It was almost two years ago (the weekend after Mother’s Day) that we lost our first pregnancy, just a few months after our elopement. I was about 13 weeks into that pregnancy, though according to the very crass physician’s assistant at the emergency room, the baby probably hadn’t had a heartbeat for several weeks. If you’d like to read the whole story, click here. If you’d like to know what practical things I felt like I learned form the experience, click here to read that blog post.
I had a pretty intense miscarriage, in that I labored for about 24 hours, the last half of which was contractions 2 minutes apart. I spent most of the time in the tub. Having given birth to our Rainbow Baby (you can read Fiona’s birth story here), I would say that the first half of my labor was almost identical to my miscarriage, except for the larger belly and much more joyful atmosphere.
But the other thing I have observed is that I really experienced a postpartum period after that miscarriage, a lot of things were similar to my experience the past few weeks. (I’m not just passed six weeks postpartum).
It’s important to honor all mamas experiences, to honor each pregnancy how you feel it needs to be honored. It’s vitally important to honor the postpartum for each mama, and whatever length it may be for her: a few weeks or a year. As a community of women, we need to meet the real needs of the mamas in our lives, before and after birth. I know not many of you share your miscarriages openly with others, but let me encourage you to find at least one or two people to share with, so that you can be attended to postpartum. And believe me when I say there is a postpartum period!
One of the reasons I love starting work with mamas early in pregnancy or even before conception is that I could be available should they lose their child. I can be a resource to them through a miscarriage and postpartum. I always encourages mamas that hire me later in pregnancy as well to make sure we’re working together at least one month postpartum, because they will want to have that relationship continue, to feel they have an objective person to not only suggest herbs/food/remedies, but to hear their birth story for the 15th time (and how differently they feel about it each time), and to listen without judgement to their feelings of isolation, joy, loss, fear, and victory.
My miscarriage postpartum involved what you would expect: bleeding, crying, grieving. It also involved exhaustion, the need to be comforted by friends, my sister, my mom, and to eat comfort food. To talk about the birth story, to express feelings of disappointment, despair, even guilt (for losing the baby).
Did you tell people about your Angel Babies? Did you get help postpartum? Have you helped another mama through a miscarriage? What was most comforting to you?
Want to find out more about Holistic Pregnancy and Birth Coaching? Click here.