The Pain of a Miscarriage and the Healing Power of Yoga
My very first pregnancy was a miscarriage, and it felt like a cruel joke. I had been very sick to my stomach and barely eating. I was out of work and my OBGYN kept sending me for ultrasounds as he wasn't sure if the pregnancy was viable. When I got the bad news, I was told my pregnancy had most likely been "over" and non-viable for probably two weeks, yet my body apparently was refusing to miscarry on its own. My doctor decided it would be best if I underwent a D&C, a procedure to remove the contents of the uterus, rather than continuing to wait for my body to do the job on its own. To make matters worse, I had to wait six days for the procedure, which was torture.
The D&C was relatively simple and didn't cause me much pain beyond some minor cramping afterward (some women get horrible cramps so I was lucky), but it was the feelings that I was left with that hurt so much. My doctor didn't have a reason for why I had miscarried and apparently this is common. According to American Pregnancy, "Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75 percent of all miscarriages. This occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, resulting in bleeding that occurs around the time of her expected period." Apparently having a miscarriage is incredibly common, yet somehow, talking about it isn't.
On the day I found out about my miscarriage, one of the members of my now ex-husband's family asked me, "Well why did this happen exactly?" in an accusing tone. It was the single worst thing someone could have said to me. Early on in the pregnancy, I had severe nausea and vomiting and had been in the emergency room for fluids and anti-nausea medication, so I had worried that perhaps my intense morning sickness had caused this to happen. I questioned that day in the emergency room, feeling guilt that maybe I should have let myself suffer longer and waited to take medication. However when I ended up pregnant with my daughter months later, I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a severe form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and ended up with a healthy baby.
One thing I did not do well after my miscarriage was cope. I turned to friends briefly, but spent a large amount of time alone, depressed and numbing myself with bad television and tears. I had been a preschool teacher and left my job after the miscarriage — I was that angry and depressed. My mind was utterly negative — was I now doomed to never have children? WebMD shares that as women go through the grief cycle of a miscarriage, they will feel the following emotions, in an order (somewhat): anger; depression (feelings of loneliness); guilt (see the former paragraph); and finally, numbness. I experienced every single one of those feelings and as a normally Type A" person, I was incredibly unmotivated and un-Type A. One of the things that could have helped me — and I wished I had done — was yoga.
Not only will it quiet your troubled mind, but it will stretch and activate your body, and, hopefully, send feel-good hormones to your brain to get you out of any depression you may be experiencing. A regular practice has also been shown to be an excellent way to alleviate anxiety and energize your body — and spirt. These beginner-friendly poses can help you find balance, peace, and comfort during a sad time; some can even help alleviate physical discomfort that may come from a miscarriage. Try them to find some calm after the storm.