In this week’s Inspirational story, Rosalind Bubb describes herself as a happy and peaceful person, despite being childless and having had 12 miscarriages. Yes, I know 12. That is A LOT. I’ve known Rosalind for a while and she is the happiest person you could meet. So what’s her secret?
Over to Rosalind,
Where are you on your journey now?
Hello. My name is Rosalind. I am 47. Although I have had 12 miscarriages (the last when I was 39) I can truthfully say that it feels as if I have had none at all. I work as a miscarriage support therapist, using Skype video, helping women all around the world. I don’t have any children.
I’ve been very happily married for 19 years. (We have a dog and a cat, but I definitely don’t consider those to be surrogate children.) Being childless doesn’t cause me any pain. My husband and I live happy and fulfilled lives and we feel blessed and grateful for all that we do have.
It was not always like this…
What’s your story? And what helped you to heal?
I was 32 and we had been married for 4 years, when we decided to try to have a family. I became pregnant after 4 months. At 7 weeks there were signs that all might not be well. I phoned NHS direct and the lady I spoke to suggested resting in bed. I spent a gruelling week there, wishing and hoping that it would all be OK. At the end of that week my GP sent me for a scan, which showed that the baby had died 2 weeks earlier. A natural miscarriage eventually followed. I felt as if my heart had broken.
My next pregnancy went to 8 weeks, before there were again some ominous signs. Another scan revealed that this pregnancy was ectopic. After a tortuous week of monitoring hormone levels, I was given a drug which caused the foetus to be reabsorbed, and I effectively had another miscarriage.
My third pregnancy seemed to be fine. My 12 week scan was delayed to 14 weeks, and I had the biggest shock of my life, when they told us the baby had no heart-beat. The next day I had an operation to remove the baby’s remains, which didn’t go well and I ended up staying in hospital. Two days after I came home, my husband flew to the other side of the world to deliver a training course, which was staggeringly hard to deal with. I felt as if my heart had been broken again, and this miscarriage took a lot longer to get over.
Two weeks before my scan, I had been taught to use EFT “tapping” (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and I used this on myself throughout the whole experience, tapping for hours each day. (It’s sometimes described as being like “emotional acupuncture” – but without the needles!) The tapping reduced the distress somewhat, and made me feel able to face each step. I honestly don’t know how I would have got through it all, without it.
Once I had begun to recover, I started to train intensively, in EFT “tapping”. I added it to my existing practice as a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner, and gradually found myself doing most of my client work with it. As I became more and more highly trained, I used tapping systematically, to clear the emotional pain, distress and trauma from my many, many miscarriage memories.
Having been pregnant 12 times, I calculated that I spent over two years of my life, either being anxiously pregnant, or in the immediate grieving aftermath of a miscarriage. That is an awful amount of time, and involved a great number of distressing memories! It was a gigantic relief, to be able to make all of the pain from them go away, so that they just settled. I knew that these events had happened, but they didn’t intrude, and they no longer hurt at all. There was nothing I needed to stop my mind from resting on: it was all ok.
Without the ability to remove the emotional pain from each of the miscarriages as it happened, I certainly would not have gone on to become pregnant 12 times. (The incidences of mental ill health amongst women who have had multiple miscarriages are understandably high.)
After about 6 miscarriages, I discovered another very powerful therapeutic self-help technique, called TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique). EFT tapping was marvellous for taking away the pain and the impact of the horrible memories, but I didn’t feel that it facilitated the grieving process. (Typically I no longer wanted to cry, once I started to tap.) TAT, on the other hand, was outstandingly helpful.
On at least 30 occasions, I sat wrapped up in my duvet on my bed, and did TAT and sobbed for 20 minutes. The feelings were pure grief; it didn’t feel frightening or unpleasant. It felt absolutely the right thing to do. And each of the memories connected to it became more and more soft and gentle (- which I found extraordinary, as they had already become “neutral” through the tapping.) I eventually trained to become a TAT Professional, and I now use EFT tapping and TAT with my clients, in equal measure.
After unsuccessfully going through everything that the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic in London had to offer, my eleventh pregnancy was through IVF. The private Harley Street clinic concluded that my immune system was attacking my embryos: they weren’t the problem, it was “the hostile environment.” The IVF involved 3 transfusions of very expensive, strong immune suppressing drugs (which are the kind used to stop the body rejecting an organ, after a transplant.) I became pregnant… and then I miscarried again, in the summer shortly before my 39th birthday.
This miscarriage was also very difficult to get over and broke my heart. I had put everything I knew how, into trying to achieve a successful pregnancy. I had worked with my EFT teacher throughout it all, visualising every day, and trying to support my immune system to behave as we wanted it to. I had tapped for 2 to 3 hours every day, for about 2 months. When it was time to put the embryos back into my womb, the doctor said he had never seen anyone as calm as me, and asked me to write down how I had done it, so that he could train in tapping too, to help other patients.
So after this IVF miscarriage, my husband and I officially decided that we wouldn’t make any decisions until the following spring. (We couldn’t afford another round of IVF, and I also really couldn’t contemplate trying that hard again.) But in fact I found this state of indecision and limbo to be unbearable, and in the autumn I felt as if I had a little mid-life crisis (although I don’t think anyone else noticed!)
Over the course of three months I rapidly began actively to seek out women friends and acquaintances of mine, who were childless, and I had positive conversations with them about how that was alright for them, and how it could be for me too. Although it wasn’t a joint decision at that point, in my mind I began to embrace the possibility of being childless. And eventually, the following spring, my husband and I formally decided to stop trying for a family any more.
My 40th birthday, that summer, was a very joyful affair. I was determined to put my attempts to have a baby in the past, and to embrace the next decade as one that did not involve this. I didn’t want the rest of my (theoretical) child-bearing years to be spent in this way. I was really pleased to be 40, and was pleased to say that “enough is enough.” I had really tried. And now it was time to focus on the rest of my life.
What advice would you give…
And now it truthfully feels as if I haven’t had any miscarriages. (My heart feels whole and happy.) Ever since I discovered them, I have been using EFT tapping every day, and TAT several times a week. I think this is why I am happy being childless. I didn’t in fact ever specifically focus on that, when I was doing this healing work. But I did spend literally thousands of hours, over the many years, working with the pain of the memories of everything I had experienced, as it came up. It wasn’t a grand plan to clear it all: rather, a day-by-day affair, working with whatever emotions and memories were present on any particular occasion.
And there have been many occasions when I have found myself feeling painfully childless: for example, at daytime parties with friends where we were the only couple without a baby or child; and evenings with my adult friends where they have ALL been talking about their children and grandchildren. And after every one of those events, I tapped and tapped and tapped (and cried) and did TAT, until all the pain went away. And eventually it always did. (I kept going until it did!)
And I have tapped and done TAT on fears about being elderly and childless, with no one to support us in our old age (and this has been particularly present, as our own parents have become frailer and more dependent on our help.)
And that has all had a cumulative effect over the years. I feel as if I am carrying current emotions only – not a huge back-log of grief, disappointment and distress. I usually feel happy and on an even keel – and any time I notice that I don’t feel like that, I do more tapping or TAT. I cannot tell you what a relief it is, to experience those unpleasant feelings just sort of drain away (and it’s often pretty quick!)
What brings you joy?
When I was transitioning to being happily childless – and in the time since – dancing, music and art have been incredibly important to me. I felt as if Ceroc dance, and my community of adult friends there, was one of the things that kept me sane. And I love being part of an orchestra, and several music groups, and I enjoy all sorts of arty activities, in the evenings and at weekends. It is one of the benefits of having a simple, childless life. I make the most of it, and I really enjoy it.
So now my life is happy, and simple. I continue to be joyfully married. I love my work, supporting other women who have been through miscarriage. (And when they sometimes eventually go on to have babies, that is such a special thing for me, and I love to see them on my Skype screen, when I have supported their mothers all the way through to their arrival – and beyond!)
I don’t regret any of the things that have happened. I love my life now, and I am only here as a result of everything I’ve experienced. If you don’t find yourself at that place right now, please don’t despair. It is entirely possible, and it’s never too late to heal. xxx
More about Rosalind.
Rosalind works as a therapist, helping people around the world to be happy, effective and well. Since 2013 she has been specialising in miscarriage support, offering individual therapy sessions using Skype, and an online miscarriage support Video program. Her wesbite is HERE
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