Facing the Loss

 

“I believe that my life’s gonna see, the love I give, return to me.”

-John Mayer

 

My wounds have healed as much as they ever will.  More often than not, I feel like I’ve finally reached some version of acceptance.

 

There will never be any making sense of it, and phrases like “all things happen for a reason” still drive me nearly insane, but I’m full of gratitude for what I have, and a little less consumed with what I could have had.

 

I’m putting one foot in front of the other and finding my way.  I’m in repair…

 

A very dear friend of mine is a big believer in karma.  It’s kind of her thing.  She finds karma in every little thing along the way.  I envy her that.  I would love to have that safety net to carry me through the ups and downs. It would be nice to be certain that everything will proceed as it should.

 

I’m not so sure about that, but I am sure about helping others.  I am certain that being there for others is exactly what I am meant to do…

 

But as much as I enjoy making the connections and helping in some small way, I wish that I could do more.  I wish that I could take the pain for all of you.  I wish that I could speed up the process and make the finish line a little bit closer.

 

Most of all, I wish I could make the losses stop.  While every little piece of infertility is devastating and all consuming, my heart breaks for each one of you when you write with news of a miscarriage.  I know that pain.  I know that heartache.  I know that tunnel of grief.  And all I really want to do…is make it better for you.

 

There is no easy button when it comes to grieving a loss.  There is emotion.  There is devastation.  There is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and, finally, acceptance.  But there is no easy button to get you from here to there.

 

There is only time.

 

Give it time:  You have to allow yourself time to grieve.  This loss is no different than any other.  It doesn’t matter that you never held that baby in your arms.  You nourished him, spoke to him, bonded with him, and loved him.  A loss is a loss.  So go ahead and feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, and misunderstood.  Take your time; there is no race to the finish.

 

Be selfish:  Sometimes you just need to hide out and read.  Or take long walks and enjoy a mug of tea upon your return.  Isolating during those first few weeks is not actually a bad thing.  Hearing and reading stories about others reopens the wound repeatedly.  Or worse, hearing insensitive words from someone who doesn’t understand can really leave you feeling lost and broken.  Do what feels right to you.  Put your needs first as you try to find a way to heal.

 

Ask for help:  While some of you are working on a first baby, others have a little one running around.  Either way, help is essential.  With the pregnancy hormones dropping at an alarming rate, your body is likely left in a state of physical and emotional upheaval.  This is no time to be wandering the grocery store alone, foraging for food.  Lean on family, close friends, and your spouse.  Know when to ask for a little help along the way.

 

Accept the help that is given:  Yes, you need some time alone.  No, you are not ready for social engagements.  But that lasagna that your best friend really wants to drop off?  Might be just what the doctor ordered.  People feel helpless when someone they know and love has suffered such a loss, so they do what feels right.  Accept it.  Let them feed you and check in on you once in a while.  Even when you need some time to just be, it’s nice to know that someone else is thinking of you.

 

Pen a letter:  Many women find that writing a letter to the unborn child helps them release some of the difficult emotions that refuse to budge.  Share your dreams, your hopes, and your feelings now that all of that has changed.  Let it out.

 

Release a lantern:  Sometimes symbolism serves a purpose.  Many people experience a feeling of closure after releasing a lantern in memory of the baby.  Wait until you feel ready.  Only you will truly know when the time is right to finally say goodbye, but a lantern release can really soothe your soul.

 

Take care of you:  Eat well.  Sleep.  Get some light exercise.  Nourish your soul.  In times of great stress, we tend to eat poorly and rely on maladaptive coping strategies to pull us through the worst of it.  Coping with miscarriage is complicated by the hormones and changes that your body endured.  You have to take care of you.

 

Some people want to get right back into baby-making mode following a loss.  Others take the slow lane.  You have to listen to your heart, and to your body.  Allow yourself the freedom to do what comes naturally to you.

 

And don’t forget to hold onto hope.  Because hope is a very powerful thing.

 

 

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Comments

  1. I also wish I could believe in karma. I know I’ve been a good person, so good things should happen to me right? I’ve had so many struggles in life eventually it should be “my turn”. But the world doesn’t always work like that. =/

    The “take care of you” bit is something I need to start doing. I’ve basically been on the caramel apple diet since my loss, and completely reverted back to a carb centered diet. Bah.
    Tasha recently posted..What IF: A Portrait of InfertilityMy Profile

  2. Great post. I needed it..I have experienced the type of loss you are writing about, but today facing another type of loss. Found out that my rising FSH levels and low antrafollicle count is not very promising. Awaiting AMH results before flying too far off the handle.

    I like your idea about taking pen to letter and writing to my unborn child….that i will do.

    Thank you.
    kss

  3. i have had two losses before i had victory. my losses were within a year of each other. both were gut wrenching heart ache. i wanted so badly to be a mom. i have PCOS, after the second loss my OB put me on clomid. it took two cycles but i finally got pregnant. i was scared the whole time though that i would loose that baby. the doctor gave me medication to strengthen my uterus to prevent miscarriage. i was still nervous though. i now have a beautiful healthy 3 year old girl. i’m ready for another baby. just not sure if i’m ready for the worry and stress infertility brings when trying to get pregnant. for those who have lost a baby, i’m so sorry for your loss. take the time you need to heal. it doesn’t matter if you were at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the pregnancy when you lost that baby. it hurts equally as bad. from the moment you get a prositive pregnancy test that is your baby and you love that child with all your heart. morn your loss, but know that it isn’t the end. what helped me was i named my two precious babies that i never got to meet. i know they are in heaven, some day i will meet them. i think this web site is an amazing thing. people with infertility problems and miscarriages need this support more then the ones who don’t understand know. kudos to you ladies.

  4. Hello beautiful ladies,

    I usually don’t post things on websites, but this time I was moved. Touched to the very core because it all sounds too familiar. I have been blessed with a wonderful 3 year old son, but after him I had 3 miscarriages. I’ve waited almost a year and a half since the last one, and my doc will put me on clomid before we try again. The fear I already have is overwhelming. What if it happens again? After each miscarriages I heard, “at least it was early on the pregnancy…” Those were my babies regardless the length of gestation.

    My heart goes put to all the moms who have had to suffer. And for those of us who were blessed with biological children, cherish them with all you souls.

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