The first few years of planting a vegetable garden after going through miscarriages and infertility, I was an emotional wreck if anything happened to my plants. I would meltdown in fury or grief if a plant died or got sick or didn’t grow correctly. If there were insects eating my plants, I would go into a violent rage. It was all because the garden couldn’t just be a garden; I made the garden a symbol for my ability/inability to create life.
I would go quite dark during the times my garden was having issues; I was not fun to be around. I wasn’t able to allow the garden to simply be, I tried to control it in order to heal my own pain.
Anyone who gardens knows that there’s only so much you can do. You hope for a great crop, but some things are out of your control, and you need to go with the flow.
Flow I could not do. I created an image in my mind of what it would mean about me as a person if I had a thriving, abundant garden. Anything less than that meant I was a personal failure.
I bring this up today because it came up a in few sessions this past week; taking a neutral item and giving it tremendous symbolism, so much so that it’s very existence, or lack thereof, defined a person’s value and worth.
Is that fair? No. Do we all do it sometimes? Yes.
So, how do you heal this?
First, recognition is key; you can’t heal what you’re unaware of.
Next, you need to untangle the negative associations between you and what it symbolizes. Release the meaning; allow the item to simply “be” without your added input. This is a hard step because you really need to separate out all implications and significance around the item and instead, look within to see what you need to heal. Sometimes it’s easier to point the blame/upset outward than acknowledge and release the torrent of emotions within. But they won’t go away until they’re released, which means facing them.
It’s up to you how you do that: you can work them out with a professional, you can journal them, or speak them out. Whatever your method, give them voice, even if it’s scary.
I spent so much time in rage bubbles (method here) during those years, but I refused to release the symbology. That’s the next step: disengage. The thing that happened needs healing, and the item is neutral. They aren’t combined. The plant your loved one gave you that you killed doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person who doesn’t deserve love. That city you love can be a joyous place to visit, versus it being a symbol of love lost. That house can be redesigned and updated, instead of a constant reminder of past pain.
You disengage by imagining the item before you becoming devoid of your energy and power; call it all back to you. Then fill it, and yourself, with pure golden light. Again, see it as separate from you, not part of, or attached to you.
It may take repeated times of allowing the item its energy and calling yours back to you. Don’t give up, do it as often as you need.
If it’s too intense, don’t participate in, or go to the place that holds the symbol. I probably shouldn’t have created a vegetable garden year after year, instead letting myself grieve and heal without added pressure. Alas, hindsight…
Release all those old symbols and own a new level of personal power by allowing things to simply be, without the emotional baggage. Give yourself the healing and freedom you desire and deserve.
Today I want to give voice to a very specific pain, the pain of miscarriage and infertility. I think it’s important to give voice to this pain because there is still such shame and stigma around it. I’m here to speak my story to help lift that.
If all had gone according to our plan, yesterday we would have celebrated a 4 year old’s birthday.
I will never forget the first time I became pregnant. I was on my way to a healing workshop and while in the car, this presence came into my body. It was pure love itself. I still do not have words for the expansiveness of love that I felt. I recognized rather quickly what had happened. That was the first time that I met my little guy and I loved having him in my space. It was a remembrance from lifetimes and filled me with elation and joy. I was so excited.
Unfortunately, the day before my period was to come, he left. He was suddenly no longer in my space, and I was very confused because he had been so clear and so present. I didn’t understand what happened, it made no sense, and it was incredibly traumatizing. Wasn’t getting, and staying pregnant, supposed to be easy? Since I felt such grief over the loss, I decided that to help, I would do everything that I was supposed to: fertility acupuncture, take herbs, have sex in the correct window- do everything perfectly because he’s mine and he is supposed to come in.
He came in three more times briefly that year, each time he left, the loss becoming more difficult to bear. But the third time, he stayed for eight weeks; and that was the most extraordinary eight weeks. Every day was an infusion of love and light that was palpable to both my husband, and myself.
On Halloween, 2013, we went in for our 8 week ultrasound, and when the nurse put the ultrasound machine on my stomach, everything moved in slow motion; there was no sound coming from the machine, as much as she kept moving it around, and we then watched in horror as she leapt up hurriedly, saying she needed to go get the doctor.
There are no words to describe the pain of when the doctor came in solemn faced. I saw her lips moving, but couldn’t wrap my head around her words; “lost”… “at your age”… what? The shock comes first: the numb, the disbelief. Slowly going through the motions while feeling incredible shame and failure. “What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t my body working? What does this mean about me as a woman? I did everything perfectly.”
Shame, silent shame.
Compound that with the hellish experience of going in the next day for a D&C, a grueling trauma of physical assault to coincide with the emotional and spiritual one that was already occurring in my mind, in which they remove what we most wanted. I went dark. I was in unbearable pain. It made no sense and it felt so cruel; a dashing of our hopes and dreams. I wanted to know why, but that why never came. I felt abandoned, lost, and so very alone and ashamed.
I was angry at everyone and stopped going on social media because seeing pregnant women or happy families was too much for me. I would sob and sob. It was all so unfair. I was especially angry at the Universe. How could they be so cruel? Why would they take away what I wanted? Was I being punished?
It took many, many months of healing, processing, and grieving. I needed to be dark for a while. We eventually chose to try again because I still had faith, and I wanted desperately for my dream of motherhood to come to fruition. I always wanted children, and I always assumed it would happen.
One year later, we agreed to try IVF to help the process along, going in with full expectations of success, (because, how could it not succeed?), while also knowing that this was our last shot. We did all the tests, all the numbers were great- awesome! This would succeed for sure.
After a disappointing first round, the second round brought with it a successful fertilization. We were over the moon! Finally, our little guy would arrive.
A few days before Christmas, we got the devastating news that the embryo didn’t survive and wouldn’t be implanted the next day as was planned. I went so dark that I couldn’t speak. I got incredibly ill. To add insult to injury, just as I was speaking again, I got pregnant on my own in Jan 2015; we weren’t even trying. Since he didn’t come in, I knew it would end. It felt like a sick joke. We weren’t even trying! That messed with my mind in unbearable ways. The pain was extraordinary. I did serious damage to my body from the amount of rage coursing through it. I was very inconsolable for a very long time. I went dark, dark for months and months. “WTF just happened?! How could this not manifest? What about all the signs I received? I did everything right! What is wrong with me?? I am a healer! If I can’t fix me, what good am I to anyone else? What kind of a woman can’t have a baby?!” and so on, and so on.
It took me a year of deep grieving and bouts of terrible darkness and depression. But I let myself go there fully, because I couldn’t not. I had to dive bomb completely and allow the rage and grief etc. if I was ever to heal.
Year two was easier, but with unexpected moments of grief, especially if I heard about someone being pregnant. I let myself sob and grieve as needed, venting my rage, never judging it, so I could eventually get to peace and happiness for the other person. As I tell my clients, grief comes in waves, and you have to be gentle with yourself, and I was.
I will eventually detail the process of healing I went through to help others find peace, but for now, I will say that my love of children was what pulled me through. I never wanted to be someone others tiptoed around. I wanted to be the best auntie I could be to the children in my life. And during that first year, I learned how to mother and nurture myself, in ways I had always done for others, but not myself.
I have a bit of an understanding as to why it maybe happened the way it did, but I’ll never know for sure, and I have had to make peace with that. It’s been a process but I am finally in a really good place.
At some point, I will share what never to say to a woman who has been through this, but for now, if you know someone going through infertility or who has had a miscarriage, simply say, “I’m sorry.” Period. Please don’t offer solutions or platitudes, just be there for her. You can even ask, “how can I best support you right now” as one friend said to me. That was beautiful, even if there wasn’t an answer. And don’t forget the husband, they need support too.
I know some women have had it worse than I did, but I can only speak from my experience and share myself. Comparisons only increase the pain and separation that is already present, and my goal is to reach those who have been through this and say, “you’re not alone.”
I have made my peace, even though it didn’t work out the way I had “planned,” and I hope to help others do the same.
My husband and I now have a goal to build schools in various countries to help children get an incredible education. We are both extremely passionate about this and can’t wait to make it a reality. Making beautiful lemonade out of lemons, and in so, giving back and helping children.
I will always love and champion children. And I will be the best momma to those who cross my path. I have a lot of love and nurturing to share, and I plan on continuing to live a life of love and joy to change the world. It starts with me.
Me, Tina Germain, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!