It was the middle of December 2021. I had been excited to find out that I was pregnant in my first trimester with my second one. We were planning to do this fun Holiday announcement the week of Xmas, but then, something changed. I couldn’t quite pinpoint it right away. But I knew, something inside me was different. My energy had shifted within a matter of days from glowing, radiant, and joyful to slowing, empty, and gone. The life I felt inside me was completely nonexistent. And then, I began to bleed. (Disclaimer: bleeding in the first trimester can be normal for folks.) When it didn’t stop and I didn’t feel any of my pregnancy symptoms again, I knew that I was most likely experiencing miscarriage.
As much as it hurt me to say that word out loud, I had a deep knowing that told me, this is what was happening. Since I’m still working on trusting my intuition fully, I got a hcg (pregnancy hormone) test. Even before the results came back I knew. I didn’t need the test in the first place. But every part of me was in denial, hoping that this wasn’t happening to me. As I sat there, reading the results of the test “completed miscarriage” I felt empty and confused. The life that gave me deep joy was suddenly gone. Why me? Why now?
It wasn’t until the next day, after getting some rest, that I balled my eyes out. Wailing into the universe “WHY ME?! THEY SHOULD STILL BE HERE! I LOVED THEM! NOOO!” You can imagine the trembling, emotions, and exhaustion my body felt during this. All I could do was rest, let the grief move through me, and acknowledge every emotion that came up. Anger, sadness, gratitude, love, pain, loneliness, and frustration. (Disclaimer: not everyone that miscarries experiences grief. This is my experience and story.)
Although saddened with deep grief, I felt more present than I had been in a long time. Noticing everything around me and within me in ways I had forgotten about. As if time slowed itself down for me to notice the sounds everything makes in the winter, the way my body moves when it walks from place to place, or how I feel when I eat a satisfying, warm meal.
It’s now been over a month since I miscarried. I am finding that my sadness comes and goes in cycles. Now when I see posts of pregnant friends or pregnancy announcements, I no longer need to look away immediately or put down my phone in deep sadness. I can look at them and be somewhat neutral. Happy for their vibrancy but I don’t quite feel that about myself. Knowing I have a journey of healing my womb, I don’t put myself below anyone else and I don’t put my pregnant friends above me in my mind. My healing from this will be continuous.
It is within my deep knowing, that the energy that surrounded me didn’t provide the environment that sacred life needed or that I needed. In the short time I had life in my womb, I learned so much from that beautiful little being. They reminded me of how quickly I disrupt my own boundaries for the sake of keeping the peace. They were so patient and also sensitive and sweet. I know we will meet again in the future or perhaps another lifetime. I have to shed my expectations and put my full faith in the universe.
There is more to my story. But I wrote this knowing that I am not the only one who has experienced this. Even though, at times, I felt like I was. I share this, to open up the space for healing by journaling or talking about miscarriage with your support system. Miscarriage, unfortunately is quite common in womb bearers. We do not talk about it or hear much about it, because it is not a comfortable topic or visible thing like having a bump. And there is no shame in having a miscarriage. You can experience this and still be gentle and loving to yourself. Here are some practices that have been helping me with this process.
When having a miscarriage as Indigenous people, we tend to carry many thoughts in our head. They can hang out rent free taking up space. Writing them down frees up mental space to bring in neutral thoughts and/or affirmations. Journaling for as little as 5-10 minutes daily or a few times a week can also help with processing the grief and emotions of miscarriage.
Warm foods + teas
For at least 4-6 weeks, eat warm foods that are also soft. Roasts, stews, soupy soup, and steamed foods that are soft in texture aid in womb healing. Herbal and medicinal teas in this tender time are healing for the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Raspberry leaf and nettle leaf tea are go-to’s and can be taken daily. Both warm foods and teas connect you to your ancestors and will help in the healing process after a miscarriage.
Text, call, or videocall your people- sisters, friends, the ones who hold space for you. Connecting with someone else about what you are going through is so healing to this process. Since we’re still in this pandemic and my sisters live all over, texting them about this was the best way for me to feel like I had my community at my side. Reaching out to them knowing that they would hold me, even through a text, meant so much to me. I don’t know if they will ever know the depth of appreciation I have for their words during this tender time.
Take deep care,
Pearl aka Constant Motion Woman
Pearl is a full spectrum Indigenous doula based in northern Mni Sota. She enjoys supporting Indigenous families with postpartum care the most. Pearl also offers miscarriage, Indigenous practices in prenatal and postpartum care, is an Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor, and certified Yoga Instructor.