_________________________________________________________________________________ So how are you doing? Tired of people asking? Or tired of people avoiding you and not asking? Have you searched the Internet for hours? Find the end? Find the answers you were looking for?
Have you read and reread the facts so many times you can recite them, backwards and forwards:
I didn't do anything wrong I didn't cause the miscarriage, it just happened 9 out of 10 women who miscarry, will go on to have a healthy pregnancy the next time the body learns, and the good thing is that you did get pregnant
But cold facts don't help and they don't matter. Do they? They don't bring your baby back.
Have you been to chat rooms, pouring out your emotions? Asking all the "why" questions?
Are you tired of hurting and your heart aching? We were. We did all of this. None of it really helped.
What helped us was having the support of a loving husband and family, and having a friend who knew what to do, what to say and what not to say. That is why we created Our Hope Place, to enable friends to help their friends through the devastation of miscarriage.
Grieving your loss is completely natural. Miscarriage is a real loss, one that deserves to be grieved for.
It is a unique loss because there are no tangible memories as you would have with the death of a grandparent, and no actual pictures to look at (although maybe you where lucky enough to have a sonogram). Just lost dreams.
It is unique because it is very real to the parents, but less so to those who surround you. It could even be scary for those around you.
We grieved for many reasons, not only the loss of our baby, but also for the loss of all our hopes, dreams and future plans. Our hearts ached at the thought of never seeing our baby’s first smile, first steps or hearing his first words. We were so sad we couldn't explain it even if we tried. That is why knowing someone who knows first hand is helpful. You don't have to explain.
Responses can range from feeling sad & upset, shocked, mad, isolated, guilty, depressed, helpless and/or out of control or even jealous of other pregnant women. Or you could be feeling any combination of feelings.
Since you were pregnant, the changes in your hormone levels will be effecting and even amplifying your feelings. You can also feel physically tired from the experience.
It will take time to heal. Allow yourself the time you need. Your body will likely heal first, then your head, and maybe someday your heart. Although we would confess, while we have happy lives, we have never forgotten the babies we have lost. They will forever have a place in our hearts.
The fact is, as you heal, each day will be a challenge. Figure out what you need. Do you need a listener? Someone to scream with? Someone to cry with? Someone to hug you? To hold you? Someone to sit and be quite with you? Do you just want to lie in bed with the covers over your head? All of the above, none of the above? Keep in mind what you need one day, may likely be different than what you need the next.
While figuring out what you need may be difficult, asking for help may be worse. You have to tell someone of your pain. Even though it will be hard, letting someone in is the key to healing.
It is easy to feel like you are alone, but you are not. We know this is devastating, it is a real loss – one that you should grieve for – one that you have every right to grieve for. Take time to grieve in your own way and your own time. Be kind to yourself. Let others be kind to you.
Journal entry:“For the time I was pregnant before my miscarriage, I had experienced joy that filled me completely. A time that changed my life. Thinking about the miscarriage, I remember an emptiness that went straight into the core of my being. At work I would find myself going over and over my daily life. Did I eat something not on the pregnancy list, did I walk too long on that beautiful day or was that basket of clothes too heavy? Thoughts of what the baby would look like came flooding into my head on the way home in the car. I felt like I was consumed with what would never be. This is going to take time."
No one can tell you exactly how you will feel, when you will feel better or how long you will feel like this. Having a miscarriage is a very overwhelming experience both on your emotions and your body. “Back to normal” may take some time and a “new normal” may even emerge.
Each day will be different. Some days you might feel "normal", other days you might not want to participate in your life.
Some woman may choose to put the miscarriage event behind them sooner and look to the future with hope, while others will take more time to get to that same place to begin healing. There is no right or wrong answer, amount of time to heal or way to go about it. You should not give yourself any pressure as how to grieve. Grieving is a very personal process and should be respected.
Journal entry: "Today I went for a walk with my friend. I told her about my miscarriage. She instantly hugged me and started to cry. I cried too - of course. What a site we must have been. But it helped. We talked, we walked in silence, and I even smiled. This is an improvement. I hope tomorrow will be just as good."
Acknowledge all your feelings of grief no matter how painful – this is the first step onto your path of healing. Not feeling or ignoring your grief will only allow it to continue and cause more pain in the long run. Ignoring does not mean it will go away.
First steps for healing that we found helpful:
-Talk about your miscarriage – find family members and/or friends who will allow you to talk candidly even if they do not know how to respond. Talking openly about your feelings is cathartic. As you talk to people, you may find other family/friends who have had miscarriages (we bet you will be surprised what you find out). While you will be sad for your friend, oddly, it is nice to know you are not alone. -Take care of yourself – eat well, exercise, sleep and take time to do things that make you happy even if only for a few minutes a day (read a good book/magazine, take a bath, walk, sing, watch a movie, meditate, etc.) -Don’t be hard on yourself – a lot of women think the miscarriage happened because of something they did or didn't do. Most miscarriages "just happen", no reason. Usually your doctor will not be able to give you a reason. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is true. Be kind to yourself. You didn't do anything wrong. -Take it slow and take the time you need - everyone heals at their own pace. Only you will know what that is. Don't worry about anyone else's preconceived ideas of timing. -Prepare for holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) and anniversaries (due date of miscarried baby, date of miscarriage) that may upset you. Do what you need to do on those days even if it means not participating in traditional family events -Celebrate Mother’s Day if you want to; in your own way. Remember your loss, think positively and look to the future. -Mark, memorialize the loss. Lots of options here, including: plant a tree or a special bush, memorial service, burial, mark the anniversary and/or honor the death of your baby. Name the baby. Do what you need to remember in your own way.
Many women find comfort and help with their healing by participating in a miscarriage support group or talking with their medical or religious community. If you feel that you are not moving forward on your grieving process and your life, you may want to seek professional counseling.
Lastly, family and friends will say things to try to comfort you during this time. Sometimes what they say can hurt more than heal. Realize hurting you was not their intent, but rather their own uncertain feelings of loss and how to handle them, or the lack of education on how to comfort a person who has suffered a miscarriage has led to their actions. They only had your best intentions in mind. Forgive them.
When you are up to it, we hope you read the "our bracelet of hope" story. We created Our Hope Place to help cope, hope and heal after miscarriage. We hope you found some peace , sharing, and inspiration visiting our site.