Article written by Kerri Lewis
Editors Note: This article is a bit of a departure from our normal content, but one so many of us can relate too. We chose to publish this submission because loss and heartache, and the struggle to battle the darkness that comes with them is something we can all relate too. This article deals with miscarriage and suicidal ideation.
I awoke Mother’s Day morning knowing something was wrong. The spotting that had started the previous day persisted and my lower abdomen started to throb. Despite my inner knowing, I pretended that everything was alright and proceeded to go about my day as if nothing was wrong.
I kissed my love, gave big hugs and kisses to my children and forced myself to get ready for brunch with the family. I thought to myself, if I just stay positive, everything will be just fine…. Sadly this was not the case.
After barely making it through brunch with the family, I headed home, feigning the need for rest. Not wanting to alarm my loved ones, I sent them off to continue on with our Mother’s Day celebration plans. As I watched my family leave, I continued to pray, begging the universe to protect my unborn child.
As the hours ticked by, the blood continued to flow and I knew that my miracle baby was not going to make the appearance I had hoped he would in this world.
After praying for hours, I finally gave my baby permission to let go and within 45 minutes, I was passing his body through me. Oh how I envisioned meeting him differently. Blood all over the floor, the remains of his body in my hand. All I could think to do was to capture the experience with pictures and let my child’s father know our baby was gone. What a tough message to deliver to one of the people you most want to protect in the world.
The days following the loss of my baby proved to be some of the most difficult days I had to face in many years. Alongside the fact that my hopes and dreams for raising my baby were gone, I had to contend with immediate hormonal changes within my body.
I experienced moments of extreme sadness and moments of surrender. All to be expected after what I had just been through. What I did not anticipate was the quick onset of dark thoughts and suicidal ideation. Talk about getting walloped!
Given that I have been studying psychology for years, I knew that the thoughts I was having were not real. I knew that once my hormones subsided, my mind would quiet and I would once again be able to navigate life joyfully and with gratitude.
Still, when these thoughts came up, it took every inch of self control I had not to feed into the darkness. At one point the thoughts came so quickly and often that I spent 36 hours in between sleep just watching movies so that I could keep my mind off my thoughts….. I never thought I would say this but, thank god for T.V.!
Five days out from my miscarriage my hormones started to subside and I was able to come up for air. The bleeding had lessened and I opted to go for a run hoping that the fresh air and endorphins would do me good. As my feet hit the pavement, I shed tears of sorrow for the loss of my baby, tears of gratitude for the ability to handle the insanity that came with my hormonal imbalance and tears of joy for having had the opportunity to carry life within me, even if only for a little while.
As I ran I realized I had a choice. I could wallow in sadness for what didn’t come to fruition or I could celebrate with joy the fact that I get to experience the fullness of life. Carrying and losing life, feeling deep joy and sorrow and knowing that it is the whole of our experiences that makes our life well lived. And while I still mourn the loss of a dream, I welcome the blessings that I know will inevitably come from my loss.
If nothing else, this experience has reinforced my connection to spirit. By surrendering to what is rather than holding on to what I wanted to be, I’ve gained new insights and reinforced my belief that all is just as it should be.
I’ve learned that loss brings renewal, my daily self care practice saved me and that how I show up in the world does in fact make a difference. Most importantly I am reminded that no matter what life throws my way, I am equipped with the tools to weather any storm.
If you are experiencing loss, know that you are not alone. That it will get easier and that it is ok to be gentle with yourself. Loss doesn’t just have to mean the end of something, it can also mean the beginning of something even brighter…..