The loss of a pregnancy is a difficult situation that many women and couples will experience and need to cope with. One moment you are filled with the happiness of an upcoming baby and the next moment you find yourself stranded and confused.
Often, the emotional impact of the loss takes longer to heal than the physical impact. It’s important to understand that you must allow yourself to grieve. This will help you accept what’s happened, enable healing to begin, and allow you to move forward.
Women frequently experience a roller coaster of emotions as the result of loss. Feelings can include numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, and difficulty concentrating.
HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF OVER LOSING A PREGNANCY
It is normal to feel shock, grief, depression, guilt, anger, and a sense of failure and vulnerability when you lose a pregnancy.
The days, weeks, and even months following a loss can be incredibly difficult and painful – even more so if this wasn’t your first pregnancy loss, or if you carefully planned this pregnancy and thought you’d done everything “right.” Or you may simply feel withdrawn and moody and unable to concentrate or sleep.
If you told people you were pregnant, you’ll probably worry about announcing this news and you may find even the most sincere expressions of sympathy difficult to take
A few things to keep in mind as you work through this troubled time:
UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
Pregnancy loss or complications can strike anyone. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about what’s happened and how it’s affecting you. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief. Accept your feelings as they are and don’t judge yourself or your partner for how you respond.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO HEAL
Don’t pressure yourself to get past the sadness quickly. Your healing will be more complete if you deal with your grief as it comes. You may find yourself reliving the pain, especially around your due date or other milestones. Over time, things will change and you’ll feel better.
TAKE TIME OFF FROM WORK
Even if you feel physically fine, taking some time away from your job may be helpful. You need a chance to process what’s happened, and taking a break from your regular routine will help you acknowledge and accept all that you’re going through.
DO NOT EXPECT YOUR PARTNER TO GRIEVE IN THE SAME WAY
If your partner doesn’t seem to be affected by the loss as deeply as you are, understand that everyone grieves differently. Share your feelings and your needs with your partner but give each other the freedom to experience the loss in your own way.
If your partner is a man, know that 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. Men often feel they need to take care of their partners by remaining strong. So don’t misread his stoicism as not caring about you or your loss, and don’t judge yourself for not coping as well as he does.
DON’T CLOSE YOURSELF OFF FROM OTHERS
Although it may seem painful to talk about, sharing your story allows you to feel less alone and helps you heal. You may be surprised by how many of your co-workers, cousins, neighbours, and friends have their own stories of loss and healing. And you may find understanding and support from unexpected people – which can help make up for the fact that some people you expected to understand don’t seem to get how much you’re hurting.
Someone who has not gone through what you’re going through really can’t know what it’s like. Most people want to say something comforting but don’t know what to say. Try not to take it personally if they say the wrong thing or nothing at all.
There is no doubt that a pregnancy loss is a very personal experience. Each individual and couple should recognize their needs and limitations to help work through the grief process and begin to heal.