It is hard to write of miscarriage. Such a private experience. Such a common experience.
The second child in as many years left my body unexpectedly this last week. I had felt so sure this pregnancy would turn out differently.
I wrote deeply about my miscarriage last year. It was a profound experience for me, this discovering that I had undergone so much transformation that I could come out of the experience still in connection with myself, unbroken.
This time, when I realized I was miscarrying, I spent time thinking about what I wanted this experience to be like. Or rather, who I wanted to be in this experience. How I wanted to show up to it.
I gathered supplies - herbs to infuse and drink, iron to supplement blood loss, a fertility candle to hold the light for me, frankincense oil to calm me.
I straightened the bedroom. I brought in a new plant.
I checked in with friends and sitters to see who would be around for childcare when things got intense.
And I touched base with people who know about the body. I called my midwife. I emailed my naturopath. I spoke with my acupuncturist.
In many ways, this miscarriage was harder than the last. True, there was no hemorrhage, there was no trip to the ER, there was no crazy snow storm. But this one was an experience of start and stop. Hours of intense, contraction-like pain that didn’t seem to “do” much, only to ebb and leave me for half a day or more until returning. Truthfully, this one was harder because it was like my son’s birth - days of difficult labor with slow progression. I found it triggering and at times, demoralizing and scary.
Now that I seem to be mostly through the process, I feel grateful for the similarity. I feel grateful to have been triggered. I was able to touch into the fears I felt while I was laboring with my son and give them a little more light, a little more healing. I was able to see that I could actually move through another long, painful process, and that I am better equipped now. I have the right people around me. I have the tools to take care. I know much more about what I need.
Of course, it helps that I didn’t end up in another hospital. That my body got to experience a version of birth - a natural biological process - without intervention. Support? You bet. There were castor oil packs and acupuncture and squats and massage. And a lot of texts and phone calls with just the right people. But this new experience - and the way I showed up to it - helps me rewrite some of the scripts that get going on repeat, the ones that tell me:
I don’t have what it takes.
My body doesn’t function well.
I don’t have the support I need.
It helps me see that I can rise to yet another experience and meet it. That I’m different than before. And I’m different as a result. That choosing how to be has a lot to do with how something gets experienced, even when the experience is not the one I want. That my body needs help, and that it works well. That I am awash in loving, wise support.
I hope to never write about another personal miscarriage. It’s shitty. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking and exhausting.
But I write now knowing that with each experience that I move through in life - miscarriages included, I am given the opportunity to go deeper, show up differently, heal a little more thoroughly. I am offered a new breadth of resiliency.
I’m grateful for that.