Totum Stories: The wisdom of miscarriage
By Nikki Armytage-Foy
Founder of Electric Woman, coach, entrepreneur
"The way through sadness and grief that comes from great loss is to use it as motivation and to generate a deeper sense of purpose".
- The Book of Joy
I'd like to share with you a personal story about the power I've found going through a recent heartbreaking experience of miscarriage.
Two months ago today, I found some blood on the way to a women's circle, it was called 'from Maiden to Mother' and I was sitting amongst fifteen other pregnant women when I feared I'd miscarried. A day later they (I found out they were twins) left my body and I experienced the most intense physical and emotional pain I'd ever known. I was empty, they took the life out of me. The dreams, hopes and fears of having these babies were gone.
In that emptiness, I was held. By my husband, by the women in my life who I trust and by a strength that took over. I had to seek the wisdom of this experience, to help me from plummeting into a dark cave. A a wise teacher of mine Annabel Du Boulay said to me "the souls of babies we miscarry only need to incarnate for a brief time within our wombs, they come as our teachers to initiate us into the depth of our soul."
To the depth of my soul I went. I was learning that Motherhood is "the path of a warrior and you are cultivating a fearless heart, a heart that doesn’t close down in any circumstance; it is always totally open, so that you can be touched by anything,” Pema Chödrön.
And open I was.
Three days later I left my bed and walked down to the beach with two flowers, ready to say goodbye to the twins. I stood on the rocks and thanked them for visiting and for the clear message they gave me when I was laid out on the bathroom floor the night they left. Their message was for me to be gentle, to trust, to work less, to enjoy life more. As I dropped the flowers in the water, dolphins arrived in the waves, gliding and diving and playing, I'd never seen dolphins at the beach before. The souls of my babies left joyfully.
The following week, as I walked into a jewelry shop in Ojai, tears poured. I didn't know why. I heard a soft voice within saying 'buy something'. I was drawn to a red beaded necklace with two angel wings and as I went pay, the shop owner said, these red beads are the Carnelian crystal which helps with healing trauma in the womb and increasing your fertility.
Weeks after, the dark cave inevitably came. The rage, the anger, the deep sadness that seemed never-ending, every time I saw a pregnant woman or baby, the sharp pinch in my belly hit, again and again and again.
One of the biggest gifts of miscarriage was the connection I now have with my husband who was supportive throughout, and yet his experience looked different to mine. At first I was angered, where were his endless tears? Why didn't he lay in the puddle on the floor with me? We didn't know how to communicate about this confusing experience, I felt rage and he seemed to be getting on with life. One day, I held two angel crystals in my hand and poured out everything to him. I explained what my anger outbursts were masking. His eyes softened as he listened to me speak, it felt so hard and so necessary. And then I asked him to hold the angels and do the same. He told me that his job was to be the role of the protector. He needed his strength to hold me up, he needed to keep going and his insecurity made him clamp up, he didn't know what else to do. As he spoke his truth, my judgment melted. We still use our Angels, they help us soften to the truth.
No one talks about miscarriage until it happens and then so many say 'me too'. Twenty-five percent of women go through miscarriage and it's bizarre to feel you're alone in such an important journey of loss and grief. To battle the feeling of failure and fear that Motherhood may not be your path. Miscarriage has taught me so much about being a woman. It's brought me closer to my husband and I'm grateful to the little souls – my teachers – that taught me about my body, about compassion, patience and letting go of control.
If you would like to reach out and share a personal story about the wisdom you've found in pain, loss or struggle, I would love to hear from you. We heal when we share our stories openly. Email me directly at email@example.com