Friends, Family & Faith: How I Healed After Miscarriage

A year ago today I ‘lost a baby.’

I was 29 and healthier and happier than ever. Ian and I decided we wanted to have a baby and it happened for us straight away. I felt blessed and immediately started loving the life inside me.

I was just six weeks pregnant but still I found the experience harrowing. Miscarriage, much like birth, is nothing like it looks on TV. On TV these things happen quickly. They are frantic and noisy. My miscarriage lasted six days. For most of this time I was alone at home so I had lots of quiet time to think, pray and will the baby to stay.

On Sunday night I went to hospital. The doctor taking my blood was rough and dropped some of my blood on the floor. I felt sick. I was to ring in a couple of hours to find out my hcg levels and have an ultrasound in the morning.

On Monday morning I saw a small grey blob on the screen with a tiny beating heart. A heartbeat! Relief. I smiled and nodded at my mum in the waiting room, “It’s okay.” Of course this wasn’t going to happen to me. I’m a good person. I’m a teacher. For God’s sake, I’m a yogi.

That night my doctor was not as optimistic. Anger. He ordered another blood test to check that hcg levels continued to rise. So I stayed home, ‘put my feet up’ and waited, went to the toilet too many times and waited. I went for the blood test and waited.

On Wednesday night I woke up with a renewed appetite. Hope.

On Thursday I went to work because I felt guilty but was an absolute mess. My dull lower back ache was now accompanied by lower abdominal cramps. I went home and crawled into bed with a wheat pack and waited for the blood results. Each sharp cramp elicited a sob from deep within me and silently I begged the little heart to keep beating. I begged my body not to betray me and I begged God to help us both.

Ian had bought me a bonsai tree to celebrate my pregnancy. At some point during that day the pain subsided and I took the tree to a sunny spot by the windows. I lay on the floor, stuck my ipod in my ears and lit a stick of incense. I watched the smoke curl up and away from the stick and disappear. Absurdly, I still had hope that everything was okay but subconsciously I knew it was over. Jordy put it simply and beautifully, the way only a child can: “Maybe the baby changed its mind.”

Through my research into miscarriage I found that many women don’t find a miscarriage very difficult to deal with. I didn’t fall into this category. For me it was painful on every level.  I didn’t want to get out of bed until I was pregnant again. I envied other pregnant people. I felt guilty for grieving because at least I had one healthy child. I knew some women who didn’t have any and others who had lost their babies under far worse circumstances. But still…I wanted my baby back.

Eventually I did get out of bed. And this is what helped…

  • My best friends crying with me
  • My dad bringing me flowers
  • People sending cards, chocolate, wine and magazines
  • My faith in the yogic teaching of ‘impermanence’ helped me accept that the hurt wouldn’t last forever. Practicing yogasana (postures) also helped me to trust my body again and appreciate its many strengths.

Tomorrow my new baby girl is eight weeks old. Life is strange… and beautiful.

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5 Ways I Opened my Heart Today

Yoga peeps often talk about chakras, which are energy centres situated along the spine. We focus on seven main chakras, which govern particular parts of the body physically and energetically.

Anahata chakra is the heart chakra. I like to remind my yoga students about this chakra often because I think that an imbalance or blockage here can stop us from taking risks and being creative and this means leading a pretty boring life!

Opening your heart means:

  • stopping and breathing before reacting
  • seeing past a person’s actions and remembering their intentions
  • giving someone your full attention, eyes, ears and body language
  • realising the impermanence of any situation and deciding to divert your energy
  • giving and doing for others just because you can and not because you want something in return
  • forgiving and forgetting

5 Times I Opened My Heart Today

1. When I opened my husband’s  t-shirt drawer and found tees that were either dirty, inside-out or rolled up.

2. When the old lady in the queue behind me slammed her trolley into my pregnant behind not once but twice.

3. When I had a quick coffee with one of my best friends.

4. When my niece was eating her chocolate bilby and getting melted chocolate all over me and my handbag.

5. When my neighbour’s children knocked on the door and happily bombarded me with talk about the Easter bunny, pre-school and Buzz Lightyear.

In what situations do you feel the need to open your heart and how does it make you feel?

Can you think of one way that you opened your heart today?