I wanted to get this blog out prior to Thanksgiving; however, just like everyone else, I sometimes can’t get everything done in a day. : )
As I have mentioned in past blogs, I suffered two miscarriages and both unfortunately happened during the holiday season. My first in 2003 was over Thanksgiving weekend and my second in 2007 was in the emergency room on Christmas day. Some of you may have the same thing happen this season and wonder how to balance your sadness with the season threaded with being thankful and joyous.
First, give yourself permission to feel sad. It is so necessary in the healing process to truly experience your emotions during this time of loss. Your loss is not only of the baby that you so wanted, but also of the dream this baby brought to you and your partner and family (if you already have a child or children). Speak often to your partner and then to a family member(s) and/or friend(s) that will be great listeners.
Take the time to determine and communicate your needs to your loved ones… tell those how grateful you are for them, but that it is just a sad time for you and your partner. Think about what would be helpful to you… perhaps missing a big family dinner and only coming for the dessert, maybe asking someone to shop for the children on your gift list, determine what would be helpful to you ~ then communicate, communicate, communicate.
In addition, listen to what your body is telling you, if you need rest, rest, if you need to talk, talk, if you need to just be with someone, then seek out the company of someone close to you. Know when to be with others and know when to briefly retreat with your sorrow and feel your pain. You have permission to do that!
Second, try to balance your feelings of sorrow with feelings of gratitude. Now, this one I know will be difficult. While I know this list may seem hard to begin, keep it simple with the beauty of new-fallen snow, a friend that has called to see how you are or sipping some of your favorite tea.
When you are ready, move on to the larger picture in your life. Your thoughts may feel very scattered at this time, I know that is how I felt each time it happened. Try writing down a short, bulleted list of the things you are grateful for in your life and take some quiet time to be present with your feelings of appreciation.
By sitting with your feelings of appreciation, you will decrease your stress levels and increase your resilience; which will help you heal and get through the holiday season.
Third, take the time to be silent with and communicate with your partner. What I recall most about my miscarriages is that it brought my husband and I so close. We talked so much of our yearning to have a family and then with our second to expand our family. Being truly present with one another and helping one another to lick the wounds of disappointment, anger, grief and sadness makes your bond stronger.
Lastly, here is one of my favorite quotes that I read repeatedly, sometimes out loud, to help me through difficult times:
“Pursue your dreams not because you’re immune to heartbreak, but because your real life, your whole life, is worth getting your heart broken a few thousand times.” ~ Martha Beck