Click here to view this article: How Yoga Helped Me Accept My Body After a Miscarriage
I’ll never forget that feeling of pure terror I felt when I saw a steady stream of dark purple blood flowing out of me like waterfall. I’ll never forget the loud “thud” I heard in the toilet that night when my baby came out.
I always thought when people said something could bring you to your knees, that it was just an exaggeration. That is, until I started bleeding. I fell to my knees and I unleashed a cry that was so hard it became silent. My face creased into an ugly look of pure pain. Ironically, I laid down in a fetal position on the bathroom floor, and rested my cheek on the cold tile. I clutched at my stomach as if I was trying to hold the baby in, begging God not to take this from me.
Just that morning, I had done a pregnancy meditation and talked to my baby. I had done a yoga session, throwing up my arms and bringing my hands down to rest in front of my heart. I felt like Mother Nature herself; my body was creating a miracle.
After my miscarriage, I poured over message boards and read through beautiful essays by women who had been through even worse miscarriages than my own. I googled photos of a fetus to see what mine looked like. I wanted to prove that something had been in there, that my grief was valid. The 6 positive pregnancy tests weren’t enough, though they were all I had left now.
I walked around like a zombie, feeling everything. I felt exposed, like I had open wounds all over me. I worried people could see what had happened. Part of me wanted to scream it out for anyone and everyone who would listen, and the other part of me wanted to bury it forever and never speak of it again.
The smell of blood seemed to burn in my nose and permeate the air around me. Somehow, the world kept spinning while I felt like mine was crashing down in a ball of flames like a bad Bruce Willis movie. Just like the blood, tears kept gushing out of me and I wondered which one would stop first.
I was trying to be okay, but I felt left behind. I was supposed to be part of the world, like a normal person, but I couldn’t find happiness in the same things everyone else did. It didn’t feel right to continue on with my life when my baby’s life was cut short before they even took a breath.
I didn’t share my sadness, I was silent. Nobody but me and my husband knew about the miscarriage; we were victims of the “12 week rule.” My thoughts were like a manic lion at the zoo, pacing the same path over and over again, wondering if he’ll ever be able to get out of this cage. I didn’t want to upset or disappoint anyone around me. But, it was in those moments of silence in my bedroom that my loneliness was consuming. I had been so content having my baby in my belly, and I felt like I was never alone. Me and my little peanut, partners in crime.
I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to be this person who was sad and disconnected all the time. I felt so tired; not the kind of tired you get from a long day at work or a delayed flight. I felt the kind of tired that creeps into your bones, rests a weight on your shoulders and squeezes in next to your heart.
In the coming weeks, I took to my bed and watched bad t.v. I stopped exercising, and I no longer did yoga or meditated like I used to do every morning. I binge ate terrible food; mostly food that you weren’t allowed to eat when you were pregnant. Cold cuts and carpaccio? Check. Tons of caffeinated cherry coke? Absolutely. Processed junk that rots your teeth and your insides? Double check? I wanted to punish my body for failing me. That was the all-consuming feeling I couldn’t shake; failure. I knew it wasn’t logical, but I blamed my body for the miscarriage. I blamed my body for failing me and this baby. So, I punished myself.
Until one day, I woke up and realized this had to end. Spotting my dusty yoga mat in the corner of my bedroom, I rolled it out and sat down. The tears began to flow, but this wasn’t unusual for me. I had always been told to let my feelings out on the mat, and at this point in my life, I took this to heart. I placed my hands to my heart, and allowed the silence to sink in around me. However, this time the silence didn’t feel lonely or constricting. I felt a wave of peace wash over me, and I found myself stretching my arms over my head, taking in fresh air.
With each new position I did, I felt myself beginning to wake up. Every cat pose, every cow pose, and every downward dog felt like a huge triumph for my overworked body. My muscles tingled and stretched; I was finally treating myself as I deserved.
I looked at my body in the reflection of the window next to me and admired how lithe and healthy it looked. The yoga poses looked stunning and I couldn’t believe how good I looked. I realized my body was not at fault for what had happened to me, and punishing myself wouldn’t change anything.
I’m now pregnant again with a healthy baby, and every time I get on my yoga mat to start a new session I feel so much gratitude. I’m grateful for that first time I sat on my mat after my miscarriage, because it picked me back up from one of the darkest periods in my life.