January 2013 - we were elated and overjoyed that we were expecting our first child
March 23rd - 11 weeks and 5 days. I woke up at 4am to pee, because that's what pregnant women do best (besides eat). My heart stopped, then the world stopped, as I looked down and saw blood.
October 5th - would have been our due date
I do not care if the statistics say that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends with a miscarriage and that it's a common occurrence.
When it happens to you, every fiber of your existence is shattered - and it f**king sucks. Your heart, soul, dreams are crushed and you feel broken in places that you didn't know existed. It's a pain that never truly goes away. You'll always mourn your baby and what could have been. You'll always remember those moments. It's been 7 years and 2 babies since my miscarriage and I still cry when I think about it. I cried when I wrote this in my notebook and I am tearing up as I type this up now.
But the tears have lessened from sobs to a light steam and my heart doesn't ache as much. At 36, I am done having babies but there will always feel like there's a hole in me and our family. And that's always going to be hard to handle and accept.
So how do you pick yourself up and get excited to design a nursery for rainbow baby?
First of all, if you're reading this it's safe for me to assume and say that I am so sorry for your loss but also so happy for you that you tried again and are pregnant.
It's the hardest thing to find balance between mourning for your loss and elated love for your new pregnancy. You want so much to feel the same excitement about this pregnancy as you did your first, after all, your baby deserves that. But you also want to protect the fragments of your heart that are left over, in fear of having them shattered also. You feel torn and guilty about wanting to protect yourself emotionally because your baby deserves 100% of you and your heart - and you want to give that to them.
Designing a nursery after a miscarriage is part of that tug and pull and finding balance in your emotions. When you design your nursery, you're putting your heart into it and accepting that the dreams you and your partner have for your child will soon become a reality. But after a miscarriage, it can become paralyzing at times. So where do you start?
1. With yourself. Forgive yourself. And as hard as it is, you have to open your heart back-up and allow all of the love for your rainbow baby to flow. It is hard, it is process. Give yourself some grace and take it one day at a time.
2. Allow yourself to get excited about the nursery. It's okay if you need to take your time and go slow, but work on it a little everyday. Designing a nursery after a miscarriage can be therapeutic, but you have to go at your own pace. It is possible to cry tears of pain and feel excited for your present baby all at one time. I've been there.
Personal note - I stayed home for a week after my miscarriage and did nothing but lay on my couch, watch A Baby Story on TLC and sob. My husband thought I was crazy, but it was weirdly therapeutic for me because a lot of the stories were women who had suffered losses.
3. Go on pinterest and just pin inspiration photos. I recommend having a box of tissues with you just in case. And girl, if you feel those tears coming on, just LET. THEM. OUT. In the words of Daniel Tiger, "Little by little, you'll feel better". (if you don't know who Daniel Tiger is yet, I highly recommend the show, it was my favorite. Love me some D.T.) Don't worry about picking things out yet or deciding on a design. Just pin whatever catches your eye and perks you up. Do this for a few minutes everyday. Once you start feeling more comfortable and your excitement level builds, then go back through your board and start narrowing down your design. If you don't know where to start, check out my pinterest here.
Always remember that you are not alone. There is a community out here. I am here to support you. Allow yourself to feel and don't be ashamed about it. Let those tears flow and talk about it whenever you need to.
Once you are ready to dive fully in, if you still need help designing your nursery, you can either contact me (I'd be honored to help and will probably cry with you), or you can read these blog posts:
How to design a nursery around a theme
I know how isolating and scary it can be after a miscarriage, but I promise you, you'll get through it. One day at a time.
with grace & gumption,