Four Ways to Direct Your Miscarriage Grief
Almost anyone who has experienced a miscarriage will explain that it was a painful process. Pregnancy carries with it many hopes, dreams and expectations. It is very difficult to say goodbye to these future plans and to worry about whether or not you'll be able to conceive again. During this difficult time, it is very important to know that you are not alone. Almost 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Often, this isn't a topic that people discuss openly - until someone they know has a miscarriage. Then, people will suddenly share their miscarriage stories, and you begin to realize that many of your friends and family members have experienced this painful process. Here are five important ways to deal with your grief and to try to move beyond it.
Be a Team
You and your partner may experience the miscarriage in different ways, and you may not grieve in the same way. If you were far along in the pregnancy, you are dealing with physical loss as well as emotional loss, while your partner is dealing with the emotional loss. Even if your experiences and your emotions are different - it is very important to see yourselves as a team. You expected to bring this baby into the world together, and you are now left to grieve for the loss together. Make sure to communicate your emotions with each other and to be there to support each other. Recognize that your grieving processes may take different routes - and that you can still support each other in your separate processes.
You can also communicate your emotions with others. You may want to join a support group of women who have had miscarriages. Maybe you want to have coffee each week with the same friend, so that you'll know you have someone to check in with every week. You may want to seek out professional counseling if you believe that you are stuck in your emotions, or if you want a trained professional to help you through your issues. You may want to keep a private journal where you can write down all of your emotions - or start a blog where you can share your grief through writing.
This is not the time to be hard on yourself or to take on too much in your life. Find ways to nurture yourself and to take care of yourself. Try to eat well, to exercise and to get the rest that you need. Exercise can help with your emotional state and help with your energy level. You might enjoy water aerobics, yoga, biking, jogging, or any other activity that will get you moving. Similarly, schedule time for a pedicure, for a day out with the girls, for lunch in a restaurant by yourself, or for any other activities that will allow you to pamper and nurture yourself.
Make It Tangible
Some people find it helpful to create a tangible memory of this time in their lives. Perhaps you want to create a memory book of the pregnancy with pictures of you and of the sonograms. Maybe you'd like to paint a picture of your pregnancy, plant a tree in memory of your loss, or keep a journal that will remind you of this time period. Think of something that will help you with your grief and will give you a tangible marker of this time.
Grief is not a clean, linear experience. It is messy and painful and circular. Eventually, however, you will come to a better place where you can remember this time period without too much pain, guilt, regret or anger. Hopefully, you'll be able to become pregnant again and can look forward to the time when this will become a distant memory. For now, give yourself the time and space that you need to grieve and help yourself to get through the experience with whatever aids and assistance you feel is necessary for your grieving process.