I mean, it’s true.
And sometimes it’s a particular kind of hell that no one seems to understand.
Right after my miscarriage in the summer of 2018, I was so grateful that it has become a more widely spoken about topic – it made it easier for me to text both of the studios where I was teaching that day, with a simple, “Hey, this is what’s happening, and I can’t come in to hold space for other folks right now”.
That was all I needed to say, and I will be eternally grateful for it.
It has been interesting to speak with other mums about it (although, truthfully, I was super glad that at the time I didn’t have any doula clients, because that would’ve been really hard for me).
Some of us choose to grieve by taking control - focusing on the next window of opportunity to get pregnant again, and letting that be what to focus on rather than simply needing to sit with it.
Some of us grieve with group support - maybe a group or selection of friends who is able to listen and hear what we’re going through. Likely a number of them have experienced the same thing. Or, actually, I found out that there are a lot of organized support groups, for folks who need to gather and share stories in order to heal.
I did NOT want to hear from those folks.
When friends or family would find out, they’d share a story of their own. Or their mum or sister or friend. And I could see that as a way for them to connect and sympathize, and open up space for me to be able to share how I felt and help me to process.
But it didn’t help.
Maybe one of the most, let’s call it ‘selfish’, moments of my life, when I wasn’t able to put someone else before myself. I did not care that you or so-and-so had also experienced this loss. It did not comfort me to hear (again) that miscarriage happens for 1 in 4 women. It did not lesson my pain to hear that “at least it happened early on”, or “at least you know you guys can get pregnant”, or “at least it was the first time you’d really tried - it’ll happen again”.
Miscarriage is a bitch.
I was at Life Alive, ordering my lunch, and the girl at the counter asked me how I was as she greeted me. But not the cursory “how’s your day, but I don’t really care, I just want to take your order and continue with my work” question. She meant it. I almost lost my shit right there at the counter.
And I’ve been fortunate enough that, up until this point, I have yet to come across something in my life that cannot be solved with friendship and wine. I was at a loss for how to not be in such a state all the time. I would squash it down to teach, and was able to make focusing on others a workable “solution” for myself…but then the quiet moments would really suck.
Learning How to Heal
I was at a follow-up with my midwife, and when she asked how I was doing I actually let it out that time…a lot. And when she first mentioned meeting with a group, looking back I can see myself trying to bottle it back up. “No, I’m good. I’m fine. Not necessary. I’ll figure it out - nothing that can’t be solved with wine and friendship, right?”
But then she recommended one-on-one Talk Therapy…and I had to sit with that for a second. I don’t tend to see much of a stigma around talk therapy, it’s just not something that I had considered. I’ve always healed addressing things more physically – my yoga practice, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy – so this was a new realm for me.
So I’m meeting with someone.
I’m lucky to feel comfortable speaking openly with a lot of people in my life – my partner, my family, my friends – hashtag blessed (insert eye-roll here).
But, while this person of course has my best interests and healing at heart, she is there just to listen. And she isn’t trying to fix or change. And it doesn’t matter what I need to talk about. She helps to reflect back what I’m saying and what I’ve said and how I’ve said it to help me understand what I need.
And I think I like it.
I’m still not always sure. And we’re certainly not done. But, often, I do feel better. And that’s something.
I guess I just wanted to share. I’m not that fussed about Facebook posts, but wanted to add my experience to our growing conversation and understanding of miscarriage. And to let my students and clients know that, as teachers, we go through the same shit!
And that if you’re in the state of only being able to repeat to yourself:
Miscarriage is a bitch!
…that I hear you!