Meet Sarah Philpott. Today Sarah is sharing how to walk through grief, experience loss, and reconnect with ourselves in the process. Even if you have never had a miscarriage, stillbirth, or ectobpic pregnancy, you may still be grieving a different type of loss. Either way you will find Sarah’s words healing balm for the soul. You will find information on her devotional at the bottom of this post.
With faith, hope, and love,
4 Ways to Reconnect with Who You are After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Ectopic Pregnacy Loss
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
Pregnancy loss is hard.
It’s life altering, grief stricken, and you wonder if you’ll ever be your old self again. It can affect our relationships with our husbands, children, and friends. Even though it can be challenging, we must trod through our grief and slowly begin working on reconnecting with ourselves.
Right now, you might be at a place where your entire mind is fixated on your loss. Getting out of bed is difficult. You are mourning the loss of a precious child. You are also mourning the loss of your intended role as a mother. Taking time to grieve is valid and needed, but eventually you must start thinking about ways to reconnect with you.
Moving forward and mending our souls does not mean we are saying we never loved the child in our womb.
Take steps to march through the grief, not over it and not sitting in it forever, means we honor the life we have been gifted, honor the life of our heavenly child, and honor the lives of those around us. We must cherish ourselves and refresh our spirits by seeking out ways to recognize who we are as God’s creation—beloved, set apart for Him, and made for a great number of purposes.
Here are four suggestions for reconnecting with yourself:
- Change your internal dialogue
Many of us feel like a complete failure after our loss. Some of us had planned since we were children that our greatest goal in life was to be a mother—as many times as we wished. When this goal fails, we wander in a state of unease. I knew I’d never have my baby back, but I desperately wanted to have the “old me” back. I wanted to smile, laugh, and feel comfortable in my own skin. I finally realized that the first step toward reconnecting with myself was to brush aside the negative self-talk that was consuming my soul. The Bible states: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). Since life can be shaped by our thoughts, we need to carefully choose what we are telling ourselves.
- Work through your grief.
Sharron, who experienced an ectopic pregnancy, a late-term loss, and a stillbirth, found that she literally had to sweat out her grief. “As crazy as this seems, my family has a motto for grief and loss: ‘Work through it.’ My daddy taught me this by example. When I am physically exhausted, the heartache doesn’t seem as great. Six weeks after the loss of our stillborn son, I bought a house to renovate as a rental. I ripped up floors, tore down walls, hung and finished new Sheetrock, and laid hardwood floors. It was exhausting, but working through it actually helps. I’m not sure I would recommend it to every- one, but it was good for me.” Sharron explained that finding something to divert her mind aided in her personal recovery.
- Try new experiences.
Some women find renewal by engaging in new experiences. A common theme among women is literally that a change of view helped their spirit. If finances allow, consider getting away for a few days. Tara—who experienced three losses in addition to other family tragedies—cites that going away on a cruise with her mother was healing. My best friend swept me away for a weekend girls’ trip a month after my second loss. The anticipation of a trip, forcing myself to get dressed up, and just laughing helped me reconnect with myself.
- Set goals.
We also need to set realistic goals. Make a list of tasks you can accomplish each day. It might begin with just a few things such as: get out of bed, make coffee, shower, put on makeup, call a friend, read for twenty minutes, etc. Put a few items on the list that help your soul breathe. If cooking is your jam, go grocery shopping and stir up a favorite recipe. If you are a runner, put on your shoes, blast that playlist, and go for a jog. Just do something that refreshes your spirit and makes you feel like yourself. Making a list and following through can give you a small semblance of normalcy.
Darling, we can’t delete the pain, but we can take healthy precautions to distance ourselves from the searing voices and memories our minds want to constantly relive.
What are some things you can do to reconnect with yourself?
Sarah Philpott, PhD, lives on a cattle farm in Tennessee. She is the mother of three young children and wife to one hard workin’ farmer (who has been her sweetheart since high school). Sarah is a former elementary teacher and went on to earn her PhD at the University of Tennessee. She is an award-winning writer who has contributed to numerous academic books such as Contemporary Social Studies: An Essential Reader and has been published in scholarly journals such as Social Studies and the Young Learner. Sarah also contributes to places such as the Huffington Post, Her View from Home, BonBon Break, Bethany Christian Services, and Pregnant Chicken. Sarah is the founder of the Loved Baby support group and #HonorAllMoms Mother’s Day movement.