Leading Oneself through a Miscarriage
As my husband and I navigate life, talking about things of importance matters to us. It is through the discussion of ideas, along with gaining perspective with a growth mindset, that allows us to move forward.
This is why we are okay with sharing the news of our miscarriage in this manner. Because it’s a topic of importance. A topic that may help someone else. A process that may help us in our grief. And, it’s living by a core value he and I have about courageously discussing ideas that matter.
A few days ago, my husband and I sat in a room and was told our baby was no more, that we had experienced a miscarriage. This was hard to hear, and it’s been even harder to let it sink in the last few days.
This was a baby we thought we would never have. Due to some health concerns of mine, we had accepted that our son, Jonas, would be an only child. And then, those two lines showed up on the pregnancy test and we were ecstatic. It was a mindset shift, a big one, but we anticipated the future with excitement.
We are both very logical and knew the odds of having a healthy pregnancy were in our favor, particularly since I had just gone through a six month nutrition plan with a functional medicine doctor.
But, the odds were not 100%.
We are now walking through life, trying to adjust to our new normal.
I cannot speak to the thoughts of a father, but I can speak to mine.
It’s hard. So hard. It’s a sadness I have not experienced before. There was life in me and now there is not. I’m not sure I can use any words to describe the grief, but I can tell you how I’m navigating it.
It’s a concept that is a core principle of mine. When in tough situations, I try to ask myself, if I were a mentor or coach talking to me in this situation, what would I say?
- Moving forward doesn’t mean not feeling. There are times I am overcome with sadness and the tears are not controllable. At first, I told myself to focus on the amazing things I still have and I can’t get caught up in the grief. But, then I realized, I wasn’t caught up in it. I was simply accepting the grief instead of denying it. And that is part of the secret to moving forward.
- Identify reality. It’s a lonely journey a mother walks. I have to be okay with that. I cannot speak to the father’s journey, but I can say the process of the first trimester, where you accept sacrificing your body for the sake of a baby is an amazing one. What is hard is not just the emotional letting go of the idea of a second child, but the physical letting go. The body ridding itself of the pregnancy is tough, not so much physically, but the pure reality of it. This is tough. But, it is reality and I can do it.
- Be grateful as you move forward in the grief. I find comfort in the fact that my husband and I will walk through this together. We will use this to make us stronger. Not all women are that fortunate. I have in-laws that are supportive. I work in a culture that values people and family, which will make returning to work easier. I live in a country that allows me to pursue my passion. Not all countries have that.
- Find joy. I find my greatest joy in my son. We won’t ever have the baby that was inside of me. But, there is still an immense amount of joy I get to experience in his laugh, in watching him learn, in being his mother. He is a source of great strength for me. He will never know how much he is helping me through this. The love I have for that curly-haired four-year-old is immeasurable.
- Be patient. There will be more tears, but each day will be easier.
- Gain perspective. As we move forward, I will be asking myself: What did I learn from this? How has it changed me? Why do I feel the way I do? How do I use this to become stronger and better for myself and others?
Life is full of joy…amazing, boundless, deep joy. But, there’s also no guarantee of an easy, painless life. We will take the joys with the sorrow, because they both weave the story of our life and who we are.