Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The metaphysical side of miscarriage

The following questions were asked in relation to comments in my last posting.

Can I ask a very personal question then Veronika? One you do not have to answer. Do you hold that your miscarriages were down to emotional imbalance in yourself? How do you live with that? Excuse my boldness. I speak as one miscarrier to another.

I see the four miscarriages I’ve had over the years as symbolic of where I was at those times in my life. I also see them differently than I did when the first one happened. The short answer to your question is ‘yes’. Today’s blog is the long answer to your question.

At 19, I became pregnant to someone I was in a steady relationship with ~ though it was definitely not planned (consciously). [I don’t believe any pregnancy is unplanned, though they may happen unconsciously].

My boyfriend was in University and the news of my pregnancy was, to him, like a death sentence. He was a ‘good’ Lutheran lad from a well-to-do family and had great plans for his career as a medical laboratory technician. He ‘demanded’ I have an abortion. I told him where to go. I’d been on the pill, but like my mum who’d conceived twice while on the contraceptive pill, it wasn’t fool proof. Thankfully, I also learnt quite early on not to continue putting synthetic chemicals and hormones into my body.

I was absolutely petrified of being a single mum at 19 (and clearly, 21 years later I am so glad I didn’t become a mother then ~ not in terms of age, but in terms of knowledge). I’d been living with my older sister who became a single mum at 24. I’d witnessed her journey and I looked after her child each night so she could go out to work. It was not a path I wanted for my child. Despite the fear, I knew I wouldn’t have killed my child simply because the father was worried about tainting his reputation. In hindsight, I see that I did contribute to the death in some way.

My baby died at about 13 weeks ~ the time people usually wait before telling others as the chances of miscarriage are very high in this first trimester. My baby ‘shrivelled up’ and died…and stayed in my womb. I see this as very symbolic of the child registering the emotions that I was feeling ~ the fear of being a mum and yet not wanting to ‘get rid’ of the baby ~ and also the rejection by the father. So my body ‘held on’ until such time as the surgeons dragged it out of my body. When I came out anaesthetic, I was crying my eyes out in desperation for my baby. The surgeon told me to shut up and said “don’t be stupid, the baby was dead anyway. There have been times in my life, like that moment, where I’ve really despised men for their incredible insensitivity.

The relationship continued for a couple more years by which time alcohol featured in my life a lot more. How’s that for emotional imbalance and dysfunction?!

My next pregnancy, at 21, was a real shock to my system, not to mention another complete surprise. How did that happen again? The months went by and my tummy grew bigger and bigger. Again, my boyfriend wanted nothing to do with ‘a baby’. I ended the relationship and moved interstate back to my home town when I was about six months pregnant. I’d obviously stopped drinking when I knew I was pregnant but by then the damage had been done. When I see pregnancy studies which say it is safe to drink ‘x’ amount a day/week during pregnancy, I cringe. Personally, I wouldn’t touch a drop now.

I hadn’t told my parents I was pregnant and really wasn’t sure how I’d break the news.

At some point though, I figured something wasn’t right. I’d wake in the morning to my tummy pulsating. And then I had blood in my knickers, but it was strange blood ~ unlike when you have your period.

Anyway, it turned out that my baby had died and the pregnancy was what is called a hydatafoid mole…essentially the baby grows into a tumour resembling a bunch of grapes and it just keeps growing. The blood loss I experienced was a ‘grape’ or several grapes breaking.

Again, I see the way the ‘death’ of the baby (miscarriage) happened as being a manifestation of what was happening in my life…the not wanting to ‘let go’ of the baby, but also being very scared of being a mother and telling my family.

I suppose in some ways, at a cellular level, I carried the shame of single motherhood that my mother had worn when she become a mum at 16. She was new to Australia, and could hardly speak English. The man she became pregnant to (the love of her life) abandoned her with the gift of money for an abortion. What is it with men??????

I have absolutely NO issues with single mums (though I believe the ideal for a baby is two loving parents) and yet I’m sure back then I had taken on some of my mum’s stuff. Her first baby was back in 1959…a very different world! Her greatest fear for her daughters was that they’d have babies outside of marriage. When I left home at 16, my mum’s words of advice were: don’t bleach your hair, don’t wear make-up and don’t get pregnant. Darn mum, sorry. I did all three!

My next two miscarriages happened within my marriage and I find it interesting how the ‘body’ of the baby just came away naturally as if having a period. The grief I felt was huge, don’t get me wrong ~ I REALLY ached ~ but the way my body released the baby so easily is very telling of how different I was, as a person, by then ~ and also that I was in the safety of a very loving marriage.

Why did I miscarry then? I don’t know. Although thrilled at the pregnancies, I’m sure the usual fears of ‘how will I cope with another child?’ permeated every cell of my being. It could have been that I was still busy nourishing two other young children and at some level didn’t feel ready to add to the brood.

One thing I feel very strongly about when it comes to miscarriage is that pregnancy is a co-creation ~ and that the soul choosing to incarnate may have gotten everything needed for its journey/evolution by having the opportunity to be in that body/in your body for just a few weeks.

We look at life in quite a strange way…that anything less than three score year and ten is a life cut short. I see pregnancy ~ no matter if for a few days or weeks or full-term ~ as a complete honour. It is a privilege to provide a temporary earthly home for an incarnating soul.

My miscarriages have shown me that the job of a mother, as the host body, is to offer the most optimal environment ~ and that HAS to include being emotionally balanced. The relationship we have with our partner ~ whether he is in our life or not ~ is an important part of that emotional balance. But even if he is clueless to his partner's needs, it doesn't mean a woman can't or shouldn't take 100% responsibility for the important role she is playing.

I still feel someone’s death or a miscarriage deeply, and often painfully ~ I feel that at an emotional level. When a friend phones to tell me she’s miscarried, it hurts deeply. I don't hurt for the baby ~ the soul has made its choice ~ I hurt for my friend and the grief she's going through.

At the spiritual level, I understand that everything is as it should be. That there is no right and wrong.

I also trust that if the ‘conditions’ were right in the womb, there would be no miscarriage. So what makes the right condition in a womb? And why do some babies survive in utero against all odds? I think that’s where the answers have to lie beyond the physical (i.e.) metaphysical. I also know, that if a soul is meant to incarnate on this Earth, nothing will stop it getting here! But let’s make every baby’s journey Earthside the best it can possibly be. We don’t need more Hitlers, Husseins or Mugabes in this world. Have a look at what these men had in common…and you’ll understand my passion for conscious conception, peaceful pregnancy, gentle birth, full-term breastfeeding and conscious parenting.

I’m passionate about encouraging ‘peaceful’ pregnancies. One of the things I’ve found so discouraging in our culture is this push for women to work throughout pregnancy. Culturally, we should be supporting women to use this sacred time as a natural sabbatical ~ to dream, create, sleep, be in nature, meditate, listen to beautiful music. Sadly, the ‘need’ for money or belief we never have enough, pushes women to listen to outside forces rather than their inner wisdom. Entire pregnancies are consumed with women working till the last possible moment because of the fear of not enough money.

So, to the question: how do I live with myself knowing that I ‘created’ my miscarriages? Like everything else in can either spend your days regretting or learn from the experience. My husband and I have chosen not to have more children, but one thing we both know for sure is that if one ‘snuck’ through the net, so to speak, that baby would be welcomed 100% ..there’d be no worrying about how I’d cope or where we’d fit another babe into our life or any other niggly questions. I wouldn’t waste a single second ‘freaking out’ that I was pregnant. We both would be completely accepting and joyous and celebrate every second of the journey together.

I hope that answers your question, Libby.


Danielle said...

Thank you Veronika for sharing such a deeply personal part of yourself with your readers. You have definitely touched my heart.

Claire said...

Thank you for sharing and thank you for your wise words.

*I see pregnancy ~ no matter if for a few days or weeks or full-term ~ as a complete honour. It is a privilege to provide a temporary earthly home for an incarnating soul.*

These words in particular have helped me to think differently about the times I have hoped, loved and lost. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Wheel said...

" It is a privilege to provide a temporary earthly home for an incarnating soul."