In the days, weeks, and months after my first miscarriage, I didn’t know how to help myself. It seemed like the mighty wind of confidence that had been in my sails from the pregnancy now ceased and I was directionless, drifting aimlessly. Only now I was filled with an incredible amount of anger and sadness.
I was wandering through uncharted emotional territory for me. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t eat properly, I couldn’t communicate how I felt, and most days it seemed as if the air was completely taken out of my lungs every time I thought about what happened. How could I have changed it? How could I have prevented it from happening? Why after years of trying to get pregnant did we lose our baby?
Answers didn’t come easily or kindly for me. My mind served up all kinds of thoughts that triggered doubt, frustration, and disappointment. While I thought I had hit rock bottom during infertility, the emotions I experienced after my miscarriage were so much more intense. But, as I mentally climbed out of my pit of despair, I discovered a few things that I wish I had known earlier after my loss.
- “What ifs” are a waste of time. In the midst of my despaire, I would beat myself up wondering “what if” I did something wrong that caused it. Like a ticker tape running through my head, I would replay every choice and decision I made in the days and weeks of pregnancy. I could continue to wonder “what if” but it will not change the reality of the current circumstance. I had to accept what happened.
- Write it down to let it go. I’ve always kept a journal but it was especially important to write out everything I was thinking and feeling during that time to get it out of my head and release it somehow. On days where I skipped my journaling practice, I had a much harder time processing my emotions and functioning. Writing allowed me to vent and express myself – good, bad and ugly.
- It is okay to share that you are not okay. The world did not know that I was pregnant so they didn’t understand why I was so angry and upset. I needed to share that I wasn’t okay and needed time for myself. I had to stop trying to make everyone else comfortable and really focus on what I thought would be best for me.
- You know someone who has lived through this, too. Statistically, 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. When I finally opened up and talked about my experience I found other women willing to listen and share their own stories about loss and grieving with me. It helped me in so many ways to know that I wasn’t alone.
- You truly couldn’t prevent it. For all of the effort that went into creating my baby, there is nothing I could have done to prevent losing the pregnancy. I was told this by the doctors but had to believe this genuinely for myself. It took some time, but my coach helped me get to that place.
Had I know these five things earlier after my miscarriage it would have helped me move forward and minimized the suffering and misery I went through.
If you need support with your miscarriage and don’t know where to get it from, reach out to me and schedule a time to talk. I’m here and I understand how hard it is. I can help you move forward.