Podcast: Aluminum Lining with Special Guest: Abigail Glass, MFT – Move Through Miscarriage

About The Podcast

The Aluminum Lininga podcast hosted by Allyson Auster, takes you on a journey of self-discovery that winds its way through topics such as vulnerability, authenticity, and just being human. In this episode you will find a moving conversation related to the topic of miscarriage and early loss.

Description of Episode

So many women suffer after a miscarriage or early loss and feel isolated and alone. My guest, Abigail Glass, MFT, has personal and professional experience with this important topic. She created a program called Move Through Miscarriage to support and guide anyone experiencing this (even family members). We truly hope that many will find this conversation helpful during such a difficult time

Episode Transcription

Allyson:​Good evening and welcome back to The AluminumLining Podcast. I hope the past couple weeks have treated you well. And I’m wondering if mercury is still in retro grade because the past couple weeks have brought several bumps and I’ve needed to remind myself to just ride the wave. And I’m hearing the same for so many other people right now. So if you happen to be in the same boat, let’s continue to ride those waves and we shall have calm again, hopefully soon.

​Tonight I have my very first guest. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone very important to me join us on this episode. She and I met 19 years ago as therapists working in community mental health. And tonight’s topic is one that is not openly discussed enough in our society. We will be discussing miscarriage and early loss. My special guest has had her own personal experiences with miscarriage and early loss, and it became a large part of her private practice as a marriage and family therapist over the past 20 plus years. We will be talking about a sensitive subject that may activate some strong emotions. So I want to make sure that that is noted before we begin. So let me start by welcomingAbigail Glass. Hi, Abigail.

Abigail Glass:​Hi, Allyson. Thank you so much for having me here. I am so grateful to have this platform to share and discuss this topic because it becomes so difficult for women that are going through it to discuss as well as their close family members and their community beyond their family at home.

Allyson:​Yeah. I completely agree with you. Tell me if this is right. I’ve read that one in four pregnancies become a miscarriage or an early loss.

Abigail Glass:​That’s right. That’s right.

Allyson:​That really makes it fairly common, yet it’s still so so hard for people to talk about and leaves women togo through this experience alone with no idea how to manage the grief and the loss associated with it.

Abigail Glass:​Yeah.

Allyson:​Yeah. So this is where you come in. Based on your personal and professional experience, you have created a program called Move Through Miscarriage that is now accessible across the globe. The link will be in the details section of this episode. Can you share your story that led you to create this program?

Abigail Glass:​Yes, definitely. My path to creating this program began when my first pregnancy became my first miscarriage. I was utterly devastated and I was in need of support. And there were other people’s stories out there that were medical ideas. There was a group at the hospital that took weeks and weeks to start after I’d had my first loss and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Like I actually didn’t knowhow to handle my hurt every day when I woke up and I also didn’t feel prepared or know what to expect because mine was extraordinarily physically painful. And I also had to go through a DNC following my first one. I ended up going through years of waiting and trying and hoping to build myown family. And at some point I had one doctor that knew I was a therapist and he said to me, “Are you ready to see some of my clients?” He asked if I could see some of his patients going through this kind of a loss. And at that time I really I wasn’t ready and I needed to get further down the path of my own healing.

Allyson:​Understandable.

Abigail Glass:​Right, right. So once I got to that point, after growing my family through both adoption and one extraordinarily challenging pregnancy, I am blessed with two children.

Allyson:​[inaudible 00:04:16].

Abigail Glass:​And I knew then that I needed this work to be my specialty. So for years, I ran day-long miscarriage and early loss process retreats. I’ve been honored to sit with hundreds of women going through this kind of a loss.

Allyson:​Wow.

Abigail Glass:​And so many women do this alone, end up crying in their bedrooms alone and it has become my mission to reach as many of those women as possible that I can’t actually sit with. That’s how my program came to be.

Allyson:​Wow. That’s amazing. You’ve had quite a story and I know how difficult it was and there’s just so much grief and loss around it. I can imagine that when someone’s going through it, it feels like it’s going to last forever and never come to an end. So how long does it take for people to get through the feelings of the grief and loss of something like this?

Abigail Glass:​Yeah. This is a question that’s asked in desperation usually for every woman going through a miscarriage and also the family members of the women going through miscarriage because they want to know, “When is this going to be over?When is my heart going to stop hurting so much?And when am I going to get through this pain?” The answer is very different for different people. And one of the things I talked about is that we don’t just get over it and we don’t let it go. We work to process and integrate it. And all of these things happen overtime and it is different for each person and the patterns of grief vary and they’re non-linear.

Allyson:​Which makes sense with any kind of grief that people go through.

Abigail Glass:​That’s right.

Allyson:​But now it’s individual.

Abigail Glass:​Yeah. Going back to it, some family members, they want to know when is their person going to get through it or get over it because it’s so difficult to tolerate the pain in your partner or your daughter or your friend or your sister. And so on both sides, people want to know when is this going to end?

Allyson:​I love that you brought that up because people probably think, oh, it’s just their partner that’s impacted, but it’s not just the immediate family that’s impacted here.

Abigail Glass:​That’s right. That’s right. It’s all of those in your circle, around you, in your community, into your coworkers. So many women are going through this and going back to work and there’s that navigating how to interact with the community.

Allyson:​Right.

Abigail Glass:​So for women that are going through it, some feel that they have to get over it in some way in order to move forward. And one of the things that I also talk about my program is that I think you can do more than one thing at one time emotionally. You don’t need the pressure of being finished with your grief and loss in order to also be thinking about what you might do next or what your next steps are. Both of those things can be going on and both of them deserve time to heal and attention. And it’s also important to do it in your own timing. It’s very individual. There‘s not a correct answer to how long it takes, but I will say, and I have seen over and over that you can heal, process the grief, and women are able to find hope so that it’s not all that you feel all of the time.

Allyson:​Oh, I like how you said that, because I can imagine that knowing there will be a time when it won’t feel as overwhelming can be quite relieving.

Abigail Glass:​Yes. Yes. Because when you’re in it, it can just feel like it’s, like you said, like it’s going to last forever, but at that intensity. And so that intensity doesn’t last forever either.

Allyson:​Yeah. That’s good that there’s that hope there.

​Speaking of family members and people in their lives, what isa way for family members to support someone?What can you say to help?

Abigail Glass:​Thank you. It’s a really good question. Our culture just doesn’t deal with grief very well in general. And when it comes to a miscarriage or early loss, often it’s so massive, but it’s unseen by the people around us.

Allyson:​Oh, right?

Abigail Glass:​Right. They don’t see it. We feel it, we carry it, but the others on the outside don‘t. So it’s not tangible. And people don’t know what to say and they don’t know what to do. And when us as women are slammed into this depth of grief or we’re going through this kind of loss, we don’t quite realize what we need and we don’t know how to ask of our partners and our family members. And they end up in a position where they‘re trying to guess what todo.

Allyson:​Yeah. That’s a good point too, because I can see how that would happen and then let alone yourself. Like so many times we don’t even know what we need.So what can the family members do? What can they do to help?

Abigail Glass:​Yes, definitely a good question. Family member scan continue to offer their support. They can literally say, “I’m here for you,” repeatedly. You can’t say it enough times and they can refrain from trying to fix or make the pain go away.

Allyson:​Oh, that’s a big one.

Abigail Glass:​It’s a big one because it’s hard for us. So we want to do something to help when somebody is hurting that much.

Allyson:​Right.

Abigail Glass:​If you’re a friend or family member, one of the things that is so supportive is to make sure that you’re not taking it personally if someone doesn’t respond to your offer. Offers of support and help and kindness, they mean so much and they’re felt and received even if the woman is unable to respond. As intimate family members, what we can do is offer that we‘ll just remain here and we can ask if we’re really close, “Do you know what you need?”We can literally ask those questions, “Do you know what you need? Is there anything that I can do?”

Allyson:​That’s really good because I know that… I kind of already said this, but it’s hard to know what we need in a moment. And I just love how you gave that suggestion to have the family member ask them, which would then open that door up to help her maybe even figure it out.

Abigail Glass:​Yes, exactly. And I have a lesson in my program to help walk women through discovering and figuring out what they need and then how to ask for it.

Allyson:​Oh, that’s good. I can see how that would be really helpful.

Abigail Glass:​And just adding to the family and friends what they can do, sometimes just being there and being present is actually a version of doing. We think of doing in a particular way, but being physically therewith your presence is actually doing something. It’s often very challenging for partners to witness their loved one in such pain when they absolutely can’t fix it and they’re powerless.

Allyson:​Yeah. So it’s even just, even if silence is uncomfortable at times, sometimes that‘s what’s needed. Is just sitting there quietly next to the person without words or being in the same space with them because I think the past just really difficult.

Abigail Glass:​It is. And just sitting there and holding that space that way is actually quite powerful.

​There is also a category of what not to say.

Allyson:​Oh, that’s good.

Abigail Glass:​So many people with incredibly good intentions say things like…. And these are the top ones that are really hard for women going through it when they hear it. But they say things like, “It was meant to be.” Or, “Oh, it’s okay, you’ll get pregnant again.”Or, “It’s better this way.” Those things are kind of are flex for people, but they end up very hurtful.

Allyson:​Yeah. I know many people can relate to that uncomfortable feeling of wanting to say just the right thing, but like having some of those exact statements come out of their mouth. I’m glad you brought up things that can be unintentionally hurtful so people can keep that in mind.

Abigail Glass:​Yes. And everyone is really trying their best todo something helpful and to be there in the best way. And they don‘t know what to do. So that’s when those things slip out.

Allyson:​Yeah, that makes sense. So what is something that you would say with miscarriage and early loss that you see come up often?

Abigail Glass:​What I see come up often is women that feel like they can just grit their teeth and make it through it.And really what’s needed is to turn towards it, of course, in their own timing, but to turn towards it and process it so that it doesn’t come up in a big way or an indirect way later.

Allyson:​Oh, that’s a really good point. Let’s kind of jump into the program now. What does this program offer

Abigail Glass:​It offers healing and a path to actually move through the loss.

Allyson:​Wow.

Abigail Glass:​When I went through my miscarriages, I felt so isolated, even though I had my family around. I would have done anything to have somebody guide me through whether it was exercises or rituals or how to have conversations, some ways to even think education about wrapping my head around it and to help me move through it. And so over time, that’s what I ended up doing. I created these rituals and tools and I used my skills as a therapist to communicate about it. And that’s how I healed. And my program is bringing all of those things together that I did, that I would have loved to have been offered.

Allyson:​Oh, wow.

Abigail Glass:​The structure of it is that it is brief videos each day, so that it’s digestible. And I kind of get to be there with these beautiful women for 30 days in arrow. And of course that can be stretched out foreach person’s individual pace because some of the exercises, someone may be able to sit down and just do it in one sitting, but someone else may need to do bits of it at a time and take it over some days. And that’s totally fine.

Allyson:​That makes sense.

Abigail Glass:​Yeah. And there’s a private Facebook community. So there’s this safety net and place for women that have either done the program or are doing the program for them to share these exercises and the work that they’re doing and support each other. And I’m in that group as well.

Allyson:​I love that. That’s just another way so that they don’t have to feel alone.

​Well, I have to say, I mean, the program sounds absolutely amazing.

Abigail Glass:​Thank you.

Allyson:​You’re welcome. I have been very lucky enough to have seen a few snippets and it really is wonderful. I have to say the love and the care that you have for women going through those, just really comes through in each one of the videos I’ve seen so far.And it’s so apparent that with your guidance, any woman struggling with recent pain of miscarriage and early loss, or even those who are still struggling from years past, I could see will also benefit from this program. I’ve already shared it with so many people and can you share with us like where can people find this program that you’ve created?

Abigail Glass:​Yes, sure. There’s actually two ways. One of them is through my website, which is Abigail Glass,M-F-T, as in marriage, family, therapist,abigailglassmft.com. And if you’re on a computer, on the top right, there’s a button for the Move Through Miscarriage program. When you’re on a cellphone, there’s a dropdown menu that comes up. And in that, there’s also a link to the program. And then the exact link directly to the page is in the comments below this.

Allyson:​Yeah, I’ll definitely include that.

​Thank you for being here. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you as my very first guest. Thank you again for being here and opening a door for so many women in this world that feel alone and isolated and really, they don’t know where to turn.

Abigail Glass:​Thank you so much for having me, for making this information available to people. And may it help many, many women.

Allyson:​I hope so too. That’s it for us. Feel free to reach out on my social media pages, Facebook and Instagram, with any thoughts or questions. And I‘m looking forward to continuing my podcast journey with youall. Thank you again, Abigail.

Abigail Glass:​Thank you.

Allyson:​Take care and be gentle and kind to yourself and to others. Goodnight, everybody.

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