Dealing with Loss
At one time or another, we all deal with loss in our lives. It never is easy but part of the circle of life. But what happens when the loss has not entered the world yet?
I am talking about a miscarriage. Almost seems like a taboo topic and something that many women try to avoid talking about. But there is no shame in talking about it as it is more common than many people think and it can happen to anyone. I know as it happened to me and many women in my family.
Four years ago, I thought life was great turning 30 as I had a good job, health and marriage and was looking forward to the next chapter of our lives as we were planning for a baby. So when I got the news that I was pregnant at the end of November we were thrilled and had to contain our excitement as we wanted to wait a bit before telling our family.
As the weeks went by, I started to feel sick and felt a little off. Without going into the fine details, I miscarried on Christmas Day. This was about 5 to 6 weeks into the pregnancy and we were devastated! We were completely heartbroken and didn’t know what to do. The worst part is that no one even knew I was pregnant so I didn’t even know how to proceed with the overwhelming emotions.
We managed to tell a few close family members who tried their best to comfort us which I understand now that it must have been hard for them. I felt lost, ashamed, guilt, confused, hurt, anger, and sadness. I didn’t understand why it happened to me and started to overthink on why it happened. Of course by doing this, it only made matters worse as I started to feel depressed and I managed to hide it from everyone. However, the emotional distress was making me feel sick all the time and it came to the point that I just couldn’t continue like this as it wasn’t good for me or my husband. I decided I should start to talk to people who have experienced the same type of loss, which helped me realize that everything I was feeling was normal. By talking, it helped me realize that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for what had happened as many women have experienced a miscarriage and it wasn’t my fault. I think that was very important for me as I was feeling that it was my fault and kept playing in my head over and over on what I should have done differently to prevent it. For example, I thought that maybe I should have relaxed more or thought maybe I picked up a heavy box so it was all my fault. But it couldn’t have been prevented and there was nothing I could do.
Once I started to accept the miscarriage, is when I started to feel better and started becoming me again. It took some time for me to heal but I did and I think it has made me a stronger person.
Here are a few things that I can suggest to anyone who has experienced a miscarriage and to those who know someone who has. Please note that these are suggestions based on my own personal experience and could be different for someone else. Everyone grieves differently and we need to respect and not judge it.
Talk About It
Talking about the miscarriage is important in the healing process and if you know someone who has gone through a miscarriage, then they can be a great person to start with. Also don’t forget your partner as they may be feeling the same way you are about the loss. My husband and I did a lot of talking as we both took it very hard since we have been trying for a while so being there for each other was very helpful in the process of healing. If you don’t know anyone then I suggest a great network that you can outreach to in Ontario which is the Parent and Infant Loss Network. To learn more about them, visit http://pailnetwork.ca. I have heard amazing things about them and I wish I knew they existed when it happen to me.
Staying positive is always the hardest thing to do as we naturally think of all the negative. What worked for me personally, was that I would tell myself, “this means that my body is working and I can have a baby. My time will come and everything will work out.” Find your positive and stick with it. Think positive and positive things will happen!
Not Your Fault
A miscarriage is not your fault and there is nothing you can physically do to really prevent it (Of course, it is important to eat healthy and stay healthy during the pregnancy). There is no need to re-play the moments in your head as that will only make you feel sick and it won’t accomplish anything. Miscarriages happen to many women and studies say that it is more common now since we have the technology to detect pregnancy much earlier than in earlier years.
Important to find things that you love to do and do them. Find activities that help relax you and keep you busy. I found keeping myself busy in a healthy way by doing things I loved made me feel happy and realize what life has to offer. We actually planned a trip to Walt Disney World for our 5 year wedding anniversary which had been a childhood dream of mine and it was just what we needed. But of course, no need to spend that sort of money. Do what you can financially and love.
A Loss is A Loss
Many people do not know what to say or how to react, especially if they have never experienced it. We had a few people who told us that it was just the beginning stages of the pregnancy so it was nothing and not to worry about it. However, that would hurt us more because a loss is a loss. The beginning, the middle or the end makes no difference as it is still a loss. Don’t let people undervalue what you are feeling and know that they are trying to help but are not sure how to. For those in the comforting side, that is what you do – comfort. Ask the person what you can do to help them in their difficult time and just lend a listening ear.
Fast Forward to Today
Three years after our miscarriage, we were successful in getting pregnant again and now we have a 10 month old baby girl, Nikki. Good things happen to those that wait and she was worth the wait! We found the light at the end of the dark tunnel and you can too!
– Momma Braga