Nine months ago I found out I was pregnant.
However, nine months later I am not caressing soft newborn cheeks or kissing sweet baby feet.
As you can probably guess, my pregnancy did not go as planned. I was 9 weeks pregnant when I found out that I was miscarrying.
Quite naturally, the devastation and gut-wrenching heartache followed. I took two weeks off to physically heal and begin the grieving process. I also consumed a lot of TV and peanut M & M’s in my time off (my attempt to numb the pain).
Wading Through Grief
When I returned to work, things felt “off” as I tried to find my new normal. While it was comforting to be back in the saddle and connecting with my fellow mama clients and supporting their journeys, I couldn’t let go of the idea of how things were supposed to be.
I also found it awkward to witness and hold my clients pain, while still dreadfully sploshing through the deep puddles of my own suffering.
All I wanted to do was lie facedown in my grief and not move. So, I decided that the best I could do was show up daily and be present with my clients. I surrendered to doing only what I had the energy to do, which was to mourn my loss and rise out of bed each day.
In my early post-miscarriage days, a friend, who is also a miscarriage survivor, shared with me that the most difficult part of navigating her own pregnancy losses was the undoing of everything.
The undoing of the due date…
The undoing of growing belly visions…
The undoing of wearing cute maternity clothes…
I thought this described pregnancy loss grief perfectly.
And with so much undoing, you undo so many pieces that you, yourself, become undone.
The Jig is Up
During my own undoing process, the gloomy depression cloud loomed over my head for months. In the midst of all that my mourning and showing up every day, I had to face the music that I wasn’t getting closer to the light. The fog was actually getting thicker.
I had become undone.
Three months after my miscarriage, following the suggestion of my therapist, I reached out to my obgyn for an antidepressant. Part of my journey was honoring and mourning my loss, but also admitting that I was not okay.
Facing the Truth
In my grief, I had to let go of all the pieces of my pregnancy story that I had already stitched together.
After the miscarriage, my due date became just another date on the calendar. Happy visions of adding the 3rd child to the fall birthdays in our family had disappeared. And the diligent counting of pregnancy weeks wasn’t required anymore.
I needed the time to unravel my pregnancy story.
Thank goodness for therapy, energy healing sessions, and that antidepressant (not to mention constant, loving support from friends and family), because somewhere in the haze I did start to see the light again. As I emerged out of the depression fog, I realized that I was denying the truth of my story.
The truth was that I had a miscarriage – a sad truth to accept, but the truth nonetheless.
When Hope Shows Up…Again
My pregnancy story sadly didn’t play out like I hoped. I despised what happened, but after while I found that I had the strength to own the true story that was unfolding in my life (pain and all!).
My fall into the well of grief and depression allowed me the space to be even more present with my clients over time. I found a way to honor and hold my suffering, while still having enough room to sit with my client’s stories and pain.
I also realized that I could create a new ending to my pregnancy story. A new ending where I honored and owned my grief, allowed others to witness and hold my pain, and addressed my depression and got help for it. And yes, I started to even hope again for a successful pregnancy.
Now, nine months later my heart still aches for my loss. I still yearn for the ideal pregnancy story to unfold with lovely baby feet to kiss. But what I have now that I didn’t have before, is a brave story with painful truths to own, a story to honor and share, and an ending that I am still writing.
If you have a painful pregnancy story and need support in owning the painful truths of what happened, or may still be happening, contact me for a private consultation.