Losing a baby through pregnancy loss can send you into a storm of emotions! At first, you’re in disbelief, shock, anger, frustration and completely heartbroken.
You want to be left alone and at the same time, you want to know that you are surrounded by your family and best friends. You feel as though these tangled emotions might tear you up inside. How do you navigate what feels like stormy waters?
I know these feelings that hold you.
After multiple pregnancy losses, I would feel overwhelmed with shame, knowing my body had let me down. After all, isn’t creating life, the one thing that my body is supposed to do? I felt like a such a failure.
Then I felt guilty, maybe I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine, or maybe I shouldn’t have gone on that hike. I would see the mothers with babies on their hips and push their stroller and I resented the ease in which I could only imagine they had their children.
It took time, a lot of time before I realized that everything I felt was completely normal. I learned that there was no way to move past my grief without going through it!
So, how do you move through this heartbreaking experience?
Here are a few things I learned along the way.
1. Be patient with yourself.
Healing the heartache of pregnancy loss takes time. Some are able to move through this much faster than others. It may take weeks or months and for others, like myself, it may take years.
2. Surround yourself with people that love you.
Your partner, family, friends; whoever you can lean on, whoever is willing to be there for you.
3. Honor the space you’re in.
Honor the space you’re in and learn to validate your feelings, give them a name.
4. If you’re feeling anger, say it!
I’m angry! I hate that this happened to me! Let your emotions be felt and acknowledged and when the time is right, you will be able to let them go.
5. Acknowledge your child. This is a big one!
It took me years to speak of my children out loud. To actually say “I have five children who are my angels in heaven.”
There was a time when every single time someone would ask me, how many children I had, I would say “I have no children, or I’m not able to have children.” By denying my experience and the pregnancy loss, I was denying myself. I made myself feel small and insignificant. This hurt me emotionally in so many ways.
Now, I acknowledge my little ones and bless them for watching over me because I believe they do.
6. What comes on the other side of healing?
Even though it took me 17 years from the loss of my first baby, I have gained so much compassion for other parents who have lost their children in whatever form that may be.
I learned to honor each of my babies by naming each one. I created a special journal just for them and write to each one. Even as the years go by, it fills me with a sense of peace to know I can go to a quiet place to just sit and write to them.
I learned that healing my grief doesn’t mean I have forgotten my babies. For a long time, I held onto my grief like a badge of honor, fearful that if I let it go, maybe I would forget these little ones that I had so desperately wanted. Instead, I found so much peace that fills me now from the inside out. I can now share my story with you and honor my babies too.
So, I give you this. If you have experienced a pregnancy loss or the loss of a baby before, you could hold them in your arms, do yourself a favor and honor your experience in a way that feels sacred to you.
Below I’ve listed a few ideas to support you in honoring the loss of your baby.
- You may want to grow a memory garden or plant a tree in their name.
- You may want to gather your family, say a little prayer and release some balloons.
- Maybe purchase a beautiful journey and write to your heart’s content.
- Purchase a piece of jewelry with the birthstone of your baby’s expected birth date.
Wherever you are in your healing process, honor the space you’re in and open your heart to the healing that comes with acknowledging your baby.