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