On April 27, 2022 I was ten weeks and four days pregnant when we lost our baby; my first ever pregnancy. The amount of grief and hollowness I experienced was like non-other.
Craig and I were so thrilled to be pregnant (and so were our family and close friends!). We conceived with ease and the whole pregnancy up until the end was really good. Smooth. Easy. Honestly, the thought of miscarrying was in the back of my mind, but as we crept closer and closer to the second trimester, I really thought we were in the clear. I was completely blindsided and my spirit was destroyed.
While going through this devastating loss, I found comfort in talking about my experience and hearing others’ stories of miscarriage. I was touched by how emotional these women (family and close friends) still got in talking about their experience despite now having children and having (from an outsider’s perspective) “weathered the storm.” It was not lost on any of us, that this is a topic incredibly close to the heart, life altering, and obviously not spoken about enough.
I don’t want to bypass my grief because believe me – I was IN it. And in it for a while. I purposely chose not to numb out and to face everything head on as best I know how. Throughout this lifetime, I’ve created a pretty amazing toolbox for myself and I relied HEAVILY on the things I knew would help pull me back up into a state of peace. Meditation, yoga, daily exercise, eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and lots of time in nature. I rested and slept when my body told me to and I didn’t feel guilty or apologetic about it. I was extremely gentle and nurturing with my spirit. The amount of self love I cultivated was like nothing I’ve experienced before and I hope I never lose it. I made a commitment to find joy in the small things because at the end of the day, it’s these small things that end up being the big things.
I am a big believer that there are always lessons in the hardships. And even though I’m still processing that this is part of our conceiving journey, I’m already seeing how I’m a better person (and how I’ll be a better mother) because of it.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, first, let me say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. The emptiness is so real and I know it feels like it’ll swallow you up at times. I also know that your resilience is real and just as you’ve made it to this point in life with countless struggles and setbacks, you WILL climb this mountain too. I promise. If you need some help navigating this space, here are a few things that I relied on and that helped me heal both physically and mentally:
Find support. We do not talk about miscarriage enough. Before actually going through it myself, I had zero idea of what to expect nor did I understand how traumatizing it is. My midwife gave me excellent group therapy options with women who were navigating their own losses and miscarriages. I also found a lot of support within my female friendships – especially women who had their own stories of loss through miscarriage. This experience helped facilitate really deep conversations and allowed us to bond in a new way over a shared experience. Talking and sharing about my unique experience really opened the space to help me process and heal. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find a safe space to do this.
Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself like you never have before. Eat whole, nutritious foods; drink lots of water; and sleep as much as you can. Be extra gentle with yourself and your time. Don’t over schedule and make space in each day to take it easy and rest. Do this for as long as you need to or as long as you can.
Gently move your body. It might take some time to get back into exercising, but move gently. Slow walks and stretching are a great place to start and bonus points if you take your walk outdoors in nature. Moving your body releases endorphins (those feel good chemicals) so not only is that neighborhood walk good for your physical body, but it’s also good for your mental health too.
Find joy. Whatever it is, find it and hold on. What lights you up? Or what used to light you up that you forgot about or got too busy to do? I love animals – especially spotting them out in nature or on long walks or in our backyard. I had been wanting to get a bird feeder for a while and for whatever reason just kept putting it off. After my miscarriage I had this strong urge to take care of things. I finally got that bird feeder and I can’t tell you how much it pulled me out of the dark state that I was in. Watching the birds feed and interact with each other was the highlight of my day. Sometimes it was the only thing that got me out of bed. Watching from the window left me with a smile on my face and a very full heart. I looked forward to filling it up with birdseed each day and watching the new and different birds that would show up…even starting to name the regulars. If you follow along on my Instagram stories you know I post regularly about my birds 😉 (and now you know the whole story!)
There’s no right way through grief, but I hope this helps you feel a little less alone and a little more hopeful. You are not alone, my friend, and together we can do hard things. Reach out and let me know how I can help support you. xoxo