Bleeding after pregnancy loss can be triggering, devastating, heartbreaking all over again.
Especially the first period…my first period after my TFMR (a Termination For Medical Reasons) pregnancy loss wrecked me.
I was right back to the D&C procedure, right back to the cramping, the sensations of losing my baby. It was like each cramp sent a message to me, "Hey, your baby died. Yup, your baby is definitely dead."
Dead dead dead. And I felt like death was coming out of me again.
The sensations triggered me, and the sight of the blood triggered me too. There it was again, each and every time I went to use the bathroom. "Yup, your baby is still dead," my blood reminded me.
As I was working with my watercolors this weekend (photo in the title of this post), this reddish purple piece brought me back to that first period.
The placenta-like shape that could also be uterus-shaped...the blue like flowing tears… there were just so many emotions that first period brought up. I see it in this piece.
I was thinking about how isolating that time was, during that symbolic bleeding, a "back to normal" cycle when I was ANYTHING BUT back to normal. So I want to share a few things I did to soothe myself during that period:
(Use what makes sense, this is *not medical advice,* always follow your medical care providers' advice first and foremost)
🚿 Took extra long showers during that first period
👩💻 Leaned in deeply to my online support groups (<--- here are some I recommend)
🙅Cut out all unnecessary outings
💊 Used appropriate amounts of pain meds (this was not the time to just "push through" and ignore cramping)
🛌🏽Held that heating pad close to my womb and cried in bed
⚛ Moved into divine feminine ways of processing, reflecting, meditating through a bit of watercoloring, some writing, sitting in the grass
🩲Used different underwear from what I used during my postpartum bleeding
🚫 Used no pads (a menstrual cup instead) to differentiate this bleed from after the loss
♻️ Offered my blood back to the Earth
This blood was a rite of passage.
A hard, hard passage that not everyone goes through. From death back to life, even if I was not ready yet to come out of my mourning cave.
Don't force yourself out of mourning, either, even though the body, the world, society keeps spinning, keeps cycling, keeps going "back to normal."
Take your time, even if all you can afford is 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, saying NO to a social engagement.
You've been through hell, it's okay to soothe your pain.
What was your first period like after loss? Any tips for getting through that 1st period you'd like to add?
I'm Sabrina Fletcher, The TFMR Doula.
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