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Trigger warning: I write about miscarriage and baby loss in this post. Please take care of yourself and pass on this post if you’re not able to take in this topic at this time.
It all started with a bottle of wine. Just kidding, well sort of kidding. There was a bottle of wine. Two in fact. And then the next day I told myself enough was enough and that I couldn’t keep masking all of these feelings I was experiencing and expecting them to resolve themselves.
May of 2019 was rock bottom. I had just suffered through my second miscarriage in late April – exactly three months after I had miscarried our first baby – and life was hard. Sadness doesn’t even begin to cover what I was feeling. I had never felt grief that hard and had very little ability to work through my feelings on my own.
I wish I could tell you I magically found all of the answers and everything resolved quickly but it probably took close to two years, two subsequent healthy pregnancies and all of the things below just to understand and accept the grief. Notice I didn’t say resolve. Grief changes but I don’t believe it ever truly leaves you. It actually does the opposite – it changes you into a different person – but perhaps with the right help, we can take these lemons life gave us and make something sweet.
I couldn’t bring my first two babies healthy earth side no matter how hard I tried, but I could learn from my losses and here’s a few things that helped me do that…
The Body Keeps The Score – A therapist recommended this book to me after hearing some of my story. It helped me understand why talk therapy wasn’t resolving my issues. She kept telling me I needed “body work,” and at the time I didn’t understand what that meant. I now realize after tons of research how correct she was which brings me to the next bullet.
Therapy – I am the biggest proponent of GOOD therapy. Please make sure you shop around and find someone who fits you. Therapy is not one size fits all. But my goodness, when you find a good therapist – mine is simply the best – your entire life can change. I knew I was holding onto trauma, not just from the loss of my babies, but from my childhood and so I found a therapist who specialized in sand tray therapy and EMDR to really focus on the body work I needed to do to work through my issues.
Nora’s McInerny’s book, No Happy Endings, made me laugh, cry and feel again. I found Nora through a Ted Talk and have followed her writing, instagram posts and podcasts ever since. Nora made grief ok to talk about.
Journaling – Writing might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s sure helped me to process so much of my confusion over the years. I really enjoy “brain dumps” as well. I have so many thoughts going through my brain sometimes and so I just dump it all out on paper and see what I have to work with. That’s how the majority of these posts are written as well 🙂
Sitting with the feelings – This one is the most challenging I think for people. These feelings aren’t always nice. They don’t feel warm and cozy. Grief is not linear and you can feel a thousand things at once. I can be relieved, grateful, so utterly sad, angry, frustrated and joyful in a single moment or memory. But letting those feelings come in – not pushing them away or telling them they’re not allowed to exist. Feeling everything you need to feel in that moment without shame or guilt; that’s where the growth happens. That’s where the processing happens.
I know it can be so hard but I’ve seen what happens to people who push away their feelings. I’ve seen addiction and anger and lost souls up close who have no idea how to move past an event or handle the storms when they come. So sit with those feelings. Feel what you need to feel. Do not judge the feelings or yourself. And I pray one day it will be a little easier. I’m not sure it ever goes away – but I hope you will be able to feel peace. I’m sending you so much love.