Monday, June 20, 2011

Miscarriage: Healing and Helping Others

The stats that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in Miscarriage are pretty darn scary. Until recently it was a very taboo subject and very private. With the expanding support groups, and celebrities opening up publicly, there is a lot more awareness. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and definitely a pain that is like no other. I'm going to go over some of the ways you can help the healing process along, and also ways you can support loved ones who have suffered this type of loss.
I myself have had two miscarriages. The feelings I had were so strong. We were not trying to have another baby, he or she was a surprise. I had just gotten used to the idea when the spotting started. I decided to go to the ER, I thought it would be okay, I mean I have had two kids so nothing could be wrong, right? When I got that news that night that I was having a miscarriage, I felt my world caving in. I didn't want to tell anyone, I felt like my body let me down, which in turn meant I was letting everyone who was excited about it down. I went through weeks of pain and torture before I ended up getting emergency surgery (D&C). I had just started to feel better, when we found out the next month that we were expecting again! I felt good about this one...which led me to question everything when I unfortunately found out that I was having yet another miscarriage within 3 months. I have come a long way this past year. I joined a support group on Cafemom , the ladies there were great and supported me. I've learned a lot, and I would like to share that with you now.
What you can do after a loss to help with the healing process:
  • Find Support- don't try to do this alone...there are many online groups, go to a friend that has experienced a loss as well, check out your local hospital-many have support groups that meet
  • Take it one day at a time- heck, take it an hour or minute at a time. The emotional pain can be so severe, but even though it may not seem like it, it does get easier with time.
  • Journal- Sometimes it helps to just get all those feelings out on paper, write until your hands hurt if you need to.
  •  Allow yourself time to heal- there is no timeline in grieving the loss of a child. Don't try to rush it.
  • Do something to remember your baby- Some things you can do are to release a balloon into the air, you can attach a note to your baby if you want. Plant a tree, flower, memorial garden. Get a piece of jewelry in remembrance.

How to support someone through a miscarriage:
Sometimes you just don't know what to say. Especially if you have not gone through a loss yourself. Here is a list of things that can be helpful when talking to someone after a loss:
What not to say:
  • Everything happens for a reason/it was for the best- While this could be true, it really is not something someone wants to hear after a loss. They may come that that conclusion on their own and it may bring them some peace, but at the time it may not be helpful to say this to someone.
  • You are still young, you can have more- Again this may be true, but not helpful in the least. No matter the age, when you loose a baby, it doesn't matter that you can have more, you miss and grieve the loss of the baby you were carrying.
  • When are you going to try again?- Trying to conceive after a loss is a very personal decision. Some doctors say you can try right away, other suggest 3 months or more to wait. Also some couples may want to try right away, others may be scared or unsure. When you ask this you could be putting pressure on the person.
  • At least you have your other children- Yes, if you have children and then experience a loss or losses (like myself) You really do appreciate your children, maybe even more...but you don't need someone to tell you that. Nothing can replace the loss.
  • It just wasn't your time- Ouch...there is nothing fair about loosing a baby. Again, just something that can be hurtful when said.
What you can say or do that may be helpful:
  • I'm here for you when you need me- very simple, and follow through with it. It lets them know when they are ready to talk you will be there to listen.
  • Give them space, but check in- Sometimes you just don't want to talk, its okay to check in every now and again with a simple "how are you doing" Infact doing this can bring some comfort, knowing that someone cares enough to check in.
  • Understand there is no timeline- Your friend or loved one may be hurting for sometime. Don't say that you think they should be "over it" or that they should be "normal by now".
Watch out for signs of depression!It is very normal to experience some depression after a loss. If you are your loved one are showing any of these signs, it may be time to get some help, either from a doctor or mental health professional
  • Not eating
  • Not leaving the house, or talking to anyone for an extended period of time
  • Anger outbursts or panic attacks
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs

I hope this was helpful! If you have anything to add, please comment and I will get it on here!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Metaphorically Speaking...

My first post! How exciting!
As you come to know me you will learn...I am big on metaphors. I'm one of those people that can find myself in inanimate objects like trees, flowers, windows. I'll take a minute to fill you in on the blog title. It describes me pretty well. I can see mind as a windshield, and through the years you get little chips and cracks along the way. If you don't take care of them, they grow bigger and bigger, and worst comes to worse, you are completely shattered.
I have not shattered, I will say I have many cracks of different sizes. I'm at a point in my life where I want to mend those cracks, I can't go and get a new windshield, but I can make myself stronger, and I will heal.
I'm not sure what will come out of this blog business, but I hope to invoke thoughts, compassion and inspiration in others. I have dealt with some major issues throughout my life- addiction, depression, anxiety, loss of a parent, miscarriages-and I will deal with them one at time. I will also have posts about motherhood and being a wife--my struggles and defeats and everything in between.
For now I will leave you with a journal post I made a couple of years back, and I feel its too important to not share:
I was sitting outside thinking about life and all my issues with it. I found inspiration out off all things, a tree.
I have a beautiful maple tree in my front yard. Its surround by pines that are beautiful all year, that face the winters with no problem.
Then there is my maple. It's leaves fall to the ground, and its a sad sight, and there's not much beauty to be found in it. It braved the winter, and low and behold it is blooming beautiful tiny leaves. It survived its adversity, and this summer it will outshine any pine.
So if you not hip on metaphors...I relate to that lovely tree, because it was down and surrounded by beauty (in my case, happy normal people) but it didn't give up, and it was well worth the wait.
Not sure if that makes any sense, but here are some photos:

and a few months later, the same tree.....

That's all I have for now folks! More ramblings to come!