Coping With Miscarriage
We got pregnant much quicker than we expected the first time. After hearing stories and seeing sitcoms and movies over the years, I thought for sure it took a few months of “trying” before you actually conceived. Not so in the Songing household. We were barely off birth control pills when I took a Clear Blue pregnancy test and it “clearly” said- pregnant!
I was ecstatic. It was only a week before Christmas, so I held tight to my secret for one week before I told my husband on Christmas morning. It was somewhat sweet being the only one who knew for that one week. It was like a tiny bond between only me and the life within.
Spilling the big secret was as good as any story I had ever heard about pregnancy announcements. We were spending Christmas with both sets of our parents at my in-laws home in Ohio. Late Christmas Eve night, I stayed up alone placing scavenger hunt clues I had prepared ahead of time around the house. The last clue was placed in the (cool) oven with a bun, and said something to the effect that- your wife has a bun in the oven.
I woke my husband up early Christmas morning, before anyone else was awake and took him on his scavenger hunt. He was thrilled and surprised and we were able to share the new joy of our small family before anyone else was awake. Once our parents were up, my husband made our announcement just before opening presents. The proper amount of oohs and aahs and claps and hugs were given. It was perfect.
After arriving home from our Christmas vacation, we began announcing our news to our family and friends. News spread quickly and everyone was excited for the birth of our first child, due in August. We spoke to our family doctor who recommended a midwife for the baby’s birth, and had our first visit at eight weeks. We tried to hear a heartbeat, but couldn’t. It was too early to pick it up.
Within days problems began. I began spotting and when I notified the midwife, they told me to come in. They checked me and tried to hear the heartbeat again. Still nothing. The midwife told us that spotting this early could be nothing, or it could be a bad sign. “Only time will tell, all we can do is wait.” Whoever knew that waiting could be so excruciating.
We were sent for an ultrasound at an imaging center. And as anyone knows who has had this type of ultrasound, the technicians are under strict guidelines not to tell you anything about what they are looking at. So all we were told was that the results would be sent to our midwife and they would contact us later.
The midwife contacted me the next day on my cell phone, only to tell me that the ultrasound was inconclusive and they weren’t able to tell anything for sure. She urged me to rest and take care of myself. And wait…
It happened on a Sunday morning. I woke up and headed to the bathroom, only to find a gush of blood. When I stood to go back to the bedroom, I almost fainted. When I got back into bed, and called the midwifery center, a midwife listened to my symptoms and what had happened that morning. Then she said, “I’m so sorry, Sarah.”
Tears began to run down my face. I covered my mouth to keep from crying out. She explained to me what would happen over the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours and advised me how to take care of myself. As I hung up the phone, I heard my husband outside on his phone, explaining to a colleague that we wouldn’t be available that day. I put my face in my pillow and screamed out deep, wrenching sobs. There were no words to express the pain.
Never Alone by Barlow Girl
The next few days were spent grieving and resting. The recovery from a miscarriage is quite painful, it feels like extreme menstrual cramps. We received cards from friends and family, time off from work. One of the dearest gifts we received was a friend going to pick up groceries we needed so that we wouldn’t have to venture out in the hustle and bustle of daily life when we weren’t quite ready yet.
Some of our closest friends didn’t know how to respond to our loss. Many of them continued on in our friendship as if nothing had happened. It’s one of those situations where you don’t know what to say, so you say nothing. Sadly, something would have been better than nothing.
I found great solace in a close friend of mine, over forty years my senior, who had been through a miscarriage herself in her childbearing years. Hers had occurred when she was four months pregnant, much later than mine. She shared her own story with me, I related mine, and she cried with me. A greater gift could not have been given.
Held by Natalie Grant
How do you recover from such a loss? How do you mourn a life that many people believe did not count as a real person yet? How do you grieve a baby you never knew or held?
First, I believe you must allow yourself to grieve. Some may argue over what to call the being that was growing inside you, from a zygote to a fetus, but it doesn’t matter. As soon as you realized another life had made its home in your body, you became a mother. The life inside you was your child, and that life was ended much too soon.
Let yourself grieve. Cry. Weep. Scream, if you must. But you must allow your loss to find its voice. I found personal solace in writing a farewell letter to the child I had lost. It’s something I keep in a special place even now. As a follower of Jesus Christ, and a believer in the Bible, I believe that I will see my child again one day. And that hope is a great solace to me.
Books on Coping With Miscarriage
Seek out a listening ear. Your spouse may or may not be the best person to grieve with. A man, no matter how much he hurts over the loss of a pregnancy, does not experience a miscarriage to the same degree a woman does; she physically carried this life inside herself. If you find your husband does not understand your sorrow, or maybe you just grieve differently, talk to a friend who has also dealt with a miscarriage. If you don’t know any, find a support group. If you have talked to friends and others who have experienced miscarriage and still need further help, see a counselor. Don’t try to cope on your own, seek out help.
Know that this was not your fault. This is worth repeating: Your miscarriage is in no possible way your fault. Doctors and experts cannot explain why most miscarriages happen. There are no good answers, no easy answers. Don’t blame yourself or anyone else for your miscarriage. Don’t try to guess what you may have “done wrong”. You did nothing wrong. You did not cause this to happen. And you could not have prevented it. This is one of those sad areas of life to which the question “Why?” has no answer.
If it will help you, seek out physical memories of your pregnancy. For some women, it may help you to gather some actual, physical mementos of your pregnancy. These are things you can hold in your hand that prove there was a life inside you: your positive pregnancy test, medical records, your first ultrasound. Having these keepsakes may help you cope in dealing with a loss that seems so elusive: a pregnancy you were just starting to experience, a baby you were never able to hold. Memorialize your child. Create a permanent reminder in your life of the loss you have experienced. You can express this however is most meaningful for you. I wrote a letter to the child I lost and keep it to this day. I also treasure a tiny ring my parent’s bought me, representing the precious life we lost. I have it on a necklace and wear it often. I have heard of others who plant a tree in honor of their lost child or make a donation to a significant charity. Remember your baby in whatever way would best help you memorialize the life you’ve lost.
Name your child. I don’t mean legally, of course, but in your own heart, in your own family, name the child for your sake. This will help you remember that you have lost a person, a family member. When you remember your loss or talk about your baby, a name personalizes their existence for you.
If you are reading this because you have suffered a miscarriage: I am so sorry. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry that you’re hurting. I ache with you for the tiny life you mourn, the baby you never had the honor of meeting face to face. I do know how you feel, and I grieve with you.
Please take the time to act on at least one or two of the suggestions above, whichever suggestions stood out to you the most. I highly recommend that you allow yourself to grieve and find someone to talk to about your loss. You are not alone. Many women have wept the same tears you do. Find healing and wholeness. You can come out of this pain even more beautiful, even more strong. Let your heart find peace.
Other Websites That May Help
- Miscarriage Help: Coping Emotionally After a Miscarriage
A look at the common emotions a woman may feel after dealing with a miscarriages. Includes tips on how to cope and communicate with those around you.
- SELECT: Grief After Loss Pregnancy
Grief After Loss Pregnancy
- Surviving Emotionally After a Miscarriage : American Pregnancy Association
To survive emotionally after a miscarriage, one must give them self time to grieve and heal.
- Coping with pregnancy loss | BabyCenter
Learn how to understand your thoughts, feelings, and sadness after miscarrying or other pregnancy loss.
- How to Cope with Miscarriage? - Epinions.com
Find advice, suggestions, tips, and how to information on How to Cope with Miscarriage? - Epinions.com
- Miscarriage: Answers to your 10 most-asked questions
A miscarriage is the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy -- most occurring during the first 12 weeks.
- Miscarriage: Why it happens and how to cope -
Revolution Health is a trusted source for infertility information, covering symptoms, causes, risks, treatments and types. Discuss infertility issues with others in forums, blogs, personal stories and recommendations. Infertility should have keys wor
- How to Cope with Miscarriage? Grieve. - How to Cope with Miscarriage? - Epinions.com
Summary: Acknowledge, closure & grieve is the best advice I could give anyone who has just lost a child due to miscarriage. How to Cope with Miscarriage?: How to Cope with Miscarriage? Grieve.. Updated Oct 08 '01 - Epinions.com