Miscarriage, stillbirth and pregnancy loss are all terms used to describe the loss of a baby while still in the mother’s womb. In many instances it is a significant loss comparable to losing a parent or a partner in life particularly for the mother simply because a strong bond has been formed from the day she discovered the pregnancy.
There are emotional and physical challenges that must be dealt with if healing is to be achieved. Medical care, healthy lifestyle, and time will heal the physical wounds from the lossbut the emotional wounds are not as easy to heal. Still, you will want to carry on with your life albeit at your own pace, at your own time and at your own will.
Dealing with Family and Friends
You may want to live in an island far away from people while you are coping with pregnancy loss. However, this is not possible and even not advisable for many reasons. You will want to reach out for emotional support from the people whom you love and who love you simply because it is in love that you will find the strength to move on.
Understand that you may want to be alone for a while to deal with your own grief and this is completely OK. You have the right to do this in your own time because each person responds to the loss in different ways and may want to face their own emotions first before having to deal with others.
Along this line, you can ask for private time with yourself and with your partner to privately mourn your mutual loss. Yes, family and friends may have to be notified with those who understand your situation respecting your decision to do so.
When you feel ready to talk about your loss, you can start to get in touch with your loving family and friends. Better yet, they will reach out to you and let you know that they are ready to listen and listen well. Keep in mind that talking about your loss is a cathartic experience that also commemorates the memory of your child.
Getting ‘Back To Normal’
For most women, coping with pregnancy loss means dealing with the grief that comes with it. Grief is a multi-faceted emotion characterized by denial, deep sadness, anger, fear and anxiety upon the loss of someone we love no matter how short the time spent together may have been, as is the case in a miscarriage.
Getting back to normal, so to speak, is to process your emotions and work to overcome grief. You may experience all of its five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance – in the order presented or you may skip a few of the steps, or you may experience all of these steps but in a different order. Still, the end result is acceptance of your loss although we are not saying that the life lost will be forgotten, far from it.
Nobody said that coping with pregnancy loss is an easy thing to do. The silver lining in the dark cloud is that there are resources like my book Beyond Pregnancy Loss that provide for helpful tips, tell stories of others, and offer useful techniques toward emotional healing.