When women miscarry in their pregnancies, it is so easy to lose hope, but know that you are not alone. Approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, and there are countless women that know exactly what you are experiencing in this moment of grief. Know that the staff at Mosaic is here to help you through this time if you need to talk with one of our peer counselors to receive additional emotional support.
Common responses to miscarriage include anger, depression, confusion, jealousy, guilt, or even feelings of failure. How do we begin to cope with these feelings? Many women find themselves asking if a miscarriage is punishment, or if it is bad that they feel relieved, but guilty. When you are trying to process this event, none of these responses are abnormal. But it is so important to realize that this is not punishment, and you are not a terrible person for having mixed emotions. Each person’s healing process is different and unique to them, so do not beat yourself up over the way you respond to a situation of this nature. Whether this pregnancy was planned or unplanned, these questions and feelings are not uncommon when coping with a miscarriage.
How do you move forward from this? Below are some helpful tips that can help you begin to address what is happening, and how to continue in a way that is healthy for you.
Sharing your story with your partner, friends, or family can help you release some of the feelings that are weighing on your heart and mind. Give yourself permission to grieve. When people reach out to help, let them. Letting people in will help to free you of some of the isolation you could be experiencing. Also, consider joining a support group with other women and/or couples that have gone through a similar experience with miscarriage. Finally, don’t shy away from talking about your experience with your partner. Talking about what has happened will allow you to take your healing process head-on. Transparency, though frightening, is an extremely helpful tool when confronting trauma.
A major source of hurt can come from unknowingly insensitive comments from others regarding your miscarriage, many of them beginning with the words “at least…” (Example: “At least the pregnancy wasn’t planned” or “At least you know you can get pregnant”). Though it is difficult, make the decision in advance to forgive those who do not know any better. What matters is that you know the life of your child is valuable, and no one can take that from you.
There is not a set length or typical grieving period for miscarriages since everyone’s healing process looks a bit different. However, we are here to help you through this time, and our peer counselors at Mosaic Sexual Health Clinic can equip you with information and resources to help you along your journey to healing.
If it is not you that has experienced a miscarriage, and a close friend or family member has been afflicted by this traumatic event, do your best to be there for them. Refrain from insensitive remarks, even if you mean well by them. Always think before you speak, and ask yourself how your friend or loved one would feel or react if this was said to them. Look for ways in which to serve her other than telling her to call if she is in need. Take it upon yourself to help without being prompted. Also, look out for the father of the baby as well. He is experiencing hurt and pain as well, just in a different way. Make sure you are there to serve and love both parents, and create an environment that allows them to feel comfortable with speaking and accepting help. You can be a significant part of their healing process by simply being there for them.