A miscarriage is a loss that impacts you forever, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. At the time, it feels like there is no good that can ever come from the tragedy. I found that isn’t true. Just like any other type of loss, you eventually find lessons in grief and the experience. Here are 8 lessons I learned while moving on from miscarriage.
1. Don’t Underestimate The Loss
It doesn’t matter how far along you were in your pregnancy, losing a baby that you never get to meet is a unique type of grief because although you didn’t spend time with that child, you spent significant time imagining their whole future. Not only are there times when you wonder what you could have done differently, there isn’t a funeral or other communal ritual to truly grieve, which makes it difficult to express your loss. Now I know it’s a loss that should never be underestimated.
2. You Are Not Alone
Miscarriage is all too common, making it a much more universal experience, however, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. There is something so isolating about it. I found that I misunderstood the loss with my own friends. Knowing what I know now, I am so very sorry to the friends that experienced that loss alone. I am sorry I did not understand what they went through at the time and did not support them as much as I could have. For anyone that ever experiences this loss, please never ever think that you are alone.
3. Be Open About The Loss
In the wake of tragedy it’s hard to open yourself up when you already are at your most vulnerable. I wrote about my miscarriage story, even shared it online, and it was the best thing I ever did. I connected with both friends and people I did not know, who became friends. Each person that reached out to me for sharing my story helped guide me through the loss. Being open allowed me to connect with and even lean on others who experienced the same type of loss. Had I not been open, I never would have received the support I needed.
4. It Wasn’t Meant To Be
People say it with the best of intentions, but it stings just as much today as it did then. I never asked for a perfect child, just a child that was mine. What a cruel punishment if meant to be, that I was meant to carry and then lose a precious soul. Perfect or imperfect, that child was mine to love. So maybe the only thing “meant to be” is for my love to endure for that child far beyond his/her life.
5. Fear of Forgetting
After the miscarriage, I became pregnant in just two months. I did not expect to be pregnant so soon, yet it was everything I ever wanted, so I was shocked by the guilt. There was guilt that I was forgetting about the baby gone too soon. That baby deserved more, but I couldn’t give it to him/her. But the reality is, that baby, if only in memory, is a part of me and will never, and could never, be forgotten. I finally realized, moving on does not mean forgetting.
6. The Bathroom Check
Now that I’m pregnant again, every single time I use the restroom I check to make sure there is no blood. That fear from finding blood and the inevitable miscarriage never goes away. So whether it’s the middle of the night, or midday, there is always a check. A check to make sure there is no blood and to make sure my baby is okay.
7. This Baby Is Not A Replacement
Although there is no appropriate guideline for how long to mourn, I wrestled with guilt that I could be happy again, so soon, after losing my baby. It wasn’t until I realized this baby is not a replacement for that baby, that I was able to let those mixed emotions go. There are two souls involved. Just because I never got to hold the baby lost, doesn’t mean he/she didn’t exist. Just because I’m excited to meet this baby, doesn’t mean I didn’t mourn the baby I lost. They each have their own piece of my heart, and a mother’s heart never forgets.
There is resilience in loss. Even though you do not know it, it is resilience you possess and you find that out only when you are forced to. It’s only through walking through the darkness that you find your true strength and end up finding the light on the other side. Although it is scary to move forward and risk another miscarriage, we all as mothers possess the resilience necessary to carry us through.
Loss teaches you the value of life and to treasure each moment. These lessons stay with you for the rest of your life. So although the loss cuts deep, it leaves a scar that makes you so much stronger than you ever imagined you could be.
It is so hard to move on from miscarriage and sometimes reading quotes from other moms can help you heal. Here are 6 miscarriage quotes from moms who have been there.