Losing a baby through miscarriage can bring up so many feelings. When I miscarried my first child at only one month, a month that has left a lasting legacy to this day, the fact that it was so early didn’t really change the intensity of the emotion.
I remember feeling the profundity of the miracle of being pregnant; I felt very connected and still, and had the deep sense that we are so much more than our physicality. It was an amazing experience to feel so connected to this unborn child. I knew within days of conception that I was pregnant and that I was pregnant with a girl. I already knew her name. I could feel her beauty, her joy, her strength and her grace. When I was pregnant with her, whilst I was holding her preciously she was also doing the same for me. Throughout the pregnancy I was able to connect to and sustain my exquisite stillness that as a woman I naturally possess; I also felt more connected to everything around me. My senses were heightened and more receptive and everything looked and felt lighter, sharper, richer and more colourful.
When I miscarried I remember that sinking feeling and I remember saying the words “oh no” out loud and crying about it, but I honestly don’t think I connected fully to my feelings as I felt rather numb.
I was aware that there was some kind of heavy block around my feelings of this miscarriage but I couldn’t really access what was going on for me and only allowed myself to feel on a very surface level and quite frankly at the time this was enough for me!
Often miscarriages happen within the first trimester of pregnancy, and at this stage many around the ‘mother to be’ do not even know of the pregnancy, as there seems to be an unwritten rule not to talk about it widely until you have passed the 12-week mark.
I had followed this trend and hadn’t communicated the fact of this pregnancy to my family. After my miscarriage I talked to my husband a little about it but I wasn’t quite sure where to go with the loss; I also remember feeling like I shouldn’t be feeling like this – after all it had only been one short month and that there were many women out there who had suffered losses worse than mine. And I told myself that one in three pregnancies end in miscarriage, so really what was the issue?
In saying all this to myself I was not appreciating fully that my miscarriage was a big, big deal and that all I had felt with the pregnancy was incredibly significant.
What if I acknowledged that this pregnancy had purpose; that there was a deeper significance to the experience that brought something to both of us, even if I wasn’t aware of what it was?
At the time however whilst I knew that this was the case I certainly couldn’t let myself feel it and left it lying dormant unacknowledged.
One day several years later I happened to tune into a radio discussion on miscarriage. On this programme a couple who had had five miscarriages wanted to begin something that could mark the losses and arranged for three services to take place in different locations in Scotland, where anyone who had experienced miscarriage could go and be able to publicly mark their pregnancies.
While I was listening I was acknowledging my experience of miscarriage but was not truly connecting to it. And then like a bombshell I heard that in the services arranged in Scotland the parents of the babies were encouraged to ring a bell as many times as they had lost a child. The sound felt important as it marked the pregnancy tangibly in the world. This resonated deeply with me and from nowhere the deep grief came spilling up.
This was the pivotal moment where the feelings that had been buried had finally been brought up to the surface to feel and let go of!
Since that time I have been left more deeply aware that the purpose of the pregnancy for me was to bring out issues for me to look at and heal so that when I did become a mother I could move on and evolve more deeply in the loving expression that I carry – not just for me and my child(ren) but for humanity. As a mother, it is very easy for me to pull my kids up when they make some loveless choices. I understand it is not about being their friend but about being a constant reflection for what love is, within my capacity to do so, so that they have this reflection to come back to, even when they don’t want to see it or hear it.
Since the day of the radio programme I can feel that I have let go of the loss of my miscarriage and the feelings of grief that had lain buried for so long.
In being able to finally understand, feel and embody why this pregnancy was deeply significant for me I have been able to feel nothing but appreciation for it.
As a result, the relationship I have with my two children has deepened. There is now more space in our connection and I can hold them in the deepening stillness that I experienced during pregnancy without the complication of them having to serve any need.
In fact the day I cleared the emotion of the loss, my son felt a deeper connection to me but didn’t understand why. He asked me “why do I love you so much more today?!”
He was simply feeling the bigger space created for love.
Because I became aware of the purpose of the pregnancy and that my daughter Juliet was with me for a reason I can finally let it be with no attachment. I can choose to celebrate the experience my miscarriage brought for what it was, rather than grieve over its loss.
At the end of that month the pregnancy was complete and perfect as it was.
It didn’t have to go full term for me to fully appreciate and love what it gave me, and it certainly didn’t change the profundity of the connection with my child because the strength of it was palpable and the imprint of that love still exists – it didn’t vanish with the bleed.
As a result, my understanding of the word “miscarriage” and the experience of it is no longer synonymous with pain. Having got past that, it now says to me “opportunity for evolution” – an opportunity to clear attachments and needs and the self that gets in the way of being a true reflection of love to our children and to others, and to connect more deeply to the love that is innately within us and all around us.
By Michelle McWaters, Bath, UK
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