3 min read
Lindsey Richards is no stranger to this acute kind of pain. In a ten-month span she miscarried two babies, lost two siblings unexpectedly and endured a series of surgeries. “I felt decimated — entirely emptied out of any family connections or personal strength. Leading up to pregnancy, I regularly ran marathons and was a yoga instructor. I felt connected and strong. But then I had a few miscarriages. All the loss made me really angry and confused. I felt betrayed by my body.” At times Lindsey’s pain became so overwhelming it would send her into a deep depression, and suicidal thoughts would occasionally creep in. She says she learned to see them as a “barometer” for when it was time to seek help. But thankfully, Lindsey’s story doesn’t end in loss. Five months after her second miscarriage, Lindsey became pregnant again, and this time carried the baby to term. She is now the mother of a beautiful little girl.
“Now that I’ve given birth I feel like I got my power back. I realize my body is smarter than me, and there’s a reason the previous pregnancies didn’t last. As traumatic as they were at the time, I trust my body knew what it was doing. Now that it’s been 2-3 years, I can see the gift that came out of the pain.”
NOW THAT I’VE GIVEN BIRTH I FEEL LIKE I GOT MY POWER BACK.”
Each day Lindsey is reminded that life is precious, and the process of grief is a nonlinear one. She’s very open about her long struggle with depression and is learning to respect her body in a whole new way. “It took me a really long time to be able to admit I’ve taken medication on and off for depression, but I want people like me to know they aren’t damaged. They don’t have to be ‘repaired’ inside because they have a mental illness. I’ve learned that I can’t accept that I should drown in my depression, but I also shouldn’t fight it. I once read this interview with Leonard Cohen who also had a long history of depression. He referred to it as being “a sea he swam in.” It really clicked with me. This is my ecosystem — this is just where I am. You can learn how to survive in it, or you can fight and thrash and drain all your energy. Are you going to struggle and drown or are you going to just take the waves as they come and learn how to float?”
Sure I’m not as strong as I once was, but I’m amazed at all my body does on zero sleep.
Today she knows she doesn’t have to be repaired on the outside either. “Sure I’m not as strong as I once was, but I’m amazed at all my body does on zero sleep. It turns food that I consume into food for my baby. It doesn’t look the same or have the same muscles but I have a new appreciation for it. There’s a lot more to us than just how our bodies look. When I see other women I always think they’re beautiful. It’s their smiles, their eyes and how it feels when they’re hugging you. You just have to keep showing up to your life. Forgive yourself and allow yourself to accept whatever emotions come and trust that a better day is coming. Maybe not tomorrow, but it’s coming. Even if you’re facing something really painful, try to believe there’s still a gift to be found in it.”