On Early Miscarriage
Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom...
A week ago I never would have imagined that I would be here, writing this article on my experience of miscarriage but I am and it has been a tremendously humbling experience. An unforgiving reminder that even when I may have many plans for the future and I feel that I’ve got it all sorted out, in the end something bigger is in charge. For me I call that something ‘Spirit’ for others it may be Life, God, Higher Power, Buddah, Allah – the name of what we call it doesn’t matter because it is in the end all the same thing. A bigger force of love that inherently is driving the show. A force that may know what is better for us then we do. I know for me, this is the case. But how can I dare to say that having a miscarriage was what was better for me? It seems like such a harsh thing to say. Over the past week I have had mornings & moments when this has felt so clear, and then other moments when the sadness in my heart has felt so big that I cannot connect to it at all.
I know that this is ok – to be in this place. To one moment have acceptance and then another feel angry & sad. This is part of the path of healing – up then down then up then down – and grief is something that comes in waves. It is not a steady stream of tears and sadness – it is more difficult then that. One moment I feel absolutely fine, normal almost, then suddenly out of the blue and with no explanation at all it hits me like a ton of bricks and I’m sobbing uncontrollably. It doesn’t matter who is around or where I am. My entire body is taken over by it and I cannot stop. All the time with thoughts flowing through my head thinking “This is totally disproportionate to the situation! You were only pregnant for such a short space of time. You didn’t even know the baby yet” and yet it comes, like a waterfall and it’s important that I let it…. so that I can let it heal me.
It’s amazing how close such sadness and pain are to pure love and beauty. Have any of you ever noticed that? For me, it has become so clear – in these dark moments when the wave hits me and I cannot control it or hold back, all I can do is release this sadness and sob, and yet at the same time as it feels like my heart is breaking I also realise I feel like my heart is opening, softening. I actually feel softer, more connected, like the tears are softening any hard edges I have built around me and my heart. And I feel almost cleansed and peaceful afterward.
I can honestly say that my experience over the past week has been one of the most profound experiences of my life thus far. And it has changed me (and continues to change me) in a way I never imagined that it would. It’s times like these when I can understand why the chinese sign for ‘crisis’ turned upside down translates as ‘opportunity’. In my most darkest moments of my life there is and has always been a chance for unbelievable opportunity, for healing, change and gaining awareness.
I was between 5-6 weeks pregnant so it was really early days and only found out I was even pregnant 2 days before I lost the baby – but I have been shocked and amazed at how much it has affected me physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has never been made so clear to me how much I rely on being someone who ‘has it together’ and how much I need to feel in control and this experience of loss has challenged that to it’s very core. Utter powerlessness, when there was nothing I could do to stop it, change it, I just had to let it happen. I have had to surrender more in the past week then I have in many many years, the last time I remember at this level was when I was healing my addictions and eating disorders 15 years ago. And it has been incredibly humbling.
I have also been so shocked to discover that nearly every single woman I know has experienced an early miscarriage, mothers, sisters, friends, acquaintances, and that it is clearly a very very common occurrence, yet I have never heard anyone really talk openly about it. I can understand why, it feels like a very personal and lonely journey to go through, just me and my body and the soul that once inhabited it. Such emptiness left behind. But we are not alone. In my own healing, through this humbled time in my life, I feel a very strong calling to start writing more about these things. The emotional and spiritual experiences that so many of us go through behind closed doors and when we feel so alone. Well, we are not alone – in fact we are all in this together and I wanted to provide a safe space for each one of us to realise this and share. This experience has shaken me awake and reminded me that food is important but this deeper path of healing is even more important.
Here are some points that have really helped me in my healing. I really hope this will help any of you beautiful women out there that have or are going through the same thing. But also, for those of you that haven’t been through it yourself, the husbands, the fathers, the partners, the friends – I hope this will be helpful and useful for you too, to understand a little more of what your loved ones are going through and how to support them.
It is not your fault. Please don’t blame yourselves
The moment I realised I may be losing the baby, when I started bleeding properly, I felt panic. Like I was scared to move incase I made it worse. I immediately blamed myself – was it the matcha latte I drank that morning or the spin class I did last week before I knew I was pregnant? I froze in shock and panic and this feeling of self-blame hung over my head for the first few days until I started speaking with friends and doctors about it for support. I think it is really common for us to turn the focus onto ourselves. In a moment like this when it is so unbelievably out of our hands, when we are completely powerless, the only way we can cope is to look at where we have some control, and that is often in blaming ourselves. But after speaking with several people this week, doctors, healers, mothers, friends I believe and have learnt that it is very very unlikely that anything we have done caused the miscarriage. Biologically vast amounts of early miscarriages happen because there is something wrong with the way the embryo is forming and that the miscarriage needs to happen to prevent further complications and dangers. Spiritually I have heard that there are many many reasons why souls come and go for such short periods of time. One thing I’ve heard is that some souls need to connect to us and be in our womb for even just a short period of time so that they can move on to their next state or level. Hearing this gave me some peace and helped me a lot.
Allow yourself to grieve
As I said earlier in this post, I felt that because I was only pregnant for a few weeks I wasn’t really allowed to have the amount of grief I was experiencing. But this is a rubbish thought so please if you think it too, then let it go. Consistently, every single woman I have spoken to in the past week that has been through an early miscarriage, has generously shared with me the same thing, that the amount of grief they experienced was tremendous and yes, it felt disproportionate to the length of time we were pregnant. The grieving process is extremely important and if it is coming up then please allow yourself to feel it. I know for me after this first week my head is already telling me “enough now, that’s enough time, don’t milk it” but my heart is still hurting and feeling very fragile and raw. Please listen to your hearts and let yourselves feel the emotions from this experience, no matter how long it will take you. There was so much energy and life-force building up in our body whilst the baby was forming and then in moments and days it all gets expelled. This leaves a huge emptiness both physically in our body and energetically in our level of Qi. There are also a huge amount of hormones that are flying around our body and it will take time to re-balance and heal.
Grief is a process of cleansing, purification and letting go. It is incredibly painful but if we can allow it to happen then it can also heal us in a way that we never could have imagined. If you are someone who finds it hard to feel your feelings on your own, then please, share with someone who can support you. Share here on this post, get some support. We can love and support you so that you too can heal.
Rest Rest Rest
I cannot believe how exhausted I feel after this experience – in the first week I felt like I could have slept forever and maybe for moments I wanted to. Our body is going through a huge amount through this experience, it takes a huge amount of energy to first create the baby then a huge amount to expel it. And then of course with the amount of blood loss and the emotional grieving and weight. The whole experience is extremely depleting on our Kidney Energy, which is our deepest resource of life force. And the exhaustion will also play havoc on our emotions and perception of the world – leaving us feeling depressed, anxious, fearful, and very emotional.
So whenever you can rest, sleep, lie still, lie down. Please don’t rush back to work as quickly as possible, if you can take a week off them please do. And if you can’t and have another child or maybe several then please get some help, from a relative, friend, someone you trust to help with the kids, and get some rest. Even little 20min naps in the day will make a difference. And try and get to bed as early as possible.
It is incredibly important that we don’t go through experiences like this alone. We need support. Some of you would have been much more pregnant then I was so I can only imagine how utterly traumatic and heartbreaking that is. We need support, emotionally. Speak to friends, speak to other women that have been through the same thing. Share on this post if you need to and I will write back. Join a support group or speak to a counsellor or therapist to help process your grief. Please do not try and get through this alone. There are so many women out there that have been through at least something similar so please reach out whoever you can. It was a very brave (and maybe a bit crazy) thing for me to share openly on social media, but I did it because I felt it was important to break the taboo that we all need to be perfect and keep things together. In sharing the truth so many women have reached out to me to share their own personal experiences with this and it has been tremendously healing for me and also incredibly inspiring. We are not alone. But first we need to reach out and share our heart so that we can receive support.
We need to Replenish
As said earlier, we have lost a huge amount both physically and energetically. Our body has lost a lot of blood and therefore our iron levels are likely to be very low which can contribute to a feeling of depression, exhaustion, and negative thoughts and feelings. Energetically, processing all the grief and the creating and expulsion of the baby takes a huge huge huge toll on our Kidneys. So we absolutely need to replenish all those minerals and energy. Here are some ways to replenish naturally:
1. A Miso Soup made from a stock of fish bones and then adding the fish meat to the soup is a particularly healing and blood nourishing dish. This dish in particular will help to replenish our Kidney Energy and nourish our blood. You can find a recipe for a good miso soup on my blog. You can also find a recipe for stock on my blog under “Laying Foundations”. Along with the vegetables add the fish bones to the broth and cook on a low heat for a long time – at least 90min. Then add the fish meat to the soup itself 5min before the end of cooking. Drink a good bowl of this daily and sometimes twice a day.
2. Also try and have some fish daily Fish is better then lots of meat, as meat will block your emotions from flowing and almost put a plug on the healing. Fish will give you the strength and nourishment that meat would have done without blocking your emotions.
3. Sea-Vegetables daily too – these are packed with minerals and amazing amount of healing life force. Have a sheet or two of Toasted Nori daily.
4. Blackbeans – Blackbeans are particularly healing for the kidneys and reproductive health. You can also drink the juice that the blackbeans have cooked in with a few drops of shoyu or tamari. Warm it up slightly and have it as a tea. This is a powerhouse way of replenishing your Kidney Energy.
5. Have a good refined sugar-free dessert daily – any of the desserts on my blog and you can find on so many other blogs. Just make sure it is free of refined sugar that will deplete your energy even more.
6. If you are a vegan and don’t eat fish then the rest of the dietary suggestions will do a good job too of replenishing.
7. Avoid Kidney Depleting foods – Caffein, Sugar, Chocolate, Alcohol, Tropical Fruits
Going to a chinese doctor to get some chinese herbs is an amazing way for directly putting back in the body a lot of the minerals and qi that has been lost.
Natural Iron Tablets
Start taking some natural iron tablets. You can find some called Hema-Plex by Natures Plus on Amazon and it will be delivered directly to your door in 24hours. Take 3 a day and it will help to nourish your blood and get your iron levels up.
Get some Physical Healing
If you can afford it make sure you get some physical healing touch. Some Massage, Shiatsu, Reiki, Energy Healing – anything that is gentle, that will provide you and your body with some safe touch and will help you relax and your body to soften.
Time to Yourself
It is important that you have time alone during this period, to sit with your heart, connect with your feelings, your body, to connect with something bigger. If you can meditate this will be very very helpful, or even just lying flat on the floor or a yoga mat and doing some deep body breathing. Try not to neglect this part as it is extremely important to help you connect with something bigger, to help you connect with something spiritual and also to help you connect with your own inner intuition and wisdom.
When you are ready, and ONLY when you feel ready, it can be very healing and important to hold some kind of ceremony or ritual to let go and give thanks to the soul that came and went so quickly. I did this by lighting a candle and offering some flowers and giving my little soul a name. I sat quietly at this alter and spoke to my little one. Saying “Gemini (My baby would have been a Gemini baby), Thank you for coming to me, for choosing me, even for a short time. Nothing wrong happened and I love you very much. Even for a small moment, I felt so connected to you and loved carrying you. Please help me to learn and understand anything that you want or need me to learn from this. I wish you well in your continued journey and send you so much love”
This process can of course be very emotional, that’s ok, cry if you need to. But it is important to help you and your heart to move on. It may be weeks, months, years before you feel ready to do this, that is ok too. Take your time. And when you are ready, you will know.
So I really hope this post has helped some of you. I know it has been very healing for me.
Life is such an unpredictable thing, just when we think we know where we are we get lost again. But it is in these lost moments that we can find each other.
Hugest love to you all