Miscarriage is a devastating loss for a woman and her partner, especially when they have been walking the path of ‘unexplained infertility’. After finally conceiving, the sorrow of miscarriage is deep and often debilitating.
What many women don’t realize is they are mourning much more than the loss of the life they were carrying; they are mourning the loss of the life they always envisioned for themselves as women: To conceive naturally, to carry a pregnancy to term, and to give birth to a happy and healthy baby – the way nature intended.
Healing is a necessary part of the fertility journey. Acknowledging and grieving the loss of miscarriage in your own personal way is an essential step before trying to get pregnant again. To help you along your way towards motherhood, I have put together my best insights and suggestions (inspired by an article by Ann Wolski) on how to heal body, mind and soul after miscarriage.
1. Take Time Out from the World
You may feel a strong need to retreat and be alone. Honor this. Your mind and heart need space and time to process, grieve, and recover. You will likely be feeling very vulnerable, unable to deal with the demands of work or the expectations of others. Give yourself permission to stay in bed, hide from the world, cry as much as you need to. This won't last forever, and when you're ready to emerge, you will be stronger for the time you gave yourself to feel and process your loss.
2. Observe your Mixed Emotions without Judgment
The misery following miscarriage is described by many as being more intense and consuming than any other sadness they have experienced. Sadness, however, is not the only emotion that a woman suffers following this loss.
Another major emotion is anger. You might be angry with yourself, your partner, and possibly with the baby that was lost. You may feel angry at other women who are pregnant and resent women who aren't looking after themselves as well as you have been and yet have healthy pregnancies.
Having a miscarriage can also lead to feelings of inadequacy. You may start to believe you are incapable of successfully doing something ‘so basic’ as having a child and this can cause a drop in your self esteem. If you have already experienced miscarriage in the past, these feelings are multiplied, leading to a fear that you will never experience having a child. This can often lead to feelings of emotional insecurity and frustration.
And if the pregnancy wasn't planned, you may be feeling some relief mixed in with everything else–and then some guilt for being relieved.
This mixture of emotions is a very painful and difficult one to hold so please have compassion for yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, seek the support of a trusted friend, spiritual advisor or counsellor.
3. Take the focus off What Caused the Miscarriage?
The cause of miscarriage is a mystery. Sometimes contributing factors can be identified but in most cases not a causative factor. This can lead women to look for blame in themselves and to feel guilty as a consequence.
You may be asking yourself, “How can I be sure it wasn't because of something I did or didn’t do?” No matter how much you are reassuringly told that it’s not your fault, you may be unable to stop yourself from taking on some sense of responsibility for the miscarriage.
You might also become consumed in seeking answers about the cause. Was it genetic, something in the food or water, pollution or something else? No matter how hard you search, there is no answer to be found. This is the kind of loss that is unexplainable and requires a loving dose of compassion, forgiveness and trust that life is on your side.
4. Acknowledge the Grief
The grief of a miscarriage can be as deep as the grief of losing a parent, a brother, a sister. But because pregnancy loss seems invisible compared to these other losses, it's difficult for others to understand this. And because many of us feel we shouldn't share pregnancy news until after the first trimester, it's possible that few people in your life even know you were pregnant.
And your sense of loss has nothing to do with how long you were pregnant. Your grief is a direct reflection of how bonded you were to your baby, regardless of the length of time it was inside you, as well as the meaning you had already attached to that baby and the space you had already created in your life for the baby. The grief can be made even more complicated by the fact that in early miscarriage you don't get to see the baby, which makes it even harder to find closure.
For your grief to be fully resolved it also needs to be acknowledged by all the people closest to you and your situation. It's important that you grieve with your partner and your family and receive their full support and acknowledgment.
5. Conceive the Inconceivable
In my work with women on the fertility journey, I have seen the heartbreaking effects of miscarriage. My heart goes out to every woman who longs for a baby to come through the vessel of her body. And if you are that woman, I want you to know there is hope and lots of it. Especially if you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I have personally worked with dozens of women over the years who were labeled infertile; I have seen them conceive and give birth naturally once they gave themselves time to heal from the pain and grief of multiple miscarriages and/ or years of failed IVF treatments.
I want to guide you to move through your loss with a sense of resiliency and hope.
Because you CAN heal and go on to become a mother. You can start that healing journey now with a special meditation I created to relax into your own divine timing.
Most of us have an idea in our heads of when we should achieve the milestone moments of our life (like becoming a mother). And when we don’t – it feels like we’ve failed.
Use this meditation to help you on the days you feel down on yourself or when you’re losing hope. Get back in touch with your inner knowing that you are absolutely meant to be a mother.