NO! It's Not Just A Miscarriage. Three Tips to Help You Move Forward After A Loss.

I remember going to an OB appointment around the time I was about seven weeks pregnant with my second pregnancy. I remember being told that there was no heartbeat. I remember feeling numb and trying to act as if everything was okay. I remember telling myself I was fine. I would be fine. I already had a five year old daughter that I needed to focus on so I had to push through this. I was given the option to allow the pregnancy to pass on its own or to have a D&C. I didn't want to go through any surgeries so I elected to let the pregnancy pass on its own.

That within itself was one of the hardest things ever. Walking around day in and out with my baby who was no longer living, inside of my womb. Waiting for him or her to pass into the world only to not have them. A week passed and nothing. I was then given medication to help the process. The physical discomfort was one thing but the mental and emotional pain was something else completely. I felt angry and even jealous of those around me. I good friend of mine became pregnant after I had my first miscarriage. While I was happy for her I couldn't help but feel like a complete failure. I mean, I'm a woman, isn't this what my body is supposed to do? I'm supposed to be able to get pregnant and have babies! I had done it before! But for some reason, this time, I couldn't.

I kept going, like many of us do. I didn't deal with the anger and disappointment I felt. Instead I took it out on those around me. I didn't have the tools or knowledge on how to move forward after a miscarriage. The second time was even more traumatizing. Like most women do after a miscarriage, we tried again. Nothing is wrong with this, however, looking back, I know healing was needed before I made that decision. We were in the process of moving to Germany. Our flight was eight hours non-stop. I was 12 weeks pregnant when we left the states. The beginning of this pregnancy had come with complications. I had bleeding but every time I went for a follow up there was a nice strong heartbeat. Sometimes bleeding is normal with pregnancy so I took one day at a time.

I was so sick with this pregnancy. I had no energy and I just didn't feel right. When we made it to Germany, we had to find housing and get established. I wasn't able to be seen by an OB provider for another three weeks after we arrived. One morning I woke up feeling really dizzy and sick. Before I knew it I was on the floor. Can you imagine how terrifying that was to wake up seeing your six year old sitting next to you trying to figure out what's going on? I was finally able to make it to my doctor's appointment. I was looking up at the screen as he glanced across my baby's chest. I didn't see any heart movement. He looked at me and in his German accent told me what I already knew. I was 15 weeks pregnant and I had lost another pregnancy. The option to wait for the baby to pass wasn't even on the table. I had to be scheduled for surgery.

Here I am in a new country where I don't know anyone. I'm going through another miscarriage and I've got to be put to sleep. After this miscarriage I feel into a deep depression. My husband at the time didn't know how to help me. I was lost. It wasn't until years later that I actually took the time needed to work on that trauma, pain, and anxiety. I realized that I had a problem only after it took a toll on many things in my life. I had to admit that I needed the help and take the steps to get it. So how can you move forward at a miscarriage?

Use your voice.

I kept my emotions and thoughts to myself. The pain manifested in other ways such as anger. I felt like it didn't matter that I had lost a pregnancy, especially the first pregnancy. There is so much debate out there about when a pregnancy is considered to be "real" or even a "human". To me, even at seven weeks of pregnancy, I was growing a human life inside of me. It was real to me. I had to realize that what I was feeling was important and I had the right to use my voice. So talk about it. You can find support groups or even talk to people that are close to you that you know have your best interest at heart and you feel safe with. Don't keep what you're feeling inside. It will only manifest in negative ways and it doesn't have to.

Give yourself time to heal and grieve.

After my first pregnancy I became obsessed with getting pregnant again. I had to prove that I could do it again. I think that a lot of women do. So once I became pregnant I also became anxious and scared. Scared of losing this pregnancy too. I spent that pregnancy in fear and guess what, I lost that pregnancy too. Imagine how defeated I felt? When I became pregnant again, I was so scared that I would lose that one. So much so that I told no one I was pregnant. No one knew accept for my then husband and daughter. I didn't want to share the news with anyone because I was so overcome with fear. No one wants to spend their entire pregnancy being afraid. This is a time that women are supposed to be bonding with their babies and taking care of themselves. But instead I was terrified more so because I hadn't given myself time to heal from the previous losses. I didn't heal. I kept going and ignoring what my mind I was really feeling. I don't regret trying again, but looking back, I could have given myself more time to deal with my emotions so I could have been in a more stable place mentally.

Forgive yourself and your body.

All I could think about was how flawed I must have been. I kept losing pregnancies. I began to shame myself and compare myself to other women. I started feeling like I wasn't good enough. I started labeling myself all of these negative things. I didn't take the time to understand that miscarriages happen and it has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Having a miscarriage doesn't mean that you will never be able to carry a pregnancy to term. Having a miscarriage doesn't mean you aren't enough! You are enough. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. Many women go through miscarriages and it's more common than we may think. So many of us suffer in silence and we don't have to. Forgiveness is important. Once I forgave myself everything else started to fall into place. I had to let go of the guilt. You can do everything right and things will still not go as planned. Forgive yourself and your body and please remember that you are more than enough.

Have you or someone you know experienced a miscarriage? Are they struggling to move forward? How did you move on from your loss. Please share your experience!

Until next time, sending you peace, love, and light.

Tiffany Underwood

Certified Health Coach - Postpartum Support

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