My name is Lindsay. I attended the White Feathers Miscarriage Retreat. At the time I had experienced 3 terminations, 3 miscarriages and a later loss due to Edwards syndrome. I have since had another miscarriage. I remain childless and am now 45 with hypothyroidism, so it is unlikely I will be able to have children.
I was in a place where I wanted to make a difference in my life. I wanted to contribute to my healing journey through facing some things head on. I was ready for it.
I would be lying if I said the retreat was an easy weekend.
I found the weekend challenging - the emotional release was exhausting at times. But the physical and emotionally safe environment enabled me to feel secure and supported.
It’s hard because you’re in a space where you can be honest about your feelings. That in itself isn’t easy.
But then again easy doesn’t heal you.
I loved that the White Feathers Retreat was a space where I could express a range of feelings. Sadness, anger, disappointment, regret and self-loathing. But also laughter and the ability to show affection, compassion and support to others in the group.
It helped me realise that I’d processed lots of things before attending which I hadn’t credited myself for. I was able to forgive myself for some of my actions in the past and the way I saw myself in the present.
I will always recommend the White Feathers Miscarriage Retreat to anyone who feels isolated by their loss.
This retreat helped me realise that all my feelings are legitimate. You can be yourself while you're there and share your feelings in a safe and secure therapeutic environment.
After the retreat I found I could share more to my partner and accept more love from him. In return, he also appreciated the effort I had made to heal myself.
Ironically, I then got pregnant in the following couple of weeks after the retreat. I thought at the time I had released all my demons and was free to move on. Unfortunately this pregnancy also ended at 10 weeks too.
A major step following the retreat was that I had the confidence to apply to talk at the first Swansea Ignite. I presented to an audience of over 100 people on the subject of "How to Support Someone who has had a Pregnancy Loss", speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has been there. The talk was very well received by the audience and was a roller coaster of emotions.
This day was especially brave for me as on the morning of the talk I started bleeding. 3 weeks later my baby’s heart stopped.
I wouldn’t have been that brave if I hadn’t gone on the White Feathers Retreat.
Going on the retreat gave me the courage to apply to present and the strength to go ahead on the day, despite the emotional toll of speaking about my experiences and also the fear of the potential loss of my baby.
Since the retreat I am now trained as a Grief Recovery Model Specialist. I work to help others heal from their loss or grief following death, pregnancy loss, childlessness, separation or divorce.
I do think that the retreat had a major influence on this move in particular. I had strength and had healed from my loss, which made me more determined to move forward with my own life. I wanted to help others heal with a service that wasn’t available to me in my local area.
The retreat reaffirmed my belief that all our emotions, whatever form they take, are relevant and important to express.