How to find your way out of the darkness after multiple miscarriages is a guest post by Bettina Rae.
I never imagined this would be my story. Miscarriage is one of those things that no one expects will
happen to them.
We know it does happen of course, to friends of friends, to Aunties, to cousins, to sisters, but always to other people.
We never imagine it will happen to us.
Everyone knows the statistics, but we never expect to be one of them. We ‘forget’ that someone has to be the statistic. Even after you experience it once, you don’t expect to luck out again and experience it multiple times over.
I’ve battled with ‘why’ for over a year now. Why us? Our babies? Why now? Why our family?
And then there are all the variations of ‘why’. What did we do wrong? What’s wrong with my body? What did we do to deserve this?
Why, Why, Why!?
It’s exhausting and all-consuming. It sucks all of the joy out of life. Connecting with other people, even your husband, becomes extremely difficult. It makes so much of your life before the loss feel insignificant and incredibly unnecessary.
At the same time it makes other parts of your life feel too big and overwhelming to handle while also carrying your grief with you.
Earlier this year, after three losses in 12 months, I found myself in a very dark place. I’d completely forgotten how to enjoy the life I already had, because I was so focused on trying to bring a new baby into our family.
Of course, I was grateful for the two healthy boys that I already had and for the life we enjoyed together, but I wasn’t actually connected to any of it. In my heart I was too busy battling my own grief demons to enjoy how blessed I already was.
After our third loss, a wise friend said something that really resonated with me. She reminded me that I needed to start watering the flowers in my life and not just the weeds. I decided I needed to make peace with my life without another baby, and heartbreakingly come to a place where I would be okay with the fact that there might never be another.
I remember feeling incredibly lost at that point. After the previous two losses I’d quickly shifted my focus onto conceiving again and that hope had kept me going. But without that distraction I had no where to hide from the overwhelming grief for my babies. I knew I needed to find a way to heal, but found myself asking – how the hell do you do that?
There is no roadmap for grief.
Most people will tell you that ‘time heals all wounds’, which is all well and good – but what do you actually do in the meantime?
So I started looking for an answer that would work for me. I googled. I read countless books on loss. Then I read blogs of other mothers who’ve been there before me. Their stories helped me to feel less alone, but none of them told me what to actually DO.
I literally wanted an instruction manual, someone to hold my hand and say – ‘this is what you do’.
It’s probably unsurprising to hear I didn’t find the answer on the internet.
Where I found solace
Instead found it in the silence between great heaving sobs on the bathroom floor.
I found it in the countless pages of scrawl that now fill my journal. I found it in the quiet dark hours of the morning
when sleep would not come. I found it in conversation with my counsellor. I found it in the words of others who’ve also felt this great loss.
The following list is by no means list of ‘must do’s for you’ nor will all parts of it work for everyone. But maybe you’re reading this because you’ve been looking for an answer too? Perhaps something you read here will set you on the right path, for you.
If I can only tell you one thing, it would be this – you already have what you need to heal – you just might need a little support to help you stop long enough to find it within yourself.
Make time for silence.
Our lives are often so filed with distraction that we never have any time just to breathe and notice our own thoughts. Distraction will feel helpful when you’re first experiencing grief but eventually you’ll need to make the space and silence to process how you’re actually feeling. Finding silence in your day can be anything from a meditation practice, a yoga class, walking alone without music or just sitting outside with a cup of tea.
Journalling is incredibly helpful in unloading the thoughts that swirl round your head and examining the stories we tell ourselves. In your head it might make perfect sense, until you write it down on paper and realise you’re being too hard on yourself, or believing something that just isn’t true. It’s also a great way to release some of the emotions as it gets your brain to find a way to articulate how you’re feeling.
While it’s unhelpful to be told to be ‘grateful for what you do have’ when you’ve just lost a baby, there is some truth to the fact that a gratitude practice is powerful when you’re grieving. While we don’t want to hear that ‘well… at least you can get pregnant’ or ‘at least you’ve got other children’, a private gratitude practice where you connect with the small things in your life that do still bring you joy can be one way to pull yourself out of the darkness.
Get support for your health – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
This is not the time to try and do anything on your own, despite how tempting it might be to pull the doona over your head and stay there. Enlist all the support you can to help you get back your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. When you’re feeling lost and unsure how to care for yourself, even just having other people looking after your well-being feels incredibly good.
My top recommendations are:
- Find a good Naturopath who will test where you need support nutritionally and help you get your hormones balanced out again.
- Working with a counsellor can help you to find your way out of the confusion. Learn ways to release the emotional trauma and give you practical advice on how to step forward.
- Regular sessions with a spiritual guide of some kind. A priest, minister, energy worker or shaman can help you find acceptance of your loss on a deeper level.
At the end of the day, making your way through the grief of losing a baby is a moment by moment task.
If this is you right now, know that there are many others who’re on this path with you and there are also many who’ve already walked it to find their way out.
About the Author
Bettina Rae is a yoga teacher, counsellor and Mum to two young boys. She runs an online yoga studio for mothers to help them improve fertility, overcome loss, practice during pregnancy and birth, and to reconnect with themselves after having children. Her active community of women also gather monthly for women’s circles (both online and inperson) for yoga, group meditation, healing and sharing their stories.
- I lost my Dad while I was Pregnant
- My experience with Postnatal Anxiety
- Know Meningococcal Disease – do you know enough to protect your child?
- My Toddler has Coeliac Disease – how this mum manages it
- My experience of Acupuncture to increase Fertility
- I contracted Sepsis after a C Section
Have you any advice for a couple who have had multiple miscarriages?