Miscarriage as a Catalyst for Transformation
BY MARTINA HUGHES
I lost a baby. That’s the common language used about miscarriage. But something in that implies a wrongdoing. I remember so clearly thinking and feeling “I did something wrong” and “it’s my fault this is happening”.
I remember scanning for days and months afterwards. What if I didn’t want the baby enough? What if it’s because I ate sushi? What if it’s because I had contact with the kitty litter?
And in moments of clarity, what if it’s not my fault?
There I was – 40, healthy and ecstatic – almost 6 weeks pregnant, overflowing with hormones, love and that special kind of baby magic. It was a surprise pregnancy but felt destined. My then partner was a little slower to get on board. And just as he was warming to the idea of a baby arriving, it all changed again and just as suddenly.
The hormones dropped. Magic gone. Flat. Empty. Face dull and missing something. Then the bleeding started, the pain and the rocking through the pelvis. It was like giving birth without being able to hold a baby afterwards.
She was gone. I felt at peace initially. I knew my life was transformed. I felt so different. But the next day grief hit. And it hit hard. My life was a bit of a battleground at that time. (more about that here) Every way I looked there was challenge.
I had believed my baby was my gift in the midst of a chaotic and turbulent time. She was bringing magic to me and my family. And when she left – what had I done wrong?
That happened over 3 years ago now. It’s been a long and challenging path to completion of this stage of my life. I have grieved deeply and wholeheartedly. I had hoped for another chance for a baby with my partner but we broke up.
My baby was gone and my partner gone too. Devastation hit, I felt like everything disappeared overnight. My passion and vision for making a difference in the world went missing too. I had no capacity to care for others.
So I dove inwards for a long time. I wrestled with the question of whether I wanted to have a baby. Being pregnant felt so magic – surely I wanted more of that. I wanted to feel the joy of physical mothering. But it’s such a big life change to have a baby.
All along I knew that I wouldn’t have a baby solo. Sure I could. But that’s not for me. I have done so much of my life alone, there’s no part that wanted to raise a baby alone. For me the choice would be for family, not for a baby.
As I wrestled with my decision – will I have a baby or won’t I? I knew one thing was missing – an intimate partner. No one was showing up in my life. I was also not in a great state to meet someone. And I didn’t want to be looking for my baby’s father. It all felt quite desperate for some time. I was also incomplete from the last relationship.
Since I work with women all the time I hear the stories of resentment, challenge and struggle in being a mother. It’s not very acceptable for mothers to resent their children in society, so many hide it. But I get to see those aspects because of the way in which I support people to open and feel.
It means I have a balanced view of parenting. There’s no space for the fantasy of how perfect it would be – I hear both sides of the story regularly. People talk truth in my client room.
I began reconnecting with my passion for making a difference. Seeing and feeling the ways in which I love to serve. And on the other side of miscarriage there were new gifts. My awareness was deeper, my ability to read people heightened, my compassion much more full and my surrender to not knowing very complementary to taking people into profound transformational spaces.
Miscarriage had been a catalyst for a new me. I had birthed myself all over again.
I started to feel truly alive again. I started to live for now and the future rather than stuck in “what if?” I also made peace that I hadn’t done anything wrong. The miscarriage was not my fault.
Miscarriage was the most profound rite of passage. As a woman I felt more alive than ever. I knew myself much more fully. I felt aspects of my feeling nature so much more finely attuned. It was painful, it was challenging. And it’s been an incredible gift. A gift of medicine from my spirit baby to me.
I am now in a new relationship. Coming alive again was the seed for this connection. He has a teenage boy and has had a vasectomy. So embarking on this relationship was the next layer of challenging myself. Am I ok with not having a child?
I mother many through my work. I hold and love and nurture people every day. They tell me things they have never shared before. I create mother-healing circles for men to break ties with their mothers, to say what they have been afraid to say. I hold men and women as they sob their deep heartbreaking tears for not being mothered in the way they longed for. I give people permission to truly feel and express their whole selves.
My baby has helped me to mother others even more deeply, she taught me the deepest compassion I have ever known.
I tasted being a mother through my baby. She’s still with me. But in the spirit world. And grief is part of my tapestry; the grief of knowing her is part of me.
I am at peace with her and myself.
I recently went on a retreat, Spirit Baby retreat – healing womb grief. And that was my final layer of healing. I communicated with my spirit baby during a cacao ceremony. It was profound. It was just what I needed to know and to trust fully that I am in the perfect place for me.
The ceremony included a beautiful honouring and acknowledging of our babies – each woman undergoing her own release whilst loving each other. Also being acknowledged as a mother in the physical world by other women was incredibly healing. The whole experience was beyond touching.
I came home from retreat so ready, knowing and trusting for this next phase of my life. Co-creating in my unique way with my partner and others who are aligned in vision.
As society evolves more women and men question whether or not to have children. I know that traditionally it was expected that people marry and have children. Nowadays we have so many more choices available. Explore that option. Let yourself be free to dream of the life you desire.
When I feel the urge to co-create during lovemaking, my partner and I channel that energy towards what we are creating in our inner worlds and the gifts we contribute to each other and our communities. Co-creation between powerful people can take many beautiful and varied forms.