When you know in your gut that a big part of your life’s purpose is to become a mother, the fantasizing and dreaming begins. As little girls, we are already fantasizing about motherhood when we are playing with our dolls, pretending like they are our babies. The experience becomes even more real when we see the baby and hear the heart beat for the first time during the first ultrasound which happens as early as 7 weeks into the pregnancy.
But what happens when out of nowhere, without signs or any warning, the body decides to reject the most precious part of you? What happens when the body decides it does not want this anymore and rejects the once healthy growing fetus whose heart beat you only heard just a few days ago?
This was my story, my confusion and my internal conflict. I didn’t understand how my body had decided to reject what my heart wanted so badly? Why was I finding myself in a place where I felt betrayed by my body twice? Why had my body rejected two children that I had conceived? Why was my body denying me the beautiful experience of becoming a mother? Fear, anger, resentment and confusion filled my mind and heart. After two miscarriages, I couldn’t trust my body to do the right thing and I thought there was something wrong with me. I was emotionally devastated. I was mentally tortured with fear, stress and anxiety and my body experienced excruciating debilitating pain. I don’t believe anyone truly understands the depth of this trauma (not even your partner). Only another woman who has had this experience will truly understand this loss.
Over the years, I realized that I had never truly given myself an opportunity to acknowledge and heal from the losses. I had never really talked about it with my partner nor had I reached out for support. I had chosen to block out the experience and move on with my busy life by making myself busier. I had suppressed my emotions too. I had felt pressured to move on and I disconnected from how I was feeling. Somehow, I had come to believe that if I allowed myself to feel, the sadness would take over and make me weak. I wanted to cry, I wanted to express my anger, my disappointment, my pain, my hurt. I also felt a sense of shame and inadequacy. Many of my friends already had more than one child. I, instead had reverted to clinging on to my four legged baby, my sweet Maltese, Toby and loved on him that much more. It seemed ridiculous to many friends how I treated my dog as my child. Little did they know; the void sweet Toby was filling for his “failed” mama. I did not receive, nor did I reach out for the support I needed.
All these years later, I realize I neglected my pain. I ignored my depression and I went on with life hiding behind a happy mask. I was not honest with myself or others about how I was feeling and what I needed. But the truth is, the loss of a child is not something we can or need to fast forward or recover from quickly. This is a traumatic experience and deserves to be handled with patience and compassion. This experience deserves time and love so that you can truly heal. Numbing ourselves and trying to get back into the “normal routine” means that we are depriving ourselves the right to feel the pain and acknowledge the loss. I often think, “if I knew then what I know now” I would have probably done things differently. I would not have held resentment and anger and disappointment towards so many people who I felt had neglected my needs. I would have been able to take ownership of my self-care and given myself the time and love I needed.
I share my story here after finally giving myself permission to revisit my pain from the past. I had to work on my healing after so many years of neglecting myself. I had to allow myself the opportunity to acknowledge that I had gone through a traumatic experience and I had to admit to myself that I had ignored my pain for a long time. The truth is, I deserved to heal, we all do. Being depressed was a normal experience that did not need to be ignored or numbed or suppressed. Women should be supported through these losses and deserve the time, patience, love and compassion from their partners, family and friends. Women do not need to suffer in silence. I encourage each woman out there to reach out for support. Be honest about how you feel and what you need. Please ask for help. Know that you are not alone and do not need to be.
Please know that I share my story in the hope that it will help you on your healing journey if you too, have experienced this type of loss. Sending love and light to my sister tribe.
Guest Post by Farahana Surya Namaskar