My life has taken a sad and unexpected turn. I was 14 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my third baby and we found out on Friday afternoon that the baby had died. Very early Saturday morning, he was born at home. Though it was different in some ways than a full-term birth, my experience of miscarriage was very much a birth–my water broke, I had normal contractions for about two hours, the baby was born (about 4 inches, well formed with eyelids, fingers, toes, mouth that opened, etc.), we saw the tiny umbilical cord, and so forth. I was surprised to discover that some of the same feelings of empowerment were also present after a “natural home miscarriage” as with a natural home birth–I felt strong and brave and like “I did it myself!” as well as amazed at how well my body worked and knew what to do. We learned the baby was our third boy and named him Noah.
I have a number of feelings and observations that I would like to share about this birth experience, but I’m not sure if this blog is the “appropriate” place to do so, because this is also my business website and I don’t want to “scare” any prospective clients away by being sad. There are a lot of losses that accompany the loss of a baby and one of the ones that is hard for me is that my life is devoted to helping women give birth with confidence, strength, and joy and to embrace pregnancy and birth as wonderful events. It is sad to me to now be a source of fear/elevated perception of risk—“if it could happen to her, it could happen to me!” Kind of like I’ve become a “bad omen” instead of a source of encouragement. 😦
One thing I do want to share about the birth of my third baby is that earlier that afternoon I’d received a package from Taylor’s Scarlet Thread. I had ordered a bonnet and apron from them for a Kirsten costume (Kirsten is an American Girl doll) for myself. They sent along a little lavender sachet as a free gift with my order. When my labor began, for some reason I wanted the sachet and held and smelled it throughout my labor. I also used it to kind of revive myself when I felt like I was fainting several times afterwards. I talked to the baby and to myself before I started having regular contractions telling myself and the baby that we need to “let go” of each other and that it was time to let go. During the labor, I chanted to myself, “let go, let go, let go” and smelled my sachet. Several days later, I was reading a book about miscarriage and it had some aromatherapy suggestions in it. It listed lavender for “letting go”…
Molly, I appreciate so much you being willing to share about your loss and the experiences involved. I, for one, don’t view you as a “bad omen” of any sort. Loss is a very real part of the birth cycle, and I admire you for being willing to talk about it. If you decide not to share more here, but do so somewhere else, please shoot me an email to let me know where. My heart and prayers are with you, my friend. And please let me know if my voice in particular is too painful for you to hear right now.
Nicely written…..I had a natural home miscarriage at 10 wks also with my third baby. Thanks for writing.
My name is Natalie, and I work with Michelle, and you, on the CQ. I commented on FB a while ago, but just wanted to re-affirm my sympathy and care for what you are going through. I am glad you are able to share your experience; I think it can be a great support to women going through the same thing. When I lost my little one, I didn’t know anyone else who had gone through it. So when other women talked about their experiences, I finally felt like there was someone who truly understood what I was feeling, and it was a great support for me in my healing. So thank-you for sharing. I’m sure it will help someone else. Please feel free to e-mail me if you feel like “talking” about anything. (esp. anything you may not want to share on the more public forums.
I am grateful for your post, Molly. I think it is important to address this part of childbearing- which is so often not discussed. I am a birthworker, and I have had four miscarriages in the last three years. I see and touch pregnant bellies just about every day. It is hard sometimes, especially when women complain about being pregnant, but I feel that I need to keep that pain to myself to protect my clients/business. Almost no one around me knows the truth and there is no forum currently where I am comfortable seeking support and discussing my own losses.
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I am so sorry for your loss. Reading your blog reminded me of the miscarriages interspersed within the births of my seven children.
I am almost sixty now, healthy and strong, but I recall that I felt vulnerable after that first loss. I was also amazed at the love that people offerred
as they shared about their miscarriages, often unacknowledged. Because of the private nature of the birth and death, it is a lonely event.
Let the pain hurt and be gentle with yourself.
Love those you love.
God bless you, Molly.
Mary Chiles (anna’s mom)
Molly – I’m so very sorry.
I admire you for writing about your experience, and writing so beautifully. Try not to feel like a walking, talking reason for other people to be afraid: I realize that it’s easy for a bunch of birthworkers to say we all know loss is a part of the reality of reproduction, but … even when I was a miscarriage-terrified first-time pregnant person, your story wouldn’t have done anything to my fear. It was my own fear, coming from inside myself and my family history. On the other hand, you know that a lot of families dealing with loss feel silenced and alone–so I’d encourage you to share what you feel like sharing.
With love from all of your readers,
Laurel–Your voice is not too painful to hear at all! I’m glad you commented, because you were one of the people I was concerned with “scaring” away. I love pregnant mamas and I still feel delight for them even with my present sadness.
Thank you also to other people for their comments. It really helps to “hear” your voices.
I’m so sorry to read about your loss. Far from scaring away your words felt like encouragement to those who need them very much. May I say that not only am I in awe at your strength in handling such a difficult experience but also your incredible ability to listen to what your body needs. Thank you for sharing and my prayers are with you.
My blog posts here are automatically fed into my Facebook page. I had quite a few comments with regard to this post there and before they are lost in the FB ether, I decided to copy and paste them (named removed, since they didn’t post here directly). They are mostly from real-life friends of mine. I feel lucky to have such amazing, kind, and supportive friends. I feel like it is part of the continuity of this post and wanted to include them:
From SS: Really beautiful Molly. Amazing how much beauty can be written from so much pain. You are not a bad omen, you’re still a good luck charm in my book 🙂
From CC: This is the most amazing story. Good job momma. Women are blessed to have a spirit and heart like you with them.
From ME: Molly, I know this is a really hard time for you, and I wasnt sure you would post any details at all on FB or anything…but thank you. This brought tears to my eyes, about your chanting.
And I agree, you are not a bad omen! I think you were inspiring and still are! ♥
From SE: I think you’ll be a source of even more encouragement because of your experience…if she can experience this and still be here/sane/empowered then so can I. Thanks so much for sharing, yet another way you help even when you’re down. 🙂
From MA: Bad omen? No. Even wiser counselor? Definitely
Everything we experience in life teaches us lessons if we open ourselves up to ‘listen’. You have a wonderful ability to grow from your life experiences and use what you’ve learned not only to enrich your own life but to teach others. It shows the depth of your character that in your sorrow, you’re still teaching. I’m touched but not surprised that your instincts told you what you needed. Your awareness of and connection to your body and your spirit are impressive.
From DL: Wow, thanks for sharing, Molly. You are such an inspiring and wise person!
From TG: This was beautiful Molly. Thank you for sharing something so personal.
From KR: you are a beautiful brave warrior mama!
Reading this post made me feel so many emotions. Firstly, I’m sorry for your loss.
I have so many regrets from my pregnancy and loss, and I have read few posts like this. Thank you.
Thank you, Salma. I went to your blog from your comment and I hope your rainbow baby comes to you this month! 🙂
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This is so touching ,my daughter just recently lost her baby and lavender posters and lavender was very much around us and she chose to call her list angel baby lavender..and it’s so appropriate has she has a very calming nature ..just felt the need to share her story xxxlove and light xx