14 Steps I've Taken to Heal After a MiscarriageDevan McGuinness
I don’t care what anyone says, a miscarriage is never “just a miscarriage.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard so often, it makes me want to scream from the highest mountain top. Grief hits everyone differently, and while it may take “x” amount of time for one person to feel the fog of grief lifted, it doesn’t mean that same timeline should be held to another person or family.
Miscarriage can be more complicated than the simplicity of the term “pregnancy loss” seems to bring with it. A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy, of a child, a family member, of hopes and dreams, of holding your child, of knowing them, of watching them grow, and the list can go on. No, I am not being dramatic; I know these losses firsthand.
It’s important to take time to grieve after a miscarriage, and if you’ve not been through grief before, that alone can hit you hard. The conflicting emotions, the not knowing if it will all be okay again, and just how to help yourself heal after such a loss. I was so lost in the early days of grief, but there are some steps I have taken that have really helped point me in the right direction of healing. However, it has been an ongoing process.
Here are 14 steps I’ve taken to help heal after a miscarriage:
14 Steps I’ve Taken to Heal After a Miscarriage 1 of 15
These steps are what has helped me move forward in grief.
Writing 2 of 15
Writing about my grief online or private journals has helped me so much. Getting the words and feelings out of my head and onto paper allows me to feel them — in a real way, and get them out of my head.
Talking 3 of 15
I like to talk about Triton and all my miscarriages. While it's not all the time, I do like being comfortable in speaking his name and of our short time together.
Inking 4 of 15
I've gotten a tattoo for each of my losses, and I have found the whole process to be very healing. I have a cherry blossom with falling petals in various places on my body (12 of them), each commemorating one loss.
Working 5 of 15
Working to break the silence on the impact of perinatal grief and loss has been a good focus for my energy, and it's amazing what it's done for my spirit.
Connecting 6 of 15
The ability to connect with others who are walking a similar path has been very healing. Hearing their stories, their thoughts, their pain, and learning from each other's experiences has helped me grow in many ways than just one.
Growing 7 of 15
I've planted a tree and have a little statue to symbolize my losses. Being able to watch it grow and thrive has been very healing.
Learning 8 of 15
Being able to talk to caring doctors and health professionals, and learning as much as I can about the medical issues behind a miscarriage and grief has opened my eyes a lot.
Reading 9 of 15
I have learned so much through reading others' online journals and medical books that have pointed me in a great healing direction. You always come across something you've not thought of before.
Understanding 10 of 15
A big piece of the puzzle for my healing has been trying to find out and understand the "why." Why I continued to have so much difficulty and coming up with a plan for the next pregnancy was a big healing factor.
Define 11 of 15
I have had so many people gasp when they find out how many losses I've had, or people have gone on to tell me how they "can't imagine." But this makes me very uncomfortable. Learning to not define myself and my parenting as my losses was healing for me.
Joy 12 of 15
In early grief it's hard to see anything good come from life or this experience, and while it's not always possible to see the joy and positives early on, looking for it — no matter how small, is healing.
Feeling It 13 of 15
I don't think anyone wants to feel grief, and, for a long time, I tried to pretend it didn't affect me. That kept me in one place of my grief for so long that once I allowed myself to feel it — like really acknowledge it — I was able to move forward a few steps.
Knowing 14 of 15
Understanding the grieving process has been so healing. I was feeling strange and isolated wondering if I am holding on to this for "too long," but what I've leaned in understanding grief is there is no timeline — for anyone.
Time 15 of 15
I don't believe that time heals all wounds, but what time has given me is perspective. I have been able to see that one day I may crumble and feel all the pain as if it was yesterday, and it's okay to laugh the next day. It's given me great perspective.
Photo credits: iStockPhoto
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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!