Coping with miscarriage and the fear of getting pregnant after miscarriage are all forms of grief. You might not get as much sympathy as someone who has carried a baby to term, but that doesn't make your grief any less valid.
Miscarriage is very common. Many women who have irregular menstruation may not even be aware it has happened. Other women are relieved if the pregnancy was not planned or they are worried about coping with other children and a new baby. Many consider it nature's way of coping with an embryo which was just not viable. Spontaneous miscarriage is defined as the loss of a foetus before 14 weeks gestation. (See also our page on stillbirth)
Couples today establish careers, prepare a home, then plan to start families later in life. Becoming pregnant in your late thirties or early forties can take longer than expected and couples are thrilled and delighted when pregnancy occurs. So when a miscarriage happens it is a major lifetime crisis, as they were desperate to start a family. It can be a terrible loss and often it is a couple’s first experience of grief and the first time carefully made plans are disrupted. After planning their careers and creating their lifestyles it can be difficult to come to terms with the inability to control Mother Nature.
Many women suffer miscarriage during their childbearing years. It may take months to conceive again and then there is the often unnecessary worry that a miscarriage may happen again, especially as the maternal clock is ticking. It’s a good idea to see a doctor and have a check up, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen again.
People may not realise just how much grief and pain you are feeling, so discuss the loss with friends and family. They won’t know unless you tell them. It was your planned baby and you have every right to grieve. Friends and family may not realise this and coping with miscarriage alone is very hard.
You might like a keepsake to remember your lost baby by. Many people nowadays find wearing a piece of miscarriage jewelry helps. This might be a little medallion or ribbon, a heart or a forget-me-not, just as a reminder.
You might be anxious and confused. You are desperate to have the longed for baby, but at the same time scared to go through the experience again.
You might be reluctant to have sex with your partner, and perhaps problems with your relationship might result. So talk to your partner about your fears and grief, and if necessary talk to your doctor about your anxieties. Be aware that men and women may grieve differently. Men have a tendency not to show their feelings, but it doesn’t mean they are not grieving. Talk to your partner. Share the grief together. Don’t just assume that your partner feels nothing if they are not talking about it. Go to the doctors’ together, and even get counselling together if you feel that it is needed.
Try to relax, keep fit and eat well. Stop smoking and drinking if you are trying to become pregnant. That applies to the father as well!
When you feel confident and the time is right try again. Just because you have experienced a miscarriage does not mean it will happen again. Remember, it is very common and if the doctor has reassured you that all is normal, then there is no reason to worry unduly. If you are depressed and finding it difficult to shake off the emotional pain of your miscarriage, do seek medical help. You may even find a local support group or grief counsellor. Ask at your local medical practice for information.
After many medical tests, many couples have to start the much anticipated family with the help of IVF. Fortunately today the procedure and success rate are much improved, but it can still take many attempts before a pregnancy takes.
When the efforts are not a success the grief can be overwhelming. The couple have lost their dream of a future family. Friends and family may not realise just how sad you can feel.
Talk it through, tell them how you both feel and support each other. You will need time to come to terms with the fact. You still have each other and your shared love and can still have a happy life together. Your partner, family and friends are the treasures in your life. Take each day as a blessing and another pregnancy may not be far away.Grief and Sympathy Home > Grieving Loss of a Child > Coping with Miscarriage
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