Suffering in silence from a pregnancy loss or miscarriage ends with this episode. You do not have to go through your journey alone!
In this episode of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, Carolina speaks with Pregnancy & Loss Recovery Coach Jennnifer Senn about how guilt, shame, and fear are the top 3 obstacles a mom will need to navigate during their grief journey. If you’re looking for support from loss, this episode is for you.
It’s also important not to compare losses. each one is unique and special. miscarriage is a very common occurrence, yet it’s still considered taboo. That is why episodes like today’s are so important to keep the conversation going. Listen and may you know you are not alone!
What you’ll learn:
1:38 Know more about Jennifer Senn
2:13 How Jennifer’s experience made her want to help others
3:05 The difference between miscarriage and pregnancy loss
5:30 Top three things that Jenn notices about women going through loss
8:18 The different kinds of fears when it comes to loss
9:38 How to cope with loss
11:46 Rage and anger
18:30 Everyone has their stories
21:57 Advice for couples who want to try again
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/
Full episode transcript:
Hi, I’m Carolina. I’m your Ricky Master Womb healer and podcast host. I’m here today with a very special guest. Her name is Jennifer Sin, and we are gonna be talking about some very important topics that are not talked about enough. I wanna go ahead and give you a trigger warning that we are gonna be talking about stillbirth loss, pregnancy.
And we’re going to go ahead and go deep into these topics. So if this is triggering for you, feel free to tune out or skip this episode. Hi Jen, thanks for being here. Thank you for Thank you. Sharing your time and your presence with us today. Do you wanna give a little bit of introduction of who you are and what you do?
I will. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. And my name is Jennifer Sin. I am a pregnancy loss recovery coach, and I’ve been a hairstylist ever since I was 18, so I kind of coached people behind the chair for many years. And what I realized was there’s a real connection of self-esteem issues between women who’ve had a loss and.
Just in general and my own law. So I had two sons, and then I had twin girls who were still born at 32 weeks. I’m so sorry. And then I had a rainbow baby after that. But this whole experience really just led me to. Look for ways that I could help other women through this experience because there’s so much suffering and silence.
So I am a certified life coach, and what I do is I work, I have a group program and I do one-on-one coaching with women who are struggling and they just can’t seem to find their way back to normal after baby loss and really find that it’s affecting their life. So many negative ways. So we just had work with them to help ’em find their way back to normal.
I have a question and I ask this question because I feel like there’s not enough. I’m in this space a lot, so I know the difference, but what is the difference between a miscarriage and a pregnancy loss, or if there is one, since you’re the expert, I want you to be able to explain them or if they’re different anyway, for listeners to have better understanding.
Yeah, definitely. Okay, well I wanna begin by saying a loss is a loss. You know, I love that. Can we just like, I wanna acknowledge every loss, whether it was, you know, five weeks or 41 weeks, whatever it is. It’s tragic. So pregnancy loss. Is really pretty much any time, you know, between conception and 40 weeks any to any loss that happens during that time.
The dividing factor is usually the 20 week mark. Anything before 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage. and, and can be, you know, is dealt with in the medical community through, you know, possibly D N C or medication, some sort of, you know, something like that to expel the, you know, the baby. And then 20 weeks plus is a whole different experience because then, You know, you’re getting more into delivery, maybe a C-section.
You see the baby, you hold the baby, you, you know, discuss the remains. What’s done with it. I live in New York State. We were required to have, you know, some sort of, funeral, you know, service for. So yeah, it’s a little bit more involved. I primarily work with stillbirth people because that was my experience and it’s a little more involved and there’s a few more steps that go with it.
But a loss is a loss. When I say I love that, I love the statement, meaning it honors pain. There’s no pain that’s greater than another one person’s experience is. Not greater than another. So a loss is a loss. It’s a very validating statement for many. There’s a lot that I didn’t know about that because I haven’t experienced.
That I haven’t experienced any of those things that you’re describing. I had no idea like the things you had to consider post that 20 week mark. That’s incredible. I can’t even imagine how heavy and then have to leave the hospital without your baby if you have to deliver in all of those things. When a woman comes to you and they are going through this process, or they’re about to go through this process where they’ve gotten notification or a diagnosis and they’re in this 20 week mark or later in their pregnancy, what are the top three things that you notice or that you know that you’re gonna have to walk with this person through?
What are the top three things that you commonly see that women will struggle with when they have. Situation. Probably the main thing is guilt. You know, guilt is a huge factor, pretty much at any stage in your pregnancy. Loss with a loss, but especially when you get farther along because you think. What did I do?
You know, it was something that I did. It wasn’t something, did I take a fall? Did I eat something wrong? Did I lay the wrong way? I mean, that’s usually what it is, is we work through a lot of guilt and kind of d peeling back the layers like. You know what’s true about this, you know, is it really guilty?
There’s so many reasons why these things happen, and we aren’t meant to know a lot of them, and that’s powerful. Let’s pause. We’re not meant to know all of them. Mm-hmm. , that is like the statement that is like so powerful. Wow. That is gonna be a quote. we’re not meant to know. Yeah. We’re not meant to know all of the answers.
We’re not. That’s so powerful. And I think as humans, that’s what we do, right? Like we look for answers. We have to know the reason. There has to be, you know, we have to figure it out. There’s a reason for everything. And you know what? There just isn’t sometimes. So that I think is the main thing that guilt we work on is guilt.
Another big topic is relationships. With your partner. Even with yourself, you don’t know who you are anymore, and your partner may be grieving very differently than you. They have a different experience of it than you. I bet. In my community, we have all types of couples. We have same sex couples. We have, you know, Heterosexual couples.
I also have some women that go at this alone that are in their fertility journey alone. So like every family that’s trying to conceive is so different. So like, that makes sense. Some don’t have partners or spouses or, you know, boyfriends or girlfriends to be going through this with. That’s right. Yeah.
And it’s so d. When you and I had discussed earlier, you also mentioned fear as like the third component. So it’s guilt, relationship issues and fear. But fear of what, because that’s so big. Yeah, so fear of really, there’s a fear of moving on. There’s a fear of forgetting the baby. Hmm. If I move on with my life, does that mean that I, you know, no longer care for this baby that I’ve lost?
So there’s a lot of fear around that. Then there’s definitely a fear of, what if I wanna have another baby? Would I ever dare to have another baby? You know, there’s fear in that. There’s fear that people will look at me like I’m damaged or broken. You know? That I think also falls into the self-confidence.
It really takes out their self-confidence with that kind of fear. So what is the first step? I’m home. I now am without my baby, and I’m grieving. I’m actively grieving. What are like some first steps that I need to do to ensure my emotional safety and so that I can grieve and just however I need to? I’m all too familiar with grief in losses of people, but.
I am not familiar with losses from a pregnancy loss or miscarriage. So what are some first things? So if I was a mom, then I’m home and I’ve gone through this ordeal in any week, what are some first things that I should be doing for self-care and to set myself up for support or to receive re support? So the first thing is to listen to yourself.
Listen to what you. Listen to what you need. Don’t worry about what other people think. People are gonna come in and tell you all kinds of things, and just to try to rush you back to normal. Because they’re uncomfortable with it. It’s their uncomfortableness that drives it. And so yeah, just really listen to what you want, and then right behind that is find someone to talk to.
It really, really makes sense. You know, the suffering in silence is not helpful to anyone. And if you think about when someone older dies, right? Like we have a whole thing, you know, there’s a ceremony and then people come over and they bring food and they do the, the cats rolls. Yes, there’s all kinds of things, you know, and, and you’re allowed to talk about it for months.
But when our babies die, Uh, no one wants to talk about it. They just want you to get back to normal as quick as possible. And so I think the lost mothers need to feel like it’s shameful almost in a way, and that they need to keep it quiet and that is so damaging. I just wanna break that silence so much just in grief in general.
Like the worst thing to hear is, oh, they’re in a better place. That is like the worst thing you can say to anyone. No, especially as a mama. That lost her baby. Oh, how could any place other than in my arms be better than? And it’s like the most common thing so much that I have heard from my community that I’ve built, like when moms are grieving, How the hell is that?
My baby in heaven and a better place than in my arms? It’s the worst thing that you can say to any mom that’s had a loss. Yeah, the worst. So there’s a thing that’s a tip of what not to say. So one thing is that is very not talked about is rage and anger in a grief journey, how does a person begin to process?
Rage or emotion after this loss. Like they are angry at so many things like angry that happened and they’d be angry at themselves. That might be also probably, you know, sometimes hospital staff or medical staff. They’re not trauma informed is what I find. That they treat it. Like I’ve had one client tell me, the baby was referred to as medical waste.
It was very, Very awful. And she miscarried in the emergency room and they’re like, the whole story is just horrific, but there’s so many things that can make you. Angry, and that’s a part of grief, but how does a person move out of that? Because I find a lot of clients, they’re first sad and then they’re in denial, but then they’re in rage for a long time.
Yeah. Can you talk about that? Yeah. Because nobody talks about being angry, and that is so important to know that it’s okay to be angry. It is okay. It’s okay. And the thing about this type of loss too is that you never. No one imagines themself in this situation. Never does it cross your mind and then all of a sudden within, you know, a few hours window, usually all you’re here, you know?
And so what do you do with that? That’s a lot of emotion to process and anger is very common. So an exercise that I do a lot with my clients is, there’s two things. One is, Lock yourself in a room, scream into the pillow, punch it, you know, punch the bed. Whatever you have to do, get that anger out. You have to feel those feelings.
You just have to feel them to process through them, or they’re gonna just. Stay there. You have to feel it. And then another great thing is to write letters. Write letters to the hospital stuff. And I don’t mean send them if you, you know what I mean? Like maybe it’s not productive to send them, I don’t know.
That’s, you know, something different probably. But just writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, dear your baby, writing to the hospital staff, writing to whoever needs to hear what you have to. Because there is something really cathartic about putting it on paper from your hand to, you know, to the paper and then, and then rip it up.
You know, throw it away, then ceremonially rip it up, throw it away. You’re getting rid of the anger to make room for some good emotions because you’re process processing. You wanna get spiritual or witchy on it. I always burn. Burning it. Fire safe container or in a fire pit, wherever it safely can burn it and burning it is such a good release for me.
But the letter writing or like just the act of physically writing it out is so. important. Not typing, writing, cuz you’re using more of your senses and when you use more of your senses in your body, it is a more physical release from mental, emotional. Yeah. And then to physical through your hand. It’s connecting more of that because the act of it is removing it from your body, not the act of you avoiding the motion, but it’s a purge.
Right onto paper. Well, and when you like the disconnection, people may not always understand why. Why can’t I just type it out? No, you need to write it out. Write it, write it out. And no matter what form comes out, like if it’s full sentences, fragments, I even said some person like said, well, I draw. I was like, then draw it out.
I said, perfect. I just need you to move. Your pen on the paper? Absolutely. Yeah. It’s as good as you know. And, and again, if you have someone that you can verbalize it to that will listen, do that. That’s it. That’s even better. But if you can’t, you know, yes. You have to find a way to get it out of you, or that anger will sit.
Can you tell me more about how do you navigate your relationship after. Because I imagine like if you’re grieving differently, that could really dramatically impact the strength or connectiveness or intimacy of emotion within your relationship. , absolutely, yes. It is a high level of communication to come through it.
Really. My husband is, he works in the medical profession, so you know, he looked at everything very clinically and this is why it happened, and this is what happens or what, whatever. And so to me, And he just kind of tried to keep it real, easygoing and steady. And we had two other boys. We were, you know, trying to keep things going with them and try to keep some sort of normalcy.
And finally it came to a head and he said, well, I didn’t wanna talk about it with you because I was afraid it would make you cry. And I was like, you know, and I do, I think men partners in general have a role. You know, that they think that’s their role is to be the fixers and to be the, you know, the com.
Yeah. They’re just gonna protect it and fix it. And if I don’t talk about it, then it’ll just, you know, it just won’t upset her. and you know, so after that I realized like, oh, okay, you know, he’s not trying to avoid it, it’s not hurting him any less. It’s just this is his way of, of dealing with it. And he has different ways of dealing with it.
And that’s a little hard to accept because I think we want them, we want our partners in our, you know, everyone in our circle to feel the way we do. And really everyone grieves differently no matter what it is. So it’s It is normal, yes. Differently. Yes. And I think in through the years, I’ve noticed his triggers are different than mine.
You know, it’ll, it’ll, I’ll notice it come up for him and it’ll be something completely different than what triggers me, I guess, you know, on the positive side, we balance each other out, but, but it is a real sticking point for a lot of people. The divorce rate is huge. I think about that, you know, the, the divorce rate, and, you know, of course this is just, Marriage statistics.
So imagine, you know, relationships in general, but the divorce rate is 23% of couples who are married after divorce after a loss because it’s really, really hard to understand each other’s grief process over the same grief. I think it has a lot to do with capacity. Like I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life.
Everyone has pain, everyone has their. . But also what I’ve noticed as a healer, as a person that holds space for women is that it has a lot to do with capacity, not capability. That belief that, oh, if they wanted to, they would. Hmm. Like if, if he wanted you, he would show up. I don’t believe that that’s the case.
I think it’s also a lot to do with capacity. Yeah. Is like, do you have the emotional capacity? To do this or emotional capacity to hear the other person. I can imagine if I were in that role, I would be consumed with my own feelings cuz it’s a little bit different for the woman than the man because mm-hmm their body.
How the baby is removed from your body. Yeah. You know, is very physical. and then like you are the one that like, this is your genetic physical thing that you’re supposed to provide to your marriage, right? That he cannot, then the guilt is very, very different than their experience as a man or as a partner that is watching this happens to their partner.
I can’t imagine, like if I would have the emotional capacity while grieving and coming to terms of the situation, having the capacity to support or even listen to my partner, just knowing how I’ve handled grief in the past with, you know, loss of family members. My father, you know, had horses and that has nothing to compared to a loss of a baby.
But I’ve also watched several family members die and care for them before they’ve died. I don’t know if I would have the emotional capacity to hold any space for my partner. So yes, that makes sense. That why a 23% is a lot, uh, that it just shows how much we need to do for maternal care and postpartum Yes.
Care in this country. Not just for Yeah. And men get forgotten. In so many ways I. Right. I mean, and that, yeah, that’s a conversation I have a lot too. Like imagine if you could put yourself in their shoes and have to be the one to watch this whole thing and watch your partner go through, you know, I had to have a C-section.
Go through that whole thing and leave the hos, you know, drive me home from the hospital. He had to make all the phone calls. He really went to the cemetery and picked out the p, you know what I mean? Like he did a lot of that. And in my grief, I was being selfish, you know, and, and just not really understanding it until, you know, later on.
And I, because I wanted him to feel the same way I did, but, you know, I can’t imagine. Strength that he had to do all that he did. He had to pick the tombstone himself alone. Yeah. And then like you’re at home taking care of you, you know? So like Right. Each will equally are terrible and it’s so complex.
Also with grief, it’s so important to honor the other person’s feelings. , it’s really difficult as like you can say the wrong thing very easily and you just wanna be so careful. Mm-hmm. . Wow. So after some time has passed, and most couples are going to try again. Yeah. Before a baby. So eventually, even if the fear is there, they’re gonna try to have another baby.
Most of the. What does that look like? We already know how the babies are made, but like what are some tips and how a mom can move through that to continue to try to conceive? I think the first thing is just getting that negative self-talk. Calm down, , right? It’s just squelching that voice that’s saying like, It’s gonna happen again.
How do you know that? That you won’t be doing this all over again? You know? And if you have a trusting relationship with your doctor, which I had an amazing doctor who I trusted implicitly. So I think between those two, you can get all the facts that you need to kind of reassure yourself that this is.
Normal. This is not necessarily how it’s gonna end. And that if this is your desire, then this is the way there. And my doctor, they were wonderful. They let me come in anytime they invited me to, you know, anytime if I needed to hear the heartbeat or have a quick scan just to make sure things were okay.
Mm-hmm. , you know, and that was huge. I didn’t do it very often. But just to know that that was an option. If I got panicky and I did a couple times, then I could just do that, and they were very happy to find relief with me there. So I think that’s so important. Just have a great relationship with your doctor and then just constantly working on that negative self-talk that wants to talk you out.
I love that advice. And can you tell me how people can connect with you? Because you’ve been so wise and so forthcoming with all of this expertise on how to move through this and on such a very important topic. Mm-hmm. , how can people connect with you on social media, on the worldwide web? On the web. Well, all of my information’s on my firstname.lastname@example.org, and I have a podcast called Navigating Baby Loss.
So yes, you’ll be a guest on mine one day. do it. And then I’m also navigating baby laws on Instagram and TikTok. Then I have a private Facebook group navigating Baby Loss community. So I’m pretty easy to find. Awesome. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for providing this service to the world.
Thank you for being here and you’re such a gift to many Hmm. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Appreciate you.