This is the story of my baby loss. I understand this is a very heavy subject for some women. My goal is to share my experience so no woman feels alone.
I couldn't seem to take my hands away from resting on my tummy. The cramps wouldn't go away. I had needed to leave the pub as I was feeling feverish. We were with our best friends in their garden having a BBQ celebrating - we had just told them news of our pregnancy. I knew - literally in my gut something was wrong. I took myself to the toilet, my friends & Josh secretly praying. The urge to poo suddenly came up. Not only did I poo, I released a massive load of blood & clots into the toilet. I instantly flushed the toilet in a panic. I told everyone 'it wasn't good', Josh & drove home while I was writhing in pain. I laid in the shower, waiting to see if anything else needed to be released. It appeared I had flushed 'it' down the toilet. We hugged ourselves to sleep that night in a flood of tears. I was due to fly to Portugal for a retreat recce the next day - we cancelled the flights in the wee hours of the morning, that was definitely not a trip to be taken. It was a pearler of a day, Josh put me in the car & took me to my favourite place, the beach. We walked, breathed deeply holding hands (we never hold hands). We slurped oysters & sipped wine. Almost as though we were unknowingly celebrating a little life that was loved.
We had only known we were pregnant for 10 days, but those 10 days planted the beautiful seed of life, we'd painted a full picture ahead with our baby in it. We‘d made the decision to share early our news, we knew the risks but we wanted to feel the support or our friends, family & community - no matter what.
As young as teenagers, my besties & I were always sharing, heart-breaking miscarriages were not left out. In the female fitness & wellness industry I was in a position of privilege, always the first to hear stories of loss. I was as empathetic as possible, but like anything - nothing compares to going through an experience firsthand.
My point is, I knew miscarriage was common; 1 in 4 pregnancy's end in miscarriage they say. I also knew there is no rhythm or rhyme why. Nothing a mama-to-be does is to blame. I've heard it all - from exercise, eating, drinking, catching a plane, being too stressed. None of it will be at fault, some little beans just aren't ready to stick. I was lucky enough to be equipped with the understanding of miscarriage, unlike so many women I know, their own miscarriage is their first knowledge. Which is the biggest reason for me sharing my story, the more we share our personal stories of miscarriage the more supported other women will feel. I've heard stories of women staying at work while bleeding through their miscarriage. Carrying extreme blame & guilt. Keeping it a secret as feelings of shame takeover.
The year that followed was the toughest year of my life. Something switched inside me. First the first time in my life I started to feel the wrath of social anxiety, leaving the house was almost an impossible task at times. Until this point, I had whole-heartedly never had a 'low/flat day'. I started to experience poor physical health including daily headaches that went on for weeks at a time. I spoke to all my friends about my loss as a way to grieve. I shared with my beautiful Fitbirds at class a few days after my loss. There were about 20 birds & their bubs, I was holding one of their bubs while I wept & told them. I could quite literally feel the wings of 20 birds wrapping around me in support & solidarity. Six months later I was still suffering so I went home to my family in Tasmania for a month, the headaches eased, though it wasn't long before they returned again. It was almost a full 12 months when the magic of acupuncture before my physical & mental health seemed to return. This on a recommendation from lovey Fitbird, Aunty Kate. Read here for the story on my acupuncture experience.
I always shared my miscarriage loss with my immediate community, though it's taken me almost 3 years to put it in writing. Miscarriage is a life lost & an experience which deserves to be remembered & to be shared.
You needn't be alone birds, we are always in it together.
Not all little miracles are bound for earth side. For me, it's the most simple way to accept the fate of baby loss. Shani x