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A Survival Guide to Miscarriage - From a Survivor Part 2
a blog by Katie Landry, February 7, 2014
In Part 1, I shared about my experience with my most recent miscarriage and some of the 'survival advice' I received along the way.
Here are the other bits of wisdom I discovered through the healing process of a miscarriage:
Be open. I am somewhat of a private person in real life– or rather, I share selectively. When it comes to hurt or emotions or anything that might make me feel vulnerable, I shy away from being open. I still am selective with whom I share, but I have to tell you, having people who knew about my situation and were there to support me was priceless. It’s true, they couldn't take the hurt away, but when they could hurt with me, somehow, the burden got just a little bit lighter. It really did. To know that people are in your corner, praying, hurting, caring…it takes the sting out of the loss, just a little bit. Where you can comfortably be open with others, do.
A side benefit of sharing for me is that I have found out that my story has really encourage many other women. Women don’t really talk about this a lot; it’s not easy to share something so personal and tender. But when I have, so many other women have come out and shared their stories – which has helped them. Seeing that there is a little redemption from your loss is definitely healing.
It can be awkward when people ask (both those who know about your situation and those who don’t) how you are. Be as honest as you can, even if you don’t disclose all the details; there is no need to put on a brave face. My response was usually, “Hanging in there” or “Getting by.” If that is too ‘upbeat’ for our current reality, it is okay to say, “I’ve been better.” If you are afraid that will just invite more questions, I would sometimes say, “I’m okay.” “Okay” leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Not great, not amazing, but if I am still standing and not on the floor in a crying heap at that moment, then, yes, I am okay.
Pamper yourself. It really is okay to be a little selfish during this time. In this loss, no one else went through it the way that you did. Do whatever it is that you need to do to feel better and get through (destructive behavior excluded, of course). Try to find things that genuinely bring you joy, and do them. This won’t take away the pain of your loss, but it helps to take the edge off.
If you feel like blowing off cleaning the house and taking a walk at the beach, do it. If getting your nails done makes you feel pretty and ‘normal,’ do it. If you just want to watch movies and eat ice cream all day, do it. If a little retail therapy will get you through the day (and not get you into debt, which will only make you sadder, later), do it.
It’s okay to bend the rules a little bit here. A miscarriage doesn't happen every day, and you don’t do these things every day. It is okay to give yourself permission to indulge in the things that do bring you joy. We can’t live in escapism forever, that is true, but these little joys remind us that there are still things in life that make us smile and make us feel normal (and at least for me, that was huge).
Don’t lose hope. It is dark right now. Really dark. But it won’t always be dark, and it is important to remember that. I don’t know how your infertility story will end – or mine. But the sun doesn't rise or set according to our infertility issues. Life will go on, there will be more things to smile about, and Lord-willing, there will be a family in our future. There is always hope. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” It might be a really, really, really long night, but joy will come eventually. Don’t lose hope.