Written by Lauren Samson, a co-founder of Mental Push Plan, bringing mental tools to pregnancy, birth and beyond.
For me, there is nothing like experiencing a miscarriage (pregnancy loss). Well, actually I have to correct myself. For me, there is nothing like experiencing recurrent miscarriages (pregnancy losses).
So many people who have experienced miscarriages are blindsided by them, at least the first one. The same was true for me. I gave birth to my first living child in 2019. My husband and I fell pregnant very quickly, had a straightforward pregnancy and a great birth experience. So great that I turned to my husband not 5 minutes later and said, “I’d do that again.”
When our child turned one year old, we were ready to start trying again. We fell pregnant right away again. In my mind, the positive test meant we were good to go. Spoiler, we weren’t.
Why, where and how did we somehow get it in our minds that a positive pregnancy test equals a healthy baby in our arms? Technology and testing has advanced so far that we are able to detect extremely early hormone changes that show up as POSITIVE. Happy day!
Yet, we “know” that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss.
There is no “knowing” statistics like this until they apply to you.
My first miscarriage was such a surprise. It never entered the realm of possibility in my mind. Unfortunately for me, the way my loss unfolded was quite traumatic. You can read the whole story here.
After I educated myself and the reality of the ‘1 in 4’ (~25%) statistic came home, I also learned that recurrent miscarriages are quite rare (2%).
As an eternal optimist, that meant I was going to take the ‘hit’ that was my miscarriage (pregnancy loss) and keep running.
After waiting the recommended one month for letting your cycle reset, we tried again. And shazam! We fell pregnant immediately again.
This time, I knew that a positive pregnancy test didn’t mean I’d have a happy ending. I was cautious, but optimistic.
We heard cardiac activity at our first appointment. Big sigh. Now our chances of miscarriage dropped from 25% to somewhere between 2-10%.
At our 10 week appointment, the OB wasn’t able to get the heartbeat on the doppler, so she sent us back to ultrasound just to check things out.
It didn’t go well. The full story of my second miscarriage is available to read here.
I thought my first miscarriage prepared me for the reality of pregnancy loss. I thought I could handle it.
I was so very wrong.
Going through two miscarriages in such a short time destroyed me.
I had never experienced depression. I have now.
I had never felt completely alone. I have now.
I had never wanted people simultaneously to leave me alone and not leave my side. I have now.
I had never cried so hard that I wanted to come out of my skin. I have now.
My husband didn’t know how to help me. I was despondent for hours at a time. I’d pep myself up for a while to play and care for my one year old. But I’d always slip back into listlessness.
Finally, my husband suggested we go to therapy. This was so helpful. It helped me talk through my confusing and rolling emotions.
I think it also helped my husband better understand what I was feeling. He may have been next to me through it all, but he didn’t FEEL the same pain, the same loss, the same shame, guilt, resentment, and self-loathing.
My experience is not unique, which makes it so much worse. To know that so many others have felt this level of grief and all too commonly without the support of friends and family tears at my heart.
This is so wrong, so unnecessary, so unfortunate.
At the time of my losses, I was just beginning to work in the world of birth myself. My eyes were opened wide to the fact that my work was just beginning.
At Mental Push Plan our mission is to provide “Mental tools to empower you through pregnancy, birth and beyond.”
The birthing journey is rarely linear, that meant we HAD to do something for the thousands and thousands of others who were also experiencing major bumps, bruises, kicks, punches and obstacles.
I also wanted my loss to “mean something” beyond my own life and that of my family. This is, of course, illogical, but grief has its own form of logic.
Through my experience of recurrent miscarriage, we developed the Mental Grief Plan.
It’s a workbook to help you mindfully process grief related to miscarriage, pregnancy loss or infant loss.
Based in mindfulness, it confronts the disenfranchised grief that is a very real experience for those who go through miscarriage, pregnancy and infant loss.
If you have experienced this kind of loss, our workbook will NOT take your grief away or help you to move past it. We know that at some level, this loss will always be with you. It is part of your journey now.
Our hope is that it will help you move forward and give you some structure in how you move forward.
We wish no one needed resources like this or the wonderful understanding and support people like Arden offer, yet we know all too well that they are vital.
If you’re reading this, you’ve come to a wonderfully supportive community with the Miscarriage Doula and her team. If you’re looking for more, we’re here too.
You can check out the Mental Grief Plan here.
Mental Push Plan Resources
Mental Grief Plan - Mindfully process grief related to pregnancy & infant loss.
Mental Push Plan - Tap into your inner strength using mental tools to feel confident and prepared for birth. 1-on-1 coaching included, can be specially tailored to pregnancy after loss.
Birth Affirmation Deck - Emphasize your innate ability to give birth with 20 beautiful affirmation cards that are tested, tried and true.
Connect with Carolyn & Lauren
Available on Be Her Village registry here