The Stages of Grief After Miscarriage
To lose the child midway in pregnancy is utterly painful and shocking. One experiences a host of emotions, often in stages according to MayoClinic.com, “Coping with pregnancy loss”. First, there is denial as one finds oneself in a state of disbelief, unable to accept the reality. Then comes anger at oneself, spouse, others and God, followed by guilt that some careless act might have led to this disaster. Depression is next, and from case to case it might be short or prolonged. Finally, comes acceptance, when, time being the best healer, one’s pain subsides as the years pass.
Self-Help Methods to Recuperate and Heal After Miscarriage
Women who have lost a baby during pregnancy need to understand that the miscarriage is no one’s fault. It’s natural to self-implicate and consider oneself inadequate, but the reality is that almost 40% of miscarriages occur without any scientific reason and at other times, it is due to chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Talking openly about how one is feeling with one’s partner and not being too harsh or judgmental is key to overcoming the pain of miscarriage. Accepting the reality and reacting openly rather than bottling up the emotions helps a lot.
Feeling angry is very normal. Women who experience the loss of a baby prematurely can feel angry with God, with herself, with doctors, with anyone offering consolation and even with pregnant mothers or parents of small children. A woman should not blame herself for these emotions, but learning to get through them slowly and eventually is important.
Women may need to also understand that their husbands or partners may not show emotion in the same way they do. Men and women differ in expressing grief. While women want to talk about it, men often deal with pain silently. This should not be misconstrued as a lack of caring.
Thinking positive often has a calming effect at the time of such severe loss. Accepting the reality of the miscarriage by reasoning that it happened because the baby had some defect or there is always the hope to get pregnant again or God might have had some purpose behind it may offer some consolation.
There are other ways to alleviate the sorrow of miscarriage. Some women may find that writing honestly about the experience brings relief. Commemorating the loss of the baby by keeping a special service in the child’s memory or making a donation in his/her name or even doing social work to help mothers with similar experiences may also help.
Finding a Support System Through Miscarriage
Depression is common after miscarriage. Women may feel like isolating themselves; they may procrastinate a lot, or fight with their partners or parents and anyone who offers advice. But shutting out the world is not recommended. Going out with close friends and family and talking to them about the loss may help one heal better. Encouragement and support may come from unexpected quarters. Thus, sharing the feelings of varied emotions with a colleague or a friend or one’s parents or cousin can help make things better. Even taking a trip with a partner or close family comes as a relief.
Getting outside support is an option to consider. Often when misery and pain is overwhelming and the sympathetic words from family and friends only increase the sense of loss, finding solace outside the family is advisable. There are pregnancy-loss support groups in most communities. Taking time to choose the right group (whether in the case of a first-time miscarriage or multiple miscarriages) is important. One may even seek professional help if needed.
Miscarriage or pregnancy loss is no doubt a crisis in life. Some women take years to survive the wounds it leaves behind. However, one must remember that most women who undergo this disaster successfully go on to give birth to healthy children. Though miscarriages are a painful loss, they can help make one strong and sensitive and hopeful for a better future.