Healing this taboo

Woman, Earth and Stars. Photo by @deanastacia

Hello dear ones,

I am sorry I have been absent from this space for so long.  It’s been more than a year since I wrote to you last. How I longed to connect this way with you but found myself in a whirlwind of life events that altered my life and required every bit of energy. Somehow I channeled this energy through art meditations everyday but words were kept minimal as they seemed elusive. 

Maybe healing begins the moment we begin to share our story. There is a kind of harrowing pain, a pain so deep and ravaging that it transforms the landscape of one’s heart.  This kind of pain yearns to be seen to escape the stigma it is wrapped in. It just wants to be shared, acknowledged, known. It wants the freedom to inform our living.

This story breaks a taboo. I have a voice inside that tells me that this is too intimate and raw to share with the world. But it is my hope that these words may help a woman out there going through something similar know that she is not alone, that she is held by the embrace of every other woman who ever experienced something similar. It is my wish that these words help to open up the conversation and open up the space to shine some light on the experiences of woman that she often keeps in the shadow. It is my desire to contribute to the making of a culture that learns to offer support and solidarity.

This year had already brought on a series of difficult endings that entailed letting go. There were major changes around work, friendship, and home; each one of them taking an unexpected turn, each one of them causing pain. Nothing, however, prepared me for what would come later, the miscarriage of my baby. I was pregnant and lost my baby in late february – early march of this year. My world shattered into pieces. We had not announced our pregnancy to our community yet, only to a few family members.  I sought support but couldn’t find a space to share the agony that was ripping my being. We mourned the death of our baby alone, feeling the tragedy of a life that didn’t get the chance to blossom. We did a ritual in the womb of Mother Earth by the ocean, by ourselves. There was no funeral. No cards in the mail, no flowers, barely any calls. Life went on as normal for everyone else but us. 

My experience made me realize that we live in a culture with a crippling fear of failure and death. This is why miscarriage is taboo. Miscarriage is seen as a failure that must be forgotten quickly. Perhaps no one is really prepared to face the feelings that this experience awakens in the human body and soul, much less talk about them.

Miscarriage can happen in many ways. I was about to start my second trimester when I started spotting. I knew in my heart that something was wrong but had heard that this can be normal in pregnancy. I started cramping and having contractions and bleeding heavily and passing tissue the next day. The pain felt like my womb was being ripped apart. I spent eight hours in the emergency room, waiting to be seen. I was in labor with contractions every minute. I wasn’t seen by a doctor because my vital signs were stable and they didn’t think it was a miscarriage. There were two latino women in the emergency room who thought I was not miscarrying since they said it was the worst pain, worse than normal labor. They said I would be on the floor screaming if I was miscarrying. The thing is that I have always held in my pain well, since I was a child. After being admitted, the doctors confirmed I was losing my baby after several ultrasounds.  Yes, a woman can go into full labor to miscarry her baby. I chose to give my body a chance with the assistance of some medication to complete the miscarriage on its own. The doctors said the C&N, a surgical intervention to “remove the products of conception” procedure sometimes helps women find closure sooner. I couldn’t stand to even hear the clinical, sterile language used to call a baby that died in the womb. Looking back, I feel I should have done this instead of the slow, gradual, painful and debilitating loss in the following two weeks.

Hearing that miscarriage is normal does not normalize it. If it is so normal, why doesn’t anyone talk about it? Miscarriage is taboo and reflects the silenced, unbearable physical and emotional pain and trauma of a woman. In our culture of success, I felt I failed at the most basic capacity of a woman, to bear life. This inability to “carry life” unleashed feelings of guilt, shame, and fear. The fear of not becoming a mother, of not growing our family, of not continuing the lineage of spirited women in my life, of not giving the opportunity to an ancestor to come and do their sacred work in this world, of keeping all this love inside.

Of keeping all this love inside.

At its core, miscarriage is the experience of death flowing through a woman’s body. I became intimate with death and was summoned into some primal darkness from which I am slowly emerging with the help of family, friends, and healing practices. I am emerging from this dark hole with the realization that death is an integral part of life. It not only involves but requires letting go of life and surrendering to all— the ultimate virtue of the Feminine. 

I’ve been transfixed.  This terrible loss happened bracketed between my Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 empowerments in Los Angeles. I am coming to see my pain as a vehicle for growth, healing and compassion. 

Today I am feeling more than ever the power of woman to let life flow through her. Afraid no more of keeping all this love inside, I’m committed to my own healing, the healing of our sisters, and the healing of the Earth in ways that support our evolution.

May we surrender and dance with the winds of change, gracefully. May we remember to not be so afraid of failure and death that we stop living and loving. May we trust mystery and step more fully into the unknown, wrapped in the arms of the Great Mother. May we be present for each other. May we protect what we hold sacred. This is freedom. This is growth. This is medicine.

I dedicate these words and energy to the soul of my baby. I will love you forever.

Marjory

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