Today's essay is a collaboration with Amanda Pahls, who has graciously allowed us to share her story. You can learn more about Amanda on her website, blog, and Instagram.

 

 

What exactly are you looking at? A thrifted wardrobe, the oils, some pretty crocks, blankets, and the perfect chair. But also something new. A stack of my very first shapewear. We recently experienced something new, which has required trying some new things. December 28, 2020, we miscarried our son, Shepherd, at 11 weeks. 

As a mother of four healthy daughters who had fun pregnancies and beautiful home births, this loss was an incredibly unexpected, terrifying, and devastating experience. My husband and I are no strangers to grief, but we had no idea this is what miscarriage could look like. So many people have shared that they are common, but how can something be so common, yet us not really know anything about them? No one had ever shared with me what their experience was like during or after miscarriage. So, I've decided to talk about it all so that others can learn from our experience and feel less alone in their losses as well. So that our daughters might one day be much more educated and have so much more support if they ever have to go through such a thing. I go into more detail on our blog, but for this piece, I want to talk more about our postpartum experience and how Honeylove has helped us heal physically. 

 

 

Postpartum after miscarriage has proven to be very different than my postpartum experiences with our daughters. After we lost our son, my stomach continued to grow, and I continued to gain weight. We decided to get an ultrasound to find some answers. We learned that my uterus was still very large, and certain parts of my body appeared to have just received the message that we were no longer growing our baby. This contributed to a very heavy feeling in my womb — not just a heavy feeling, but a baby bump, swelling, and inflammation that was causing a lot of discomfort for me. 

I have never experienced this feeling before. When you give birth to a healthy baby, your body releases a cocktail of hormones and continues doing so to help our bodies heal. These hormones are released when we nurse, and snuggle, and do skin-to-skin, and when we smile and laugh and breathe in alll of that newborn goodness. As we care for and nourish our babies, they help us heal. It's truly such a beautiful thing. 

 

 

With miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and still birth, there are layers and layers of loss, but one of those losses is literally not having the babies we were just growing to help us heal through our nourishing them. Our bodies are left confused. No one ever talked to me about this part. How painful it would be. How foreign it would all feel. The deep heaviness weaved in with such emptiness, both emotionally and physically. 

I started researching things that might help how I was feeling physically. I learned that shapewear compression could help my uterus heal and alleviate some of the uncomfortable heaviness and swelling I was experiencing. 

One part of me never wanted the feeling to go away because it was a reminder of carrying our son, but I also needed help to physically heal. So, I did a thing and bought my first-ever piece from Honeylove. I spent hours researching shapewear companies and comparing prices, reviews, colors, and styles.

 

 

The reason I decided to purchase from Honeylove was that they had pretty options, their material came in inclusive colors, and they didn't appear cheap, but also didn't look bulky or uncomfortable. I had never owned any shapewear before, but I knew this was something I was going to be wearing often under jeans and dresses, so I wanted it to be comfortable and hidden. I ordered the SuperPower Thong in Sand, and it was just lovely. 

I cried the first day I wore it. I cried all day. I cried because I hated why I was wearing it. I wanted my belly to grow, but now I was helping it shrink. I also cried because, for the first time since losing Shepherd, my body received this strange support and security that I felt like it needed. The heaviness I was feeling in my womb began to lighten. It made me feel so supported that I reached out to Honeylove to personally thank them and share our experience with them. After a few emails, we decided we should work together and shed some light on miscarriage postpartum together. I am truly grateful for the kind people I have met at Honeylove and to share how their shapewear has helped me feel. Miscarriage is already something that needs to be seriously destigmatized, but so does the postpartum experience. This has been unlike anything I have experienced, and we need to talk about it more so we can help one another. 

 

 

I have now tried several pieces from Honeylove and have felt comfortable and supported in all of them. I wear my Honeylove pieces while I work out, under my clothing, and while I sleep, and have found so much support in doing so. My favorite pieces are the SuperPower Brief and SuperPower Thong.

It is with a very sad and strangely grateful heart that my pre-pregnancy pants have returned to buttoning status. This is another reminder that I am no longer carrying our son. And that hurts. But it also means I am healing. And I am ready to heal. 

Thank you so much Honeylove for coming alongside us, supporting us, and giving us an opportunity to talk about something I had never heard talked about or imagined talking about myself. I hope this helps us all talk about these important women's issues so much more and creates more avenues to discuss healing both emotionally and physically after miscarriage, pregnancy loss, stillborn and infant loss. 

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