of our first miscarriage that I ended up hiring a virtual assistant because it was that big Aha moment for me of okay, a, what if this happens again, be what if something else happens in my life and you know, I need to be able to step away and I need somebody else to at least look at my inbox for me or you know, keep some of those day to day tasks up and running. So for me that meant it really pushed me to look at my business from a different angle and bring on some more help so that I could take that space and like take that time away.
KAT SCHMOYER: 31:44 Um, and it also just sort of for me became a little bit unhealthy in the season between the two miscarriages in a. granted, our season was pretty quick, it was just a couple months between the two. Um, I sort of threw myself into work, so rather than saying like, oh, okay, I’m going to take time away. I said I need to stay busy. I need to keep my mind off of all of this that’s happening on all the things that we’re not experiencing now because of this miscarriage. I’m so I’m just going to do any and all that I can for my business and go back to my, like workaholic, like crazy tendencies, which is exactly what I did it, which was not healthy. It wasn’t healthy for our marriage. It wasn’t healthy for me personally. Um, but at the time that was like all I knew and, and that was my defense mechanism to like the pain that we were experiencing. And then after the second miscarriage, that was when it was like, okay, it’s happened again. Like I need to do something different. I cannot keep up at the same pace that I am. And so we know what is that look like and kind of walking through that a little bit differently.
New Speaker: 32:53 Yeah. It’s so hard, but um, any kind of loss is obviously really difficult. Um, but specifically with miscarriage, um, there’s no, I’m, I’m just assuming that it’s, it’s hard to be like, oh, I should take lots of days off work right now. Um, but you’re grieving and your body is physically in need of a lot of healing and time and rest and space. And so it just can become really tricky because there’s no, like, you know, exterior evidence of what, you know, of what’s happening. I used to say after my son ate and died, that if I broken my bones, broken my arm, I’d be wearing a cast for a while. Everyone would be able to see how I was hurting and they would expect less of me, you know, like, oh, Ashley can’t an, you know, unload the dishwasher right now because her arm is broken or she can’t cook dinner tonight because her arm is broken.
New Speaker: 33:56 Or maybe she can’t type those emails as fast as she could before because her arms. But when we experienced miscarriage or, um, or infant loss, even though there’s no physical exterior reminder to everyone around us that were hurting and broken, so it might feel a little bit difficult to say, I need some more time, I need more time off, I need more time. Um, so I think recognizing that that is a really hard thing, but then also seeing the flip side of that where you could easily just give everything you have into work, which is what you were saying. And I imagine that many people can relate to that in regards to I’m diving into unhealthy patterns after a loss where we just give everything we have to something else that doesn’t make us think about how we’re hurting. Right? And my advice, I’m wondering what your advice to that would be.
New Speaker: 34:50 My advice would be me, again, making sure that there’s at least one person speaking into your grief that you’ve let into your grief who can see some of those tendencies and pull you back if you need to. Um, and I think a lot of times that’s hard to put the spouse in that specific role because they just, in my experience, my husband just wanted me to be healed and to feel better and so if he saw me, you know, functioning normally or running at a quick pace, you’d be like, oh, she’s doing better. And so he would never like, okay power we really doing. He doesn’t want to like hurt me, you know, he, he’s like a protector in that way. Um, so I think allowing someone else, I’ve a good friend or a counselor to be able to speak into that might be helpful. What do you think?
KAT SCHMOYER: 35:45 No, I completely agree. And I agree that um, I don’t necessarily know if having the spouse be that person is the best you are going to grieve differently than your spouse. That was another, like no one told me that. I was like, we’re going to have the same thoughts about this and want to have the same conversations because we have the same thoughts about everything. I totally get it. Yeah. That was an interesting process for us to walk through together because we did handle it very differently and we did have, um, different things that we wanted to do to heal and so him being that person for me, like that checkpoint for me would not have been a good fit for the same things that you were talking about with Erin of like, I think he would have seen me, you know, go, go, go and thought, okay, great, we’re, we’re fine.
KAT SCHMOYER: 36:37 Whereas I’m, I am a verbal processor. I do need someone to say like, Hey, how are you? Let’s talk about this, like, what’s going on? Um, my husband is not a verbal processor. He would much rather not talk about it because it hurts, like why would you like it? Logically for him it’s like, why do we want to bring it up? We don’t need to sit down and have a discussion about it and then we’re going to cry and we’re going to bring up all of these things. Um, and logically that doesn’t make any sense. Like, that sounds terrible, but if that’s what your heart needs at that specific moment, then that’s what it means. So for me it was a friend at church kind of became that person for me just. And I didn’t even edit, it wasn’t like I asked her to, it just sort of kind of happened that way. Every now and then I’d get a text from her or we’d meet up and grab coffee and I knew that in those moments like she was that one kind of pulling me back in and almost reminding me of what happened and reminding me that it was okay to still not be okay.
New Speaker: 37:33 Yeah, that’s good. That’s really good. Real quick, tell me if I’m, if there’s a woman listening and her husband is grieving or her partner is grieving very differently than her, what is one piece of advice that you would give them? Because I think that that is probably true in every single relationship. Um, we’re not, we’re two very different people in all relationships and so we’re going to grieve differently. So what would you tell somebody in that situation?
KAT SCHMOYER: 38:06 One thing that was the most helpful for Matt Nye was actually, it was that same woman who I mentioned from my church who was kind of pouring into me, um, we ended up having dinner with her and her husband and they had experienced and fat loss and then, um, several miscarriages kind of in their journey. Um, so having that dinner together, the four of us was so helpful. I’m not only like I crave that I wanted, I wanted to sit down and like have this like deep conversation. Um, so I, I wanted that part. Imagine. Um, but what, what was helpful for both of us was hearing the other side of things. So for Matt it was hearing from another woman, Oh, okay, this makes sense. This is why cats acting this way. I’m almost almost affirming like I’m not going crazy. Like this is real, this is quote unquote normal in this like grieving situation for me, hearing from another male, okay, this is how I process through like, this is what we did.
KAT SCHMOYER: 39:10 So having that and we only met with them once. It wasn’t, you know, for us, this wasn’t something that we decided, you know, okay, six weeks of really intense counseling are in for some couples. Absolutely might be like what you decide to do, but really just having this one time, let’s just get together. Let’s just hear it. Like we want to hear how you’re doing. We want to pray for you. Like what can we do to help you? How can we encourage you was the most beneficial. So I would suggest if there is a couple like in your life that you can do that or if you are going to counseling and you can invite in your spouse to come to one of those appointments to hear from that third party and kind of help facilitate that conversation. Um, it just allowed for us, it allowed us to both acknowledge each other’s grieving, um, and acknowledge and almost a support in a, in a way.
KAT SCHMOYER: 40:01 The way that I was going to agree was going to be different. And that was okay. And we didn’t have to walk through the same thing. Like I was seeing things of what will this couple like they decided to plant this tree in honor of their baby or they are releasing balloons and honor and you know, all of these other things that I’m like, well, what are we going to do together? But if he’s fighting that, that’s not fair for either one of our, like grieving processes, right? To say like, well no, I’m going to force you to do what I need to do, but what about him? And so for us it was having that conversation and me being able to actually say out loud this is what I need. And then him being able to say out loud, well this is what I need and US figuring out, okay, now what can we do together? And then what are things that we can continue to do separately? There are ways that I have grieved completely by, by myself and that’s okay. Just like there are ways that he’s grieved completely by his self and that’s okay too. So just having that conversation with that third party. Again, for us it was that couple from our church. For you, it could be a counselor, whatever that looks like, I think is so, so beneficial for any marriage that’s walking through grief.
New Speaker: 41:06 I think there’s, that’s so helpful. And I think there’s this misnomer in general about social media. Um, we see one thing and we assume the backstory. So if I were, I mean if I’m being honest, if, if I, if my son had died recently, I would be really struggling struggling with social media because I would assume that this girl’s grieving this way and that means her husband must be fully dived in, you know, into that specific way that she’s screaming because that was a struggle even before we had a big social media. Like you said, like you see this couple releasing balloons or you see this couple planting a tree and all those things sound really beautiful and we just assume we assume the backstory and that just isn’t fair. So I think what you said is super helpful having those conversations and how are we going to grieve and how are we gonna do this together? And then what of this are we going to do, you know, on our own. And that’s what I think that that’s okay as long as you’re coming together in the end, it’s like, you know, that you’re for each other and you’re on each other’s side and um, you’re aware that, okay, this is how he’s grieving and this is how she’s grieving and, and that’s okay to grieve differently.
KAT SCHMOYER: 42:20 Absolutely. And knowing that there’s balance for both, like Matt Really, um, in the beginning when I wanted to share publicly, that was hard for him and so I had to give him time to process and to pray about that on his own. And it’s his story too, right? Like I can’t just be like, okay, well sucks for you. I’m going to post this blog post anyway. Like, no, this is my husband’s heart, this is his child, just like it’s my child. And so it involved patients, which I’m not good at and not a lot of us are, but you know, it involved like patiently explaining my heart and then waiting for him to be okay and be ready for some of the things that I wanted to do on my grief process. So even though he wasn’t the one writing those blog posts, he wasn’t sharing those things on social media. It’s still his heart and his son or daughter to. And that was important to me.
New Speaker: 43:15 I have so many questions. We could just keep talking all day. I just love talking to you. I’m so grateful for, you know, the story that God is writing in you and through you and all the women that you’ve helped through their own grief. Um, before we finish up, tell me what you think it means to find joy amid suffering. Because I say that a lot the morning, you know, this community is built on finding joy amidst suffering. What, what does it not mean and what does it mean? Because it’s not about like, you know, giggling your way through a miscarriage. Like, that’s not at all what I mean. What does it mean to you? Like what do you think it means to find joy and suffering?
KAT SCHMOYER: 44:02 Um, for me, joy moment suffering meant I’m having hope everyday. Um, it didn’t. And that again, that could be, I hope it doesn’t necessarily mean that I had hoped that we were going to have a successful pregnancy everyday because that’s a lie. Like I fought that fear so much, but just hope that like God is there. God is, God hasn’t left me. He hasn’t turned his back on me. God is good. I had to myself of that a lot, um, a lot. And uh, so for me going, like, joy, joy amidst suffering meant just having hope and being reminded of that even if it was something so small or something, you know, something much larger.
New Speaker: 44:49 That’s good. That’s super good. Our last question, what encouragement would you give to another mom who is walking through miscarriage today?
KAT SCHMOYER: 44:57 Um, I think I want to go back to what I said before just because I felt it so much and through our miscarriage is um, but it’s not your fault. Uh, we, we make it feel like it’s our fault, um, whether physically, you know, even even if physically the, the doctor has given you this laundry list of things, they’re like, okay, well it’s because of x, Y, and Z, or maybe spiritually you feel like you did something wrong and now this is your punishment. That’s how I felt. Um, I felt like it was absolutely my fault because of things that I had done wrong or whatever. The reason that you feel like it’s your fault, it’s not your fault. I’m God is writing a story that you might not understand here on earth. Um, but he’s writing that story and I, I needed to clean to the truth that God is good. God is not menacing. He’s not out to get me. I didn’t do something wrong that now I deserve this type of punishment. Um, he loves you and is not punishing you. So I just don’t want any miscarried mom to think that it was her fault.
New Speaker: 46:04 That’s good. That’s a good word. Thank you. Um, I just want to, I want to end with saying those truths are so valid and they are so helpful, but the misnomer when we’re grieving is that sometimes we think that some people’s faith is stronger than others. And so, um, that maybe those truths come easy to someone like cat. And I would just say she probably, and you can affirm or deny or confirm, confirm that those truths probably had to be fought hard for. Yes. Yeah, yes. A constant reminder that God is good, a constant reminder that even if we don’t see on this side of heaven, the good that he’s doing, that he does have purpose and um, that he hasn’t forgotten you and that he loves you and that it isn’t your fault. Those are all truths that we, amidst suffering we can feel like there’s something wrong with our faith if we have to fight for those truths. Um, but the reality is, and we see it all through the psalms that we hit, those are truths worth fighting for, but they are often, we have to.
KAT SCHMOYER: 47:15 Absolutely. And there’ll be days like, there were days where I didn’t believe any of them, um, and those were the days that I was like shaking my fist at God and I was so angry and I, um, I let him hear my anger. I let him that I didn’t understand and I didn’t agree and it wasn’t fair. Um, and, but then it comes down to again, just having that community, having those people in your life to remind you of those truths so that when you’re not remembering it, you have somebody there who’s like, Hey, no, God is good. God is here.
New Speaker: 47:48 That’s good. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. This was so helpful and I’m sure many, many women can relate and will be encouraged by your story. And I’m so thanks for joining us.
KAT SCHMOYER: 48:01 Thank you so much for having me, Ashley,
ASHLEE: 48:03 and for those listening, thank you so much for joining us today. I hope that you were reminded you are not alone in your grief and that there’s joy to be had even amidst the morning. Until next time, thank you for listening to the joyful morning podcast. If you loved this episode, let us know when the reviews and share it with a friend for show notes. Head over to the joyful morning.com.
The full transcript is provided by an online app and while I do my best to catch any transcription mistakes it is highly possible that a few may have been missed. If something is not clear please refer back to the audio for reference.