Some people have been fortunate enough to only experience happy, healthy pregnancies. I am not one of the fortunate ones. I have known many women, myself included, who have suffered miscarriages. There are probably countless more women I know who have had miscarriages, but never shared their experiences. Even after reading the statistics of how many pregnancies end in miscarriage, it’s always shocking and devastating when the person having the miscarriage is you or someone you know and love.
Everyone goes through grieving a miscarriage differently. Here are some simple tips, facts and words or encouragement I’ve heard for those who have gone through a miscarriage or have had a loved one experience it.
Be Sad: One of the hardest parts of working through my miscarriage was allowing myself to feel sadness about it. My husband (now ex-husband) and I had not told many people we were expecting, so I felt very alone. My mom explained the scientific aspect of the miscarriage as did my doctor. But that’s not what I needed to hear. I needed to hear someone say to me, “Yes, you were pregnant. Yes, you lost your baby. It is OK to cry, scream or be angry. If no one has told you those things, I am telling you now!”
A Pregnancy is a Pregnancy: Many women suffer miscarriage very early in pregnancy. Some friends have tried to shrug off their miscarriage saying, “I was only six weeks pregnant, so I’m trying to get over it.” No matter how far along you were in your pregnancy, you were pregnant. Having an early miscarriage does not mean you shouldn’t grieve.
Ignore Unwanted “Advice:” Well-meaning people often will say things without realizing how much they hurt. Here are some of the things I have heard people say to me or other women:
- At least you have one healthy child.
- It’s for the best.
- Everything happens for a reason.
- This just must not be your time.
- Your baby is in a better place now.
If you are the recipient of some of this unwanted “advice,” do your best to let it pass you by. It can be hard to ignore, but do your best. It is OK to be angry with the person, but know they are not doing it out of maliciousness.
Doctor, Doctor: If you are worried about whether you will be able to have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, talk to your doctor. You might have some tests done or your doctor may want you to continue trying for a few more months before worrying. Depression occurring in women who have had miscarriages is common. If you feel yourself slipping into a depressive state, please don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for help.
Seek Support: Sometimes women feel like talking about their miscarriage is a taboo subject. If you want to talk about it, but don’t have the support at home, seek out a support group or a counselor. You might be able to find a group at your hospital or online. It can be extremely helpful to talk to other moms who have been through the same thing. Check out the WhatToExpect.com board for Grief and Loss. Those of you supporting the mother going through a miscarriage, might consider visiting the website Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic; Gifts from the earth for your gift from heaven.
Remember if you’ve gone through a miscarriage, you are not alone. Your baby was loved and important. Please add any advice you can give parents who are currently grieving.