Two months ago, to the day, I experienced pregnancy loss. I was 10 and a half weeks.
It was an incredibly challenging, painful time and one I will carry with me always. You can read about it here.
Just two months on, I feel called to share how that experience has changed me. How it has actually opened what feels appropriate to label a “portal” into myself and encouraged me to see and do things differently in many areas of my life.
Now I want to preface this post to say that each and every woman’s experience of pregnancy loss will be exceedingly different. Understand that there are many, many factors that will influence the depth and complexity of grief for each individual.
I know of women who have experienced a still birth or a late miscarriage and found themselves at peace soon afterwards. I know of others who lost a pregnancy at 7 weeks and suffered immense grief for an extended period of time.
There is no competition in grief. Our lives are an intricate web of biology, experiences, programming, circumstance and compounding factors. Pregnancy loss isn’t often cut and dry. My story is just one story.
I miscarried naturally over one week, at home and enveloped in gentle love and care by my loved ones. It was a couple of weeks prior to Christmas, so I was feeling the opposite of festive as you can imagine. I was also surrounded by a number of close friends and family who were growing blossoming bellies, which added further bitter-sweetness to my situation.
Once the bleeding stopped and the empty reality that there was no longer a tiny being with a beating heart inside me, I felt I was faced with a choice.
- I either let the grief eat me up, stay closed, private and use my pregnancy loss as a (very valid) reason to shut out life for a while; or
- I lean into the grief, allowing rawness and vulnerability to be my strength, and open up to what might emerge within.
I have two little girls, aged 4 and 20 months. With every decision I make, I run it through the “how do I want them to see me as their mother?” filter.
This one was a no-brainer.
I went with option 2, trusting that over time the pain would subside and I would integrate the experience of my pregnancy loss into my life story with meaning. In sweet gratitude of this self-belief, integration has certainly occurred, but in more wonderful ways than I could have imagined.
Here are the 5 areas that have blossomed inside ME since I lost my baby:
After my pregnancy loss, I decided that I had more love to give. More to give my girls, more to give my husband, and more to give to myself. I stopped loving to receive love, but from a much more pure place. I began to see that the more I loved without conditions, the more I received as a result.
It was time to back myself. I am and always have been a dreamer. I dream big and with great passion. One area I needed a kick up the backside has been in finding the courage to take big steps to put dreams into being. I pretended to be brave, but in the safest way possible. I have a new favourite saying: ‘Leap and the net will appear’. I’m leaping.
More and more I am seeing the proof in the pudding. We can bitch, moan and blame all we like, but until we start to take radical responsibility for everything in our lives, we will continue to come up short.
I was so quick to point the finger at my husband when I wasn’t getting what I needed. But the funny thing is, when I became clear on what my needs were as a wife and mother, was able to communicate them clearly without blame or any reference to “shoulds”, then taking steps to pursue them, suddenly he, others, and the universe in general began to follow suit.
So it turns out that the more love, courage and responsibility you take in regards to your life, the more you want to explore your gifts, go on daring adventures and dive into the realm of possibilities.
These past two months, I have taken classes, signed up to workshops, weekends away with friends, FREE and paid adventures, because well, fuck it. Why not? I was sick to death of thinking, “oh, one day when…. (I’m not so tired, we have more money, we have more time… blah blah blah). And you know what? All the adventures I have been on so far have outweighed the desire for more time, sleep, money, etc.
This one is almost THE biggest unfolding of all. Over the course of the last 6 months, I have been invested in committing to my own pleasure. Sure, you can call it self-care. But I have chosen to refer to it as a lifestyle. One which is non-negotiable.
Losing my pregnancy catapulted me into a deeper commitment to myself.
All four preceding areas of growth contribute to my experience of pleasure in motherhood. When I commit to dancing, journalling, meditating, beach walks, good sex, wearing nice clothes, eating nice food, time away from my children, quality time WITH my children, yoga… so on and so forth, I am a better mother and a more vibrant woman.
I LOVE harder, I make COURAGEOUS decisions, I take RESPONSIBILITY for my life, and I prioritise ADVENTURE.
I can almost hear the resounding “It’s alright for you – it’s not that easy for me!” all the way to the back row.
Because that’s what we do, as women. We create barriers. We decide we aren’t worth the commitment to a pleasure-filled life. We won’t dig deep when the time comes and make our needs clear.
I know, because that was how I did life too.
But there is one caveat.
You cannot get to a place of pleasure, of joy and all the yummy sunshiny stuff until you are prepared to stare into the deep, dark hole that is your pain, first.
Leaning into grief, loss, heart ache and pain is the portal. Not setting up residence for a lifetime, but diving in with the intention of feeling it all and allowing it to be accepted and processed. Not going it alone, but reaching out to be held and carried in your darkest moments. Relinquishing all control over your experience and healing in whatever way you feel called to explore.
There are no heroics in denial.
The full feminine – HUMAN – experience requires us to feel all the emotions available to us. Understanding that riding the ebb and flow of feelings, from hurt and despair to pleasure and joy is the key to living a rich life.
We will do ourselves a disservice if we live in pursuit of happiness and happiness alone.
My pregnancy loss was a messy, sad, confusing, painful, horrible time.
It was also a fork in the road, to which I chose the path of LOVE, COURAGE, RESPONSIBILITY, ADVENTURE & PLEASURE.
If you are experiencing your own pregnancy loss, or any kind of loss right now, I send you unlimited love and healing. I send you strength and the unwavering certainty that if you dedicate your soul to moving through the pain in your own time, in your own way, with the view that this experience will offer you more for your own life at some point down the track, you will flourish after grief.
I can never offer you answers to your “whys” or comfort you with your “what is next?”, but I can say that portals into deeper, richer, more love-infused experiences can present themselves where we least expect them – or even welcome them.
If you are looking for a safe online space to connect with women who are awakening to their own magic in motherhood, healing wounds and reclaiming themselves fully, I invite you to head to the Diamond Women Sisterhood, a FREE and private Facebook group.
Beautiful woman, your loss does not define you. You are the creatress of your life. Your womanhood is your own, so OWN it.
Sign up here, to Fuel Your Feminine Fire and journey along with me as I too, adventure into the unknown.
Yours in blazing womanhood,