Saturday, 9 March 2013

Releasing the guilt

Five months ago today I lost my baby. So it seemed fitting that I should have released a lot of emotion in my session with the counsellor this morning. However, I was totally unprepared for the revelations it would reveal.

At my last session, she asked me to choose a positive statement about pregnancy and write it down 70 times a day for 7 days. Each time I wrote the statement, I had to write the corresponding thought I immediately had to it. It could be positive or negative. So my positive statement was “I fall pregnant quickly and easily.” I had many responses to this statement including:
  • “Just because it happened once doesn’t mean it will happen again.”
  • “This is a true statement.”
  • “I’m not sure I want to get pregnant again in case I have another miscarriage.”

It was great to know all of these things that were churning around in my head, however it was the statement “I feel guilty for thinking it should have ended in miscarriage” that really struck a chord.

I remember the exact moment this thought popped into my head. It was about 10 days after I found out I was pregnant. I was standing in the shower and I had just said good morning to Peanut as I did every morning. I just finished saying my prayers to my grandfathers and uncle to look over Peanut – as I did every morning. Then suddenly, I was hit with the barrage of thoughts that hits every pregnant woman – this happened too fast, am I really ready, are we will ready etc etc.  As I got out of the shower, that terrible thought popped into my head.

For some reason, I just felt that this pregnancy “should” end in a miscarriage and the next one would be ok. I don’t know if it was a premonition or just fear talking, but I was shocked it even appeared. It haunted me for the rest of my pregnancy and even more so when the miscarriage happened. Everyone tells you it’s not your fault but I couldn’t quite believe that. What if I had somehow caused it just by thinking of it? I thought I had dealt with that over the past 5 months but clearly not!

The counsellor got me into a state of relaxation and started asking me questions:
  1. Where in your body do you feel the guilt? – My chestt.
  2. What does it feel like? – Like a big knot.
  3. What do you feel guilty about?  - That I caused the miscarriage.
  4. How do you think you caused the miscarriage? – By thinking the pregnancy should end in a miscarriage.
  5. What else does the guilt tell you? – That I would feel even more guilty if I don’t have a next time. Because I feel guilty I don’t feel like I deserve a next time.  (That was the hugest one of all).
  6. Did you think that thought with intention to cause a miscarriage? – No.
  7. Do you think your brain is really that powerful to create a miscarriage? – No.
  8. What do you need to say to the guilt to make it ok? – The miscarriage wasn’t my fault.

The counsellor went on to explain to me that thousands of women have a “freak out” when they first find out they’re pregnant. The uncertainty and shock of the situation just creates the anxiety in your head when you start asking yourself all these questions and start to worry about everything that could go wrong. It’s a very human and normal reaction. But, many women experience this and still go on to have healthy babies. We are not mind magicians that can create these outcomes just by thinking of it. Alas, I don’t have the brain power of people who can bend spoons with their minds. Alas, I’m not as mighty and powerful as my ego might have me believe!

I walked out feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder, but extremely drained at the same time. I had been in such a state of deep relaxation it was like I was in a trance – like I’d been hypnotised. So maybe there’s a sense of exhaustion after coming out of that state. Mind you, I’m sure part of it was just the release of the pent up emotion my sub-conscious had been hiding.

I’m truly amazed that such deep and toxic feelings could have been lurking in my mind and I was totally oblivious to them. I guess that’s the point of counselling – to draw those lurkers out. I’m glad we did. There was no possible way I could have fallen pregnant with that mindset sabotaging me. So it would seem like it’s been released just in time for our next try. I’m feeling much more positive about knowing I’ve expelled one of my demons. I just hope there aren’t too many more of them lurking around! 

Image by Stuart Miles
Courtesy of


  1. That barrage of negative thoughts that hit you in early pregnancy happened to me too. I had a constant niggling thought of "omg, do I really want this/can I handle this?" all the way through my pregnancy and even into those early few weeks with bub (which is a very stressful time full of lots of emotions and self doubts!). It's very normal, so I'm glad the counsellor has helped you realise this. Those thoughts couldn't have contributed to the horrible outcome of miscarriage.

  2. Hi Ann, thanks for your lovely thoughts. It's good to know I'm not alone! I think those thoughts are all fear based on the fact something is happening to us that we have no idea about, no control over and no idea how it will turn out. There's not too many scary things in life that happen to us like that but I guess it's being brave and going into the new world as prepared as you can be!

  3. I am really glad you were able to let those feelings go. I don't think it matters how much you try or want a baby there always is that initial "oh no am I REALLY ready for this?" phase. I wonder if in situations where we really really wanted this to happen the second guessing is more of a way of your mind trying to come to believe it really happened. It felt almost unbelievable when I first found out I was pregnant and part of me thinks those feelings were kind of a way of saying this is really happening. Are you ready? After so much wishing and hoping I think it's natural to second guess something you may have not been certain would happen.

    Btw, I love the picture of the balloon. I was sleeping during most of your day in Australia but now that 3/9 has started here in the US I will be thinking of you. I said a prayer for you when I woke up. I am really happy to hear you were able to work through some of your feelings and successfully make it through today.

  4. Thanks for your comment Robin. It sounds like we all go through this moment of shock when we fall pregnant. I think it's a good description thinking it just seemed unbelievable but maybe it's a good lesson for us to believe more!

    Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. I really appreciate all the good will I can get!



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