I’ve had twelve miscarriages, and I don’t have any children.
And yet, nine years after my last miscarriage, I can now say that it truthfully feels as if I’ve had none, and it feels as if I’m over them all - completely.
I know that’s a really extraordinary thing to say! But my miscarriages don’t hurt me anymore, and I don’t have any regrets, and I no longer wish that it had turned out differently.
And yet, whilst all of that was going on, I wanted to have children so much that I became pregnant - and lost my baby - on twelve consecutive occasions, before my husband and I eventually decided that we wanted to stop trying.
So how have I managed to reach the point where it now feels as if I haven’t had any miscarriages at all?
How is it possible to be happy, peaceful and well, and to feel as if it’s all really in the past, and that what happened is OK?
Would you like to know how you could do this, too?
I now work as a miscarriage support therapist. Whilst I didn’t necessarily recognise all of the things that I was doing at the time, I can now see that the following components really helped me during my healing process (and they can help you, too.) This is what they are:
1. Recognise that it takes time to get over a miscarriage
Research at Drexel University in the United States has shown that most women don’t begin to feel back to “normal” again for at least four months after their miscarriage – and it can take a lot longer than that.
I really can vouch for this. The earliest I ever began to feel back to “normal” again, after my miscarriages, was three months. And that was even after using a huge amount of self-help tools, which helped to speed up that process.
At around three to four months, I simply used to feel as if a switch had been flicked in my head, and I felt different. And before that happened, I still felt wounded, hurt, and sometimes unable to cope with my life. And after the switch was flicked I just felt better than I did before.
So if you still don’t feel “normal” again after your miscarriage, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. No matter what other people think, this is normal!
2. Understand that you're going through a grieving process
The same research carried out by Drexel University discovered that the intensity of grief which many women feel after a miscarriage can be as strong as for someone they’ve lost who was close to them, and who’d been walking around in their lives.
And it makes no difference how long you were actually pregnant for, either. The grief can be just as intense, even if you were only pregnant for a short amount of time. Unless they’ve actually experienced this for themselves, I think many people just don’t realise this. And you might not have realised it either.
You’re going through a grieving process, and this takes time. Have compassion for what you’re going through, and treat yourself very kindly and gently – as you would, if someone walking around in your life had died.
Don’t expect to be over this quickly. You’re grieving for the whole life of a little human being who never had the chance to grow up, and this can be a huge thing to adjust to.
3. Realise that trauma can make the grieving process harder
When we lose a baby there is a great deal to come to terms with - and this can be hard enough as it is! But if you add in the fact that you may have been through some very distressing experiences along the way, then that can make it all that much more difficult to deal with.
During a miscarriage it’s common for us to see and feel which things which we would much rather forget, but sometimes upsetting memories can haunt us, and flash into our minds even when we don’t want them to. It’s hard fully to be over something whilst unwanted thoughts and memories are still affecting us like this.
Sometimes we try to push these memories away, lock them up somewhere, deep down – in our heads or in our hearts – but they don’t always stay there. And they can be triggered again when we experience other unpleasant events and losses.
Although there is a saying that “time heals”, that’s not necessarily true, in all circumstances. It can be the case that the memories are still there, waiting to shock us and hurt us all over again, when something in the present moment reminds us of them, in some little way.
4. Have a way to heal these traumatic memories
After my first miscarriage I didn’t have any tools to support me emotionally, but for the other eleven I did – and that made a huge difference!
I used EFT “tapping” (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) to help me to feel calmer and more peaceful. They are both very gentle and effective self-help tools, and I used them actually to undo some of the distress and trauma which I was experiencing.
Most people don’t know this, but it is possible to take the painful emotions away from upsetting and traumatic memories.
This leaves you feeling much calmer and more peaceful. And in my own case, it means that there are now no longer any painful emotions attached, to any of the memories from my miscarriages.
This means that things which used to be really painful and distressing to remember, now feel neutral and distant. It’s a little bit like watching them on television. I still know that they happened (and they will never be pleasant things to watch) but they now no longer hurt me anymore. It’s almost as if they happened to someone else.
Now, as you can imagine, there were literally hundreds of unpleasant memories which I accumulated during my years of twelve miscarriages, and clearing the painful emotions away from all of them is not something which I accomplished over night!
But it was a very worthwhile process, which I really recommend, and it has left me feeling much happier and more peaceful, and with the knowledge that my mind can now comfortably rest, anywhere within my memories - and I know that they won’t cause me pain.
5. Be able to ease the grieving process
Losing a baby, and grieving for that baby, is not a comfortable thing to experience, and for many of us the prospect of grieving can be frightening and a little bit daunting.
I know that after my first four or five miscarriages I didn’t grieve very much. I used to cry on one or two occasions, and then I used to stuff those emotions down, and not really let myself feel the heart break.
I was scared of being swept away by the intensity of it all, and that I would find myself drowning in my grief, and not be able to recover. And so I did what many of us do, and I avoided “going there.” The thing that changed this experience for me was discovering TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique.)
On at least 30 occasions over the years I used this gentle self-help tool to help me to grieve, and it always felt like the right thing to do, and it always felt very safe. And every time I did it I felt much calmer, more peaceful and more accepting of my situation, after I’d finished.
And I no longer feel as if my heart is broken. And this is one of the tools which I now use with the women I support, to help them to feel happier and more peaceful too.
6. Get support, if you need it
Recovering completely after a miscarriage is something which you can really do - but sometimes it’s helpful to have emotional support along the way.
I know that I really could not have reached the point that I’m at now, without the powerful and effective self-help tools which I’ve used on myself, and without the care of the people who taught them to me.
I support women all over the world to feel happier and more peaceful after their miscarriages. And I do that both through individual sessions (using Skype and FaceTime) and through my Miscarriage Support Program, which is available twenty-four hours a day, anywhere that you have access to a computer or smart phone.
If there’s any way that I can support you, I would be very happy to do that. Please feel free to contact me, and - if you would like to - we can have a friendly informal chat, and find out how we can help you fully to get over your miscarriage.
Do be in touch! And I’m sending you love, and my warmest wishes,
~ Rosalind xxx