Miscarriage

Conceiving after miscarriage

Baby #4

How I wanted to be happy, how I wanted to be excited. But somehow the only feeling I felt was sadness and guilt. Could it be that I was ungrateful, or that this new baby wasn't good enough? 

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After months of telling myself I was going to let go of the feeling of wanting another baby, it remained a constant on my mind. After losing Angel K (Baby #3), I erased all my ovulation apps, told my husband we were done trying and told myself it was time to heal from the inside out. But after months of trying to convince myself that I was enough, I still couldn't fill the void of losing a child. Angel K was all I could think about. Was it a boy or girl? What would he/or she look like? And even the bad thoughts. Am I getting too old? Is it my eggs have depleted? Was I not healthy enough to conceive? The thoughts consumed me, and maybe it was just Angel K telling me to try again, and that if I wanted true completion of healing it would be conquering my fears and moving past the pain.

So I tried to do just that. I repurchased my ovulation app, told my husband I was ready. But this time I wanted it to be different. I didn't want it to feel robotic or on purpose. I wanted for me and my husband to fall in love all over again, and in that act make another baby. I did just that. Missed my period, and instead of feeling happy, I felt far removed. Does anyone ever talk about the postpartum anxiety and depression that comes after losing a child? I felt the sadness all over me. Went to the bathroom non stop fearing I was bleeding, or convincing myself after having no symptoms for weeks that it just wasn't true. I didn't share the news with anyone except my husband, who I ask not share his excitement with me. I was in big denial, and I realized that the trauma was overwhelming me.  

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So I set my first appointment, hoping it would ease my anxiety. Switched doctors to a black female who I was hoping would fuel more encouragement and support. Ask my husband to skip out on coming, because if the doctor said there was no heart beat, I didn't want to invoke the pain in him. I went in and laid across the table, bottom naked, butt up, ready for the instrument to bring on the bad news. The last time I was in this room, my baby died inside of me. Doctor confirmed the pregnancy, said all the parts were there, and that the chance of miscarriage at this point was less than 5%. Although she wanted me to feel at ease, I still couldn't believe it.

I continue to push past the pain. Told myself that God saw fit for me to have this baby. I also started to feed myself positive thoughts to overshadow my doubt. I wanted to move, I couldn't stand the thought of me not regaining my happy place. Not forgetting Angel K, but to use her death as a way to inspire my love for my new blessing. I believe that the universe will stretch you out as far as possible to only put you back together again, this is what I call spiritual balance. I had stretched myself out so much that I told myself I couldn't recover. And in those most weakest moments, God blessed me with redemption.

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So here I stand. Blessed with Baby #4, grateful for moments that remind me of my perseverance and strength. Crying tears of joy for Angel K, who taught me so much about myself, and overjoyed that I will be adding to my beautiful family. Angel K has taught me that we are never prepared for life, we have to take it's highs and lows, and when experiencing the lows reach for something higher. There is recovery after lost, there is healing after death. Doesn't mean we forget what the heart holds, but that we remember what the heart is capable of feeling.

I can't wait to meet you new baby, and I'll see you again Angel K!

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If you or anyone you know suffers from trauma, postpartum anxiety, and/or depression you are not alone. Always remember that you are validated, you are allowed to feel and that help is out there. 

Be brave enough to love yourself even when it hurts.
— Alex Elle

Grief Recovery For Mamas

Grief

Moving forward past my miscarriage has not been easy. Grief swiftly can turn into depression, and being a mental health professional I knew I had to search for recovery with true intent. For me that meant that I nourished my soul like fuel to the body in order to repair and recenter. This concept was challenging because I also wanted to spend time being sad because lost is a true emotion. I believe that there are times we ask women to be strong, push harder, and get back up again too quickly. We expect to be okay right after we have been hurt because we have been raised to believe that we can get through anything. And yes "getting though it all" is absolutely true, but it forces us to numb out feelings so we can quickly recover. So I sat in silence and cried my heart out. I slept, I refused to eat, and often times I forced my anger on my husband. I blamed myself, and wanted to stay hidden. But when did I know I had to let go....

In understanding grief, research has broke it down into 7 stages. Please note that we all go through the grief process in our own time, and slide in and out of the stages in our own way. But the feelings of pain and guilt can keep you under, so it is important to turn those hurtful feelings into hope to live out your life in the way it is intended to be.

7 Stages:

  1. SHOCK & DENIAL- You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. 

  2. PAIN & GUILT- It's important to experience your pain fully. Do this healthy, don't turn to liquor or drugs or bad habits. 

  3. ANGER & BARGAINING- This is where it felt good to displace my feelings on my husband. Thankfully he knew and still supported me through it. Remember that others may not be so sympathetic. You don't want to make permanent damage from temporary feelings.

  4. DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

  5. THE UPWARD TURN- This is when the storm is beginning to clear, feelings begin to shift to more calmness.

  6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- You made it! Take what you have experienced and work through it.

  7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- This is when you learn to except the testimony that God has placed in you. You have a new fond hope and perspective on life that makes your life more meaningful. 

Redemption is given to those who believe. So know that it is absolutely okay to be down, but balance it out with the belief that you will see the light again. There are a few things I did purposely to get myself through the grief process. I share this with you in hopes that it can get you out of your darkness as well.

Recovery tips:

  1. Quiet the noise- I immediately logged off of all my social media platforms. I called it a cleanse for no specific period of time. Just to be honest I felt some type of way when I would see women celebrating a birth, or being pregnant. I had to accept that I wasn't ready to celebrate anyone else and needed to walk away from that. I also wanted to take time out for me without putting effort into viewing others. It was my time to make me a priority. 

  2. Write- As soon as I miscarried I picked up my computer and begin to write. Part of this is a way to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts, but also it helps process emotions in a different way in the brain by putting words to them.

  3. Keep up on healthy habits- I had drifted away from working out. A week after I miscarried I went to my local YMCA and grabbed a membership. Working out is known to release feel good endorphin's, and lower stress. 

  4. Accept condolences- This was tough. I am not a woman who looks for those around me to help, I try to work through life with my little circle. After sharing my story, I immediately received a vast amount of support and encouragement. Women sharing similar experiences who have got through the storm. Friends bringing flowers, affirmations and blessing being received. It just felt good to be loved. Be okay with being vulnerable and needy. That's what your tribe is there for.

  5. Be present- this was part of my cleanse. Once I begin to pay close attention to my own children and life around me, I begin to see the beauty of it all. I was able to appreciate some of the little moments that I've missed before.

  6. Be spiritual- Believe in the notion that "all things happen for a reason" "God does not give us more than we can bare" "The Lord is my strength and my shield" "By the Grace of God, I am what I am" "Be strong, be brave, be fearless. You are never alone".

I would like to conclude by thanking each and every person who believed more than I did that I would be okay. For those who listened to me, allowed me to cry, and picked me up when I had nothing left. Thank you for loving me past my pain. 

 

For any Mama who is still suffering from grieving and/or can't get past it please call a local mental health professional, local churches, or other parenting resources.