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I just had a session with a woman who miscarried at 12 weeks, almost a decade ago, and has never had her own children.
For people who've been through this, either as the mother, father, grandparents, or anyone connected, you know the incredible grief this brings. There's also this incredible cultural layer on the top which says, "It's not a big deal. Just try again. It'll be okay. These things happen."
Yes, these things happen, but there is still an incredible loss, even when the incoming being is so little, 12 weeks is so tiny. Part of that loss is made worse by the fact that we don't acknowledge that it's a soul coming in.
Today, the session really spoke to how we don't acknowledge the transition the mother goes through. The minute this woman discovered that she was growing a baby inside her, she began to feel like a mother. At that moment, she forever left behind her life as a woman who had never carried a child. She can never again go back to being woman, and she stepped into the identity of a woman who was carrying a child.
What happened at the miscarriage is that this woman wasn't then welcomed in to her next identity, which is that of a woman who has lost a child to miscarriage. To the outer world, she looks like someone who's never had a child, who hasn't been a mother, but inside herself, she knows that she's not that person. There are many different levels of pain around a miscarriage, and one of those comes because it's hard to know who you are. She's not who she was, but she hasn't been culturally validated to be who she is.
We talked about all the ways that mothers and parents can lose children, at miscarriages, or abortion, at stillbirth, at birth. There's so much pain involved in all of those, but the further on it is, at least that pain is validated. When a woman has to deliver a child who has died, we understand that that's an incredibly difficult process and she's socially validated in her grief. When a child is born and dies soon after, we validate that. But when it's so early that this new soul isn't even visible to the world, its loss isn't marked, it's not validated. It is socially disregarded.
The work I'm doing with this woman, and the ritual we're planning, is about her community welcoming her into that new identity, and helping her to claim her rightful place as someone who has lost a child through miscarriage. She's not who she was, and this is helping her become who she really is.
You may be in a similar situation, and wondering why you feel crazy for being still sad, still heartbroken, and still upset about a pregnancy loss. You're not crazy for being upset. Being upset is a normal soul response. What's crazy is a world that says it doesn't matter, because it does matter.
If you're feeling this grief, no matter how long it's been — a week, a year, a decade — really honor that, and take the steps you need to find the soul healing you need. The healing can be found, but it requires claiming the truth of the experience.
I hope this has been helpful. I appreciate my client giving me permission to share this story.