Dealing With Miscarriage
Posted in Parents To Be on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
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While pregnancy brings about joy, happiness and elation, loss of a pregnancy on the other hand produces feelings of grief, depression, guilt, anger and a sense of failure and vulnerability. You feel shocked and devastated as you see your hopes, dreams and weeks of careful planning getting dashed. You may have started feeling like a mother as soon as you discovered you were pregnant and then to rob you off those feelings makes you feel cheated. You may feel withdrawn, moody and unable to eat, sleep or concentrate. All these feelings are very natural but don’t be too hard on yourself — instead, give yourself time as time really is the biggest healer. And whats more, this is not the end of the world. You can get pregnant again and see your dream of becoming a mother turn true.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you cope with a miscarriage.
Don’t blame yourself:
Miscarriage or pregnancy complications are not uncommon. Going by statistics, one in five pregnancies these days end this way. So stop blaming yourself for it. 50-75% of miscarriages that occur in the first trimester happen as the embryo/fetus was unable to develop normally. Just think of your life and your child’s if you had delivered an unhealthy baby! So take heart, this is nature’s way of ensuring the birth of more healthy babies in this world.
It’s natural to grieve:
It’s natural to feel angry, hurt, sad and depressed. Hence, don’t suppress them. You may find yourself disturbed especially around your due date or other milestones. Cry your heart out. The process of healing will be faster, help you accept your grief, make you stronger and enable you to look ahead.
Talk to your partner:
This is the time when ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ seems more prominent than ever. While you are bawling your eyes out, your partner doesn’t ‘show it at all’. Don’t pounce on him for his indifference. For all you know, he is trying to be your pillar of strength. Also, men and women grieve differently. While women tend to express their feelings and look for support from others, men tend to hold their feelings inside and deal with loss on their own. Key is to talk openly and honestly with your partner about what’s happened and how it’s affecting you. Between the two of you, you can surely find a way to cope with your grief and loss.
Don’t cut off from friends and family:
You may feel withdrawn or hesitant to talk to your friends or family in the fear that they might inadvertently say something hurtful. Remember, they are close to you and know you well. It’s not their intention to hurt you. It’s just that someone who hasn’t gone through this really can’t know what it’s like. They might want to comfort you but end up saying something else as they don’t know what to say. Try not to take it personally and take umbrage. So although it may seem painful to talk about, share your feelings with them. You may be surprised by how many friends, cousins, neighbours and colleagues have gone through a similar experience. Their stories of loss and healing will help you feel less alone and deal with it.
Engage yourself in a hobby that will keep you busy. If you are working, go about your professional duties as though nothing happened. The idea is to keep yourself engaged and busy. If you don’t want to be around people especially immediately after the miscarriage, go on a holiday. It will provide you a wonderful distraction from your daily life.
Join Grief Support Groups:
It can be a great help to be around others who are going through the same thing as you are. Ask your doctor about pregnancy loss support groups in your community. Then there are online support groups if you don’t wish to step out. You may also seek out a professional counselor who can help you cope with the difficult emotions.
Keeping a positive frame of mind will help you overcome the situation better. Once you feel physically well again, consult your doctor to check if you can start exercising. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Watch comic films and read light books to lighten your mood.
Some find it therapeutic to try for a new pregnancy after a miscarriage, while others might be hesitant of trying again. Just remind yourself that you will become pregnant again and give birth to a normal and healthy child. For the vast majority of women, a miscarriage is a one-time event. Consult your doctor who can run tests on you to check your physical readiness. If you are having recurrent miscarriages, talk to your doctor for tests to rule out treatable miscarriage causes before you try again.
Complete healing doesn’t happen overnight. It might take weeks or months as per your emotional capacity.
If you have gone through such troubled times, don’t be hesitant and share your experience with us; how you felt and how you dealt with it. It might help others deal with their loss much better.