Norfolk author bares her soul over baby loss
In the UK one in four women suffer a miscarriage* but the loss is rarely voiced and the grief is surrounded by a lonely silence. After four miscarriages, writer, Jane Clamp, has bared her heart and soul to tell her story of loss, grief, and eventual peace, in a bid to help other sufferers. Sandie Shirley reports.
Jane, who writes for BBC Radio Norfolk, Network Norfolk and Premier Radio, lost her babies while trying for a second child 20 years ago. Her heartfelt account: Too Soon – a Mother’s Journey Through Miscarriage – a 30-day devotional was published on August 16 by SPCK. It offers hope and comfort with honest and helpful insights to chart a way through the darkness.
Jane went on to have a second child and that was the end of her miscarriages but she recognises that many women never have the baby they want due to recurrent problems and others may even suffer from post- traumatic stress disorder.
She says: “It was when we started to try to have another baby that our problems began and I had four miscarriages that needed medical help. They were a hideous three years; there were no happy times amid the darkness. There was no moment that I could switch off, it was all I could think about. At the time all my friends looked as though they were growing their families easily – it was unbearable.”
Jane, who is also an interior designer and musician, took the decisive and plucky step to write about her experiences after speaking to the charity, Loved, which supports those affected by miscarriage and is initiated by Care (Christian Action Research and Education).
“It was as if God commissioned me to write the book when I heard his unmistakable voice tell me that I could help resource the ministry. It was the first time I thought about writing about my experiences,” says Jane, although she had written songs while trying to make sense of the issues.
“The book touches every aspect of miscarriage because, although each woman’s experience is different, the issues, questions and worries are the same. The book includes the physical, relational, and emotional fall-out as well as the issues of faith in bite size chapters so it is not a heavy read.”
As Jane shares her story she has been able to leave the big questions of faith unanswered and has made peace with God and peace with herself. “As a Christian, I have reached a place of acceptance. It is as though I can look God in the eye and say: ‘These are the facts but I choose to say it is well with my soul.’”
She says: “I know God permits things but some of the things he permits I don’t understand. My own reason for miscarrying was a hormone imbalance and God could have healed me from that. But although some of the issues remain unanswerable, God gives us peace beyond our understanding even when questions fill the air.
“The pain is still there but it is not infected; it is a clean wound but it still bleeds. And just because you do not meet your child does not mean it’s not real,” says Jane.
“I hope you can give the book to someone who is not a Christian because it contains information and anecdotes from my story and every chapter has a response,” adds Jane who blogs for Network Norfolk and the Association of Christian Writers.
Counsellor, speaker and writer, Jennifer Rees Larcombe has written the book’s foreword which includes: “I don’t believe anyone can understand the pain of a miscarriage until they have had one themselves. If it is followed by several more it becomes unbearable, yet so often there is no-one you can trust to share the depths of how you feel. That is why this book is so powerful. Jane understands exactly through her own personal experience.”
Too Soon – A Mother’s Journey through Miscarriage (a 30-day devotional) is available from SPCK (ISBN 978-0-281-08028-1), price: £9.99. Author Jane Clamp.
TimeNorfolk – The Pregnancy Loss Charity provides free, confidential help and support to anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss through miscarriage, termination or stillbirth. Helpline: 01603 927487.
Pictured above is author Jane Clamp.
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