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4 Unexpected Ways Miscarriage Changes You

Photograph by Twenty20

In the past week alone, two of my friends have announced that they are pregnant with twins. I was absolutely shocked and appalled by my immediate reaction, which was overwhelming, burning jealousy. I was bristling with envy thinking, Why do they get two when I couldn't even keep one?!

RELATED: To The Mom Who Just Had a Miscarriage

I can't believe I have become that person. I'm a bit ashamed of myself, actually, but there it is. The truth is, miscarriage has changed me in so many ways that I couldn't ever have imagined:

1. Miscarriage has changed the way I see the world.

Having a miscarriage revealed things to me about myself that I would have never known, and it's completely changed the way I see the world, both for good and bad.

You know that weird feeling you used to get in high school when you wondered if you were saying the right thing or you were always low-key worried what people were thinking about you? It's like my miscarriage finally pulled that veil off my eyes in to see that we're all just trying to make it through life in a way that makes no sense at all, but at least we have each other. I no longer worry about saying the wrong thing or worry if people are silently judging me because I know that they are mostly just trying to get through the day intact, too.

It's all-around a little bit scary when I look around the world now, as if loss could happen to me without any control or warning whatsoever.

2. Miscarriage has triggered my anxiety.

I've always been a worrywart, but since my loss, it's like a switch has been turned to "on" that I just can't seem to turn off. I worry constantly about things that never even crossed my mind before. I'll be driving down the road with all four of my kids and panic that I forgot one of them at home. I'll have to fight the urge to slam on the brakes, my heart will start racing, and I break out in a cold sweat. I wake up in the middle of the night, afraid one of them has stopped breathing. I worry my husband will get in an accident. It's all-around a little bit scary when I look around the world now, as if loss could happen to me without any control or warning whatsoever.

3. I don't fear loss (as much).

This is going to sound weird after talking about my anxiety, but at the same time that my miscarriage has trigged my issues with anxiety, it's also freed me in a way. I understand that the emotions of grief and loss aren't these scary, insurmountable things hanging off in the distance anymore. I now know that I can get through them and, more importantly, I know that they aren't something to be feared. I know that opening myself up to love means also opening myself up to loss, and with that, a whole lot of pain. But that in the end, it's all worth it.

4. I realize that mothers are incredible.

Don't get me wrong. I've always thought mothers are some of the most strong, incredible people I know. But going through this experience has fostered a new appreciation for all the different types of mothers out there and all the different ways that women can be mothers.

Women who have never carried a child to term, women who have never had the experience of being pregnant, women who have had one child or several, women who have known nothing but loss—they all carry this secret hurt and pain that gives them the ability to touch another woman's soul in such a profound way that it's remarkable. I have been mothered by so many mothers and I honestly don't think I can ever express how much their love and support has meant to me. My eyes have been opened to this whole undercurrent of motherhood and how love and hurt, loss and beauty, empathy and choosing hope are all so deeply intertwined.

RELATED: Moms, We Need to Stop Being Our Own Worst Critics

Moving forward after my loss almost two months ago, I feel myself healing. I also feel like in a lot of ways, I have finally accepted that having this loss is something I can look at as an experience that changed me in ways I can be grateful for and ways that I can wish had never happened. Just like loss and love, you can have it both ways. And that, my friends, is the primary way miscarriage changes you the most. You realize that sometimes? Life and love and loss are hard, but ultimately, always worth the price.

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