Posted: Apr 18, 2012 10:59 PM
 
Although miscarriages are fairly common, there’s nothing common about the tremendous grief that a woman and her partner feel when they have suffered a miscarriage. Here’s how to cope while you’re processing your grief.

As I lay there on the exam table and heard my doctor tell me that, at eight-weeks pregnant, we had lost our baby, the words hung in the air as I tried desperately to process what she was telling me.

I didn't know anyone who had suffered a miscarriage. Or so I thought.

In the days following our loss, women from every part of my life came forward and shared their personal stories of the heartbreak of miscarriage.

Somewhere between ten and 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but my heart was 100 percent broken.

Today, the sharp edges of the pain from my miscarriage have dulled, but it took time and help from others to process all that I was feeling.

Grieve

Allow yourself time to work through the stages of grief. Though denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance are all stages of grief, they don't always move in a linear, forward progression. Don't rush yourself or tell yourself what you should be feeling. It's okay to feel what you're feeling.

Talk and listen

Talk with your partner who, remember, is also processing the loss. He or she may not express his or her grief in the same way that you do, but by talking with your partner and listening to him or her, each of you will likely feel less alone.

Confide

Talk with others. Confide in friends and family and lean on them for support.

Reach out

Join a support group, whether locally or online, where you can share your story and hear from others who truly understand what you're going through.

Explore

Explore online resources like Unspoken Grief, a website dedicated to breaking the silence and stigma of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss. Unspoken Grief's founder, Devan McGuinness, fosters a community that works to raise awareness and support those who are suffering tremendous loss.

Seek help

Seek professional care if your depression doesn't begin to ease within a few weeks. While no one can put a timeline on your grief, a professional may help you process your feelings in ways that your friends and family can't.

In the months following my miscarriage, my emotions ranged from anger to sadness and eventually bits of hope trickled in. Grief has a funny way of taking two steps forward and another back.

There is no one right way to process your grief, but by reaching out to others, you will find that you're less alone.

Having suffered a miscarriage, I know that the feeling of loss never goes away completely, but, with time, your grief will soften and hope will return.

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Topics: miscarriage small joys

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Alicia French May 10, 2012
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I commend you for talking about this! I know several friends who have had miscarriages and the worst part is that they felt so alone because no one talks about it. They all thought they had done something wrong and questioned every little detail that could have contributed to the miscarriage. I love to see women being honest and supporting one another through a time that only another woman who has gone through it can understand.