Self-Love Reflection: The Other Side Of A Miscarriage

Posted: October 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

Please welcome Stephanie as she shares her story for today’s Self-Love Reflection. It is immensely touching, with an inspiring message of loving yourself and life.

My name is Stephanie and I write about health, balance and seeking adventure on my happy living blog, Love Life Project. I’m so happy to be guest posting on Faith Fitness Fun! Tina’s blog is always joyful and encouraging. I’m glad to be a part of it.

At this time last year, I was newly married and glowing with the knowledge that I carried a baby inside of me. I wondered at every new feeling of early pregnancy: the strange churning in my stomach, the aching breasts, the need to go to bed at 8:00 PM every night.

My husband and I argued good-naturedly over names and talked about all of the things that we would do with our child. We discussed how we’d reorganize the house so that our little one would have a room. As Halloween approached, we started talking about what kinds of Halloween costumes we’d dress our baby in the following year. I half-joked that before too long I wouldn’t be able to tie my shoes. On October 31st of last year, I lost my pregnancy.

It hurt, both physically and emotionally. My heart was broken and I grieved. I missed my little bean with all of my being.

My loved ones empathized and supported me, although I don’t believe that anyone else missed my baby the way that I did and still do. I felt angry and sad and lethargic and lonely. All I wanted was to be pregnant again. Despite my grief, I knew that I’d be pregnant again soon. It had only taken one month the first time; I was obviously someone who got pregnant quickly.

Milestone dates came and went, and all the while I told myself that it was just a matter of time: I’ll be pregnant again within the first month. I’ll be pregnant again before Mother’s Day. I’ll be pregnant again before my birthday. I’ll be pregnant again before my due date. I’ll be pregnant again before the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. In 16 days, it will have been exactly one year since I lost my baby. I’m still not pregnant.

Logically, I know that this isn’t necessarily something to worry about. My husband is in the air force, and he isn’t always around at the right time. People tell me – over and over again – that it will happen if it’s meant to happen. I can’t help wondering, though, if maybe it won’t happen. Maybe it isn’t meant to happen.

Have you ever had a toothache or a canker sore? You know how you touch it gently with your tongue, testing to see how much it hurts? As the one year mark approaches, that’s how I’ve started considering the possibility that I might not have a baby. I touch the possibility gently with my mind, and then back off. Little by little, I’m starting to imagine how life might look if it were just me and my husband and our dog. On many days it doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it might.

This is my family. This is enough.

I have a good life. I have a husband who loves and respects me. We have close-knit families – parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. I love my house and my big goof of a dog. I'm taking better care of myself and starting to explore my creative side.

Even if it turns out that luck has kicked me in the uterus, I know that I can live a rich, happy, full life. For now, I'm seeking a balance between being hopeful and planning for a future with kids, and loving myself and my life right now, as it is. That's what self-love is to me: trusting that the future is wide open while still understanding that what really matters is what and how I'm living today.

What’s holding you back from truly loving life right now? What richness in life can you (or are you) focus(ing) on instead?

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35 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: The Other Side Of A Miscarriage”
  1. rhonda says:

    no i don’t know how she feels but maybe she could try to bring it down a notch? her body’s been thru so much already…..

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Rhonda! Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure what you mean by bring it down a notch. I think I’m pretty calm and easy-going about it all…although I suppose that that might not come through in this post! Women’s bodies are pretty tough. 1 out of 5 known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and our bodies bounce back pretty quickly! It’s really not something to worry about (in terms of being gentle with your body) a year after the fact. If it were a month after my miscarriage, then yeah, I’d agree with you. I would have liked to have been pregnant again IMMEDIATELY, and looking back, I’m pretty sure that would have been too much for my body.

  2. Oh man, I can’t even imagine the mental anguish of the whole situation. Focusing on what you do have in life is definitely the way to go…but can be so much easier said than done at times.

    • Stephanie says:

      It was really (REALLY!) hard when it happened, and I absolutely hate getting my period every month. But it gets a lot easier with time and as I become less focused on getting pregnant. It’s not on my mind all the time, the way it was at first. I still think and hope that I’ll have a baby, hopefully in the next year or two. And if not? Well, life will still happen. Maybe we’ll adopt at some point.

  3. chelsey says:

    I’m so sorry for what you had to go through stephanie. I can imagine losing a baby would be the most difficult challenge if I were ever in the same situation. Prayers to you and your family for a blessing when the time is right!

  4. Wow…my heart aches for you as I know the pain of miscarriages, disappointments of not being preg, etc. I love the way you are handling it. Enjoy life now…keep smiling!

    • Stephanie says:

      Until I had a miscarriage, I never realized how frequent they were. I mean…I knew they were frequent. That’s why people don’t shout out their pregnancies to the world at 6 weeks. But…knowing and KNOWING are two different things!

  5. Stephanie you are such a strong person and I admire you for pushing through everything. You are truly an inspiration.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Jess! Honestly, my life has been magically blessed for the most part. I consider myself one of the very lucky people in this world. I still hope that I’ll have a baby in the next few years!

  6. I know what you mean about nobody else missing your baby. I had a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage between my 1st and 2nd child. I still miss that baby, and I still feel like there is someone missing from my family who is supposed to be here. When I did get pregnant again I did not trust in the pregnancy for many months – not until my ultrasound at 23 weeks. At that point I felt safe in my baby, but not until then.

    Thank you for talking about it, far too many people don’t. And your strength in loving yourself, and balancing hope and acceptance is wonderful.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m sorry you lost your baby. That’s actually something I’m worried about as well…that even though I really want to get pregnant, when it happens, I’m going to be seriously nervous! My goal is to just stay generally centred and not get too obsessive about anything.

  7. jobo says:

    Wow, that is so sad and such a ‘so true’ comparison to the canker sore reference, as I can imagine it’s always there, quietly hurting. I have not experienced this myself, but have several friends that have, and I just cannot fathom how difficult it must be. You sound strong and resilient though and hopefully you will be blessed with a baby once again.

    • Stephanie says:

      I like to think I’m pretty tough. And LOTS of women have had much more harrowing experiences than I have – years of infertility, multiple miscarriages, stillbirth. I also know women who want desperately to have children, but they haven’t met the right man yet…I think that can be just as hard and trying and not conceiving. Thanks for your kind words! Maybe I’ll get pregnant soon and Tina will let me post an update. Ha!

  8. Stephanie, I did not know this. I know how hard it can be, I went through this when my sister miscarried many years ago. You question yourself and everything you do thinking it was in some way your fault. I go along with those who say it will happen when it is meant to happen. You have a wonderful joyful spirit and you share that with us every day. I send you a warm hug and my grateful thanks for all that you give your readers and the friendship I feel personally with you.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Fran. I definitely did question myself at the time. You’re always wondering if it was something you did, even though you know logically that it wasn’t. And I question myself now too, wondering if I need to do something differently to get pregnant. But it will happen when it happens, and in the meantime I’m enjoying life!

  9. Great guest post! I love both of these blogs 🙂

  10. Michele says:

    This is such a wonderful post despite the sadness and pain involved. Anyone experiencing a miscarriage for the first time could really find a ray of hope in this message. Though it hasn’t happened to me, I know that feeling of missing a baby that never saw the light of day through friends who have gone through this. You put it into words so well. I was once asked to read a modified “birthday” story at a stillborn baby’s memorial service and it was one of the hardest things I had ever written and read. The service was beautiful, but very sad, yet it was important for that family to acknowledge the life and loss of their little girl. My heart goes out to you.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’ve been really surprised over the last year about how many stories there are about stillborn babies. I honestly, sincerely thought that it just didn’t happen very often anymore. It turns out that it happens a lot more often than we think. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that would be for a mother. So sad.

  11. I read this and then sat on it for awhile. My heart goes out to Stephanie and her husband. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I had my first miscarriage. I was beyond devastated. I walked into the hospital pregnant knowing that when I left, I would no longer have my little one with me. It was 2 weeks before Christmas and my world crumbled. My baby had stopped growing and I was beginning to dilate. My second miscarriage was 3 months after that. I was 5 weeks pregnant and I knew the second it happened. I felt like I was broken. My husband had no idea what to do. I almost felt worse for him since he was at a total loss. Why was all of this happening? I had a 2 year old at the time (Jay) and I had no problems at all with that pregnancy. I wasn’t even sick! Not one bit of morning sickness. After my 2nd miscarriage, I was able to get my hormone levels tested. Come to find out, I had absolutely no progesterone at all. I was probably lucky to even have my first son since my levels were probably low with him. Progesterone is what makes you sick in the first trimester and since I wasn’t sick, they think it was probably low then too. I was lucky enough to have a great doctor that helped me with progesterone supplements. It worked and we were able to have our 2nd son (Max). I never forget though. To this day, I get tears in my eyes just thinking about what I’ve lost. It’s important that we share these things. I felt so alone when it happened to me. I had an incredible support system in my husband and like I said before, the men are so helpless, but they stay strong for us. Please know that I’m thinking about your little one Stephanie. I do believe there is a place for the little ones we have all lost. You are not alone and I wish you so much happiness in your life with your husband. I hope you find peace and happiness through all of the hard times.

    • Stephanie says:

      My stomach dropped when I read your comment, Sarena. Two miscarriages in three months must have been absolutely devastating. I can’t even imagine…or I suppose, I can imagine, but I don’t like to because it makes my insides twist up. I’m so very sorry for your losses. Thanks for your kind words. Thanks also for the information about progesterone.

      And about feeling alone…when I had my miscarriage, I was pretty open about what was happening. Several women came up to me privately, in tears, and told me that they’d suffered a miscarriage too, but didn’t know anyone else who had. I think it’s a shame that miscarriage is such a “taboo” subject, because women feel so alone when it’s happening to them.

  12. reccewife says:

    My bloggy-friend, this is a beautiful post. And an amazing outlook. I am always left feeling blessed I get to know you a little bit 🙂

  13. Lisa says:

    Thanks for being so honest (and for sharing a pic of your husband…cuz I swear I have never seen one on your blog!). I can empathize, but I don’t know the way you felt when you lost your baby, or how you feel now. I only know it’s hard.
    I think the part I do have in common with your feelings (and I guess everyone probably does) is that we don’t know what life has in store for us. I never spent my childhood fantasizing about my future/family…but I certainly anticipated being at a completely different place in life at age 33. Recently, it occurred to me that when we’re given things easily, we just go with the flow (and we are most likely happy and appreciative)–and when the road is bumpy, we’re challenged to dig deep and get to know ourselves better, to develop who we are even more. Re-writing our life stories as different than our expectations…is hard.
    I’m doing it too. I’m appreciative of reading about your journey—I’m not so ready to write mine out yet (ever?).
    So … I’m glad I followed the trail to your guest post 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Yeah…JP’s pretty anti-having-his-picture-on-the-blog. He’s a much more private person than I am!

      You and I are the same age. Being 33 is kind of strange. I’m still young and I don’t really feel all that differently than I did 10 years ago, but I have this sense of time that I never had before. Thanks for reading about my journey. And if you ever do decide to write yours, know that I’ll be glad to read it.

  14. Meg says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Big hug from here. I can’t imagine how much pain that must have been to endure. I’m glad that you came out the other side realizing how rich your life is already. I wish the best for you and your growing family.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Meg! Thanks for the comment. Honestly, there are so many women in much more difficult situations than me. I try to focus on all of the positive things in my life – and I’m a lucky girl; there are A LOT of really good things in my life.

  15. Ruby says:

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. I think your description of testing the waters of the idea of maybe staying childless is very powerful. Testing those waters takes immense courage, but i think it is extremely empowering as well: you are keeping a focus on your relationship, which is very important.

    Nevertheless, the pain stays. You ARE a mom, just not one that people automatically can see.

    And for the future, I hope a baby is on the cards for you guys. I recently read a great tip that I’ll be using myself: the mantra of ‘NBHHY: Nothing Bad Has Happened Yet’, for when The Fear starts to get to you during pregnancy. The post is over a Alphamom, in the Advice Smackdown category by Amalah.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for recommending that post…I’ll go look for it now. I think that focusing on the positive – even if the positive is just that nothing bad has happened yet – is really important. re: “you ARE a mom”, this is something I struggle with. I’ve never had a child. When people ask me “Do you have any kids?”, my answer is always no, but this little voice in the back of my head whispers “I should have, I should have”. Maybe I’m making assumptions from your comment, but I think that you understand that first-hand.

      • Ruby says:

        Here’s the link:

        I haven’t had first hand experience, but I have had a lot of friends who have dealt with it, so I have shared in their sorrow and the grappling with the idea of being a mother whilst not having a live child to ‘prove’ it. I think it is really admirable that you refuse to let this define you completely: it is HUGE, but it’s not everything, and unfortunately we cannot predict the future, so the uncertainty is unwieldy and hard to get to grips with. Hugs!

  16. Sara says:

    I’m so sorry, Stephanie. It must indeed be painful. My mother miscarried before she had me and has told me stories about watching others with their babies and she just sat on the porch and cried. Perhaps that is why I was loved so much though! I want to have a baby, but I know it’s not time for us yet. It makes me kind of sad/jealous to see others my age who are pregnant, but what’s right for another may not be right for me. So I just enjoy looking at photos of cute babies, dreaming, and knowing our time will come soon enough 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    • Stephanie says:

      I love your comment about that being why you were loved so much…you and your mom are lucky to have each other! I have a lot of empathy for people who want to have babies, but the timing isn’t right – due to being single, or not having enough money, etc. I know people who want desperately to have children, but they’re not there, and I really do feel for them. Your time will come!

  17. I’m so glad you wrote this, Steph. I believe your journey through miscarriage is going to help a lot of women. Some will comment, more will not.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and your continued journey. Love your voice!

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