Miscarriage isn’t easy for anyone. You got butterflies the day that little pink plus sign popped up on the pregnancy test and have been spending 98 percent of your time imagining what life as a mama will be like (with the other two percent dedicated to drafting a list of your favorite baby names). Whether it happens in the first few weeks or much later on, experiencing pregnancy loss is, well, a loss. That means you need to grieve and come to grips with the intense emotions you’re feeling. Yes, this is a challenge. But you can do it. While you’ll never forget, with some work (and some time) you’ll gradually feel the fog lift and start dealing with the loss.
1. Give yourself a pass. This may just be the most stressful situation you’ve been in. Feeling sad, anxious or even angry is okay. Above that, it’s expected. There’s no reason to stuff those feeling down and bottle them up. Displaying a Viking-like strength right now is definitely not in order. Let yourself feel — no one will think any less of you.
2. Find comfort in friends and family. You don’t have to shoulder the pain completely by yourself. Even though it’s tempting to shut down and close yourself off, reaching out to those who love you can make a major difference. You need support right now — leaning on your S.O., BFF, sister, cousin or anyone else who is close to you adds another layer of comfort to the situation. No, they won’t be able to take your sadness away, but having someone there to listen to you is a step in the right direction.
3. Prepare a response. It’s no secret that you were trying to conceive. Maybe you even started telling friends and co-workers that you were now a plus two. Anyone who thinks you might be or are pregnant will probably continue to ask you about the baby. They aren’t mind-readers, and an innocent inquiry can throw you for an unexpected emotional loop. Prep a simple, polite and to-the-point response for questions such as, “So, when are you due?” or, “Are you still trying?” If you don’t feel like discussing the miscarriage right now a simple, “Unfortunately we lost the pregnancy. Thank you for asking” will do.
4. Stick with your S.O. Your partner may not fully understand the loss you’re feeling. You’ve already made a connection with the baby, and might feel like your significant other just doesn’t “get it.” Make a point to not let your relationship cool off right now. Even if your partner isn’t all about deep talks (keep in mind, everyone processes grief differently), stick together. Go for a walk in the park, head out to dinner at your favorite spot or simply hold hands.
5. Make a memory, or a memorial. Right now you might want to just forget about what happened. Thinking about your loss is painful — there’s no doubt. But that doesn’t mean you need to pretend that you were never pregnant. Do something to mark the miscarriage. Plant a tree in your unborn baby’s name (and watch it grow over the years), create a special section in your garden or get crafty and crochet a blanket.
6. Don’t rush into another pregnancy. Grieving takes time. Getting pregnant as soon as the OB gives you the go ahead won’t necessarily take the sadness out of the situation or make everything instantly better. Let yourself work through your loss before started over again.
7. Call a pro. Your friends are totally giving you mega-doses of support. Your partner is there for you every step of the way. But you still aren’t feeling okay. This may mean that you need more help than the people around you can provide. A therapist can give you expert advice or, at the very least, listen to you in a completely open and nonjudgmental way.
Who’s your go-to person when it comes to getting support? Share your emotional cheerleader pick and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)