I’ve learned a lot since experiencing my miscarriages. Some lessons I’ve learned I still don’t think I can put into words. For pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, I reflected a while on listing at least 5 of the most important lessons I have taken away.
1.) Lean on those who love you. It’s hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable. As women, I feel as though a lot of the time we are expected to deal with pain silently. People expect us to pick ourselves up and move on without question. Doing this not only makes loss more painful, but it is also damaging to relationships to handle grief this way. Lean on your partner, your friends, your parents. Whoever it is you can trust, allow them to comfort you and help pick you up when you need it.
2.) Express yourself and your feelings. Don’t bottle up your pain. It is real. Let yourself feel it and talk about it to those you can trust. Do not file it away because it isn’t a topic commonly discussed. If you reach out, you will find others who can relate.
3.) Take time to care for yourself. Take some personal days. Sleep in. Stay in your pajamas all day. When I had my first miscarriage, I must have eaten over 20 tasty cake cream filled cupcakes through the week. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s my favorite junk food and in some way, it made me feel better. Indulge and comfort yourself in a way you see fit. Watch trashy TV and cry. Let yourself release all the tears you hold for your loss.
4.) Don’t let anyone dictate how you grieve. You will carry this loss with you for the rest of your life. That’s just how it is. It gets easier with time, but you will always hold it in your heart. It’s how you handle it moving forward that can make a difference. Grieve in your own way. Honor your loss each year. Don’t listen when people tell you to get over it or move on already. Because, sadly, there will be people who say that to you. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say. And we have to take what they say and try to understand where they are coming from.
5.) Keep the faith. It’s hard to keep faith that some higher power or someone knows why the heck this stuff has to happen to us, but it is important to focus on a belief that there’s a reason for these events. I still struggle with this and can’t fully understand why my body decided to trick me. But searching for the light gets you through your dark days. And you will have dark days. No matter how optimistic of a person you may be. Loss will bring you down in ways that you may have never been down before. But, you have to believe there is that light at the end of the tunnel. There is always hope, always a sunnier day ahead.