This is What has Really Helped Me Deal with My Miscarriage
A month and a bit ago, when I was pregnant in week 12 we found out that I had a miscarriage. Today I am sitting here with a heart full of thankfulness, still some places inside of me, which are looking to be healed, so many new things I have learned in the last weeks, a sense of lightness, new kinds of thoughts, which I had never had before and overall feeling very positive and somewhat empowered. I want to share with you what has really helped me deal my miscarriage in a supportive and positive way.
We were at the end of our beautiful summer holiday in Portugal. We had already spent about eight days there and we were so relaxed and fulfilled by the time we had spent in Portugal so far. This I think allowed us to deal with the situation so much better, than if we would have had empty batteries.
Our last stop was Porto. On the night before, I dreamed that the baby had no heartbeat. I woke up thinking and feeling that this was really true. In the evening I had some bleeding and decided that I wanted to get checked the next day. This was when we found out that even though I was in week 12 of my pregnancy the embryo was only the size of a 7 week old embryo and there was no heartbeat.
My body had continued the pregnancy and carrying the baby, but nature had decided that most likely due to severe chromosomal abnormalities the embryo should not continue to grow. Even though I had a strong feeling before that I had a miscarriage, it was a shock and we were very sad. We were so excited for this baby, for a sibling for Nailah and for our family to grow.
I decided that I wanted to wait for the actual physical miscarriage to happen naturally (there is an option of getting medicine to trigger the miscarriage or of doing a curettage immediately). The moment the thankfully very sensitive and nice doctor explained to us that this miscarriage was totally natural and so common, we could start leaning to accept it as a natural part of human reproduction and I wanted the rest to also happen naturally.
I am explaining all of this, because all these steps are part of what has helped me to deal with the entire experience positively and feel the way I fell today. If you only want to read the quick and short version of what has supported me in the forms of headings, scroll down.
Many doctors in Germany, as I heard, tell their patients to immediately do a curettage once they find out that the baby did not develop further. Every women has to decide herself, but I think that we we can only make a true and empowered decision, if we really know what is going on. We have the right to know the natural process of a miscarriage and not only what would be the most ‘practical’ decision.
Our bodies will in most cases naturally abort the pregnancy (of course there are medical situations where it is very clear what should be done) and yes it will interfere with your every day life, because you will have strong bleedings if you are further along the pregnancy than in the very first weeks. There is a physical reason for this process and there is also an emotional and mental reason for it to sometimes take a long time.
Some women want to get the process done as fast as possible. If they make that decision fully conscious and informed then it might be the right thing for them. So often though we get let to making a certain decision without really having the knowledge to decide.
My pregnancy with Nailah and the birth really prepared me to use my own head and do my own research and not immediately do what many people in society and the doctors tell me (I always first ask them if everything is medically alright and what the risks are of …before I make my own research, decide to wait, ask for other opinions…). I am thankful for western medicine and I use it with great appreciation when necessary, but I do think that it is important to use it mindfully.
We went ‘home’ to our rented appartment and spent the next two days walking around and exploring Porto. I did so until the miscarriage started during the second night after we were informed about the miscarriage. A midwife I spoke to afterwards called this process ‘a little birth’ and I really like that expression, because it really was a little birth for me, emotionally and also physically.
This little birth allowed me to say goodbye to the little baby and to the pregnancy. It first was very emotional, after some time throughout the process it became a somewhat liberating experience.
The next morning when everything was much less intense I started being so fascinated by my body and this entire process.
I was and still am so thankful for having been pregnant a second time and fascniated by the fact that nature often (not always) detects when an abnormality is so severe that the baby would most likely not be able to live, and determines the pregnancy within the first weeks.
All I described so far, the practical steps and the mental approach, is part of what has been helping me. Here are a few other things:
- Understanding the reasons for the miscarriage and what is going on in my body
This has actually led to me not doubting and criticising my body, but to appreciate it. I decided that I would want to actively use this time to connect to my body through breathing exercises and meditation supported by essential oils. It has helped me really connect to it, instead of judging it in any way.
Understanding the probable reason for the miscarriage and the process my body was going through made me really fascinated of what nature and our bodies is capable of.
- Talking about it openly – the support of family and friends
From the beginning on we talked about this experience openly and were not trying to hide it from anyone. This has so many benefits for us. First of all, it just made it a natural part of our life, we could always be honest about how we feel, because we never had to pretend that ‘everything was alright’ or say ‘I am great’ when people asked ‘how are you’. Psychologically it really helped me to accept and integrate the miscarriage into my life in a very natural way.
There were so many other benefits through being honest and open about it. We experienced such valuable support from family and some friends and others shared their miscarriage experience with us. Thanks to that, we never felt alone.
- Healing naturally
I love combing western medicine with natural healing methods. I have been going to regular check ups at my doctor and at the same time I am using essential oils and some other herbs to support my body. There are essential oils and herbs, which can support your body in the process of the miscarriage in many ways and some which support you emotionally.
A few days after the miscarriage I had to take antibiotics for some time for several reasons. To support my body even more during this time I took all natural pills for my gut health, as well as a higher dose of certain nutrients.
- Being honest with myself & seeing my psychological coach and healer
The first days when we were still in Porto I told myself that this was just a physical process and once I was back in Hamburg I realised (also thanks to one of my best friends) that I was lying to myself.
I did feel like a soul had visited us and that it was so much more than just a physical process. Going to my psychological coach and healer during this time really helped me be fully honest with myself, feel all the emotions, which were present and process the experience in a healthy way. The combination of family support, talking to your best friend and seeing a professional is the most healing and has so many benefits for me.
This really showed me how we can easily get into suppressing emotions when we want to protect ourselves from feeling the emotions. I could physically feel that I was doing it, after doing it for a few days. I felt such a pressure inside of me and once I allowed all my thoughts and emotions to flow, the pressure disappeared.
- Nurturing trust and learning from this experience
Everything happens for a reason and in any experience there is so much learning, if we want to learn. It is not about understanding everything. That is not possible for us, but I do not believe that things in this life happen randomly. Each one of us receives the challenges and tasks we are supposed to receive. This is also how I see the experience with the miscarriage for us. I have used this time to reflect on myself, my choices and way of living and we can already see why this life has visited us for some time and why this experience has been part of our life.
- Seeing and realising all I am so thankful for
Even in the most difficult times we can decide whether we only want to focus on the difficulty, the loss or what is not going right or whether we want to also during times like these see what we are thankful for.
This experience allowed me to feel such a strong thankfulness for our little family. For Nailah and Marcos and so much more around me. The day we found out that we had a miscarriage we went to a museum in Port with the most beautiful park. We were walking around and I was soaking in the beauty of the trees and other plants like I never did before. I was feeling such a deep sense of thankfulness for the nature. I was not ignoring what had happened before, yet I used the opportunity to at the same time realise the beauty around me.
It is not about pushing away the difficulty, but about creating space for the pain and learning and thankfulness to co-exist.
This is our experience and the article describes what has really helped me in this time. Each couple or women makes their own experiences and choices. Everyone should be allowed to process their experience the way they do.
There are a few things, which are helpful for all of us, just because of our human nature. A valuable thing for all of us is to be honest with ourselves and for us to allow ourselves to really process our experiences. Sometimes it is very difficult doing it by ourselves and this is when it is so helpful to get support from friends, family and professionals.