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My husband Steve and I were so excited for our next adventure with baby number two. The wait for our first appointment felt like an eternity.
But my daily mindful meditation kept me grounded amidst all of the anticipation. For twenty minutes every morning I’d sit and become an observer. Receiving the comfort I needed, instead of getting swept up in anxiety and worry.
The day of our first appointment my doctor congratulated us on our pregnancy and began the ultrasound. However, the excitement in the room quickly turned to a solemn quiet. The doctor was clearly confused as to what she was seeing.
“Let me get Dr. Shulina to take a look” she said, and walked out of the room.
Steve and I looked at each other with concern. My mind quickly raced. Would we have to start trying again? How long would it take for me to become pregnant again? This was not our plan.
Then in walked both doctors to examine the ultrasound.
“This is a twin pregnancy,” Dr Shulina said, “but it looks too early to see any heartbeats.” She then told us to come back again in about a week for another ultrasound.
We were in total shock. Twins? In five minutes we had gone from thinking there would be one baby, to thinking there would be no baby, to suddenly being told there were TWO babies.
The week between that ultrasound and the next appointment felt like forever.
My husband and I talked about how we would fit into our small apartment with our two year old daughter and two more babies. I did a ton of research on twin pregnancies; listening to podcasts about twins, reading articles and just immersing myself in information.
And, in the times when I could no longer stand the difficulty of this overwhelming unknown, I turned back to my mindful meditation practice.
Every morning I’d sit, and just exist. Watching my thoughts race as an observer rather than being swept away in their path. I found that this simple practice helped me approach my day with more positivity and higher energy.
The next week we eagerly returned to the doctor to take another look. We prayed there would be two heartbeats but were prepared for the news that there may just be one, an occurrence known as a vanishing twin is relatively common in pregnancies of multiples.
However, this time we saw a flicker.
“Do you see that?” the doctor asked. Trying to zero in on the flicker to take a listen, but not finding a sound.
“You see that, right?” she asked again.
We did see a small flicker, but I was confused why we couldn’t hear anything.
“I’d like to see a specialist at the hospital to get some more answers” I told her.
So she referred us to another doctor that we would see at the end of the week. This meant more waiting, and more meditating to get me through the distress of this huge unknown.
As I sat in the waiting room before being called into the next ultrasound I was terrified. Something inside of me felt uneasy, yet I still held onto the hope that maybe there would be two heartbeats after all.
I’ll never forget the words of the doctor when he said, “I’m sorry. This is a demise.
I could never have anticipated the utter shock and sadness I felt when no heartbeats were found.
From this moment on I was in a state of shock. I was alone at the appointment so called my husband to tell him there was no baby at all. I sobbed on the phone and told him “I don’t think I can do this.”
“Yes you can,” he reassured me, “you can do this, Jess. We’re going to do this.”
For a week I was in a black hole of grief waiting for my D&C procedure and wondering if maybe I’d miscarry on my own. I never did, and instead went forward with the procedure so I could start to heal and move on.
I wasn’t able to sit in meditation that week. The feelings were too overwhelming, and I granted myself the grace of doing what I needed to do to get through each day.
Once the D&C was performed, I felt like I could take steps to move forward. I resumed my meditation practice the following morning. I sat in my grief. I felt my sadness and my disappointment without emotionally running away. It was hard, but I knew it was necessary.
My meditation practice allowed me to be mindful of how I was feeling. I found more access to my emotions. I cried when I needed to and I accepted the numbness when I needed to. I allowed myself to simply feel my feelings no matter how hard they were to sit with.
When I look back, I see that mindful meditation was a major factor in allowing me to move on in a healthy way.
Exactly a year after my miscarriage, our beautiful rainbow baby was born. It’s truly miraculous how much can change in a year. When I look into his bright blue eyes, I can’t imagine a world without him in it. My miscarriage led me to him, and for whatever reason, that’s what was meant to be.
And through it all- the ups the downs, the grief of loss, the caution I felt with my next pregnancy and then the joy of birth, meditation has been my constant companion. My meditation practice held me when I so desperately needed to be held, and continues to guide me as I mother my children.