They say that like attracts like.
I still don't really know who "they" are, but I've come to realize that "they" are right, so we'll just go with it.
I kind of want to answer a few questions before I delve into this, as this is a VERY personal post:
Who is this whole blog even for?
What is the point of all of this?
Why am I putting myself out there like this?
Great questions. See, I have a specific person I'm talking to with each post I make:
- The tired Mom who is trying to do everything for everyone else and falling short.
- She struggles with eating her emotions, maybe due to the stress and demands of parenting a child with special needs of any kind.
- She is imperfect and frustrated with everyone around her who seem to have it all together (psst - they really don't!), while she trails behind, desperately trying to hold her own life and family together.
- She needs encouragement and healing, as she may have experienced loss through a miscarriage (or several, like I have).
This last one is hard for me to talk about, but I strive to live an open and genuine life. Not because I like for people to know my business (I don't!), but because I know there are others out there who are hurting just as I have.
My motivation for this blog and to lead this vulnerable life is simple:
To make things easier on you than they were on me.
Whether it has to do with health & fitness, being a tired & imperfect mommy, allowing food to have control over all of your emotions, or suffering with a loss like I mentioned.
So today, instead of retreating to make baked goods and hiding with them and a good book, I am on here,
facing my pain straight-on, and offering my insight to maybe help just a little bit with your own healing.
So here it goes: I've been feeling sad today.
I've been off for about a week or so, and didn't really know why. I keep looking at my little boy with a lump in my throat, appreciating every smile. I keep feeling sad and tired and have been crying or getting upset a lot. I'm really not all that emotional, so this was confusing me.
Does it seem to you like everyone else is pregnant lately? I know a LOT of people who are having babies, or just had babies, or just found out they were pregnant. I'm always excited for them - I mean, really! But I still have that aching feeling in the pit of my stomach lately like something's not right.
It hit me today.
We had another miscarriage back in November. Our baby (I talked about it here) would have been due last week.
This past week and all the sadness make sense now!
Having my Logan to hold in my arms sure does take away the sting, but I still have that pain in my heart lately every time I see a picture of a newborn baby in my news feed, or every time I'm in the grocery store and see a pregnant Mama.
See, most women feel a bond immediately when they get a positive pregnancy test. That baby is yours, they're real, and they're there, even if you can't hold them yet. To have that ripped from you in the reality we call miscarriage is excruciating.
I saw this in my news feed today:
We have experienced four such losses. Four. There are many others who have experienced even more, and some who have even had to grieve for babies who were born but didn't make it.
So today, I choose to open up about this pain so you may know that you - who I KNOW needs healing of your own - may be encouraged.
You may be thinking, "well, Amanda, I opened this post for healing, now what?" - good point. As you can see, I am still hurting, but I have worked through much of the pain and will share with you what I have learned through my own experienced.
Honestly, I think we will continue to deal with pain - especially on birthdays, and the anniversary of the date you got that positive test. Sometimes (like in my case this week), you will have NO idea why you are so sad. Then it will hit you in the gut and you will just know. Others, you may know exactly what that particular month brings and be prepared for it.
In my experiences, here are the 4 things you need to heal from a pregnancy loss:
1) Identify that you need to heal.
2) Find support.
3) Get involved.
4) Pray for healing.
First, you need to identify that you need to heal. This may seem pretty obvious, but really, a lot of people don't consider pregnancy loss to be a real loss. And when you're confused, and hurting, and people around you don't understand your pain, you may want to tuck it away and act like nothing happened. It DID happen. It IS real. You ARE experiencing pain. And you need to heal from that loss, which will take some time.
Second, you need support. When I had my first miscarriage, I didn't have any friends who had experienced such a loss. Actually, my friends tried hard to understand, but couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that I didn't just get over it. They tried - they actually tried hard, but unless someone has been there, you won't find that support. Get online. Find a local support group. If you're in Central Maine, check out the Our Hearts Foundation. They have support groups that meet in the Waterville area, and also host different events to raise money for supporting mamas (because you are a Mama, regardless of whether you have a little one here on earth with you) who have been through miscarriages, and stillbirth trauma. If you're not near Waterville, there are other organizations in Maine!
Next, you need to get involved. My healing didn't fully start until I ran in my first 5K - which was for the Our Hearts Foundation. Every step I took was for my little ones I had lost. That is really what jump-started the healing process for me. Knowing I was doing SOMETHING to recognize that I did, in fact, lose a baby, and seeing the hundreds of other ladies there really filled my heart - I knew I wasn't alone and that we were making a difference. We weren't just running to heal our own hearts. We were running to recognize that losing a baby is painful, and that grieving is necessary. Every year, we validate that it's a real loss to others who are watching! We run together, and we have a deep bond, even though we usually don't even know each other!
Lastly (and this really should be first) is to pray for healing. I mean, really, pray. Don't just give lip service to God, He's not impressed with that. It's ok to pray and ask God "why?". He loves us, He wants a real relationship with us. He doesn't cause the losses - we live in a fallen world. But He is there for us to help with our grieving and to love us, and help our hearts to truly heal. There is nobody in this world that will help you heal like Jesus can. Nobody.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
So I am taking my own advice today and going to get in touch with a few other mommies who have experienced such losses. I am going to research when the next event is for Our Hearts, and most importantly, I am going to pray that Jesus would give me comfort during this time and continue healing my heart.
And when my little man is up from his nap, he is getting the longest hug in the history of Mommy & Logan hugs :)
Hang in there, Mama. Be patient with yourself and your healing heart. And know you're not alone. This post was for you.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org for support!