Healing Guilt after Pregnancy Loss
A few weeks ago I had this vivid dream that I sat in an unknown house which didn't seem too far away from where I live now with an acquaintance of mine and all I could say was "it's not your fault, losing a baby is never your fault... even if seems like your body failed you, it's not your fault". When I woke up I started thinking what it would have been like to have someone tell me over and over that "it wasn't my fault" when I lost Max but I didn't... I was given a pamphlet which wasn't ready until a year after my loss and now sits under my dinner table in a Rubbermaid... (I am honestly surprised I've kept it this long and I think that maybe it's me holding on to something from Max or that day since nothing has remained the same since within in me or our location.)
Having that dream the other night though reminded me of how much guilt a woman can carry and internalize after a loss. A lot of my guilt was not only coming from what I was telling myself, but because of what others were saying to me. When I lost Max I wasn't surrounded by the people who would help you heal your heart by kind words, scripture and empowerment, I was surrounded by those who didn't know how to handle a delicate situation. Their words were more like Baby Killer, it happened because I wasn't reading the right bible and it's because I deserved it. Then on top of all that I had these fleeting questions of why did my body do this or where did my body fail? Compile everything that I was hearing on top of hearing from the Doctor that it was a healthy baby with a heartbeat, just in the wrong spot... truly hurt my heart and my heart was not a positive or peaceful place for supporting or healing myself after that loss and it truly took sometime to get it back to a new normal.
So here's what I've learned...
- IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT, NEVER! Got that? No matter what people (who aren't Doctors) say. Most do not know the facts behind what you experienced. Please do not entertain or internalize their words, it will not get you anywhere productive.
- Sometimes there is no answer as to why or where your body failed or why the baby attached in the wrong place. In some miscarriages and Ectopic Pregnancies there are scientific reasons but sometimes there aren't any reasons or answers. Like with the loss of Max, they merely said that it was a fluke and that 1 in 50 pregnancies happen like this and with the loss of Samson what the doctor said happened, "normally" happens in women who have had an IVF treatment and my Doctor has never seen it in someone who hasn't had an IVF treatment.
If I could do anything to help my freshly new 25-year-old self back then I would have told her that she was going to be faced with people's unkind words after the loss of Max and that yes this was going to be one of those moments in life that would change her and her future but no matter what is said to her or how emotionally hard the next year would be, it will be okay and instead of holding on to the guilt, hurt or anger and not talking to God or anyone...
I would tell her to talk to someone and God about what she's going through and especially work towards forgiving those who might have said or will say those unkind words because holding on to that hurt, anger, resentment or guilt that those words cause will cause her anguish in the future that will hinder her from what God is trying to do within her heart. To be realistic this is what I would tell anyone not just my freshly new 25-year-old self because I truly believe that with whatever turmoil, hurt or season that we are in God is there with you always doing something, even if we cannot see it or feel it.