Meeting that moment of loss and digesting your new reality can cause more than just inner turmoil and grief. Losing a baby can cause you to distance yourself from the ones you love and shut down emotionally for a time. Others can move quickly past it -while never really forgetting but embracing the future ahead with a different perspective.
Everyone heals and processes things differently – my process has always been writing and saying how I feel out loud. No filter.
Writing for all to see may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can still share your inner dialogue with yourself – on paper. You can openly process your feelings and thoughts while not offending or regretting what is said.
“I’m a little lost, zoned out. Drained. lonely.”
“Each passing month pounds me further into the ground.
It’s never going to get easier, only harder
But, you can’t think like that
Yes you can, feel your emotions
But stress will never produce a baby
Neither will masking the truth
Where is that line between acceptance and grief? Finding the balance is breaking my heart.”
Tears drip down as I read reflections from my journal. It’s not that far removed and I can still feel the tender darkness that swirls inside me. Hours upon hours spent bathing in tears, while listening to Jewel’s soothing voice on repeat:
“There’s a hole in my heart, and I carry it wherever I go.
Like a treasure that travels with me down every road.
There’s this longing, lonesome and deep,
Kind of bitter, kind of sweet.
There’s a hole in my heart in the shape of you.”
A week after the loss I chopped off my long, silky hair.
A month after the loss we adopted a sweet pooch named Nyx, who has been our healing companion.
Two months after the loss I received a tattoo. And then again on my due date I received another. Feeling intense pain on the suggested day of delivery was soothing in a way I can’t really explain.
Drastic decisions were a distraction as I dealt with the first few months of grief. Then those sneaky stages came, which are never linear.
The only true joy in the journal is seen in the very first entry. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary at a quaint inn that boasts healing hot springs along the Columbia River. The joy in this entry makes me melancholy so I always flip right past it.
“The peace and contentment I feel knowing our family will now be complete… While enjoying my time in the bath house I meditated on my full womb and tried connecting with the precious soul that chose me as a vessel and us as a family. Baby, you are so LOVED by us ALL!”
Two weeks later: “We are in survival mode. Day 4 of bleeding with this pregnancy. Max starts kindergarten tomorrow.”
Early morning was the hardest; as our son slept it allowed space for tears to fall freely.
Marijuana was my numbing agent of choice. It dried up the tears but only left me feeling emptier. Booze was his choice.
As the months wore on grief got more profound for me and he just wanted to fix it. I know he did. But I just needed to fall apart occasionally. Not all the time. So we went to our corners. Lonely. Lonely. Lonely.
We crumbled pretty far before putting back our individual pieces through therapy, strengthening our relationship in the process. I will forever be grateful to him for being vulnerable because so much healing came from it. We needed an outsider to show us how well we complement each other, and how the love radiates when we’re in synch.
“Everything goes along fine until you see the red mess between your legs that serves as a reminder of that week you lost the baby.”
“Trying to conceive after loss is like living with an open wound. The unknown is hell. NO, it’s purgatory.”
“I don’t want people to feel sorry for me,” I told my husband one morning. He said, “I don’t feel sorry for you. I feel sad for you.”
Family and soul sisters were there with open arms and ears. But, after a time you start to feel like your pain is on repeat and you slowly stop talking about it out loud. You don’t want the sadness to leak into them.
Almost a year and a half later and the wounds are still there, but the mourning I feel now is not for the lost child, but the lost dream. I have yet to become pregnant again. Relinquishing control is where I’m at. Acceptance is so damn hard to accept.
Where there is darkness there is always light. Someone was looking out for me as I completed my yoga teacher training months before the miscarriage. Focusing on the present, connecting with my body and transforming my thoughts to gratitude are my saving grace. I allow myself the space to take as many baths as needed, and my boys support this. Journaling has been healing for my spirit, and has helped me discover my voice. I work amid writers and they’re right, I do have a way with words.
I hope my future journal entries focus on strengthening my creativity, nurturing my relationships, serving others and loving where I am. One day you wake up and realize you have to snap out of it for the good of your people and the good of yourself, and the good of that soul you dream about. It’s a necessary upward journey that gives the blessing of self-discovery in the crawl.
Lori Larson, January 2017
A window into your own process is sometimes just the view you need to tackle the big feelings you may be coping with after losing your baby. Not knowing how this will translate into future pregnancies may be causing anxiety and complete distrust of your body. The key to navigating this process is knowing you are to alone.
To find your community of loss mothers – head over to @ihadamiscarriage on Instagram
You can wear your Rainbow Mama pride on your back or bag by visiting the I had a Miscarriage Shop
Thank you to Lori Larson for sharing your most intimate moments with our community.