My breasts are enlarged and tender.
I’ve bled all night.
I can’t sleep.
I can’t stop crying.
I am miscarrying.
- Losing the baby was my fault.
- God only gives us what we can handle. God doesn’t think I can handle a 3rd baby.
- I should have been more receptive and excited about this baby in the beginning.
- I’m supposed to be an example of BirthFit. If I think I’m a model of health and fitness, I’ve been lying to myself.
Can you absolutely know that these stories are true? No…
Is there a peaceful/stress-free reason to keep these thoughts?
I am inclined to manipulate the word peace to mean “feel in control of.” If I hold myself responsible, I feel in control but I definitely do NOT feel peace in my body. So no, there is no peaceful/stress-free reason to hold onto these thoughts.
Who would I be (and how would I live) without these thoughts?
I would be happier and more at peace. I would bring confidence to my BirthFit work. I would be more loving and patient with my humanity and the humanity of others. Without these thoughts, I would be fully present with my two beautiful babies who ARE here with me. I would be a better wife and mother.
Deep breaths. This new possibility is completely overwhelming. It’s not the thoughts themselves, but the stories, or meanings, assigned to these thoughts. Thoughts are as innocuous and natural as waves crashing upon the shore. When you try to stop thinking a thought, what has been your experience? I’ve never been successful at eliminating the thought.
So again, it’s not the thought, it’s the story. I made the story up and that story is only adding to my grief and anxiety. So why don’t I make a new one and see if it rings as true as or truer than my original story?
Turning it around
- Losing the baby was my fault. Losing the baby was NOT my fault.
This feels possible. It also feels extremely vulnerable to relinquish the control. I want the control because it’s familiar but I don’t want the control because it’s destructive to my motherhood.
- God only gives us what we can handle. God doesn’t think I can handle a 3rd baby. God thinks I can handle the loss of a 3rd baby.
This has been so much harder than I ever could have imagined. The loss feels so much more challenging than bringing in a 3rd baby into the world. God must think I’m stronger than I know myself to be.
- I should have been more receptive and excited about this baby in the beginning. I shouldn’t have been more receptive and excited about this baby in the beginning.
My initial, visceral reaction was the inability to stop smiling. A few hours later, I couldn’t stop crying. After the initial surprise, I truly wanted this baby and was excited for Oliver and Vivian to have a new sibling. I SHOULD have felt my concerns because I was taking the baby news seriously. It’s part of my humanity to consider the timing and logistics of a new baby and the life changes that that accompany him/her. I can make space for that.
- I’m supposed to be an example of BirthFit. If I think I’m a model of health and fitness, I’ve been lying to myself. I am an example of BirthFit. I am not lying to myself about my state of health and fitness.
This feels true too. I’m not a dishonest person. I make my health and fitness choices because I feel like an optimally performing Melissa when I do. Maybe the lie here is that miscarriage is associated with illness and weakness. If my reality says that I’m a healthy woman who had a miscarriage, then the presence or absence of health is irrelevant.
The pain is still here… but new possibilities accompany the pain. And in these new possibilities, I am the wife and mother I want to be. I give myself permission to feel into these emotions as they come up and for as long as they need to stay.