How loosing my baby (& myself) forced me to reconnect with life.
““Suppressing it, it will break you. Let the joy flow. Let the stories run free. It’s yours to keep after all, it is yours to keep forever.” Elisabeth Gilbert
This story is not a pretty and structured one, with an intro, a body and a conclusion. In-fact this story is messy, it is raw, and yes, it is mine. It doesn’t have an introduction as it just shot me in the heart out of the blue, during one of the happiest times of my life. It doesn’t have an ending, in fact it is a #workinprogress kind of story.
I lost my baby… yes, I did. Not once, not twice, but three times.
It feels heavy and scary just to say it, but I need to do it. I need to say it, acknowledge it and cry. I need to feel the pain that is holding my heart prisoner. It is a pain that makes my body stiff & tired… exhausted I would dare say.
We are women, mothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters, friends, and much more. Somehow, we are expected to show up and be there for everyone, while being strong and carry on if something happens to us.
“It is life” they say. “I am sorry this didn’t match your expectations”, “you will be fine”, “time will pass and you won’t think about it so much”, “maybe it wasn’t meant to be”, “you should be happy, you have got other kids” and “don’t think about it, even this shall pass”.
People don’t know how to deal with pain and they say the most silly things. You love them, understand and say, “thank you”, but within, nothing changes. In fact, those words make you feel even more lonely. That pain is like a rock that is ripping your heart apart day after day.
But you keep going, continue helping everyone around you all while being strong.
A useful note for people, partners or friends, that want to comfort a woman who has miscarried; I know you might feel scared, and confused on what to do too. The truth is there is nothing you can say or do to take that pain away, but what you can certainly do is simply BEING & LOVING.
Be present, listen, hold her hand, give her all the love you can by BEING 100% PRESENT WITH LOVE & COMPASSION.
The pain is huge but on top of that I felt LONELY as everybody was trying to say the next best thing, but nobody was actually present with me in my pain.
You see, GRIEF is a bastard. You think you have gotten over it, but she hides & keep you from moving forward in life. She is heavy. How can you move forward if you have what feels like a tonne of heavy rock sitting within you? It squashes your chest, it makes you feel like you cannot breathe or eat.
Emotions that are pushed down and repressed create blockages in our physical body. It’s like having a gas bottle within you. It’s all good while it is sealed but if something triggers it to open, even just a little bit, that pressure has to find an outlet and it might be expressed in unhealthy ways. It can turn into anger outbursts, deep sadness, tiredness, apathy, emotional eating, inability to sleep and so much more.
Where does all this come from?
Our repressed GRIEF.
It is essential to practice self-care especially in these difficult times, give ourselves permission to feel the pain, to cry, to process it, to call a friend you trust and say “I have had a miscarriage”. If the people around you find it difficult to support you, please seek professional help. You don’t need to do it alone.
When women have babies they are cheered and the love overflows, when we miscarry, not only do we have this pain within us, but we often feel we have to keep it for ourselves.
When I went to see a doctor after my third miscarriage, she said “Oh don’t get too upset, that’s quite common, in fact 1 in 3 women miscarry”. I was appalled by this statement for a few reasons:
1 – Statistics don’t speak to my heart and don’t make me feel any better when my heart is crying in deep pain for the baby I just lost
2 – I then read it is actually 1 in 5, but statistics apart, why doesn’t anybody talk about it? Why don’t I know of any woman around me who has had a miscarriage? Am I just lucky, or do people just not talk about it?
Please know that you have the right to acknowledge your pain, to feel it, and to have support, either from people around you, a friend you trust, or seek counselling.
I am writing this after 3 miscarriages, with the last one happening a year ago. I have been strong, because that’s what good girls do right? But I can see & feel now that this rock has to go or I will implode.
Somehow letting go of “the rock” (my grief) meant letting go of my baby.
Am I ready for it?
YES – I don’t want to feel the pain anymore and want to move forward with my life, live with a light heart and be happy again.
NO – I love my baby. She came in my dreams. I know what she looks like and the thought of living without her breaks my heart.
What can I do?
What I chose to do is to have a little RITUAL. A private ceremony where I celebrate her passing and her birth to a new life somewhere else.
People have ceremonies to help us celebrate/welcome a birth or saying goodbye to someone who has passed. We all come together in these instances and “expand the unit” meaning we are not
alone in welcoming a baby to this world or farewell a soul that leaves Earth.
Why does a miscarriage have to be a lonely process? Why do we have to carry the pain and THE SECRET?
Is it because miscarriages are seen as a FAILURE, in a world where if you don’t succeed you are a LOOSER? Of course, let’s not talk about our failures, nobody needs to know, or…what will they think of us?
What if I told you, that miscarrying a baby is absolutely not your fault? Miscarriage doesn’t mean failing. You don’t have to carry this burden alone.
I don’t have any guide on “how to survive your miscarriage & thrive”, in fact I believe life is messy and it is always a #workinprogress. I can only share my story and what I have decided to do for myself, knowing that there is no “one right thing” to do that suits everyone.
Here is what allowed me (in time) to reconnect with myself after my essence had been wrecked:
1 – I gave myself time, and a year later – talk about a slow learner! – I recognised that I couldn’t explore the depth of this pain alone, so I went to see an amazing psychotherapist.
2 – With her I explored the need to stop suppressing, but to acknowledge it, feel it, process it so I could give my emotions and myself the due respect and care.
3 – I have decided to “expand the unit” and let other people know about it. I thought I had to carry this all alone and in doing that I perpetuated what the world is doing and is keeping other women in their lonely pain.
I wanted to say it, so that maybe it could help you say it too and get the support, care and love you need.
4 – I have explained it to my kids, of course in an appropriate way for their age and we have organised a “family ceremony” to acknowledge their little sister and give her the love she deserves. We got together, put on relaxing music, light a candle, and said a prayer together. We also shared words of gratitude, as even though she was only with us for a short time, she has nevertheless been with us in the physical form. Together we held hands, created space for our family to expand into that love and compassion for one another, that “togetherness” that makes connection possible. In this space we can hold her memory with love and allow ourselves to let go of the grief and pain.
I suppressed the pain by keeping myself BUSY. Isn’t that what most of us do?
Every time I stopped to listen to my feelings, the pain was unbearable and as hard as I tried I couldn’t deal with it alone. It is when I decided to SEEK HELP that everything changed.
I finally had someone who sat with me, listened to me and held my hand while I went deeper in exploring those feelings. I felt supported and safe, I felt I could ‘let go’ and share my raw heavy tears coming from deep within.
When you feel something within you that is uncomfortable, painful, or hurts…please STOP, explore that feeling, listen to your body wisdom, and if it is too much for you alone, ASK FOR HELP.
What is it?
Where does it come from?
Where do you feel it in your body?
Could that be a driver behind that “I am not good enough” voice within you?
What would it mean for you to let go of that feeling?
Are you talking nicely to yourself?
Are you being your best friend, or have you left yourself behind?
These are only a few of the questions I like to journal about and these help me to explore things in depth, and come back to a sense of gratitude for life and myself, build a deeper connection and replace that DEEP PAIN with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for myself and others.
Have faith, believe in you and life. Choose you, choose LOVE: you are worth it.
With all my love.
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