Ever since I wrote How to Support Someone Going Through Miscarriage, it’s been on my heart to write directly to you fellow moms in the trenches.
I know how hard having a miscarriage is because I've been through it. 3 times as of the moment I’m writing this! And right now, in mid November, is when I was suppose to be holding my new baby in arms. But instead I am reminded of the loss. I hope this encourages you to know that you are not alone. You are in the company of many women from around the world, from all different backgrounds, lifestyles, eating habits, sizes, and ages.
You are not alone.
You will make it through this stronger than ever! You won't forget, those precious lives will always be a part of your mother's heart, but you learn to move on.
Here are some helpful tips for making it through a miscarriage . . .
Allow yourself to GrieveYou lost a baby.
You may not have gotten to hold her, name her, or even hear her heart beat. But you lost a baby nonetheless. All the hopes and dreams and had, the cute little footie pajamas you were going to put on her, and the love you already had for her......You are allowed to grieve.
It’s okay to be sad.
So cry, reflect, cancel some things on your calendar and take time to be sad. It's a healthy, normal part of grief!
Personally after I miscarried I slept a lot more, took long bubble baths (where I could cry under the cover of the bathroom fan and not traumatize my kids), ate some comfort food, cried some more, prayed, and talked to a few close friends. I tended to need to cuddle with my husband and watch comedy sitcoms. I let the housework slide and ddidn'tdo as many out-of-the-house activities with the kids.Just remember, there is no magic formula on how to grieve. Do what feels natural to you. (assuming it is safe for you and those around you)
Follow Up with Your DoctorAlthough many miscarriage occur “naturally,” there are complications that can arise. Please make sure your progress is being monitored by a doctor. After your miscarriage has completed you may want to follow up with your primary doctor to ensure you are healthy. Perhaps there is an underlying reason for the miscarriage you don’t want to miss.
Always better safe than sorry.
And if you feel like your grief is extreme and you have been sad for an extended period of time, there is no shame in talking to a trained professional about your grief!
Find Comfort in OthersYou definitely need time to grieve on your own, but when you are ready – talking through it with your husband, close friends or family will help.
I’ll warn you now, not everyone you talk to is going to know what to say. If they've never experienced a similar loss, many are at a loss for what you are feeling or how to comfort you. Often times they say some pretty dumb things that can hurt. So consider carefully who you talk to.
I suggest maybe mentioning something casually and see how they respond. Often times that will give you a good indication of how understanding and supportive they will be. If your friend is being helpful tell them a little more and continue to evaluate if if is being helpful or not. If for some reason the person is just naive and says something hurtful, change the conversation and don’t talk with them about this again or you may irreparably damage your relationship.
Think About the FutureI am a planner. I like having things on the horizon to look forward to and plan for. When I have a miscarriage it is not only sad in the moment, but it takes away some of my dreams for the immediate future. Try to think of something you can look forward to that you can control. We may not be able to control when we get pregnant, loose a pregnancy, or illness. But there are some things you can plan for. Plan a weekend get-a-way, a family vacation (6 months or so out), plan your spring garden, plan a child’s birthday party, volunteer your time at a new charity, etc. Something to give you focus and drive.
When thinking about the future you also need to keep in mind that although it feels like you may never hold a baby in your arms, chances are – you will. When you have grieved, start thinking about the future. Remember that physicians estimate that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. So your chances of conceiving and carrying to term are strong. Stay positive!
Focus on what can you do to help get pregnant – eat better, exercise, take your prenatal vitamin, follow-up with your doctor, etc. Do what you can to help make the next pregnancy a success. Because chances are, that desire for a child has not subsided.
Find Joy in TodayI wanted to make sure to mention that despite how planning for the future may help us, it is just as important (or probably more important) that you focus on finding joy in each and every day. Focusing on today will help you make it through to tomorrow.
Each day is a blessing! Be grateful for your life, your friends, existing children, sunshine, flowers, a home, etc.
If you need to keep a journal on your feelings just make sure that after you write how you are feeling, make sure to leave time to write down what you found today that gives you joy.
So enjoy your other precious children’s smiles.
Enjoy a decadent piece of chocolate cake.
Try something you’ve never done before.
Enjoy an evening stroll walking hand-in-hand with your husband.
Find joy in today because today is a gift.