Stay hopeful after multiple miscarriages, including ectopic pregnancy

One miscarriage, let alone three is enough to put anyone off trying to conceive. But what if you’ve suffered multiple miscarriages, including an ectopic pregnancy where your own life was at risk? How do you not fall into a pit of grief and despair, and continue to remain hopeful to keep trying after all of that?

Earlier this year I spoke to Issy who has been through exactly this. Despite only having lost her third pregnancy a few months before we spoke, she was willing to be so vulnerable and raw in our conversation. To you Issy, I am so incredibly grateful for that.

Just like when I wrote my book throughout my own multiple miscarriages, I’ve always believed that it is so important for our own healing to hear others’ stories in real time. Not just from those who share from a place where their grief is resolved. It has been an honour to sit IN CIRCLE with these women and to now bring their stories to you through my podcast.

You can listen to my conversation with Issy in the video below or on Spotify here.

I won’t share the entire transcript of our conversation here. I believe you need to listen (and feel) Issy’s story, not just read it. But I will try to distil some of the beautiful wisdom that Issy shared about staying hopeful throughout her journey with multiple miscarriages.

How to stay hopeful after multiple miscarriages

Connect with people who understand

The experience of multiple miscarriages is a lonely experience. I remember feeling disconnected from everyone around me. It felt like they just kept living their regular lives, while I was in this hell I couldn’t escape. And even though my husband was by my side throughout all of it physically, I still felt like we couldn’t connect over our shared grief. His grief looked very differently to mine.

In hindsight, I’ve come to realise that his grief was equal to mine, but at the time I wasn’t able to feel that, and that was a lonely place to be.

This is why it’s so important to connect with other women who are going through or have been through multiple miscarriages as well . Knowing someone else has felt the same depth of pain you do will help you to feel less alone (and help you to know that you too will get through it).

This is actually how Issy came to find me. She was (her words) desperately looking for some kind of support or community during her first miscarriage. When she typed into YouTube “yoga for miscarriage” she didn’t believe she would find what she was looking for. But to her surprise she found my classes and a community of other women who have been through similar losses.

You need to find your community. Join a Facebook support group. Reach out to a family member who you know has had their own losses. Book a 1:1 session with me. Look for a local support group through your fertility clinic. Read and listen to stories online of other women who have been through multiple miscarriages.

Like Issy says “in those desperate times, where I’ve been in my own bedroom crying, it’s been so comforting to hear other women, to hear people talk about their stories, whether that’s through podcasts or Youtube. It’s been so comforting to hear other women talk about their experience and to remove the shame.”

multiple miscarriages

Choose hope

I used to think that being hopeful was an outcome. Now I believe it’s a choice you make. Yes, at times it can feel impossible to feel hopeful. Like how do you stay hopeful that everything will work out when you’ve just been told your baby has died? Or how do you choose hope when you’re going through a D&C? How do you stay hopeful after not just one loss, but multiple miscarriages?

I get it. But like anyone who has endured something horrific and still continued on, you get to make the choice to stay hopeful or not.

Issy’s doctor helped her to focus on hope when she started looking for answers to why she was having multiple miscarriages. He said “I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of this for you, but there’s one thing you have to commit to, and that is hope. You have to have hope that one day, no matter when it is, you will become a mother.

Issy said this has been the most useful advice she has received on her TTC journey. She says “Without a hope, there really is no point. At that point I still didn’t know what lay ahead of me. I didn’t know that I would go on to have a third loss. But that statement has stood with me ever since. I have to have hope that this will work out. I will carry a baby one day. It is such a beautiful sentiment.”

Take time to grieve your multiple miscarriages

So many of the women I speak to jump straight back into trying to conceive after each loss. I understand why. I remember the devastation of feeling like you’re standing still and running out of time. Focusing on trying again feels easier than letting yourself sit in the grief of your miscarriage.

Taking time to grieve and heal after each miscarriage is so important. I can’t tell you how long you need to take. Only you can be honest about what you really need (vs how long you actually want to give yourself). Too many times I’ve fooled myself into thinking that the best thing would be to start trying again immediately. In reality my anxiety just sky-rocketed because I never took the time to deal with my sadness.

It wasn’t until I took an 8 month long break (where I gave myself permission to not ever start trying again if need be), that I found my way back to feeling like myself again. Taking a break to look after myself and focus on living my happy life again, helped me to come back to feeling hopeful about conceiving again.

A break after multiple miscarriages also helped me find the perspective that having a baby was worth the risk of more heartbreak. Prior to that, I had spent a lot of time looking for answers to give me certainty that the next pregnancy wouldn’t be a loss. It wasn’t until I realised that everything worth having involves a risk of failure, that I could go back into trying to conceive with a more healthy perspective.

Acknowledge how awful this experience really is

How often have you heard these statements? (Or perhaps have even said some of them to yourself): “At least you weren’t further along.” “It’s not as bad as losing an actual baby.” “At least you know can get pregnant.”

I think minimising our own pain is somewhat of a coping mechanism in the early days after loss. It helps to put our loss in a box that doesn’t make it feel so big and overwhelming. But I don’t think it helps in the long term. Eventually, you need to be honest with yourself about how traumatic and horrible the whole experience of a miscarriage is. Taking a break from trying to conceive and talking to a counsellor is how I found my way to acknowledge the heartbreak of my multiple miscarriages.

Issy said “I think before you can even get yourself in a mindset of having hope you have to acknowledge how awful multiple miscarriages are and accept how painful this is.

Until you’ve felt all of those distressing emotions; sadness, grief, anger, jealousy. You can’t move on to the easier side. So for me after the ectopic pregnancy and after my most recent loss, I allowed myself as much time as I needed to feel all of those ugly feelings, because it does no good to try and squash them.

They will creep up, and that’s just the reality. They’ll creep up, sometimes when you’re not even expecting it. And sometimes when you think you’re feeling fine, and I’m finally over this, they’ll still rear their ugly head. It’s really important that you give those ugly feelings as much space as possible.”

If you’re reading this after experiencing multiple miscarriages, big love to you. Please reach out for support if you need.

Practise yoga with for after multiple miscarriages here.

Join our Online Yoga Circle community here.

Look after you. x

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