A Letter to my Grieving Self- Miscarriage Healing
We just passed the 2 month mark since my miscarriage. In some ways the pain has lessened but in other ways it's harder. I feel like I have grown so much as a person and Patrick and I have grown so much as a couple, not only through the miscarriage but through infertility as well. After losing our baby, I felt like I would never be able to be happy again or enjoy life, but the healing does come.
If you are suffering through a miscarriage, I hope my posts can help you or if you know someone struggling maybe these posts can help you know how to reach out to them. I wanted to share my initial fears I experienced after my miscarriage and how I overcame them (I'm still struggling with some of them but at least learning to work through them). I'm by no means healed and I know I will always carry the pain with me. I do find it helpful to think back and reflect on how I have become stronger and what our baby taught us although she was with us such a short time. I'm no expert on how to deal with the grief and pain of miscarriages but I wanted to share how I'm healing emotionally.
Please seek professional help if you need assistance with your emotions! I did get my period back 5 weeks after my miscarriage which was a miracle in itself:) So here is a letter I wrote to myself about the things I wish I knew while going through the miscarriage..
Dear Grieving Self,
You will be happy again. There is no right or wrong amount of time so don't feel rushed. You will be able to smile and laugh and enjoy life while still remembering your little one, and please don't feel guilty for laughing. It's ok to laugh and smile and have fun when you're ready. The first time you laugh will feel unnatural and scary and lighthearted shows or conversations will make you uncomfortable. But it's ok to laugh at your favorite joke on Jimmy Fallon and it's ok to laugh with a friend.
You can continue on with living your life to the fullest and still keep your baby in your heart and memory. You carry your baby with you in your heart everywhere you go. If you look hard enough you will find her in the beauty of a pink sunset or the bright bluebirds out your window. Just because you continue on with your daily activities does not mean you are forgetting. You will never forget.
It's ok to feel alone. You carried a living being inside you for several weeks/months and then losing her so abruptly was very traumatic. Your belly will look pregnant for a while but you will feel so empty. Learn to take care of yourself. Exercise and yoga will help so much even when you don't feel like it.
You will be able to think clearly again. You won't always feel like you're thinking in a fog. And please don't push yourself to go to places that bring up too much pain. If something as simple as grocery shopping is hard, let Patrick help or go when you are feeling strong. You don't have to feel guilty for not going to every baby shower you're invited to. You just lost a baby, please give yourself a break. Pick out a special gift and be honest with the woman the shower is for. Speaking of guilt, it does not help anything. You have to find peace in never knowing what exactly caused this death but know deep down that you did everything humanly possible to love and care for your baby.
Let Patrick know what you need and don't be angry if he grieves differently. He feels helpless and in some ways wishes he had the precious weeks you had to be so connected with the baby. What will help you most from him is his comforting hugs and just feeling listened to. Schedule as many "therapy sessions" with him when having a hard day. He will listen and just wants to know what you are thinking. Go on dates together and talk about things other than the miscarriage.
Don't be afraid to let your family and friends know what you need. They want to help but often feel helpless too. You will feel so comforted by the visitors who come by to check in or bring food. Some days the highlight of the day will be walking to the mailbox and reading comforting letters from family and friends. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call a friend and cry to them. They will always listen and never judge.
Know that not everyone will reach out or act like your loss is a big deal. There will be people who feel detached from your pain and situation. They never saw the baby on the screen or heard the heartbeat. Some people are more compassionate and can understand more clearly while others think of it as just another setback. 5 plus years of insensitive infertility comments have prepared you for this. A few people will say awful things like "well at least you got pregnant." Know that most people mean well and anger and bitterness are horrible things to hold on to.
The grief will hit you out of the blue. Little things you see or hear throughout the day will remind you of the pregnancy and your baby and the tears just come. You will make it back to the car or back home and then let the emotions come. Don't hold it in. One day you will see a random pregnant woman at the zoo who is talking about her pregnancy. You overhear how far along she is and it's two weeks behind how far along you should be. It will hurt so bad that you will find it hard to breathe. Hold your head high and focus on the sunny day and your precious son enjoying the zoo. Situations like this will come and sometimes you will be teary eyed remembering back and other times you will cry so hard it hurts your chest. Let the tears come.
Anxiety seems to be common after a miscarriage. You've been through a lot so don't beat yourself up for feeling more anxious. You won't feel anxious forever and these thoughts will pass. Don't worry too much about future dates that will be difficult like your due date. Plan something fun for that week like a family get away together. You will get through that time. Take one day at a time.
Never stop counting your blessings and be mindful of every moment. And when you feel abandoned by God please reach out to Him. He has been with you the whole time and is here to offer comfort and guidance. Enjoy the precious gift of being a mother and understand the depth of that privilege. Reach out to others who are hurting too. Everyone has something they struggle with. Be compassionate. Don't judge. Listen. And most importantly, Let Go. Let go of trying to change the past. Let go of trying to blame yourself. Hold your little one in your heart but allow yourself to let her fly.
Your Stronger Self