It's about to get really personal up in here. I feel really called to share something that happened to me that is very common, but is rarely talked about. It's something many people feel a lot of shame around, so they keep it a secret and suffer in silence.
I am a 37-year-old woman and my husband Dan and I have been working on creating a human being together. Almost exactly a year to the date when we decided to "let it fly and see what happens," my period was a day late, so I took a pregnancy test. I saw the result and said to Dan, "We have a situation!!!" We were so excited.
We told our close friends and family the great news. Everyone was over the moon excited for us. We were told to not tell the world until three months, because "you never know what can happen." I thought that was kind of strange, because when do we ever really know what's going to happen? I don't know what's going to happen in the next five minutes, let alone nine months from now, but I did keep the news mostly in the family.
At nine weeks, we had our first midwife appointment. Apparently at nine weeks, a baby looks more like a shark than like a baby, so Dan and I were really excited to see the shark baby that was growing in my belly. The appointment did not turn out the way we thought it was going to. The midwife explained that the yolk sack was trying to split into two, creating identical twins, but somewhere along the journey, they stopped developing. The midwife broke the devastating news to us that there were no shark babies in my belly.
Dan and I were really sad. We felt very disappointed. I thought maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I shouldn't have jumped off a cliff into the lake. Maybe it was because I was craving beer and drinking a good amount of it before I knew I was pregnant. Maybe it was because I danced too hard at that music festival. My mind was spinning and so was my husband's. We went home and both fell asleep for hours from being emotionally exhausted. That night, we sat on the couch, stared at each other and frowned. After Dan went to sleep I made a big mistake and went online to research miscarriage.
I found all these blogs with titles like, "This is what to never say to a person who just had a miscarriage." I read things like this:
Don't say, "Things always happen for a reason. It will happen when the time is right."
Don't say, "You are really lucky you weren't that far along."
Most of the things you aren't supposed to say are the things that made me feel better. After reading that, I thought for a moment, Maybe things don't happen for a reason... then what the heck is going on? and,This is a really big deal. I should be just as devastated as a mother who had a still born child and I'm not, so what's wrong with me? I lost it and cried myself to sleep.
I learned that it's OK to do the research and learn all you can about whatever it is you are going through, but then toss it all away and lead with your intuition. No book, blog or article knows how you're feeling right now or what your next step should be. No one can tell you the right way or the right amount of time it takes for you to grieve. It's your journey and your journey is perfect.
The next day I took time to really process what had happened and to grieve the loss of the lives of the unformed shark babies in my womb. I really let myself feel everything I was feeling in every moment and allowed it to be perfect as it was. I reached out to friends and family and let them know how I was feeling. They offered their kind words, love and support.
Every person I shared my story with either had a similar story of their own or knew someone else who had gone through the same thing. I then learned that one out of every four known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Think about that for a second. Think about all the people you know who are mothers right now and the amounts of miscarriages that must have taken place. Thinking about it blows my mind.
Hearing of my loved ones stories didn't make it less sad and it didn't invalidate my feelings of loss. It helped me to see that I'm not alone in this and that so many others can relate to that kind of loss. If you have gone through this, you are not alone. If you know someone who this has happened to, they aren't alone either.
I got through this and was able to get back in the saddle again for many reasons. You can apply these lessons to almost any form of loss you have experienced. Here is what I did and learned:
When people asked me how I was, I didn't lie. I told them what was real for me right in that present moment, even if I didn't want to share exactly what was going on.
I surrendered to the flow. What I really wanted to do was control the situation and make the shark babies come back to life, but we all know that ain't happenin'. With everything else in my life, when I fully surrendered to the flow and let everything unfold with divine timing, I became aware of all the magic and miracles happening all around me. Why would this be any different? If a baby isn't happening in March, what magic and miracles does the Universe have in store for me? I'm excited to find out!
Most people keep their pregnancy a complete secret from everyone until the "safe" three-month mark. What this means is that if you do end up having a miscarriage, no one ever knew you were even pregnant, so they definitely don't know that you lost the baby. You end up having to pretend that everything is OK when it isn't. Tell people who love and support you what's going on. Their support is priceless.
Hearing about how many people in my life have experienced this and then went on to have children gave me a lot of hope. Many of my friends shared that they felt it was their body preparing for the real thing. I liked that thought.
I realized that everything in life is happening FOR you and not TO you. Think about this: My grandma had a miscarriage before she got pregnant with my mom, which I never knew until I shared my story with her. If she hadn't had that miscarriage, my mom would not exist right now. That would mean that I wouldn't exist either and I wouldn't be here sharing my experience with you. My grandma's miscarriage was a miracle just as much as the four children she went on to have.
I discovered how much my body rocks. My body recognized that the pregnancy wasn't going to be a viable one. It knew what to do and flushed my womb of all the tissue all on it's own and then my body healed itself and went back to normal. It's now ready to try to create a human being again. Before the miscarriage, I didn't think my body was so smart. I now trust my body to know what to do when I do carry a baby to term and it's time to give birth. It's pretty incredible what happens when you decide to trust your body and it's functions.
If you have had a miscarriage or know someone who has, I challenge you to leave a comment sharing your story. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a part of life. When you share your story we all feel ya. Everyone can relate in some way. And you open yourself up to receive more love than you thought possible. I will shower you with all the love I've got. I've got your back... and your womb.
The awesome in me sees and bows to the awesome in you,
Taraleigh Weathers guides people who are in love with live music who want to bring the authentic expression of themselves that they let out at music festivals and shows into their everyday lives. She is also a published best selling author and retreat and event producer. Basically she loves rocking people's lives!
How to Become a Joy Addict: The 12 Step Program is Taraleigh's next highly anticipated book and is slated for release early 2015. In the meantime you can enjoy reading Taraleigh's words right here in The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen and on her blog taraleighlovesyou.com.
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