Miscarriage & MotherhoodOct 07, 2020
The fragility of carrying life and losing these precious seeds of creation has always been a part of my story.
My mother experienced the tragedy of losing many children before I was born. Some early and some very late. From an early age, I knew what a tragedy it was to lose a babe through her story, and being the sensitive empath that I am.
Thinking about what could have been, my twin older brothers, my forgotten sisters, has always broken my heart and at the same time, I feel thankfulness, that perhaps I would not have been given this chance of life, had their opportunities not been sacrificed. In some way I feel they all live within me.
This experience taught me that the love we feel makes life so cruel and at the same time so miraculously kind and how intertwined love and loss really are.
Becoming pregnant myself over the last 6 months, has brought me closer to my mother, my own birth story, and past miscarriage experience. As I awaken the archetype of Mother within and connect with fellow sisters at a similar phase in life, it feels right for me to share on this topic, as odd as that may seem!
I have felt called to be a mother from a young age, yet something has always filled me with dread. Will I experience the same difficulty and pain as my mother? Will this journey rip my heart apart in unrecoverable ways? It has always felt dangerous and like such a risk. Which is perhaps why it has taken me so long to be ready for this epic transition from women to mother.
Since getting pregnant in April I have become acutely aware of all my sisters and clients who are having difficulty conceiving. Those of us who are considering or going through the process of IVF, egg freezing or experiencing misscarriage. Every time I hear about another woman's struggle, or receive a message of a loss, I identify deeply and my compassion soars as these little bundles of possibility pass through, back to spirit. Already so loved and dearly wanted. I also feel so incredibly grateful that this little girl I am carrying has, for today, decided to stay with me.
How our society impacts how we feel about miscarriage
The way our society names the early loss of a baby ‘miscarriage’, implies fault on the behalf of the female, that we have in some way ‘misplaced’ the carriage of our baby as flippantly as our mobile or keys… left it behind, been negligent in our responsibility. Because most miscarriages happen within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (when we are not encouraged to share the good news) most women suffer this loss in silence, internalising the feelings that in some way, we are flawed for our bodies malfunctioning.
We are left with the shame that on some level we are not good enough. What a lonely, desolate and downtrodden place that is to recover from.
This was one of the reasons I wanted to break the stigma and announce my pregnancy a few days after it was confirmed at 7 weeks. There is no shame in losing our babies, some may feel relief, most will feel pain or insurmountable grief, but as it is never our intention, we did nothing wrong to cause it. I feel passionate that we must spread this message to our fellow sisters.
Some say these little beings who never made it chose not to come because of a defect that would cause problems later in life, or that the soul feels the right timing of when to manifest as life within the specific family. Medicine puts it down to an array of areas such as hormonal irregularities, infection, improper implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterine lining or certain medicines or toxins such as the acne drug isotretinoin, the list goes on. Most of these, no women wishing to conceive would ever knowingly call in. Which leads me to conclude, we still have a right to feel the full worthiness of our women.
I’d actually like to reframe the word miscarriage as an Oncoming, a ReleaseofSoul, Surrender to life. If you have any suggestions for renaming miscarriage PM me, I’ll add it as a comment to this blog.
In this way, we can collectively take the blame away from women and see it for what it truly is, something that was simply not meant to be in this moment.
For those of us who have had deeper stories of Oncomings, where the want of a baby is so strong or perhaps repeated ReleaseofSouls have happened, How do we keep opening ourselves to the possibility of loss again, how do we collect ourselves with tender care when we feel broken, how do we allow our communities to hold us when we are struggling with the fear, the blame, the sadness and the doubt? How do we keep our hope alive whilst trusting in the plan of the universe for us?
My ReleaseofSoul story
At the start of my relationship with George around four and half years ago we experienced our first and, god willing, only miscarriage. We were living in London, my periods had been very irregular for a few years. I wasn’t tracking my cycles, I had no idea when my period was due and I was living life on a Yang/masculine schedule. Expecting a constant level of output from myself throughout the month and thinking linearly around goals, achievement and ‘getting somewhere’. I knew this way of living was hurting me, I had been on my spiritual path for a while but I couldn’t see how I could get out of the continuous loop I was in, contextualised by pressures of city living, ambition, comparison and striving. These things were still deeply embedded into my belief systems.
It was the summer and I was teaching back to back classes, cycling around London from one job to another, feeling stressed and holding myself together with caffeine.
I arrived at my last class of the day 5 mins late, rushed into the class and clicked into my autopilot service mode. After around 45 mins I started to feel the agonising period paid, I was doubled over and could hardly talk, so I moved the Yoga flow into a seated, turned inwards class and counted the minutes till it was over. I asked for painkillers from reception and used my bike as a crutch to hobble home, where I curled up into a ball, cried tears of pain, bleeding in a way I had never bled before.
The next day I packed up my Yoga studio and drove down into the countryside through rush hour to set up for a retreat I was hosting the following morning. I had no idea that what I was experiencing was early contractions. I was having a miscarriage and in my busy state I simply thought it was a very heavy, painful period, which was not uncommon for me at the time.
When I arrived at the venue, I instinctively walked into the field and offered some of my blood to the earth. I called to the moon and the earth in prayer for strength and guidance to be of service and to do my work. We had a beautiful retreat, neither myself nor anyone else knew I was holding space whilst going through a miscarriage. We connected, meditated, melted, moved and opened our hearts together as women and in retrospect I am grateful for this supportive environment for my body to subconsciously process the loss.
My homoeopath connected the dots a few weeks later when I explained the unusual last period symptoms, I had lost a little soul that was trying to come through without even knowing it.
Even though the time wasn’t right for us as a couple and we weren’t planning on getting pregnant, I still felt the grief of what might have been… My partner and I both did, and it touched us deeply.
Healing through grief and learning to love ourselves deeper
I am aware that my miscarriage story is much lighter than some who have been trying for years, craving motherhood deeply or far along in their pregnancy. However any loss is a loss, at 5 weeks, or 5 months and we all have the right to grieve and process to the degree to which we feel. I hope that my methods of how to heal the wounds of miscarriage from a non-crucial perspective may help to serve someone who can’t find any hope in the situation. If my below message doesn’t resonate for you, feel free to leave it and know I stand with you in sisterhood either way. We all have our journey of healing and there is no right way.
Personally, I needed to reframe my approach and beliefs around miscarriage towards personal growth and positive change.
Through processing my miscarriage over the last few years, I have worked primarily on how I feel about myself and how I see it. This will be different for everyone. It requires us to look for the hope, the gift and the light in the pain in two phases:
The first is to acknowledge the initial emotions needing to be witnessed and felt, through expression, releasing techniques, such as movement, therapy, sitting with oneself, sharing with trusted friends. Feeling the feelings can open the doors for the trauma to move out of the body. There is no point in slapping a happy face on top of desolate feelings, we will only suppress those hurts deeper into our physical bodies and psyche. Through the process of feeling whatever is there for us, anger, shame, regret, sadness, depression, numbness fully we will eventually arrive at our second phase…
Accessing the ability to reframe the story our culture has taught us, (that we are a bad women, infertile, flawed) and re-approach our loss as an opportunity for deeper self love and appreciation.
My journey with this second phase looked something like this…
Having been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) a few years prior I had been repeatedly told by doctors and specialists that I would have difficulty getting pregnant. After the miscarriage I listened to the negative loops that were playing in my mind and made the conscious choice to chose to see my body as wonderful. A vessel that had, if only for a few weeks, conceived life. How bloody miraculous that was. Instead of feeling we had lost out, I focused on feeling blessed that the universe had given my partner and I some more time together before parenthood. When negative thoughts or self-criticism ran through my mind I would come back to these two guiding lights, that returned me to loving myself, my body and my journey.
This propelled me to take positive action and look into natural alternative ways of balancing my hormones and regulating my cycles. Which gave me a sense of self-care, learning and purpose. Honestly this part of the journey has brought me so much more than I could have hoped for….
My approach to what success looks and feels like is radically different. My understanding and honouring of my feminine and the spirals (rather than straight lines) of life is now a reality by which I live by. A softer attitude of what I expect from myself has slowly blossomed. I feel the self-acceptance and forgiveness of my wonderful imperfections in ways I never could have imagined and a trust in the universe and divine timings of life at a deeper level.
As a result my periods regulated
My hormones balanced
My energy returned and life just overall got a hell of a lot better!
(Partially from realising that the city life was no longer serving and relocating to Portugal)
I have recently created two online courses related to honouring our femine cycles and regulating hormones that will be released soon - to register interest, please sign up here for updates.
All in all
The miscarriage led me on a completely unplanned path of expanding my life, which now looks and feels radically different from what it used too. For this, I can now say, I am genuinely grateful.
It’s a wildly brave ride to even contemplate motherhood and I deeply commend any woman who does. I honestly believe that by telling our stories more, we release the stigma and the shame, we allow in invisible arms that can hug us. I know that sharing allows grace to enter, our humanness to be felt by others and a movement of energy to be found. Be it with one or two close friends, your work or your wider group, publicly or privately, whatever feels right for you.
Let’s keep trusting and talking, discovering all the shadowy corners where our healing lies, together with kindness.
Sending love of the highest light to wherever you are along this path
My heart is always with you x
Interested in more KIND-ness?
Join me for a KIND Course
Learn how to balance your hormones naturally and connect monthly to your flow with love. Because periods don't have to be painful!
KIND Love Letters From Me To You
From time to time, get a dose KIND musings, reflections, practices and heart to heart offers.
I will never sell your information, for any reason.