Coping with Miscarriage

Coping with a miscarriage can be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do. Miscarriage often brings about feelings of fear, guilt, sadness, and depression. It you have recently experienced a miscarriage, you may be finding it difficult to go to work, see friends, or just get out of bed in the mornings. You may also be worried about your future fertility and happiness. Though it may seem hard right now, there are certain steps that you can take to help ease your pain. By acknowledging your grief, finding the right support, and learning to let go, you will find that you will be able to deal better with the terrible pain of miscarriage.

Emotions and Miscarriage

There are a number of different emotions that you may be experiencing if you have gone through a miscarriage. An important part of coping with your miscarriage is allowing yourself to feel these emotions, openly and honestly.

  • Shock and Grief: Immediately after a miscarriage, many women enter into an initial state of shock. Miscarriages are often sudden and unexpected, and therefore yours may have left you feeling as if you have been run over by a bus. Though an awful feeling, this shock is a natural part of the coping process. After shock, you may experience different levels of grief. Everybody expresses their grief in different ways, whether it’s screaming and shouting, or sitting in silence. It is completely okay for you to experience this sadness.
  • Anger and Guilt Numerous women experience feelings of anger and guilt after a miscarriage. You may find yourself silently cursing that pregnant woman sitting next to you, or angrily wondering why this miscarriage had to happen. You may also find that you are blaming yourself for your miscarriage. It is normal to experience this anger and guilt, but you must keep reminding yourself that you are not to blame.

Grieving Your Loss
It is very important that you and your partner work together to grieve your loss. Take some time off work in order to remember and reflect. You may want to memorialize your baby in a special way. You could:

  • Plant a tree in his honor.
  • Make a donation, in his memory, to a charitable foundation,
  • Have a quiet ceremony to celebrate your time together.
  • Prepare a journal or scrapbook to celebrate his life.

Turning To One Another
Miscarriage can be a very stressful experience for both you and your partner. Your partner will also be feeling similar emotions to you, so you need to support one another. You may find that your relationship becomes strained as both of you come to terms with your grief, so it is important to stay close and connected. Set aside some quiet time for just the two of you: go for a walk, see a movie, or just cuddle with each other. This quiet time can help you to stay connected during the grieving process.

Turning to Others
Dealing with others may be particularly difficult at this point in time. Your friends and family will want to help you, but they may not know how to respond to your pain and loss. You might find that your family members say things like, “You can always have another baby” or, “Maybe it’s all for the best.” Of course, these comments are highly insensitive and only work to trivialize your grief. But they are not said out of ignorance or malice; many people simply don’t know how to deal with loss themselves.

Try to voice your grief to your family and friends the best you can. Ask for their support in the form of a shoulder to cry on or a friendly ear to listen. If family comments are getting you down, politely ask family members to just listen, not speak. They will not take offense. Find one family member of friend who you can rely on. Lean on this person for support and don’t hesitate to call on her when you need it.

Getting Support

Grieving is something that every individual has to do after they have experienced a miscarriage. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are many resources out there for women and couples who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.

Support Groups:
Support groups are specially designed to help you deal with your emotions of grief, anger, and depression in a group setting. There are a number of support groups that help women and couples deal specifically with the news of miscarriage. Pregnancy loss support groups can provide you with coping tips and information on recovering from miscarriage and dealing with your grief. These groups are often very helpful because they allow you to talk with other couples that have also experienced miscarriage. Ask your health care provider or local hospital or women’s center for a listing of support groups in your area.
Talk Therapists:
Talk therapists can meet with you individually or they can help you and your partner to grieve your loss together. Talk therapy allows you to express your feelings surrounding your miscarriage in an open setting. It can also help to provide you with techniques that will enable you to better understand what has happened. Talk therapists can also offer you ways to help move on when you are ready.
Writing it Out:
Writing is an excellent way to let out your emotions that have built up inside. Through writing, people are often better able to deal with their feelings and begin to move on. In fact, studies have shown that journal writing can help speed up the healing process. Writing through an online space can be helpful as you not only get to release your emotions, but may also contribute to the healing of those who read your story.
Fertility Counselors:
Fertility counselors can help you deal with miscarriage by discussing the details around your loss. A fertility counselor can meet with you and your partner to discuss the reasons why your pregnancy ended. Fertility counselors often help couples to deal with feelings of guilt that so often surround a miscarriage.

When Things Become Too Much
It is natural for you to experience sadness, loneliness, and grief after a miscarriage. However, if you begin to experience extreme depression, it is important that you seek help. Depression can manifest in many ways, but is often accompanied by extreme sadness, prolonged fatigue, lack of interest, and feelings of guilt or self-harm. Depression can be treated through therapy and medications, so be sure to get help from your health care provider if you feel you need it.

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