In both my personal and professional experiences, I have often heard women talk about loss and how they feel about pregnancy and loss. Some say, “it’s easier to lose a baby earlier in pregnancy, rather than later” and some say “at least you got to hold your baby” or other statements like that. The truth is, loss is loss and grief is grief and every person grieves differently.
I suffered two early miscarriages in between having my son and daughter. I still feel the pain and sting of them, even after having two more children. I remember so vividly learning that I was miscarrying the first time, by a well-meaning but unprepared resident in the emergency hallway. My HCG was too low, they couldn't find anything on the ultrasound. I remember how all my hopes and dreams for that baby, that pregnancy were crushed. I remember how I cried and screamed and grieved for that baby in the moment but also how difficult it was for me to see pregnant women for such a long time following that.
People always tell you that you will get over your loss and grief when you have another child or that your grief will lessen over time. The truth is, I think grief does not get smaller… but you and your life get bigger around it. You grow, you learn, you change and adapt. The grief stays with you but as you grow, it becomes less impactful on a day-to-day basis. As a mother of three, I may not connect with my grief on a daily basis, but it is with me. It joins me at moments I don’t necessarily expect-birthdays, holidays, quiet contemplative moments, but as I grow, I make space for it and have learned how to cope with it in a more productive manner.
It’s okay to grieve and be sad sometimes, don’t push your feelings away or try to hide from uncomfortable feelings. There is a place for all feelings. Like the rainbow, no one colour is better than another. There is space in your life for all the colours, all the feelings. The more you try to push a feeling away, the more it lingers. Allow the grief to come in. Be sad and then allow it to move through you. Allow it to roll out like a wave in the ocean. It’s not a permanent state of being, but rather a fluid one. Your life will get bigger around your grief.
You will grow and I can help.