“If you are here, you have either experienced or are experiencing your babies loss, and I just want to start by saying I am so sorry for your loss, for your pain and for the season you are in. My prayer is that God will use us and our experience to bring you some answers, comfort or simply just to remind you that you know you are not alone.”
Here I was, my body thinking that I just gave birth, with my boobs leaking, left with stretch marks because I grew 2 cup sizes, more stretch marks on my stomach, stomach still big, sickness hitting me throughout the day, yet no baby to tell myself it is all worth it.
I remember thinking how cruel it is to suffer like I had a baby to joyfully hold to make all of the pain worth it when my body is going through all of that yet my baby is no longer with me. And all I have is pictures, memories and a box of ashes.
If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re either in this situation now or have been there.
Like all of my posts, I want to share my story for you to know you are not alone to feel the way you are feeling and to share with you how I turn my tears into joy and my pain to purpose by taking my eyes off my suffering and gaze them onto Jesus instead.
I realised the only way I could healthily get through this was to change my perspective and to pivot my negative thoughts into God-centred positives.
If you can relate to the above then I hope the following can be of comfort to you;
Thank God for reminding you that your body is working.
Tell yourself that you can get pregnant, and thank Him for giving you hope. If you have suffered from infertility for many years you will understand why I have said this. It’s a harsh reality to accept and it’s ok if your heart isn’t there just yet, but when we strip our hearts down from our pain we will see this to be true.
For me, when I stood there realising my boobs were leaking I cried, I sobbed uncontrollably! My husband looked at me and smiled and said babe your body is working, for years you felt it was broken and look this is a reminder that it is working, my tears of sorrow somehow turned into tears of rejoicing. I know this will be different for each person, this was just my experience so please be kind to yourself if tears of joy still seem a distance away. I will add a prayer touching on this at the end.
Listen to any signs your body is giving you and work through them one by one.
- Your boobs may still feel sore and tender and even have milk in them
- You may experience cramps
- You may still have abdominal enlargement with increased firmness
- You may still be feeling nauseous/morning sickness
- Your pelvic floor muscles may still be weak
- Positive pregnancy tests (I had this for up to 2 months, please let your doctors know if this is the case for you)
I experienced all of the above, but you may have other symptoms you may have to be aware of.
Pregnancy hormones play a role in causing morning sickness, breast soreness, tiredness, and other standard symptoms of early pregnancy. After a baby loss, miscarriage, your hormones will not return to pre-pregnant levels right away, so there can be a period that you will still feel pregnant, even if you have just had a dilation and curettage (D&C). I know personally that this can feel so cruel, and I am so sorry if you feel this way.
Why does this happen? Because some pregnancy hormones remain in the blood for one to two months after a loss, you may continue to have nausea and other pregnancy symptoms for some time, especially if your loss happened in the second/third trimester.
Beyond hormones, grief plays a role in persistent pregnancy symptoms, particularly those that last for weeks or months. For most women, hCG levels will probably fall to zero within about two weeks. If you are still having trouble with persistent cramps, nausea or vomiting longer than that, call your doctor as there may be other causes for these symptoms.
Your boobs may be sore and leaking milk after you give birth because of the drop in hormones.
This can be so distressing and painful physically and emotionally, below I have listed some things that can help.
- apply ice packs (or a bag of frozen peas) covered in a light cloth or cabbage leaves to your breasts for relief
- express small amounts of breast milk by hand – enough to relieve some pressure but not enough to encourage more milk
- take warm showers, which can allow the breasts to leak naturally.
- take painkillers, like ibuprofen or paracetamol (I stick to herbal remedies, if you would like to know what I use feel free to message me on Instagram)
You can also take milk suppressing medication, (I said no when this was offered by my doctor, as I wanted to allow my body to heal naturally after going through so much already, but for many, this can be so traumatic that you may choose to put an end to it and that’s fine.)
Talk to your doctor to see if this is an option for you and discuss the side effects.
Abdominal pain and cramps / Abdominal enlargement with increased firmness
It’s normal to feel pains similar to contractions, cramps or strong period pains. This happens because your womb is getting back to its normal size. The cramps may feel a lot like menstrual cramps — from mild to possibly severe at times — and they tend to be more noticeable with second or third pregnancies.
Cramping that’s caused by other conditions, like constipation or infection, will last for different amounts of time. And without treatment, the cramping may continue until you address the underlying cause.
I continued to have severe cramps for up to two weeks, which was due to the remaining placenta that attached itself to my uterus and had to surgically be removed. So please, if you’re in pain — don’t delay. Get checked out so you can feel better ASAP.
Things you can do to try and help ease these pains;
- apply a water bottle or heated beanbag to your stomach and lower back
- if possible, move about and stretch your lower back
- take warm showers, not a bath as this can lead to infections
- take painkillers, like ibuprofen or paracetamol (I stick to herbal remedies if you would like to know what I use feel free to message me on Instagram)
- avoid foods that can cause bloating or inflammation and acidic foods
How Long Will Bleeding Last?
For most women, bleeding subsides within two weeks and can be managed with sanitary pads until it stops completely. Heavy and prolonged bleeding can be cause for concern. Soaking more than two maxi pads per hour for more than two hours in a row may be a sign of infection or an incomplete miscarriage.
Bleeding that falls into this category may be an indicator that hat some of the tissue or placenta from the pregnancy hasn’t been expelled. If this is the case, it may need to be removed surgically in a procedure called dilation and curettage, or D&C, or with medication. I experienced both methods first they sent me home with medication that didn’t work then they had to do a D&C.
Things you can do to try and help ease the bleeding;
- don’t sit on the toilet for too long
- put bed pads on your bed or sofa, and wear larger pads
- doctors can give you medicine to stop the bleeding
Morning sickness, including nausea and aversion to food
Pregnancy symptoms can occur when an emotional trauma amplifies the physical symptoms of pregnancy following a miscarriage. Fetal movement, kicking, and contractions are just some of the sensations experienced. After a baby loss/miscarriage, your hormones will not return to pre-pregnant levels right away, so there can be a period of time that you will still feel pregnant.
I continued to feel sick for 2 months as I still had placenta remaining for a while, but originally my doctors told me it would last anything between 2-4 weeks.
Things you can do to try and help ease the nausea;
- eat smaller portions, more frequently
- drink mild ginger tea, or have ginger chews, ginger ale
- avoid fatty and greasy, sweet and spicy foods
- time your prenatal vitamins right (before bedtime worked better for me)
- get some fresh air, go for a walk
Your pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor muscles help you keep control when you go for a wee and support your bladder and bowel. During pregnancy and after giving birth(even after baby loss) your pelvic floor will be weakened and you might feel like you have less control. If you attempt pelvic floor exercises (where you squeeze and hold the muscles like you are holding in a wee), you might find you have no sensation at all. This should come back but you’ll need to give it time and try not to worry.
If your bladder control doesn’t improve after 3 months, speak to your doctor about a referral to a physiotherapist.
Things you can do to try and help to restore your pelvic floor:
- Squeeze and draw in your bottom and close up and draw your vagina upwards.
- Do it quickly, tightening and releasing the muscles immediately then do it slowly, holding for as long as you can (but no more than 10 seconds).
- Repeat each exercise 10 times, four to six times a day.
- It might help to imagine you’re stopping a poo, holding in a tampon, or stopping yourself from weeing.
If you feel like these exercises aren’t helping, speak to your GP.
I am a qualified pre/postnatal specialist, if you would like some more support on exercises that can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, please do feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, I would love to be part of your recovery process.
Tips on reflection:
The purpose of this post is to let you know that you are NOT alone in feeling what you have felt or are feeling. The pain, the confusion, the shock…It is all part of the process. I have listed below some “tips” simply sharing how I got through these times myself. I can only pray that you can be encouraged by them.
Knowing God does not take away your pain or postpartum pain, but we can turn to him to guide and lead and strenghen us, I have given a prayer below that I hope brings healing and peace.
In no particular order;
- PRAY: Ask God to help you to help you manage your postpartum symptoms as well as your grief. (See prayer below)
- WORSHIP: Listen to your favourite worship songs. (See list below)
- READ: Rest & meditate in God’s word. (See list below)
- TALK: Talk to your spouse and brothers and sisters in Christ, asking them to pray with or for you.
- FEEL: Remind yourself that it’s ok to not be ok! Remember God knows exactly how you feel and find comfort in knowing that he saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Prayer, songs and scripture that has helped me through this time. (and continue to help me)
Thank you for reminding me that my body can conceive, I know my heart dont feel the joy of this right now but help me to see your hand in my loss.
Father in the name of Jesus I confess your word for my healing. I confess your word abides in me and delivers me from every evil and gives me soundness of mind. Thank you that your word is a healing balm to my mind and gives me victory over every circumstance.
Father, I need you, amidst the physical trials and emotional pain I am facing. Thank you that even in my weakness, Your loyal love (Nehemiah 1:5) holds me up. You are strong, and Your strength holds me together when I am falling apart.
“My God, my soul is so traumatized; the only help is remembering You wherever I may be.” (Psalm 42:6) You are powerful enough to lurch us forward, up and out of the dark pit, we’re drowning in. What feels like suffocating waves can bring forth a powerful witness.
Please fill my heart with hope as sorrow pours out uncontrollably. Strengthen me when I cannot bear to get out of bed and into the day where I belong.
Surround me friends and family who will cover me in prayer and lift me up to You for help who will wrap me in love out of genuine concern.
Though “Right now I’m overwhelmed by my sorrow and pain” (Psalm 42:3 ), I put my faith in the One who made me, knows me, loves me, and calls me His. Remind me frequently to pray about everything. Feelings, doctors, shame, medicine, guilt, remorse… all of it. Help me lift that heaviness up to Your capable hands.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen
Have my heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3Skc4MQlqU
Praise you in the storm: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=t5jhtjLt0pg&list=PLXhWe5uvEV3lyngDmZ08-Icoudzpuz00p&index=2
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed (afraid), for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.