Lessons learned from my last miscarriage and how it’s helping me now

I’ve been finding it difficult to find the words to write lately. There seems to be so much content out there, so many people writing about what is going on and how to get through it. I’m finding it difficult to describe what I’m feeling, or maybe it’s just too overwhelming? Could be. I’m going to try anyway though. We’ve all been tossed into a situation of having to quickly adapt to new lives and it feels very much like grief. For me, I feel the similarities with our last miscarriage especially. That day of our first scan at eight weeks, when we were told that there wasn’t a heartbeat, I took the option to wait for the miscarriage to come on it’s own. I waited what seemed like an eternity for it to start (3 weeks) and during this time, we weren’t in our own home. We had moved out to allow for works to be done on our house and we were staying in an AirBNB flat just up the road. It was a very surreal time. Unfamiliar territory, literally and figuratively.

At first, I kept myself in the flat. Waiting for pain? blood? I wasn’t sure, all my miscarriages have been very different, so I didn’t know what would happen this time. The waiting was difficult. There wasn’t much room, no separate living space and no outdoor space. Benjamin wasn’t at school as it was the summer holidays before he was due to start in Reception year. The flat was hot and uncomfortable…and boring. After the first few days of staying put, I realised that I was going to have to get on with some semblance of ‘normal’…or rather, find a new normal. So I wore a thick pad and carried spares with me, along with paracetamol and got on with my days. I know this isn’t exactly like what we’re going through right now. But I recognise the cabin-fever feeling, the feeling of ‘something is happening and I don’t have any control over it’ and the disjointedness of not carrying out my ‘normal’ routine. Everything was changing and I felt out of my depth, unsure of what to do next. How to be.

What I learnt from my last miscarriage, was that not knowing what was going to happen next wasn’t so bad. I adapted. I also trusted that I would be okay, that things would be alright…eventually. Going slowly and taking the time I needed gave me a chance to grieve for my baby (and Luna again and lost dreams), so that when the miscarriage did come, I had processed some of my grief. It also gave me a chance to get in touch with my body. Changes occurred over those three weeks to signal that the baby had died, which I feel helped me to come to terms with it better. I took each day as it came, and as long as I was feeling physically well, I tried to go about my business as best I could.

I know people will be feeling heightened anxiety right now, for all sorts of reasons. Some of those reasons will be very valid and real. Others, maybe not so much…or haven’t happened yet (and may not happen). I’m not going to say ‘don’t feel anxious’ and then give you loads of things to ‘do’ to stop yourself feeling anxious. Instead, I will say that whatever you are feeling right now, take care and be kind to yourself. Slow down, if you can – we’re all having to anyway, but I’ve found myself being tempted to get very busy. It’s a conscious, gentle reminder to myself that it’s okay to do less. Some distraction is good, exhaustion is not. This is an emotionally taxing time, which uses up a lot of energy. Look after yourself and those in your household as best you can and know that it is enough, probably more than enough.

Sending much love out there. Stay safe.

Just a little nature for you. Taken on my walk in the nature reserve behind our house. I feel incredibly blessed to have this on my doorstep.

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