Emotional Wellness, Post Partum Resources, storytelling

When ‘Awareness Months’ End : 3 Ways to Emotionally Manage a Miscarriage

I am one in four

Apparently, all of this emotional upheaval left me with some unfortunate news of my own. It was December, and I began feeling funny.  I started having headaches and I noticed my menstrual cycle was off. I thought we were pregnant again…We learned I had suffered a miscarriage. Although I hadn’t been far along, I cannot break down how crushed and perplexed I felt. Immediately, I plunged into self-condemnation.- Ch 12. “The Audacity to Finish”- A Memoir

 

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, here in the U.S. At any point during this month, if you signed-on to a social media outlet, the hashtag was hard to miss. However, as the month comes to a close, the awareness also dies down. Stories stop getting shared, while many mother’s still grieve.

According to the March of Dimes, a miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous, unexpected, sometimes unexplained loss of a baby before 20 weeks of gestation. Stats reveal 10% of all first trimester pregnancies end in miscarriage.

For us millennial women, the use of awareness months and hashtags have become a way to share stories, information, and tips for prevention.  But beyond these 31 days, come many holidays,  which may act as triggers to emotional scars not yet healed.

As a fellow survivor, I’m sharing with you, three ways to emotionally manage your miscarriage, beyond the month of awareness.

  1. Feel your grief: You might already be feeling a range of emotions, but central to our generation’s experience is trying to numb our emotions by hiding behind perfect posts; sometimes it’s mindless scrolling to avoid actually dealing with what’s trying to surface. You can begin to feel your grief by talking to others. Share what hurts, how it hurts, when it hurts. Talk about what it means to you to have lost a child. 
  2. Stop rushing past your grief: Sometimes it takes a few months and sometimes it takes years. With society’s approach of ‘fast and now,’ sometimes it can feel burdensome to you and others to unpack the loss of a pregnancy. Most people are unaware of the connection that forms between a mother and child, even if the loss happens “early.” While it may hurt to be asked questions like: ‘why aren’t you over that yet?’ Don’t take it personally. Honor the loss for as long as it takes until you reach acceptance and feel peace. 
  3. Find a support group: Whether it’s mother’s who pray together or book clubs, find an avenue to channel the experience in a healthy or even creative way. At times, it may feel supportive to get on Instagram or Facebook to share, but those are open spaces without any rules for sensitivity towards unhealed emotional experiences. Beyond awareness months, you may be doing more harm than good, expecting to feel supported or safe in those spaces. Work up the courage to get into real community. Can’t find something? Create it. 

*Bonus*

Prayer and Meditation: Suffering a miscarriage can be a deeply disturbing experience, spiritually. It is not uncommon to feel abandoned by God, angry at God, or altogether disinterested in continuing your faith walk. However it is manifesting for you, know that beyond the pain, sadness, or even disbelief of a miscarriage, comfort and restoration are always available to you, in the hands of the Divine.

A Prayer for Grieving

Heavenly Father, Blessed Mother, I humbly come before you, with my arms wide open. I present before you my blessed womb. I surrender to you my sadness, rage, resentment, fear, frustration, depression, misunderstanding over the life no longer present in my womb. I pray to receive soul-level healing. I pray to receive heart-renewing gladness. I pray to be held in your arms as I process this season of my life. I love you and I trust you. In your blessed name (Christ’s name) I pray. Amen.

Affirmations to work with at this time:

I am loved by the Divine

I am comforted by the Divine

I am seen by the Divine

I am restored by the Divine

Essential Oils to work with at this time:

  • Geranium: helps soothe a broken heart and supports feeling trustful.
  • Cypress: helps with teaching the soul to let go of the past and supports the release of feeling stuck emotionally or mentally.
  • Peppermint: helps with feelings of despair, intense sadness, and discouragement, and supports feeling relief, optimism, and strength.
  • Bergamot: helps with feelings of self-blame, judgement, and supports feelings of self-acceptance.

For a personalized blend, send your request here.

For past episodes dealing with grief and loss:

https://thebeautifulstruggle.blog/2018/11/19/life-after-neonatal-loss-claire-daniels-talks-embracing-motherhood-a-second-time-around/

https://thebeautifulstruggle.blog/2017/06/07/pt-2-post-partum-the-doula-help-an-exploration-of-grief-transparency-accepting-help-after-birth/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Partum Resources

“Turning Audacity to Action” An Exclusive Look at Digital Workbook for Millennial Mom’s

audacity workbook by Laura Eustache Zamor

 

 

It’s here Mamas!!!

A timeless guide to navigating your return to school and being a mama, I have created for you, a practical tool to help with decision-making and self-care.

Everything from mindset, to gestational illness, to life in the early postpartum journey, “Turning Audacity to Action” takes the inspiration from “The Audacity to Finish” and gives you direction. Complete with checklists and questions for consideration, my desire for you is to use this guide to accomplish your goals in a resilient, but nourished way.

No matter where you fall on the Millennial gen spectrum, as a mama, there’s something here for you!

To download your sneak peak, click here .

 

Post Partum Resources

A Morning at the Mat: 5 Things That Kept Me Sane While Washing w/ the Kids

Being a full-time, stay-at-home/ work-from-home Mother is anything but glamorous.

I know we are constantly fed the images of perfectly snapped photographs on social media feeds, but the truth is, parenting, Mothering, and living amidst the day-to-day demands with two children under 5, is anything but a walk in the park.  Particularly, if you are a Mother who does not have extra help or a nanny on hand.

Some days it is filled with hysterical laughter and on other days, like today, it’s filled with conquering anxieties and fears you never knew existed.

Today’s particular anxiety: taking both kids to the local laundromat for the first time.

The fear? That every possible thing that could go wrong, would.

kid s blue shirt hanging on the clothesline
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

For instance, as an apartment-living NY’er, you want to make sure the car isn’t parked too far so that getting the kids and the laundry out the door, on the first trip, goes smoothly.

But on this bright sunny day with comforters to wash and my husband working a 16-hour shift, I decided to bite the bullet and try.

And the good news is- I survived Mamas! Everything’s washed, everybody came back in one piece, and I’m not too tired to share how.

So the next time you feel anxiety or fear about conquering this type of daily grind activity, remember not to judge yourself or think you should “know everything by now.” Calm the voices of shame and bite your own bullet. You might just surprise yourself!

  1. Ground and Center: I made sure to start the day with my trusted and comforting cup of Bustello. I applied Frankincense essential oil along the nape of my neck, the base of my spine, along my wrists, and across my forehead. This oil is great for getting you calm and less scatter-brained, without making you overly mellow. It also nourishes the nervous system, which is usually the first to get affected when trying something new or stressful.
  2. Repeated Communication: I told both boys exactly what we would be doing for the day, as many times as possible, as calmly as possible, to help them understand the transitions we’d be making. I’ve learned how my boys respond to a break in their daily routine and as Mamas, we can get so overwhelmed, we can forget to honor their emotional needs.
  3. Comfortable Clothes : Going to the laundromat is not the same as going to the movies or the zoo. While I know we as Mamas always want to make sure our kids look good before stepping out into public and looking “put together” keeps you a side-eye away from people’s judgment, putting them in some shorts, a baseball cap, a plain t-shirt and sneakers, worked wonders. There were no bells and whistles to deal with when it came time to change pampers or head to the potty (big boy is soaring with the briefs now) and it helped me worry less if one got dirty.
  4. Food, Food, and Yes, Food: Now I know we all have our baby bag filled with everything we need, but stopping by your favorite shop and stocking up on specific favorites, less on the sugary side, works wonders. It helped them get excited about this “new” experience, kept them calm when it seemed the dryers weren’t moving fast enough, and kept me from getting nagged to death about “needing a snack.” For us, it was a green mango juice, bananas, pumpkin bread and extra water for the win.
  5. Relationships with Local Business Owners: I have definitely been called a warm extrovert, engaging in conversation with others quite easily, and today, it truly paid off. While I’m not saying you need to be a social butterfly to get your errands done, when you establish positive regard with the places of business you frequent, their graces can be extended to your children. Today, the lady I regularly greet was managing and without hesitation, she accepted my request to watch the boys as I unloaded the car or when I needed to use the restroom- something so simple, yet so important when you’re running solo.

Bonus Tip: When and if they start to get fidgety or irritated from the wait, and you worry about navigating a tantrum, get them involved. Even if it seems like more work, trust me, it is better than having calmness turned into turbulence. Let your nurturing come through by leading them to the washers or dryers and letting them help you with the clothes.

 

Post Partum Resources

Post Partum Hair & Skin Changes: How Roman Chamomile Came to My Rescue

A byproduct of having a c-section was losing a lot of my hair. I wasn’t prepared for that- at all.

I have always been known for having lion-mane like hair. In my memoir, I share an episode of how badly I was bullied over it, as a child.

Imagine my surprise when I gave birth to my first son, and watched it grow even more. I was ecstatic and expected the same would take place again, after the birth of my second son.

However, that did not happen at all. As a matter of fact, the opposite took place. It started to fall out. Yes, ladies, you read correctly. Post-Partum shedding took on a whole other level post my second birth. It happened so fast and so consistently, that I made the decision to cut it all off.

Again, you read that correctly. And you can see the progression in the pictures below.

 

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1st birth, 3 mos Post Partum Hair Growth
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2nd Birth, 3 mos Post Partum Massive Cut
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2nd Birth, 1 year Post Partum

This is one of the more sensitive areas of the post partum experience many of us veer from discussing because we fear it will make us appear vain. But, the truth is, as many stories you read about post-birth change, you’re never really prepared for how you’ll handle what changes come your way.

Also, because this particular pregnancy and birth experience were marked by worry and trauma, I believe my body just surrendered to the emotional strain right after birth. I was also allergic to the anesthesia.  Having a Naturopath for a father, I knew stress affected hair growth, so while I was shocked at how fast it was falling out, I could accept the underlying reasons.

Cutting it all off was a big move, but one that would help me rid a lot of the energy I was holding onto post birth. It was my first wave of major healing. And that part made me feel good.

What didn’t make me feel so good, was the unexpected inconvenience of experiencing razor bumps from different styles of hair-cutting. Initially, I kept my cuts pretty high as I adjusted to the new look. But as I got more comfortable with bolder cuts, this meant the back would get shaved closer and closer.

Now, before you turn your nose up, it wasn’t an issue of my barber’s cleanliness as I, too, had jumped to immediately assume.

It was the result of my hair never having been cut so low and my first seasons of experiencing ingrown hairs.

Lord, I wasn’t ready!  But I had a secret clutch! My essential oils!

I had always known Melaleuca and Frankincense are great for dealing with skin eruptions and irritations caused by bacteria, but on one particular night. I learned how one oil would be a dual game-changer.

Roman Chamomile, an oil that has a particularly distinct scent, is an oil I’d been working with emotionally as part of a next layer emotional protocol for myself and my son to combat the remnants of birth trauma on this second anniversary. I was placing a few drops in our roller blends to support our individual sense of purpose. A near-death experience can really rock your root chakra and this particular oil works to restore a sense of purpose for life. For my son, it would support his nervous system, giving him a boost for autonomy and purpose outside of the womb.

However, on this particular night, when I realized I was out of my skin guards, I reached for my R.C. and lightly applied 2 drops to the areas of my hairline I felt were the itchiest. I am happy to report, not only did the spot not burn upon application, but the itching seized!! No longer did I feel the need to scrape my neck with my brush or pick!

So I want to implore you moms, the next time you have bikini area or underarm bumps from shaving, to reach for Roman Chamomile. You can add a few drops to your favorite carrier oil, mine is 100% organic coconut oil.

Not only will it calm those spots, but it will give you an emotional sense of purpose, which we as Mother’s can never get tired of renewing.