TRIGGER WARNING: This is a heavy post dealing with miscarriage, infant loss, and depression. If you have a problem with these things, I’d suggest you avoid this post.
I’ve been tossing this back and forth for a little while, about whether or not to post this. Not that I’m shy about it, I have a parenting blog where I often speak freely about my own loss, and often do in other circles. I’d decide against it, deleting what I’d typed…, then end up seeing another woman who’s lost a child during or just after pregnancy. They’re lost, angry, confused, guilty, and often beat themselves up about it. The only thing that I can really say to them is to give it time…and to not lose themselves in the grief.
In writing this tonight, I wrestled with whether or not this post belonged in this group. Surely, it’s better suited for the Healing Group? But I decided that it was important to be here (and I’m not part of the other group). Then I wondered if it was too…heavy, too triggering? I’ve edited and edited, pulling back, but hopefully not leaving it too disjointed. But then I remembered how I felt when it happened to me…wishing that there were resources when I needed them. And I remember why I do typically speak so freely about it: do so for myself, for others…to spread awareness. This isn’ t some taboo thing. It happens. A lot. More education and support needs to be provided.
I had a miscarriage in October of 2011. We went to see the baby for the time around 10 weeks, only to find that it was dead. Prior to the appointment…I felt nothing, no pain, no cramping, no spotting, everything felt normal. My body still believed it was pregnant. But that black and white screen said otherwise. I went through many of those same emotions. I became numb. I’d piss off others, just so they’d treat me badly, because I felt like I deserved it. I fell down that spiral of crippling depression. I felt abandoned by my Deities and the Spirits, and betrayed by my body. I was going to kill myself early 2012, but my Matron came and stopped me. That’s actually when I began to practice Pagan Veiling. It wasn’t an instant relief, but it was a start. I went through one hell of a Dark Night of the Soul over a period of months. It was extremely difficult and took me to a lot of dark places, but I was guided by Hestia, The Madonna, Mary Magdalene, and a She-Wolf. I survived. I reconnected. I rose. At the end of 2012, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy little boy. My Lycan. (Then to his brother 16 months later.)
At the time, there wasn’t too many active Pagan support groups out there. Miscarriage and Infant Loss is still hush hush in some areas, despite that it happens to many women—many healthy women.. As the years tick on, I’m noticing a change in how miscarriage and infant loss is seen in the pregnancy community. There’s more and more support groups, websites, and books available, even for Pagans (or ones that aren’t overly religious or focus solely on one faith), more women and men are talking about their experiences to heal themselves and help others.
Here are some ways of finding some type of closure (Pagan Families):
- Having a memorial service
- Writing them a letter
- A memorial altar
- Giving the baby a name
- Having pictures taken (NILMDTS)
- A keepsake box
- Lighting a candle
- Planting a tree
- Releasing balloons or paper lantrens
- Getting a tattoo
- Expressing yourself through art, through music, through dance, through sculpture, paint, graphite; the written word, blogging, poetry, etc.
- Going to support groups
- Helping others through heal
- Donating time, money, blankets, artistic skills, and keepsakes to charities and organizations.
- Hold a Goodbye Ritual
- Spirit Babies Ceremony (Patheos)
There are many other ways. A friend of mine did a Guided Meditation to meet her Ancestors, and met her baby. I sought answers from my Ancestors and met my son through pendulum work on October 31st, 2014. That brought me great closure. I named him--he likes his name. I’ve also crocheted him a blanket, it’s pink and blue, the colors of the Miscarriage & Infant Loss Awareness Cause Ribbon. I’ve put October’s birthstones on it and “2011”. My husband and I will have a little ritual, imbuing our energies into the blanket, our thoughts to Nathan, and let his brothers touch it, too.
For Yule, I made him an ornament, along with his brothers, only instead of a hat and hospital bracelet inside the glass orb, I put white feathers and decorated it with pink and blue thread, tied around a pair of wings. I don’t believe in Angels, but it was the best representation I could think of…and for others, the message is conveyed.
I still grieve. I don’t feel guilt over the miscarriage because it wasn’t my fault. It just happened. I still have my bad days. And my worse days. Sometimes it hits me at night and I can’t sleep. I just write. Like now. I write. I worry about future pregnancies, just as I did with Lycan and Vincent. I don’t know that this pain will ever go away. But I know that he, Nathan Jacen Wren, is in the caring, loving, protective arms of our Grandmothers and Aunts.
I have three little boys. One with our Ancestors and two with mommy and daddy.
**Not all links below are Pagan**
~ Pagan Families: Support During Miscarriage - http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganfamilies/2013/02/support-during-miscarriage/
~ Patheos: The First Spirit Babies Ceremony in
- http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganfamilies/2012/01/the-first-spirit-babies-ceremony-in-san-francisco/ San Francisco
~ Postpartum Progress: 13 Things You Should Know About Grief After Miscarriage or
Baby Loss - http://www.postpartumprogress.com/13-things-you-should-know-about-grief-after-miscarriage-or-baby-loss
Stories & Support:
~ The Amethyst Network – http://theamethystnetwork.org/
~ Babble: 6 Reasons I Talk About Miscarriage Even If You’re Tired of Hearing About It – http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/6-reasons-i-talk-about-miscarriage-even-if-youre-tired-of-hearing-about-it/
Stillbirth, & Infant Loss Support - http://community.babycenter.com/post/a29473985/welcome_read_this_before_posting. Baby
~ Mighty: This Mother Turned Her Painful Experience Into a Way to help Grieving Families - http://themighty.com/2015/03/this-mother-turned-her-painful-experience-into-a-way-to-help-grieving-families/
~ Moments a Day: 15 Lessons Learned from Miscarriage - http://www.momentsaday.com/15-lessons-learned-from-miscarriage/
~ No Ordinary Love Song: the ugly side of miscarriage - http://noordinarylovesong.blogspot.com/2012/06/ugly-side-of-miscarriage.html
~ Patheos: Remebering the Never Born: Claiming a Sibling as An Ancestors - http://www.patheos.com/blogs/asenseofplace/2014/10/remembering-the-never-born-claiming-a-sibling-as-an-ancestor/
~ still birthday: A Pregnancy Loss is Still a Birthday - http://talkbirth.me/category/miscarriage/
~ Talk Birth: Miscarriage - http://talkbirth.me/category/miscarriage/
~ Unspoken Grief - http://unspokengrief.com/
~ Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Remembrance - http://nilmdtsremembrance.org/
~ NILMDTS Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nilmdts-Remembrance/109013512487911