After four years, multiple IVF cycles, three devastating miscarriages, and countless setbacks … Aela’s road to motherhood has been anything but easy. Follow her story on Babble and don’t miss the latest chapter in her journey below.
Your world is crashing down, I know. I’ve been where you are three times, having lost my twins at 17 weeks, my second pregnancy at 10 weeks, and my last pregnancy at five weeks. I know you don’t want to face the world. I didn’t, either. I also know you will never “get over” a miscarriage.
Losing a pregnancy that you wanted — and especially one that you tried for — is devastating. Your heart gets shattered into a million pieces, you doubt your self-worth, you blame yourself, and you might even begin to hate your body if you experience multiple miscarriages. It’s a long road to recovery. The emotional pain is intense. It suffocates you at times and it rocks your world. But you are a warrior; don’t ever forget that. And there are ways you can help yourself emotionally heal after a miscarriage. Even though I know it feels like you can’t ever climb out of that dark hole, you will. I promise.
And then harness the power of your pain and go do something you’ve always wanted to. That trip you’ve always dreamed of taking? Go. That haircut you never felt brave enough to get? Get it. That cooking class you’ve daydreamed about since summer? Sign up. You might not feel like doing anything at all, especially not anything new, but push yourself. Leave the comfort of sadness and do something totally new, something that doesn’t carry with it the weight of your loss. You will always carry that weight, so it’s important to do things now that offer a bit of relief.
It’s not a matter of forgetting about what happened, but of realizing you’re so much more than just what happened. You’re a new person now because of your loss — it does and it will change you. That’s just the truth, good or bad. You’ll look at the world through a totally different lens now. Take this transition time and do something you’ve always wanted. You might feel defeated by your loss, but doing something for yourself can balance those feelings by making you feel cared for. And loved. And you are so very worthy of love. Don’t forget that during this sad time. In fact, don’t ever forget that.
Allow yourself to be sad, my friend. This might sound counterproductive to getting out of the darkness, but allowing yourself to cry is a crucial step in healing. Don’t push your feelings away, and certainly don’t fall into the unhealthy trap of diminishing what happened. I was only six weeks. Jenny miscarried in the 2nd trimester, so maybe mine doesn’t really count. Be sad. Cry for your six-week Bean. You can’t get to the other side of this without first going through the murk, which is thick and heavy and the last place you want to be — but be there. Allow yourself to be there.
Be sure to take extra special care of your body after a miscarriage. For me, this has always been the biggest challenge after losing a baby. I get so mad at my body for failing me. I hate it even. And I want to litter it with crap food and booze. I want to stop using it well. I want to stop exercising, stop having sex. I want my body to match the awful things I feel about it by treating it the way I feel it’s treated me. I want to betray it like it’s betrayed me. Why should I care for you when you have hurt me so badly? But taking care of your body, rising above the feelings of “getting even” with your body (even if they’re so deep within that you don’t even fully realize them), and truly taking little steps to care for yourself will greatly help your healing process.
You’re part of this club now, I’m sorry to say. It’s a club no one wants to belong to. But know that it’s a club filled with other warriors just like you, of women who have had to say goodbye to their babies before they had the chance to say hello.
This will change you. But it doesn’t have to destroy you. — Aela Mass