Pregnancy Loss: A Look Back
Pregnancy loss is something that most of us never expect, and then feel bamboozled and overwhelmed in dealing with. We are excited about our pregnancies, reading up on our babies and our growing bodies, and wondering how our births will be when our knees get knocked out from under us and suddenly we’re dealing with such a loss, an emptiness, a hurt that we didn’t know we could ever feel. And if you’re like me and have faced it twice, or even more, in a row we can feel even more abandoned and under prepared for what life has asked us to handle.
My first pregnancy loss was over a year ago, with the second anniversary coming in just about a month, I felt this a good time to look back over the lessons learned and see what has come from this experience. As we live our lives we have a natural process of learning and moving on. With the jobs we take, the life lessons and even the learning we have in creating harmonious relations, every part of our lives is about learning and moving on. If we get stuck in the learning and never move on, it’s like our life stops. We never get “over it”, and instead we build this large brick wall and walk into it over and over again, hitting our heads and reverberating in the continuous shock. So I ask you, as I ask myself, have we learned our lessons? Have we moved on?
Lesson #1: Into the Deep
What I know most from pregnancy loss is how much we can love. Ask a mom who has lost a baby anything about their baby or their pregnancy and we’ll soon see tears, or big beautiful open hearts. I know from my own experience I felt overwhelmed by how much I could love this being whom I’d just briefly known inside me. How many hopes and dreams were wrapped up with this particular little girl who floated and grew within. At first I thought those tears of remembrance were a sign of unhealed emotions, and sometimes it can be, but other times, it’s just an incredible opening and connection with the divine and our divine babies.
Lesson #2: Into the Moment
It is sometimes scary how much love we can have, but it’s scariest when we try to hold onto the past and don’t accept this moment as it is. Life always moves on, so can we be okay with that? Can we know life and death in our bodies and be okay? We can, but if you’re like me it takes practice. Just like we inhale and we exhale, life comes and goes. Each moment, we can follow the breath and let the fear of letting go release. We have our stories; mine was a sad 5-week miscarriage and a devastating 12-week miscarriage. Then I reframed it to be I gained a baby and was grateful to experience a pregnancy, and then I just let the story go and followed the breath. Staying present feels so much safer and nurturing than all the stories I can come up with or that I’ve lived. We never know what may come up, and we don’t always like what’s passed, but this moment, we see exactly what is here.
Lesson #3: Our Desires Eventually Rule
Pregnancy loss is a time like no other. We’re in the place of creation and suddenly our creation is destroyed. What are we left with? We are left with ourselves and we are left to etch out who we are in this incredibly trying moment. Do we rage, do we give up? Do we become what runs in our family, do we become a victim? Or do we pick ourselves up and go after what we want. Recovery from pregnancy loss takes time, some recover faster, some take longer. It took much longer than I thought it “should” take, much longer than I thought it would, but in the end taking the time I needed was invaluable. I thought I was doing well a few months after, only to realize months later that I was an emotional roller coaster and needed to rebalance with a deep-body/emotion cleanse. And then in finding my feet again, I had to look and see if I was really ready to go after what I wanted… not just did I want it, of course I wanted a baby and to grow our family. But was I physically, emotionally and spiritually ready to invite another little one in. This time I felt ready to embrace my desires and say yes! Yes to being worthy, yes to being ready and yes to the opportunity of putting the invitation out there again!
Lesson #4: Loss Is Everywhere, So Is Compassion
I was incredibly touched by all the stories of pregnancy loss that I heard after I miscarried. In fact, there were more people that I talked with who’d gone through at least one loss than people who’d had healthy babies without experiencing any loss. Whether it’s how toxic our world is, how stressed we are all, how unnatural our lives have turned out to be or just that we’re here to learn about loss, most of us get a chance to get very familiar with loss. I realized also that loss extends beyond the passing of our babes. At the same time I experienced pregnancy loss, my mom was grieving her loss of home and my sister was grieving the loss of a love relationship. In compassion I learned to say, “I’m so sorry” to the losses that those I loved experienced, no matter what kind of loss it was.
Lesson #5: Health Is Priority
Especially in my work with other pregnant women, there are few who have a “normal, healthy pregnancy”. Why is that? Have we looked at our lives and our beliefs around healthy pregnancy? I know one of the most important steps in taking back my balance and welcoming pregnancy again was going through a deep cleansing not about “losing weight or what’s healthy”. But stepping into what feels best in my body, what best supports my path and prepares me to house another little one, not to mention housing my full spirit again. It was time to let past old wounds come up and release. It was a time to “clean house” and experience what really serves me. A lot of the “crutches” that I had, like desert, coffee or cheese, like anxiety or holding onto the past were just not helping me to get where I wanted to go. I had unconsciously made vital, optimal health my new year’s priority and the path that I took myself on to get there was rather incredible. I am so grateful and have come such a long way because I’ve truly experience how those crutches feel like poison to my body, emotions and spirit. I realize what optimal health really feels like and how generous and loving I can be in this place of health.
I don’t wish pregnancy loss on anyone, but I do wish all of you who’ve experienced your own pregnancy loss to truly know the lessons, or the gifts in the experience. What a waste of experience if one day we haven’t learned from it and moved on…with more love, compassion, health and clarity of being.
Pregnancy Loss to Coping with Miscarriage