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Lessons Learned from Coping with Miscarriage

Here are the lessons I learned about love, mindfulness, and self-care from coping with my miscarriage.

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At the end of last year (right before Christmas, epic timing), my husband and I lost our first baby. We were safely in the second trimester when our miscarriage happened, which made it even more of a shock. We were “out of the woods,” so to speak.

I had never experienced a loss like this, and I one-hundred-and-ten-percent didn’t see it coming. In my mind, I didn’t even think about miscarriage being a possibility. In fact, I told myself that I KNEW it wouldn’t happen.

Because I take care of myself physically and emotionally, because fertility nutrition is my favorite kind of nutrition, because I was 3000% ready to be pregnant and carry a healthy baby.

But here’s the thing- you can’t really know something if you don’t have complete control over it. And as hard as we try, pregnancy is one of those things we will never have complete control over.

Nutrition and wellness can SERIOUSLY help fertility, and help prevent and alleviate pregnancy symptoms, and help give our babies the healthiest start possible. 

But unfortunately, sometimes there are things bigger than us at play (genetics, environmental factors, etc.) that prevent the best from happening.

[Silly me for thinking I was exempt just because I know these things].

I don’t know when this moment will hit you (if it hasn’t already), but I remember exactly when it hit me. I was in that hospital room delivering our sweet, deceased 17 week old angel baby girl when I decided to stop caring.

Not about the important things- I still cared deeply about life, my health, my family, God (even though I was pretty dang upset with Him at the moment..we got it sorted out later though).

But it was then when I decided I would stop caring about things that (frankly) didn’t matter.   

Has that happened to you yet? It hit me like a really, really soft freight train. It was like I was being lifted, but I still had a hundred extra-fluffy pillows on my chest at the same time. A little heavy, but gentle and freeing. It was equal parts liberating and exhausting.

Exhausting because it opened my eyes to exactly how much time and energy I wasted caring about those inconsequential things- how I looked, how I was perceived by others, if what I was doing with my life was my one true “calling,” if I was making “the BEST” choices possible every day, worrying I wasn’t doing enough of the things I know I “should”, etc.

I also have a *tidge* of perfectionism in me (if that wasn’t blatantly obvious by that list)… so this relief was that much more real. 

While some of my past worries were more valid than others, I realized that I didn’t need to care in the way that I was “caring” before, which was really just a constant state of worry and feeling like I didn’t measure up.

Those are all the little “concepts” we burden ourselves with that just don’t need to be a thing. So here’s a list of things for you to stop caring about. Read through it, and consider what your life would be like if you just let it go.

My miscarriage has helped me achieve a little more balance in my perspective, and I hope it can help you as well.

 

STOP CARING ABOUT

 

1. Other People

 

No, I don’t want you to start being a cold-hearted grouch at the grocery store or undermining your co-workers or rejecting calls from your mom. I DO want you to stop caring about what people think. What a concept, right?

I think itstarts around age 6. Before that, we would dance, sing, laugh, dress, and act the way we damn well pleased. Not that that behavior didn’t come without consequences (like that time in second grade I landed myself in the principal’s office for saying something not-so-nice to this girl on the bus… still feel bad about that one), but we learned.

We learned right from wrong, we learned how to be nice (and mean, and what happens when we’re mean), and we learned what we liked and didn’t like. And we did what we liked. We were friends with who we wanted to be, and we had big dreams.

We were genuinely ourselves. Our peers weren’t necessarily dictating every move we made or what emotions we could feel.

Now? We kinda suck at this. We are HEAVILY bombarded with expectations of what we think beautiful is, what being a good mom looks like, what being healthy means, what being “ uccessful” looks like. It’s overwhelming! We never add up, because the expectations don’t quit and we don’t stop them from affecting us.

And where do these expectations come from? From comparing. We think we aren’t successful because that “friend” on social media has a way better house with a lot more expensive decor. Or this person is THE BEST mom because she takes her kids out to a new adventure every day. Etc. etc. etc. We compare, and we care about what other people see about us because we want to be just as impressive. Right?

So here’s my solution. Just staahhwwwp. Stop it! YOU are amazing, because you’re you. You have different talents, different qualities, a different personality. You will help people in a way no one else can. You will learn lessons in a way no one else will, which shapes you differently. You are DIFFERENT, and that’s beautiful.

Truly, all that matters is that you live your life the best way you know how. And respect that others are trying to do the same. SO stop caring what others think. And stop comparing your life to theirs. And make good choices.

Start living up to the expectations you set yourself. And be nice to yourself when you do that. 

I know you’ve heard that all before, but I don’t care. We all need to hear this over and over and over again until we actually do it. So do it.

 

2. The Unknown

 

This one sucked for me right after our miscarriage, as it does for anyone that has experienced an unexpected loss. My husband and I both started new businesses, we lost our baby, and we sold our house…all in the same month. So I’m like, what the heck am I going to do now? I no longer have the same support system, I’m not making an income at the moment, and the future just shifted (more like collapsed) out of nowhere.

And then there’s the “what if’s.” What if I lose a baby again? What if our businesses fail, and what if we drained our savings trying and can’t pay our rent?

To that I say- “shove off, mind”. Because that’s the culprit! Our minds.

Solution: we change our thoughts. We can meditate and breath and help combat the fear. Do I need to do this daily hourly? Sometimes. But that’s okay!

If you can’t get out of the “what if” cycle right away, just change what “what if’s”. What if our businesses take off? What if we are able to impact WAY more people than we expected? What if we get pregnant right away and things go off without a hitch?

Doesn’t that feel so much better? Why don’t we let ourselves automatically think the best case scenario instead of the opposite for a change? 

I don’t want to spend any more time worrying about things that probably won’t happen. Not to mention the fact that when we put our worrying energy out there, studies show those things are more likely to ACTUALLY happen.

And you know what else? Take risks. If it feels right, just jump. Things will work out and you will learn regardless. Let go of the fear long enough to actually let yourself jump and experience things.

 

3. Doing Enough

 

This goes along with the concept of comparison- if we stop comparing ourselves to others and forget what people thing about us, I think the feelings of “never doing enough” will decrease dramatically. Like, chopping your hair into a pixie cut dramatic.

However, outside noise isn’t the only issue here. Taking away the expectations we think others place on us helps, but we also really need to shift the expectations we place on ourselves.

How?

Forgiveness.

Forgiveness and understanding are huge here. Be nice to yourself! Make your “to do” list more realistic, and when you miss a few things, be nice about it.

You wouldn’t yell at your best friend and call her an idiot for forgetting something, so stop yelling at yourself. Just be nice. You are doing a great job at life!

If you want to be healthier, do it. But don’t run yourself rampant over it. Go the pace you need to.

Feel like you’re not working hard enough? Not successful enough? Go back and define what this means to you, then come up with some goals to get there. And be nice if you fall short. Because life is about progress, and progress is an ongoing project. You can always try again.

Did you forget to feed your kids lunch? Accidentally leave something/someone at the store? Did someone just cut you off on the highway, and did you just get too dramatic about it? Forgive yourself, and be nice. Ask for forgiveness if necessary (especially if you left someone at the store), and then smile about it. Because we mess up sometimes, and it’s great.

So here’s a mantra to tell yourself every waking moment of every day-

“I am smart. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am me.”  That’s it.

Just love yourself. Stop caring about other people’s thoughts, stop caring about the unknown, stop caring about measuring up to these crazy expectations.

Start being happy, start being present in the moment, continue to do what you know you need to and what you know (or think) makes you happy.

Because life is precious, and we deserve better than getting down on ourselves all the time. Start working with yourself instead of against yourself. And know that we are all cheering you on.

You cannot control a miscarriage. It was not your fault. And if you’re like me, you’ll find peace in not caring about others’ thoughts, the unknown, and if you’re “doing enough.” Be kind to yourself, and know that you’re doing your best. That’s the best we can do!

 

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