1 Year Later: Reflecting on Loss, Postpartum Depression, and Healing from Miscarriage
I remember that January day we found out we were pregnant. I have never felt joy, like I did in that moment with my husband. We both had smiles, a glow, and tears of joy running down our faces. It never crossed my mind, even for a second that we would lose our baby three weeks after that joyful moment.
I battled extreme depression for an entire year after losing our son. Many told me it was Post-Partum Depression. I ignored it because I thought that was only for women who actually delivered a child, not women in this awful club of miscarriage, like me. Every medical practitioner I spoke with and even family and friends highly urged me to take medication for my depression. I refused it, because I wanted to heal my depression from the inside out, not mask it with a pill.
Pregnancy loss is extremely heartbreaking and life shattering. It’s not something people can just “get over” in a short period of time. Social media makes healing extremely difficult, as you watch pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and newborn babies on your news feed daily. It’s difficult for a grieving mother to see those things plastered in her face day after day.
When you’re pregnant, you never think that the worst can happen to you or that miraculous baby inside your womb. Then it does, and your whole outlook changes in several ways. First, you don’t want to have a public pregnancy ever again. Second, you are afraid to show off your baby bump too much. Lastly, you don’t want to allow yourself to get too excited again because you know that loss is real and can happen to anyone.
If I can share anything that I have learned during a year of battling grief and depression from miscarriage, it would be the top five things below:
It is okay to take your time grieving the loss of your child, but don’t let it consume your marriage and memories to be made throughout the year. This can be easier said than done, but try to find joy in the little things in life. That will help push you through the pain.
Seek help when you need it. Be honest with your friends and family about how you are feeling. Seek counseling and stick with it as long as you need it. Find support groups online to find others who are going through something similar. Miscarriage tends to make a woman feel alone and isolated and that is not a good place to be if you are also sad and depressed.
Being outdoors is an extremely therapeutic activity. I rediscovered my childlike wonder of nature after losing our baby. My husband and I built two gardens with our grief. Watching flowers, herbs, and vegetables grow and tending to them gave something special to my soul. When I am outside, the grief subsides for a moment.
It is normal to question God and your faith after going through a tragic loss. It took me a while to find my way back. When I did, the burdens of grief felt lighter because I wasn’t trying to carry it all by myself any longer.
Whether you adopt a new pet, or love on the children you already have, tapping in to your motherly and nurturing instincts works wonders for the soul. My husband and I adopted a new puppy and poured our love into her. While it didn’t make the pain go away, she brought and continues to bring joy and laughter into our home every day. I truly don’t know how we could have made it through without her. She was just what we needed.
If you happen to be on a similar journey of loss, please know that my deepest sympathies are with you and I am sending a massive virtual hug your way. My wish for you is that you find some type of purpose in the pain, and healing of your heart and soul through self-discovery, faith, and hope in all things good.
Wendi has spent the last nine years as an adult educator. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and will graduate this May with her Master of Arts in Instructional Technology. She is an Army wife, blogger, workshop presenter, and advisor to military spouses seeking career and education assistance. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength4Spouses.