According to WebMD, about 15-25% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. More than 80% of these occur within the first three months. Most miscarriages are caused by abnormalities, where there is nothing to be done to prevent the pregnancy loss.
These facts show that many of us women have experience this painful tragedy. This article is filled with personal experience and hopefully it can give you a few ideas on how to handle and cope with your loss as well as some strategies to help you heal.
First and foremost, remember that it is normal to have feelings of guilt, anger, depression, shock, and failure. I know for myself, I kept apologizing to my husband and to my baby. I felt that it was my fault, that I had failed them both. The days, weeks, and months after can be painful. Even years later, a day can pop up out of nowhere that can make you feel sad and your heart miss your child. Sometimes, I will hear another loss story, or see a picture/quote about miscarriage, and I can break down crying. These are normal responses. You have experienced the loss of a child. There is no right way to feel.
It is important to understand that it is okay to have these feelings of sadness and grief. It is okay to feel broken. It is normal to get depressed. Depression and grief are not bad or wrong feelings. No one should ever tell you otherwise.
Let’s talk coping and healing, starting with TALKING.
A great way to heal is talking. Talk to your spouse or partner about how you are feeling. Talk openly and honestly with one another. Be open with the ideas that they may feel or grieve differently than you do. Or that they all may be the same. Lean on one another for support. My husband is a great listener and able to talk about our similarities and differences of pain.
Talk to somebody you know who has been through a similar experience. Start with family and friends that know you best. Most women are willing to share their experiences and the tricks that helped them to heal. Online support groups are great sources to share feelings and get validation from other people that have been through it as well.
Talk to a professional counselor. This can help to guide you through your wave of feelings. I felt that it was a good, safe place for me to vent about myself, my shock, failures, and so much more. My counselor helped me to understand that it wasn’t my fault and to recognize triggers to my depression. She gave me tools to deal with the day to day hardships, and how to push past them to get back to myself and get to a good place in my heart–to be happy with my life!
Take time off from work.
Even if physically you are well. You need time to process. Stay in your jammies. Watch sad movies, eat junk food, read online articles (like this one) and find ways to heal and ideas to work through your pain. Listening to music was and is a great way for me to cope with the days that creep up on me. I got onto Spotify and created a playlist titled, “Grief”. I found so many songs on loss and grief. When I have a bad day, or fell that I need a good cry, I just listen to my song list. Or look up poems and quotes about loss. They seem to calm me down and heal my heart.
Write it down.
Some people like to journal. Open a fresh book and write down all the feelings and thoughts you have about the baby you lost and how you are healing. Some, whether you know the sex or not, like to name the baby. Write it in the journal. You don’t have to share it with anyone. Just keep it to yourself and your spouse or partner, and let it help you connect with the child.
I had an ectopic miscarriage at about 6-8 weeks, so it was early and I never got to know the sex of my baby. I didn’t feel that naming the baby was the right thing for me. But I needed a way to remember and honor the baby. I found a company online that stamps names into jewelry. I contacted them and asked if instead of a name, they could stamp the date. They approved and I chose the day I actually lost the baby and my date. I now have and wear a small, silver ring with the date, 6-10-2016 with tiny hearts on either side. I wear it every day to remind me of my loss, and it has helped me by having a little something just for myself.
And, when/if your health permits, make a plan to try again. While nothing can replace the baby you’ve lost, knowing that next time could work, can help you heal. Looking toward the future can help your heart see it can be full and not always feel broken. Talk with your spouse or partner about when you think you would want to try again. Don’t rush. Make sure you are emotionally ready as well as physically.
Nothing will ever make the pain 100% go away. But, you can find ways to cope with your grief that work for you. Remember that everyone grieves differently. Be sure to remember not to judge yourself or compare yourself to others and how they handled things. You and your loss are important to you and your partner only. You can and will get there in your own time and in your own way. You have support.