Having a miscarriage can be a devastating experience, impacting not only the carrier, but also those around her. When you have lost a life that was so intricately connected to your physical being, you may experience grief over the lost connection as well as the possible future that never was. As you cope with this loss, it is possible for you to heal, and seeking adequate forms of care can greatly aid that process.
After the miscarriage, it is important to understand how grief manifests itself, so that you can properly respond to it. Grief varies in form and duration for each individual. Grief may take on the form of shock and denial, or anger, guilt, and depression. These aspects of grief can happen simultaneously or disparately. An acceptance of not only the situation, but also one’s emotional response to the situation, is crucial for healing to occur naturally at its own pace. While acceptance may occur more saliently at certain points, it most often involves a million tiny steps that lead to more adaptive understanding and response to the situation.
Dealing with Grief
Grief does not have to be dealt alone. Sharing your grief with someone else who is attuned to your experience affirms the pain of your experience and the reality of the loss. One way to find such a form of connection is to join a support group for people who have experienced miscarriages. Oftentimes these groups consist of individuals at various stages of grief, allowing for both the giving and receiving of help. They may even recommend you visit other places of information like Radiant Wonder to help understand your grief. Another way is to reach out to trusted individuals in your life. These individuals may offer practical help in addition to strengthening your inner circle of support. It is important to remember that individuals who are intimately involved—a spouse, for instance—can be a source of support, but must find outlets for their grief as well.
Seeking professional help is often another way to find an outlet for grief. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists, social workers, and chaplains, provide a setting and space in which you can safely express your deepest emotions, concerns, and fears. On this foundation of honesty and consistency, you can begin to reconstruct your narrative of the loss by attributing meaning and planning for a different future. If your depression is severe, you may also want to consult a psychiatrist about receiving medication, which can help regulate your mood as you attempt to continue partaking in your day-to-day life.
Be Kind to Yourself
As you cope with the loss of your baby, honor your grief and know that it takes time to heal. Acknowledge that the extent of your pain reflects the extent of your love, and find ways to memorialize the baby’s short-lived existence, whether by writing a letter, creating an anniversary, or planting a seed. Find people who will affirm and share in that love. Be patient with yourself as you experience tides of seemingly unbearable emotions; they will pass, and you will come out of this experience a stronger person, with a greater understanding and appreciation for life.