The Grief of a Lost Pregnancy
Pregnancy Loss is Devastating
For many couples, getting pregnant is a really difficult process. Months of treatments and the accompanying emotional ups and downs may eventually pay off with conception and a healthy pregnancy. Sometimes the couple discovers that they will never be able to conceive a pregnancy together. Other couples are able to conceive, but for one of many different reasons, the woman is unable to carry the pregnancy through to term. A lost pregnancy can take a terrible toll on everyone.
No matter when it happens or what the particular circumstances are, pregnancy loss is devastating. Hopes and dreams for the baby's future are dashed and you may feel as though you will never be the same again. Perhaps you won't. Pregnancy loss has a way of changing you profoundly. Healing does come with time and you must recognize that it is important to give yourself permission to grieve.
Give Yourself Permission To Grieve
Emotions range from feelings of anger to despair - as they do in grief. Take the time you need to grieve your loss. It may take weeks or months. Whatever the time period, give yourself permission to be there for as long as it takes.
Grief comes in stages and those stages are commonly recognized. You may be able to move through the stages of grief quickly, or you may find yourself lodged with one of the emotions a lot longer. Again, take the time you need to process the emotions. There's no hurry.
The Stages of Grief
Denial, that sense of disbelief at what has happened, is usually the first emotion. That feeling that it can't be happening makes it difficult to grasp the reality. Once you've gotten hold of the fact that the pregnancy is terminated or that you will never be able to conceive, anger will likely set in. It is not uncommon to vent that anger at yourself, your spouse and the universe or a higher power, asking the unanswerable question: "Why?" Once the anger settles down, then guilt creeps in. You begin to think that maybe if you had done things differently, it wouldn't have happened or it was probably your fault and it could have been avoided. While those thoughts are unfounded, they still come.
Pain and sorrow can sometimes lead to depression and it normally goes away in time. If, for some reason, you are unable to shake the feelings of depression it is important to seek professional assistance. After you've run the gamut of grief, then acceptance gently replaces the negatives. Of course you will never forget your loss and occasionally the guilt and anger may slip in again. Going to a baby shower or knowing your friend has just delivered a baby may cause pain. Allow yourself to feel that pain and excuse yourself from the situations until you feel strong enough to handle them.
There Is Another Day on the Horizon
Many women who have suffered pregnancy loss can, and often do, go on to have a healthy, normal pregnancy. Couples who are unable to conceive may choose alternative methods to have a child. Another pregnancy or a different tact may be the very thing to restore hope and joy to you and your partner.