The experience of a pregnancy loss can feel very different for various types of people. Akin to how we process various life events in our own unique way, no two people can process the feelings associated with a pregnancy loss in the same manner. Although there is usually a cycle of feelings that follow a loss, it is never set in stone and ultimately, nobody knows what it feels like to be you right now better than you. People may be trying to make you feel better by giving you advice such as “There is a reason for everything.” or “Trust me, it’s for the best.” and although part of you might believe them, these words do not always help to heal the pain in your heart. Others may feel awkward around you and not know what to say, leading you to feel like they don’t care. This is a difficult time that you are going through, and although you may never again be the person you were before this loss, that does not mean that you will not heal and become a better and stronger person in the end. The key to achieving this, however, is to open yourself up to process the feelings that this loss has brought up for you.
Feelings that you may be experiencing:
Remember, there are no wrong feelings to have right now… whatever you are feeling is legitimate. You have created your way of coping through different experiences in your life and its efficiency can only be judged by you. If you feel that your coping skills are not equipped to get you through this difficult time in your life, here are some ideas which may help.
Communication is imperative: Find a way to communicate with your partner, even if you think that they will not understand what you are going through. Although they may have a very different way of processing this loss, remember that they too are still dealing with it.
Speak up: Other people cannot read your mind and if you do not tell them what you are going through, they will not be able to help you. Most people do not know what they can do to help you if you do not tell them.
Join a Support Group: If you have trouble opening up to those around you, it may be comforting to join a pregnancy loss support group. Sometimes it is easier to share your feelings with strangers in a contained environment as opposed to your loved ones which you have to face all the time.
Memorialize your baby: It helps to have your baby live on through art or a symbolic action such as planting a tree or flower in his/her memory. The process of creating this item can have healing and cathartic effects on you.
Give yourself time: Healing from an experience like this can take some time and it is unrealistic to expect yourself to be back to normal in a few days or weeks (although others may expect you to).
Seek professional help: The most important part of healing from this experience is to identify and process your feelings in a healthy fashion. This loss is difficult in itself, but for many people, it can bring back the feelings associated with previous painful experiences. Psychologists are trained to help you work through these feelings and can help you develop coping skills to get through these times of difficulty.
If you start to feel suicidal, please seek help immediately. If after a few months, you still struggle to get out of bed in the morning, have insomnia or are sleeping a great deal of the time, feel helpless/hopeless, are having difficulty concentrating, feel anxious or are having panic attacks, please seek the help of a mental health professional.