Miscarriage: Feeling Abnormal? It's Normal.by Ellen DuBois on 07/06/17
As I sat here wondering what to say, my mind drifted back to a time in my life some twenty-two years ago. It was a scary, sad and very isolating time. It was a chapter in my life when the world seemed cloaked under a dark, ominous cloud.
I just erased a couple of paragraphs after reading them aloud. I want this post to reflect what I would have wanted to hear after my miscarriage, not so much how I felt. I think you know how I felt because you're living it and I'm so sorry. I am sorry for your loss.
That's number one, right there. I wanted someone to say they were sorry for my loss. It was real- REAL- and it seemed I was the only one who got it.
You're not going crazy. That's number two. You might be crying while you're reading this, (I'm sorry if you are), and then you might get up and the tears may stop as quickly as they came. It is normal to feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster because you are. You're grieving and your body is flipping out because your hormones, everything, need to settle down. I'm not a doctor so I'm not using medical terms here. I just know what it feels like lie on the floor in a heap of tears and then to get up, breathe and get on with whatever it is you have to do. I know it's terrible and I also know you are not crazy. Look yourself in the mirror if you have to and tell yourself you're okay. It's okay. You need to let it out and when it happens, it happens.
Number three: You are not a bad person or an "evil woman" for feeling jealous of pregnant women. You're not alone in your avoidance of baby showers, baby commercials, baby anything. I used to avoid everything, including pregnant women and/or women with children after I miscarried. I felt terrible about myself. Who would do that? I'll tell you who- a woman who just lost her baby. A woman who left the hospital, or her home, without the baby she loved, dreamed about, talked to throughout the day. You're not evil. You're grieving and I know it's a tough walk. You are not alone in feeling like you do. I promise you that.
Number four: You will heal in time and in your own way, but that doesn't mean you have to forget your baby. My, God- that would be impossible. I've healed. I'll also never, ever forget the baby I still feel connected to in spirit. My baby was a part of me and still is. I don't want to get into my beliefs here. However, if anyone expects you to "forget about it", they don't have a clue. Your life will take on a new normal. There will come a day when you feel like you're actually living again and enjoying your life. It'll happen. And, just as with any other loss, you won't forget your baby or the road you traveled to heal. But, you're going to be okay. Just give yourself the time and space you need to grieve, feel and heal.
Number five: It's perfectly fine, even a good thing, to do something to remember your baby's brief but life altering stay with you. I wish I knew then what I know now. What do I mean? Well, if you want to have a memorial for your baby, do it. Please follow your heart. I waited many years to have a memorial for my baby because I didn't know, (I'm repeating myself), what I know now about them. People have opened up and talked about the importance of doing something in remembrance of your baby. It doesn't matter what it is. I learned this, too. The first thing I ever did in remembrance of my baby was to buy a necklace with a charm. There were baby footprints on one side and the words "Always in my heart" on the other. I still have it. When people asked me about it, I told them it was for the baby I miscarried. It was like saying to the world, "My loss and my baby mattered and still do."
Years later, I had a memorial service and it was just my best friend and I. I read a note I wrote to my baby out loud. I had a little basked with a cross, a baby outfit and a few other things with me. They were symbols of love, to me. We're all different so please, do whatever feels right to you. I also had a balloon and wrote the words "I Love You" on it. After reading my letter, I released the balloon and watched it float into the air, above the tree tops and into eternity. And you know what? I smiled. I finally felt closure.
Clearly, I hadn't forgotten my baby. After all, I held his memorial seventeen years after losing him. In all those years I healed, but not once did I forget and not once did I feel closure. Having a memorial, (even something as simple as what I did), gave me the closure I needed.
Number six: All you can do is your best and your best is good enough. That's important. Take things one day at a time. If that's too much, take things one moment at a time. If that's too much, take things one milli-moment at a time.
I hope you believe you're normal in feeling abnormal. Actually, I pray that makes sense to you. I guess for a while, feeling "abnormal" is your new normal. But, don't worry. It won't stay like that forever. You'll grow into your new normal as you heal. There will come a time when the dark, ominous cloud lifts.
Love and Light to you,
Welcome to MiscarriageHelp.com. My name is Ellen DuBois, host of this site, miscarriage survivor, and author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery. If you or someone you love has suffered a miscarriage, please know you're not alone. Connect with people who understand.
Note: Please feel free to leave a comment here. If it's easier, please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Love & comfort to you, Ellen
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