Living with parental grief might seem overwhelming, but it’s possible. It is important that you try to be optimistic yet realistic. You’re not expected to forget the loss of your child. However, you’ll survive it, even as it changes you.
As you undergo each season, each holiday, each sad or happy occasion that triggers an additional wave of grief, you’ll gain strength and better tools for handling the pain.
Do not hide from feelings of guilt
After the loss of a child, you are likely to be experiencing feelings of guilt. These are normal. It is helpful to confront and confess them.
Assess the reality of how the pregnancy was lost, as well as your real actions and intentions at the time. In almost all cases, people gradually see their actions and reactions in a more realistic and, therefore, positive light. You should acknowledge but forgive yourself for any ways in which you may not have been perfect.
Take baby steps
After the loss of a child, it’s critical that you break down the future into increments. If necessary, do this one day or one hour at a time.
Concentrate on activities. Do the laundry. Feed the cat. Focusing on normal, everyday activities will very gradually help you bear the grief.
Acknowledge your feelings
Think about creating a journal in which you can write about your pregnancy and the hopes and dreams you had for your unborn son or daughter. You may consider writing a poem addressed to him or her, or simply acknowledging your current feelings.
You might not feel prepared to do this immediately, but know that some people find comfort and release in doing this kind of thing in the earlier days after a miscarriage. Every person is individual. If something is not right for you, it’s okay to stop or look at another area.
If you don’t like the idea of keeping a journal, it’s worth considering joining a support group, talking to a professional, or family and friends. The important thing is to acknowledge and share your feelings. This can be transformative and set you on the long path to healing.
Surviving the loss of a child means making a commitment to live your life. You must make a new dedication to living, as impossible or difficult as it might seem. This doesn’t happen all at once. Keep going, one day at a time. You’ll not only survive this, but the experience will make you stronger.
When a pregnancy ends in stillbirth or miscarriage, children may have to deal with deep emotions. Like the parents, their existing children will also have suffered a loss. While you might be reeling with very painful feelings, it is critical to give your youngster permission to grieve, and to provide understanding and loving support.
Parenting specialists encourage parents to involve their kids in getting ready for a new child’s arrival. Assuming you’ve followed these suggestions, your youngster has already felt an emotional bond to the pregnancy. The loss of a baby is bound to bring distressful feelings, as well as curiosity.
Here’s your best policy: attempt to get your kids to open up in regard to their feelings as truthfully as possible.
It is important that you provide your youngster an honest account of what happened to the brother or sister they had been expecting. While you don’t need to provide the details, being honest can help keep things simple. Where possible, it is recommended to state the truth and avoid euphemisms for the death that can confuse kids.
Kids are literal. Generally speaking, it is healthy to give them bad news forthrightly. This means telling your children that the pregnancy ended, and that while he or she is no longer with you like before, you will all always remember and feel love for him or her.
Direct explanations are helpful in getting your youngster to assimilate the sad truth, the initial step in the process of grieving. Tell your child that it is normal to feel sad.
Offer your youngster a listening ear for all questions he or she might want to ask. The younger a child is, the more likely it will be that there will be questions asked several times. Each time, repeat the responses, and over time you will see a deepening of comprehension.
It may be very painful to address the same subject repeatedly, but it’s important to do so for your youngster. Your openness, patience, and honesty are essential to his or her ability to cope with the challenging idea of this loss.
The grieving process sometimes is so deep that you feel your child requires more help than you’re able to provide. This type of help might come from additional family members, social workers, close friends, mental health care specialists, or teachers.
If you think that you need support, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There is no need to go through this alone.
Why do people tend to wait until the 12-week point to announce a pregnancy?
The risk of a miscarriage drops dramatically around the end of the first trimester, which is why this is a common time for people to make their big announcement. As much as 80% of miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks. Couples waiting until the 12-week point before announcing their good news is no coincidence.
Once this stage is reached, an announcement can be made safe in the knowledge that pregnancy has passed its most critical stage and is likely to come to term.
When should I tell family and friends about my pregnancy?
Excited about your pregnancy, you may wish to share your joy immediately with parents, close family members, and friends. If the worst happens, it is likely that you will be turning to precisely these people for support, so if you want to share this news with them right away you should feel able to go right ahead.
When you reach the 12-week stage, you can then reveal your big news more widely to wider family, friends, and the world.
When should I announce my pregnancy to my co-workers?
Your pregnancy will be visible before long. The first person you must tell above all others in your workplace is your boss.
News travels fast, so don’t make the mistake of telling anyone else first.
This is big news for your boss to hear, so don’t try and drop it into casual conversation by the water-cooler. Make an appointment with them in a private area where you can speak to them face-to-face.
It is up to you when you choose to have this conversation. You may wish to give the news at a time that works well for you, such as the end of a project. If you are struggling with your pregnancy, you may wish to tell your boss sooner rather than later, so that you can get some support and take time off as necessary with their understanding.
Once your boss knows, you may wish to tell select colleagues before making a wide announcement further down the line. If you aren’t keen on this news circulating before you are ready, it may be best to keep it between yourself and your manager until you are sure that you are ready.
You are in charge of when you announce your pregnancy. Think about your needs and you’ll come to the right decision for you.
There isn’t any wrong or right way to honor your unborn child after he or she is gone. We must find what’s right for us, and develop our own traditions.
I have spoken to many, many couples who have suffered the tragedy of miscarriage. They’ve shared some incredible ways that they’ve celebrated the life of their unborn child. They’ve made new traditions, and I would like to share just a few of those ideas with you.
As painful as it might be, it’ll help you to understand that you’ve set apart a special time and/or a special place.
Below are some ways that individuals can honor and celebrate the life they have lost.
1) Create a poem and then read it at a memorial service. 2) Gather a few close friends and family members and hold a balloon release. 3) Buy a special memorial book in which you and your partner can write about the pregnancy and your feelings. 4) Release a lantern that has your son/daughter’s name on it. This can be an incredibly moving sight. It can be very healing to watch a lantern peacefully float through the night sky. 5) Set up a special place inside your house that has a candle for your unborn son or daughter. You could consider lighting the candle each year on what would have been his or her birthday. 6) Purchase and wrap a present. Give it to a child. This child may be someone you saw in the hospital, or the child of a friend or family member.
If you do not know a young person that you would like to give a gift to, check with the local ministers for assistance in locating a youngster who needs love. Do it in honor of the child you lost and consider doing so every year. 7) With close friends and/or family, make a memory box. Adorn it and keep it in a special area so that individuals who visit you may place unique items or notes in the box. 8) Release some butterflies. This is easy to do using a butterfly release memorial company, which you will be able to find online. 9) Make a memory garden. Add something new to the garden every year.
If you would like to share some ideas that you have used to honor the child you lost, or for more ideas, information, and support after miscarriage, please get in touch.
When you’re busy crafting something new – and that may be anything from music to art, sewing to cooking, photography to drawing – you may become so fully absorbed in whatever it is that nothing else matters. Crafting may be a natural anti-depressant. Also, it might ease stress, and increase happiness by releasing the neurotransmitter, dopamine.
Researchers think that the goal of dopamine was originally to make us repeat tasks that would help our species survive, such as reproducing and eating. The reward center within the brain releases dopamine as you accomplish something pleasurable.
As time has passed, our brains release dopamine as we do something other than merely surviving. Dopamine is released when we follow our passions and hobbies.
Clinical Neuropsychologist, Catherine Carey Levisay points out that crafting is special in this respect. According to Levisay, crafting involves several different regions of the brain, which means that it may work your attention span, memory, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and visuospatial processing.
Researchers are curious about leisure activities’ impact upon the brain. They’ve discovered that crafting, reading books, and playing games could decrease the risks of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30 – 50 percent. The more stimulating an environment, the better for your brain and your mental health.
Hobbies are also a positive way to keep from dwelling on sadness. They can help us to break negative patterns. Engaging with a hobby, therefore, can be beneficial for those coping with grief.
Whatever it is you like doing or that you might learn to love, create space and time for those activities.
There are many crafts and hobbies to select from. If you’re short on ideas, look at the many specialist magazines and books in your local bookshop, conduct a search online, or check Pinterest, which is a virtual pinboard of every craft or hobby under the sun.
Many people suffering from mental distress are advised to take up a new hobby or return to a pastime that they used to love. Whether they are suffering with the break-up of a relationship, redundancy, or grieving, people can find some solace and strength in the simple act of taking up an activity.
If you have lost a pregnancy, getting mentally and/or physically active with a hobby can be therapeutic.
Miscarriage is a loss, so it’s normal to feel grief. The sadness that couples going through miscarriage feel can be profound.
The question is, how long is it normal for these feelings to go on? If your sadness turns to depression and prevents you from taking care of daily routines such as cooking and dressing or looking after other kids, therapy can help you get your life back on track. If you’re feeling so saddened after a couple of months that it’s impossible to get through your usual day, consider therapy.
Getting professional help doesn’t mean that you have lost control. It’s a positive action that demonstrates that you are not giving in and that you are taking responsibility for your life.
Talking to friends and family can help you get some things straight in your mind, but there’s nothing like the unbiased, objective assistance of a trained professional to cut to the heart of the matter. People are unique and so are their needs. A counselor will be able to help you identify those needs and work out how to meet them.
How Might Therapy After Miscarriage Work?
In therapy, you will be encouraged to talk about your miscarriage and your feelings about what happened. Talking is a powerful way to move toward healing.
For many people, talking openly with friends or family feels impossible, sometimes because the woman is trying to ‘be strong’ or protect the people around her. A therapy session is the perfect place to bare your soul and ready it for healing.
Therapy sessions can also take place in groups. You or your therapist may decide that this is the most effective approach for you. One of the main sources of pain and grief after a miscarriage comes with the feeling of isolation. Many pregnancies end early as a result of miscarriage. If you are among them, you are far from alone, no matter how isolated you feel.
Group therapy can connect women with others in similar situations to them. They can gain support and perspective. They can receive healing and, as they progress through therapeutic sessions, they may also find themselves able to give support to others.
Therapy is certainly worth trying after miscarriage. And there’s no need to wait because you feel you should do it alone. Being alone rarely helps anyone after a loss.
Therapy is readily available. Seek a professional at any time to ease your suffering and to get your life moving again.
You can find therapy online or by contacting your local hospital or physician for recommendations.
For some parents, they are so overwhelmed and absorbed by the effects miscarriage that they don’t think to include the children.
Miscarriage affects entire families. Your partner will be feeling grief and if you have children – whether from this relationship, a previous relationship, or a partner’s previous relationship – they will know that something is wrong too.
How do children react to miscarriage?
How children react to miscarriage will vary depending on their age. No matter what their age, however, they will understand that their parents are sad. A normal reaction for a child would be to wonder if whatever is wrong is their fault.
Some children are forthcoming about their fears and anxieties. Many times, however, children will attempt to keep their emotions hidden, especially if they think that what has happened might be their fault.
Even if your child seems to be coping well with the miscarriage, note that silence on the subject doesn’t mean that it hasn’t affected them. If they are not speaking about what has happened, they may still be thinking about it and worrying about it.
I’ve seen and heard of situations in which well-meaning parents have attempted to protect their children by trying not to be sad in front of them. Some have hidden the subject matter entirely. Many of these parents have assumed that their children are okay with the miscarriage because those kids haven’t expressed sadness about it, but this is often far from the truth.
Sharing the grief of miscarriage
If you haven’t spoken with your child or children about your miscarriage, it’s imperative to do so. The fastest way for everyone to get through what has happened is to talk about it and to feel able to do so whenever they want.
As a general rule of thumb, the older the child, the less explanation they’ll need from you and about what happened and why. Above all, you need to make sure that the child understands that the loss of the baby was not their fault. You should also make sure that children understand that it’s okay to feel sad.
By sharing your grief, not hiding it, you will all get through this period together, as a family. These deep feelings of sadness and grief will not last forever, and you are likely to grow closer as a family as a result.
The loss of a child is one of the most painful events a couple can go through. A miscarriage signals the end of many hopes and expectations. It is the loss of one particular future. Grief following a miscarriage can be overwhelming. Many parents are knocked off their feet. It can be very difficult to make sense of what has happened and find the will to go on.
In this way, grief and loss can make people feel hopeless.
I’ve been through multiple miscarriages. No matter how bad you feel now, I am proof that it is possible to come out the other side of your grief and depression. It won’t be easy, but it’s important to know that it will happen.
Like me, you won’t forget what happened. It’s normal to feel sadness about a miscarriage or miscarriages for the rest of your life. But your sadness will not crush you. You will come out from under the weight of your grief a stronger person.
Your Faith Can Help You Through a Miscarriage
If you have a religious faith, relying on this can help. For many women coping with the premature loss of a child, and for many families, spirituality can help fill the gap that a miscarriage leaves behind.
I know Christian parents who turn from pain and move towards healing by inviting God to fill their lives. By remembering that Jesus loves them, they can find comfort during a very painful period.
Time really does heal. Holding on to your faith in God or reconnecting with your spirituality can help you maintain the knowledge that all will be well, that you still have a purpose on this Earth, and that your life will go on although it has taken an unexpected and difficult turn.
If you don’t have a particular religious faith, hold onto the faith that things will get better for you and your partner. I am living proof. I know suffering. I was depressed after my miscarriages and had many moments of deep misery, when I hardly knew which way was up and which way was down.
While I will never forget what I’ve been through, I am grateful that I have a family; people who love me and who I love deeply.
My life is full of riches. Yours is too. Have faith and you will be able to appreciate and enjoy them once again.
Denial is a common stage in dealing with a traumatic event. It’s important that a couple faces what has happened, however, and that any feelings of denial do not persist.
It is normal for relationships to change after a miscarriage. The relationship can become stronger, or it can become weaker. For your bond to deepen after a miscarriage, it’s necessary to talk about it openly and honestly.
It stands to reason that women who feel closer to their partners will be more likely to become pregnant again, if this is their choice. They will have more support and more emotional strength with a partner who can share the experience of loss than if they end up in a situation where they are deceiving themselves.
What are these lies?
“I was never pregnant.”
It is a common misconception that an early miscarriage is no more than a heavy period, and that a young fetus isn’t a real baby at all. It is these ideas, perhaps, that help some couples convince themselves that the woman was never pregnant.
In order to heal, to learn, and to grow, it’s necessary to understand that a child has been lost. The hopes and dreams attached to that child are gone too. It’s painful. It’s real. And it’s going to be okay.
Facing Miscarriage as a Couple
Many couples tell themselves: “This didn’t happen.” They act as though nothing has changed, but, of course, it has.
Many couples do not tell many people about the pregnancy in the early days. So, when a miscarriage occurs it can be easier for them to conceal the fact. Hiding the event from themselves can lead to emotional issues and relationship problems.
I’ve seen time and time again that openness and sharing make couples stronger. Facing this difficult time together can deepen a couple’s bond. Couples who deny that anything significant happened are denying themselves this opportunity to become closer. Worse, they can drift apart.
Ignoring an issue this serious can lead to a situation where deception and self-deception become the norm.
I understand why couples lie to themselves after a miscarriage. It’s painful and difficult and altering the truth can be a way through it. For a while. Issues that haven’t been addressed, however, have a tendency to come back to us.
For lasting healing – the kind of healing that makes you stronger and able to deal with anything – I encourage you to face the fear and the pain and acknowledge it as a couple. If you can find support in your partner, you are likely to recover emotionally and psychologically sooner than if you have to suffer alone.
The taboo surrounding miscarriage means that people carry many misconceptions about the subject. Without open communication, this isn’t going to change in a hurry. That’s one reason that I encourage people to talk about miscarriage if they wish to do so.
If you know someone who has had a miscarriage, you might now discover that you have been misinformed about what miscarriage means and what the couple is going through.
Being open about miscarriage also helps to remove some of the initial shock that women encounter if and when they go through it for the first time. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about miscarriage.
1) A miscarriage is just a heavy period
A very early miscarriage could be described as feeling something like a heavy period. Women normally experience more cramping and contraction-like pain, however, and there are likely to be large clots.
No woman who has had a miscarriage or is going through one wants to hear that it’s ‘just a heavy period.’ And this kind of misinformation is unhelpful for all women.
2) Miscarriage is rare
Due to the reluctance to talk about miscarriage, it seems like something that doesn’t happen very often. According to some estimates, however, around one in four pregnancies end early as a result of miscarriage.
More open dialogue on the subject of miscarriage helps women and their families prepare for the possibility and to cope better if it happens.
3) A miscarriage does not represent the loss a real baby
It’s common for people to think that women are overreacting after a miscarriage because it was early. Losing a child at any point of the process is a loss of life, and a loss of those hopes and dreams attached to it.
Our grief isn’t related to the dimensions of the life lost. The misconception that miscarriages do not signify the loss of a real baby is particularly painful and unhelpful.
4) The mother must have done something wrong
In most cases, it’s not something that could have been prevented or avoided. From being told that they wore the wrong clothes to being told that it was God’s will, women are too frequently made to feel as though their loss was their fault. It’s unlikely, however, that stress, heavy lifting, STDs, previous abortions, or long-term birth control will cause miscarriage.
Misconceptions abound when people are afraid to talk about a subject. With more honest communication – and more listening than talking – we’ll be stronger and happier all round.