I received my book two days ago, and once I began reading, I didn't want to put it down. Sadly, I'm an expert on what it feels like to miscarry, after having four of them. Each one equally as painful. My husband and I are now on the path to adoption, but there are many emotions I still have to work through concerning my miscarriages. I Never Held You helped greatly.
I realized my losses were just as real as any other. My babies were just as real- but, I never got to hold them. I also came to understand through Dr. Backman's expert words on grief that I needed to go through the process of grieving in order to better able move on.
The author's account of her miscarriage was very much like two of my own. My other's were far earlier along in my pregnancy, but hurt just the same. I could completely relate to how she felt when the doctor told her the fetus was no longer viable, and medical terms only serve to make a horrible nightmare even more so. Her numbness, shock, and disbelief at how easily her miscarriage seemed to be dismissed was also felt by me, and each time I miscarried, I was so emotionally lost that I didn't speak up and ask the doctor questions.
This book started out by gently guiding me through the grieving process: taking me from the initial shock of miscarriage to eventually moving on with my life. Never once did the author or the doctor suggest I forget my miscarriage. Quite the opposite, and I am grateful for that. Who in their right mind could ever forget such a tragic event? I learned there's a difference between moving on with your life and forgetting. Just because you move on, as my husband and I are with adoption, does not mean I am forgetting the precious babies I lost. They will always remain in my heart. While reading this book, I felt like I had a Psychologist right by my side- making me feel okay with myself. I also felt I had a friend who truly cared about me and understood what I was going through when reading the author's words. She is like me, and I like her. All of us really do feel the same kind of pain, even though the circumstances may be different.
I Never Held You then explores different coping tools- and they're for life, not just miscarriage. I gained such benefit from this, and came to realize many things about myself and how I can set free so much of my stresses by practicing some of the techniques mentioned in this book. I used to practice Yoga, and am beginning again. We just got a dog, and I'll be taking him for walks to sooth my mind and take a break from my thoughts.
In particular, I loved Ms. DuBois chapter on Finding Your Creative Self. I lost her a long time ago, and came to understand that I still was the creative woman I'd given up on long ago. I used to paint all the time when I lived at home and in college. After getting married and joining the full time workforce, I found very little time to nurture that part of myself. This book brought about the realization that I need to nurture my creative self in order to feel good about who I am again and take some of my focus away from the pain of my miscarriages. It's about balance, and I never would have dug out my old easle and purchased some new paints had it not been for this wonderful, compassionate book.
A side note: I lost my father about three years ago. I Never Held You deals with the loss of miscarriage, but also applies to any loss. I found great comfort and help with the grief over my father, which I didn't expect to find.
Thank you to the author, Ellen DuBois, and to Dr. Backman. You've helped in more ways than I ever imagined.