How to Get Through the Holidays after a Miscarriage
My name is Aditi Loveridge and I have had a miscarriage. In fact, I have had two. I write about my story so that other women realize that they are not alone. I speak about my story to try and end the stigma that surrounds infant and pregnancy loss. I give my feelings a platform so that they can be seen, and not hidden under the guilt and the shame any longer. Your story matters. Your voice matters. YOU matter.
My first loss happened on December 26. The memory of the days following it are so fresh in my mind. I remember leaving the hospital and assuring my friend who had called that yes, we would still be hosting our annual New Years Eve party. That call truly made me believe that I should "get over" my loss quickly. And I honestly thought that when I left the hospital I would be leaving my heart break with it. I believed that the physical wounds would heal quickly, leaving no trace of the loss. Or so I had convinced myself.
I went home and prepped for the party because that's what I thought I should do. I didn't cry. I didn't allow myself to think about what had happened. Nobody called to ask how I was feeling. So I just...kept going.
I remember when New Years Eve arrived, my house was filled with my closest friends, drinking, laughing, and chatting. I was sitting on my couch with a house full of people but I had never felt so alone in my life. Everyone was talking around me but no one talked to me. I sat on my couch and not one person had come over and acknowledged my loss. Or asked how I was doing. Or simply sat with me in silence. They all looked straight through me. I was sitting in plain sight but no one, not one person, saw me. I went upstairs and crawled into bed before midnight. I remember laying in my bed and listening to the party going on downstairs without me. The sound of life and laughter only amplified the silence and the emptiness that was in my heart. And I cried. I really and truly cried. I cried for the loss of my baby but I also cried for the loss of me. I cried for the fact that I felt like I had to quickly move on. I cried for the fact that I was compelled to still host a party despite having just gone through the most traumatic event of my life thus far. I cried for the fact that I did not have the strength to say no or to speak my truth. Instead, I had felt the need to keep up social politeness and pleasantries. Every tear that fell onto my pillow that night was a reminder of how I had tended to everyone else's heart but not my own. In the darkness of the night as a new year crept in, I vowed to never be silent again. I promised to speak up for what I needed. I vowed to honour my baby by honouring myself.
The holidays after loss, no matter the amount of time that has since passed, can be hard. Please know that you are not alone. If you have been invited to a party or are hosting one but it doesn't feel right, honour your feelings and say no. Let my silence drive your voice, and drive your truth.
I wish you well this holiday season momma.
Aditi Loveridge has personally experienced the pain and the loneliness that comes after pregnancy loss. Over the course of her journey, she began to see that her losses had impacted her in ways that she had never imagined, and she was undeniably changed. This led her to become a Doula and a life coach.
Aditi specializes in supporting women and families who have experienced previous pregnancy and/or infant loss. Her coaching sessions are designed to support you through every step of your journey from initial loss coaching, conception coaching, through to pregnancy and postpartum support. She will also be writing a monthly column for Flopsy Life.
Artwork for this piece is by Lauren Brooke Sanchez.