Updated: Nov 11, 2019
I had always heard how hard it was to lose a child. Personally, I thought that had to be one of the hardest things ever.
Sadly, I learned first hand how truly horrible it was to not just lose a child, but lose a child before I ever got to know them. Like many women before me, my hopes and dreams of what my child would one day be came to a crashing halt when I learned I had miscarried back in 2017.
Traumatic miscarriages are never expected and leave you reeling. However, I can say from personal experience that you have to work hard to deal with the miscarriage constructively without letting grief fully take over your life.
Taking Time To Grieve
First and foremost, don’t let this title come off as saying you shouldn’t grieve. Please, take time to grieve. I tried to pretend everything was okay, but it definitely wasn’t. My husband and I both tried to move on immediately, but we both needed time to grieve.
Some might think since you never met the child, it’s not as much of a loss as if you lost a parent, sibling, friend or older child. It’s very similar. In fact, sometimes it feels even worse since you never even got a chance to hold them or know them.
As with any loss, you’ll probably go through the five stages of grief. These include:
· Shock and denial
Trust me when I say, you will go through all of these, but at your own pace. Don’t get angry if you and your partner go through these at different times or even intensities. For instance, one of you may spend more time in anger or depression than the other. It’s perfectly fine to take time to grieve, but grief shouldn’t start to control your life.
Stop Blaming Yourself Or Each Other
I can’t even begin to explain the guilt I felt. What had I done wrong? Why did this happen to me? I kept feeling that it was somehow my fault, that maybe something was wrong with my body and that’s why this happened.
Yet, it wasn’t my fault. There wasn’t anything I could’ve done to prevent a traumatic miscarriage. It also wasn’t my husband’s fault. He was supportive throughout my short pregnancy and I couldn’t blame him either.
Yet, it’s all too common to blame yourself or each other. It’s the anger stage where you just want to find a reason and lash out at it. It’s easier than trying to deal with the grief. Yet, this isn’t the time to beat yourself up or push those who love you away from you. Once again, it’s not your fault. Sadly, this is something that happens sometimes and just means it wasn’t meant to be at that time.
Build A Support Group
You can’t do this alone. While you might not feel like going out for a few weeks or months, stay in contact with your closest friends and family. And of course, your partner. Invite them over to talk, call them when you’re feeling low and even get out and just do something normal for a few hours.
If you don’t have anyone, talk to your doctor about support groups for women and couples who have had miscarriages and lost children. Having the support of others who are going through what you are often helps.
If none of this helps, don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling. Some free support groups have professional counselors to help. For a more private session, seek a grief counselor. For some, this is the only way to move on and that’s okay.
Understand You Heal At Different Speeds
Some people might be able to get back to normal in a month, but it may take others a year or more. As a couple, this could easily be true. Your husband might grieve for a few months, but don’t be angry if he’s able to move on before you are or vice versa. No one’s being insensitive, but everyone heals at their own pace.
Take Care Of Yourself
Don’t let your grief or even guilt make you neglect yourself. Adding self-care to your routine helps you feel better about yourself. As part of this routine, actively remove negative or toxic elements from your life, such as friends who aren’t there for you or even a job that makes you miserable. Do things you enjoy at least once a day, including spending time with friends, your partner and loved ones. Taking care of yourself also helps you be there for your partner and vice versa.
I’ve been there and it took a while for me to heal. I’m here to tell you that you will heal and you will find a new normal soon. This special October blog is in honor of "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness". <3
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, mom of an angel