Coping With A Miscarriage
Because of my work on the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site, I hear from women daily both at the site and via email who are struggling to cope with their miscarriages.
For many women, the time during and after they miscarry is a lonely time. They feel alone and helpless with their emotions. I'd like to share a bit of what I've learned from many women who have been there and what they've shared with me. This page focuses more on the emotional healing after miscarriage because most often after a miscarriage, women struggle more with their loss than their physical healing.
I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.
Where to Begin?
Your physical recovery may be the easier part of recovery
Generally, physical recovery happens within the first month or so after the miscarriage. If you have had surgical intervention, your uterus may need a bit more time to heal. Some women may go on to have complications. Infections can occur with surgically or medically managed miscarriages as well as in natural miscarriages. If you have a fever, chills or foul discharge, call your physician right away. Sometimes bleeding and cramping can set in after you believe your miscarriage is complete. Often women are just doing too much and not getting the rest they need but sometimes the miscarriage may just not be over. If this happens, call your physician. Most women do not have these complications and their bodies heal within weeks.
Have you had a miscarriage?
Your Emotional Recovery
Chances are, if you are here reading this, emotionally you are struggling
Many women have told me that their physical healing was the easy part. Emotionally, however, they are struggling. Studies show an increased risk of depression within the first month after a miscarriage. Grief is very common and to be expected. I believe the first step to healing is to acknowledge your loss in one way or another.
I'd like to share with you though some things women have shared over the last few years in order to cope with their miscarriages.
You Need A Shoulder
Allow yourself to open up and express your grief.
Many women just need to be heard. Unfortunately, men also go through the grieving process when a baby is lost. They just are not always very good at providing the comfort we need at this time.
I really recommend finding somebody who will just listen and be a shoulder to lean on.
If you attend church, ask to meet with your Pastor or even his wife or one of the priests in your parish. Some churches will even have a small service for babies who have been lost too early.
Find a friend or a woman at work or at church who has been through a miscarriage. Often just having somebody who has been there, done that can help in ways you cannot even imagine.
If you just have nobody who can truly listen or empathize, find a good support group online.
The important thing is just to vocalize what you are feeling. Don't keep it locked in. You are not alone. So many women have been where you are right now. Allow them to comfort you and one day, you'll provide that comfort for another grieving mother.
Do Something to Memorialize Your Little One
I've heard numerous ideas over the years to memorialize the lives that are lost too early. Every woman is different and some of these ideas may not be for you. I do hope you find something in this page that will help ease the pain a bit.
Create or buy a piece of jewelry
Many sites offer jewelry for grieving mothers. Some popular sites include:
My Forever Child offers pendants, rings, keychains, candles and more. Prices range from less than $10 to more than $250.
La Bella Dame offers pendants, rings and more ranging in price from $16 to more than $250.
Plant a Tree (I think this one is my favorite idea)
Many women have told me they planted trees to remember their babies. Some like to plant the tree on the baby's due date but many women feel it helps them a bit to plant the tree during the first month or two.
If you don't have the space for a tree, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in one of America's national forests for only $10. You will also receive a card in remembrance.
Create a Memory Box
Include a favorite poem, an ultrasound photo if you have one, something you bought to remember your little one. If you've kept a journal, you can include your journal or copies of some especially poignant pages. Some women who post online will print out their posts while they were pregnant and miscarrying to remember by.
You can find beautiful remembrance jewelry and gifts at My Forever Child
Writing is Very Therapeutic
Try keeping a journal during this time. You may find the experience of writing down your innermost thoughts to be therapeutic.
Try your hand at writing a poem.
Write a letter to your little one.
While these may be very emotional endeavors, they may help in your healing process.
Comfort found in the Bible
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Sites with Poetry
Songs on YouTube for those who have Miscarried
You'll need a box of kleenex for these. Not all of the videos specifically deal with the loss of a baby but just listen to the words.
Still by Gerrit Hofsink
Perhaps the most beautiful song I've heard about enduring a miscarriage
For some reason, many women just seemed to find comfort in childrens' books.
Although highly recommended by many women, this book does share stories of women who chose to end their pregnancies due to birth defects. Many women would not choose to end their pregnancies due to Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome or other deformities. This book may not be a good choice for many based on that reason.
If you have any helpful sites or information that could help another woman heal, please, share that link.
If I don't reply to you here, please feel free to e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org