Being pregnant was a joy and happened so much quicker than I had expected. I was in complete awe of my body and how everything interconnected and worked in a beautiful rhythm to create what was to be a little human being. It was incredible and made me appreciate my body and just how amazing it was to see myself grow and shift with each stage of the pregnancy, as early as it was. I knew I was pregnant the moment we had conceived and I also knew I was having a girl. It was as if all of my senses had become more aware and a great feeling of clarity came to the surface: my world had changed in many ways, and more would soon follow.
I had come to my 12-week ultrasound and I was so excited to be able to get a look at my baby and to see and hear her heartbeat. What was to follow was a surprise at the time, but I knew my steadiness would support me to make the most loving decision for myself and to grow from what lay ahead. We were then told that the ultrasound had come back showing genetic abnormalities and a weak heart, and we would need to consider the possibilities of a medical termination.
The news was heavy and at times hard to believe, as it all happened so quickly – just as quickly as the pregnancy itself. But even though I felt quite steady within myself, there was a niggling feeling of failure welling up inside. I questioned whether I had done something wrong, which made me feel anxious, helpless and, in truth, that I had failed as a woman.
A million thoughts came rushing into my head, which tried to distract me feeling what my body really felt to be true. Silly thoughts tried to come in like ‘maybe the fever I had a month ago had caused the abnormality’, ‘had I been getting enough sleep?’, ‘was I eating enough to support the growth of my baby?’ etc. As those thoughts entered, I knew that they weren’t coming from my true inner sense – and a different thought entered, with complete clarity: ‘You will grow and learn.’
These words then stayed with me throughout this period and showed me that we can be quick to judge these times as failures and tragedies, but we can take a different approach to also appreciate the moment and heal from our experiences, too.
This moment opened up a huge wound I had carried for many years about myself as a woman, and feeling as if something was wrong with me. Even when I was a little girl, whenever I went to the doctors for test results, I always counted on the worst possible scenario. Picturing in my head these crazy stories or illnesses that never came to fruition, I kept feeling the same anxiety whenever a test result was near.
So when my partner and I visited the genetics department of the hospital to have our test results confirmed for our baby, I took a moment to remind myself of the words that had come to me earlier ‘You will grow and learn.’ I knew what was to come next would be healing for both myself and my partner. We were then told that I had done nothing wrong, and I felt this huge amount of relief in my body. It was as if I had given myself permission to simply let go and show the world every little inch of who I was without fear or shame of what was to come.
I could not hold back the tears any longer and it was in these moments of vulnerability shared with my partner, family and friends, that I began to see how this opened up greater honesty in my relationships. I was never one to cry or show emotion very much, preferring to keep my sensitivity locked up or only cry when I knew I was by myself. I have always held the belief that crying was a sign of weakness, and was told from a young age to be brave and strong and that there was no need to cry. What I felt when I shared my experiences of my termination with others was a great solidness within the vulnerability of my experiences, and a deeper understanding and awareness of others and how they too felt in difficult situations within their own lives.
Many people shared similar stories of miscarriages and terminations that they themselves had not discussed so openly before, showing me that if we allow our vulnerability to speak in these moments, we unlock a new level of understanding and growth for many others too. I have found that the more we talk openly about our experiences with miscarriage or abortion, the more interconnected we feel, and the isolation, shame or judgment we may have felt, disappears.
My pregnancy may not have continued through until the birth of my child, but the imprint left behind by my unborn daughter is simply that of love. That love will live on and will help me to continue to heal and evolve as life presents itself to me, one moment at a time, and for that I am greatly appreciative.
This period of my life has not only made me honour myself as a woman, but also appreciate how far I have come. To continue to confirm and appreciate my vulnerability and delicateness as a quality to be honoured and expressed, and not a sign of weakness.
Through this experience I have grown more solid and clear about the choices I make and how I move to not only lovingly support myself, but to honour who I am within these choices. Confirming that each step made in connection to my body is a precious part of my growth as a woman. From the first inklings of conceiving to making the choice to terminate, the experience has shown me that in each and every moment we can choose to surrender to what’s on offer; to then evolve with what is shared through the movements of love, by expressing what we truly feel.
When my partner and I decide to have another child, we will be fully supported by our choices made from our first pregnancy, to then bring more love and understanding into the next. The love reflected in our choices then confirms the opportunity for more growth and a deeper awareness of the whole. I may have lost my baby, but the loving choices I made at the time have made me clearer and more aware of my next choices, and have confirmed the love and responsibility I hold at this time.
When we appreciate where we are at, we begin to see how amazing every moment is, and are much more willing to see and learn from every opportunity.
For further inspiration …
Is miscarriage synonymous with pain, or is there another way? Read.
“was my key to opening my heart to the world – instead of defending myself against it.” Joan on letting go of patterns that she thought she was stuck in for life …
Is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable what supports us to have?