How is it, I sometimes wonder, that we cope with grief and loss and somehow come back feeling calm, soothed and ready to allow something good to come about?
For couples who have suffered a miscarriage, the heart break for what might have been is indescribable. I cannot even begin to find words that can somehow sum up the physical and emotional pain that this tragedy brings. Amidst this pain, something still persists. Stronger than ever before is the urge, the ache to have that baby in your arms, to finally have that healthy full term pregnancy.
How can you get there, when you feel so weak and sad, so bitter, so despondent, so broken? After the thick of the grief has passed over, the ache for it still exists, nipping at your every thought, weaving its way through your every day experience. Tears are replaced with a flat feeling, maybe one that is accepting of the seemingly endless torrent of hard times and difficulties.
So how do you go from this to feeling positive and expectant that pregnancy is a certain thing for you? How can you make peace and move past the fear? From everything I have had the privilege to see and experience, and all that I have learnt there are a few simple steps which are incredibly powerful healing tools.
Step 1) Time to grieve – It doesn’t matter whether you lost your baby weeks, months or years ago. If you need time and nurture, you just need it. It is so normal to feel despair, sadness, overwhelming fear that it could happen again one day. Be with it. Feel it, make space for it practically so you have some quiet time in a safe place. Nurture and nourish your body with anything that feels good – warm foods, exercise, meditation, cosy duvet days etc. Talk if it helps and know that with regard to miscarriage there are some things to know which might at some point bring some comfort and light:
- 95% of women who have miscarried go on to have a healthy baby
- One or more miscarriages are considered very normal and just a very sad part of nature, but doesn’t exclude you from being able to go on and have your baby.
- For many women it is just one of those things, and for those where more intervention is needed, there is often a medical solution if you choose to take that.
I often advise writing a letter, lighting a candle / planting a flower or something else ceremonial where you can really say your goodbyes. It will be ever so sad but will also allow a release which then assists you in finding a way beyond that grief, to strive for your future and allow you to put your energy into creating your future pregnancy.
Step 2) Accept that things will and can improve – even if this is only logically you know this. Sad times, horrific times – they pass. Life can be vastly different within in only a short time frame. Always celebrate your triumphs and achievements, and if you have had a very hard time, look back and acknowledge where things are improving. Perhaps you are capable of a lot more now than you were a while ago, and haven’t really noticed how far you have come. On a bad day or bad morning just say remember to yourself – oh yes, this is one of the darker days. That’s ok, I will just let it pass through me. The darker days will get less.
Step 3) Make your next plan – This is personal to you and ultimately the route to survival and wellness. Whether your next step involves getting assistance or tests or whether it is more to do with helping your body overcome obstacles, collate your plan of what you are doing to help things and affirm to yourself that these steps can and will bring the solution. Here are some examples of what you can do –
– Join an exercise class / gym /
- Switch to a fertility extra friendly diet – this involves reducing gluten, red meat, alcohol and caffeine and eating more whole grain, oily fish and leafy veg.
- Review your supplements – Women who have had recurrent miscarriages have been found to be deficient in magnesium, selenium, co-enzyme Q10, vitamin D. To cover all bases, take ‘Pregnacare’ prenatal vitamin, add in 200mg per day of magnesium and co-enzyme Q10, and Kelp (all available in supermarkets and health shops).
- Do something pampering and that gives you TLC, like a massage, or come to Catching Rainbows for some relaxation, fertility hypnotherapy and reflexology. Or use the Catching Rainbows CDs specific to fertility, or get some guided meditations from amazon.
Step 4) Plan nice things with friends and family. Having a few fun things in the diary will give you things to look forward to.
Step 5) Craft yourself some affirmations to bridge the gap between wanting to believe things can get better and actually being able to believe them. When you do believe them totally then you will feel calmer and it will also help signal to your body what you are ready for and wanting. In some cases our bodies don’t really understand where we are trying to get to, and as it senses we feel weak and upset, maybe even traumatised it puts down the shutters on pregnancy for a while as it deems we don’t really have the strength and energy to cope with it just now. It doesn’t understand that pregnancy would be the perfect cure. Hypnosis is one way to help that, but if you can’t get that then affirmations are truly powerful.
– Even though in the past it has been really hard, I still feel like I really want to try and have a chance at being pregnant again
– I know that I have felt scared in the past, but this is too important to just let go out of fear.
- I know that having a baby would really help me and my family. It would bring a lot of joy for us all.
- I would like to believe that my bad luck is done now and that it would be right and fair for something wonderful to happen.
- I know deep down I have what I need in my body to become pregnant. Whether I need a little extra help somewhere along the line or not, I am prepared to give my baby what it needs to get to me.
- It feels right that I should be a mum, so I am going to try.
- It is my wish for things to feel easier than they have before, and I am committed to being on this easier path which I want to believe holds happy events for me.
I know this isn’t easy. I know it will take everything you have. There is nothing we would give everything for but our children, and when you get them there will never be a day when it wasn’t worth the struggle. There is no easy fix I know, but there is a path to wellness again. Even if sometimes it’s buried under the trees a bit, when the bad days come just surrender to them. Your fears, worries and doubts are all inside YOU. They are there only to protect YOU. If you decide you need them to be smaller, it is a choice I promise you can make. Be with them and give yourself time and above all, love. Tell yourself every day – “I love myself enough to work to make things better.” Give yourself all you need, always. There are no ‘oughts’, no ‘shoulds’ no rules, no right way, only your way and the easiest possible way on a difficult journey. I really want you to get there, I hold faith for each and every one of you until you are strong enough to take the hope back.