I wrote about my miscarriage on this blog two and a half months ago. When I decided to write about my own experience of devastating loss, I could not have known how it would make me feel or what the outcome would be of sharing. All I knew was that I felt inclined to share so that others would feel a little less alone. What ended up happening was the most generous and healing outpouring of support and love that I have ever known.
I was too overwhelmed at the time to individually thank every last one of you who held my hand during such a heartbreaking moment in my life, but I want to acknowledge you now and to tell you that the kindness you showed my family will never be forgotten by any of us.
I can tell you that I’m doing a little better and a little worse, but generally moving forward. Sometimes something unexpected will come up that will remind me of my lost baby and my stomach flips as tears come instantly. And sometimes days go by that I feel only hope and anticipation for all the things to come. What I’ve learned is that grieving and healing is a process, and one which is never fully “over”. I imagine that, while I will never forget my little one– and will wonder every day who he or she would have been, that I will get more and more used to the feeling of having lost something so precious. That this feeling will become a part of the fabric of our family like any other thing. I’m making a conscious effort to honor every feeling that I have about my miscarriage without judgement, and without the attempt to “get past it” for anybody’s sake but my own. I’m lucky that I have a husband who has been so respectful of my grieving process and is encouraging me to take all the time I need.
I’ve gotten a lot better at speaking my truth to people as well. Something you notice constantly after suffering a pregnancy loss (or even if you are experiencing fertility issues) is how often near strangers ask you if you are going to be adding to the family. “Are you guys gonna have kids?” or “When is Baby Number Two coming?!” they’ll ask– and though it is obviously meant as a nice question it can really feel like a shot to the heart for somebody who is quietly suffering. I ran in to this a lot after my miscarriage from unknowing (and well-meaning) people, and I found myself brushing it under the rug. “Oh yeah, we definitely want more kids,” I’d say. “Hopefully soon!” And then I would get home and cry– less about the reminder of my loss and more because of the humiliation I felt for not having simply said the truth– that we did want one, and we had one, but lost it. I felt ashamed that I had hidden my grief for a stranger’s benefit, and it really weighed on me. Now if people ask, I’m kindly honest. I say “Actually I was pregnant a few months ago, but I had a miscarriage. We’re hoping to have another child soon.” Although this sometimes makes for an awkward moment or two, it makes me feel like a better and more honest version of myself– and that feels healing for me personally.
One gift that has come from this loss has been the community that has formed around this site, and the people and companies who have reached out to me about miscarriage and infant loss. I feel proud to be somebody who people feel comfortable coming to with their feelings about this challenging and deeply painful subject. Recently, Earth Mama Angel Baby reached out to me to tell me about their efforts to comfort Mothers who have experienced prenatal loss.
Earth Mama Angel baby is a company who makes a variety of excellent all-natural products for pregnant and postpartum women. I had used their nipple butter religiously when Marlowe was breastfeeding! But I was surprised to discover that this company is so much more than that. They have made it their mission to be there for women and families experiencing baby loss in a way that is both logistically useful and emotionally healing. They have a website, BabyLossComfort.com, which supplies grieving parents with everything from grief resources and a lost child remembrance bulletin board, to resources like e-cards and condolence advice for friends of grieving parents. It is the most elegant and helpful site I found while going through my own grieving process, and I encourage you to visit it whether you are experiencing a pregnancy loss yourself, or just feeling helpless in comforting somebody else who is.
A lovely package they carry on their site is the Healing Hearts Comfort Kit, a holistic, tender, and beautiful way to honor a lost child. The kit includes 3 simple things: “Seeds of Hope” to plant for a lost child, the “Light Of My Heart” candle to light for a lost child, and the “Healing Heart Mist” essential oils blend to sooth sadness and uplift the spirit. It is so simple, and yet so comforting– just to know that something has been made to remember a child that you will not have the chance to create more memories with. A little recognition for grieving Mothers can go a long way.
I have partnered with Earth Mama Angel Baby to thank the Happily Eva After community, and spread the healing love, by giving away five Healing Hearts Comfort Kits to women in need. Please reach out to me in the comments section below and let me know if you are in need of this kit or if you are close to somebody who would benefit from it. I will select five people and send them out myself, as recognition of everything that women go through on the journey to Motherhood, and as tokens of my deep appreciation for those who helped me through a hard time. Make sure to leave an email in the email section of the form so that I will know how to reach you!
A Few Words With Earth Mama Angel Baby Founder:
1. I love how holistic and woman-friendly the Earth Mama Angel Baby products are– What prompted you to create the line?
Sadly, we created the Earth Mama Healing Hearts line out of what we perceived as necessity. All Earth Mama products are formulated to care for the common discomforts of pregnancy and postpartum recovery. So if Earth Mama provided products to nurture a women’s body while they carried a precious baby and that baby was lost, we wanted to care for her body after her baby was gone as well. I formulated No More Milk Tea specifically for women who had full term loss or stillbirth. One of the saddest challenges is to have breasts filled with milk and no baby to nurture.
2. How did Earth Mama Angel Baby become involved with grieving parents?
Just from the reality that some pregnancies don’t end happily. That’s why the line came about, and why we created the Healing Hearts Baby Loss web site and Facebook community ( https://www.facebook.com/HealingHeartsBabyLossComfort). It was to give mamas, families, and supporters a place to remember, and grieve, and get resources when the saddest loss occurs.
3. What does the Healing Hearts Comfort Kit mean to you?
It means that you’re not alone. Every woman needs to find her own way toward healing after such a soul-wrenching loss, but at least we want women to know there are others out there who are walking the same path alongside her.
4. What do you want the recipients of the Healing Heart Comfort Kit to feel when they receive their kits in the mail?
Held. Cared for. Rituals don’t make the pain go away – that won’t ever happen. But we hope that pain and grief will have a place to rest more comfortably knowing that someone acknowledges that you are a mother to a true angel, and that your loss and grief are not ignored.