Grieving Pregnancy Loss

18 Apr

Choosing to walk the path toward single motherhood can be a liberating experience. It is not a decision taken lightly by most women. A lot of thought and angst goes into taking this step. And it is a very courageous step to take by yourself.

Sadly though, one’s aloneness is bitterly highlighted when you face the kind of loss that a miscarriage brings. Suffering (and that is a perfect word to describe it) from a miscarriage can be very traumatic and sad for anyone, irrespective of their circumstances.

While a woman’s body can heal and recover relatively quickly from a miscarriage, the emotional injury can take much longer to heal. I believe that it is important to grieve after a pregnancy loss, regardless of whether it happened early in pregnancy or later on. Facing the loss and grief can help pull you through it all and even see you emerge a stronger person.

When doing some research around this sad topic I was surprised to find that it is a common problem that women do not want to talk about their feelings surrounding pregnancy loss. I started think about why this may be the case. I am fortunate that life has taught me to face emotional issues head on so this is difficult for me to understand. Why are some women not comfortable to talk about their miscarriage? I’m sure there are many reasons including the notion that there is something wrong with them as creating life is meant to be easy (a hideous misconception).

Well, another possible reason occurred to me one day when a well meaning friend kindly reminded me that miscarriage is common, particularly as you get older. Oh really? Like this was news to me! I was told by this friend in fact, that miscarriage was even par of the course. Okay, this may be the case and although this didn’t really upset me, it got me thinking. This wasn’t the first time I had heard that. The lovely lady at the ultrasound clinic told me this, the doctors of course told me this and the various leaflets were sure to get this message across. I even noticed myself reciting this mantra too. Yes, yes, miscarriage is common – but it doesn’t make the actual loss any easier.

Could being told how common miscarriage is at every corner induce some kind of guilt about feeling sad and spending time to grieve? Maybe, maybe not but regardless I really don’t think this friendly reminder, although well intentioned, is very helpful.

Bonding with a pregnancy can begin very early, especially for women going through fertility treatment. It may be the day you jump the hurdle of actually having an embryo to transfer or even the day you do your IUI or when the sperm is put into the Petri dish. It is different for everyone but the bond does start very early. And then once a pregnancy is confirmed, you begin to identify with your potential baby. When a woman goes through fertility treatment there is so much anticipation and when success is achieved the elation is high. When faced with the loss it is a very sharp corner to turn.

In my case, being 39 years old I am well aware of the facts surrounding miscarriage possibility. I don’t need to be reminded of this. Possibly, all this reminder really does is threaten to disqualify natural emotions of grief because I should have expected and been prepared for it. Hmmmm? Maybe I’m being too harsh? Comment and tell me what you think people. Isn’t this what blogs are for – to express thoughts and create conversation. Talk to me – I know you are there.

Anyhow I think you get my message here. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how high the risks are or how common miscarriages are, it is still painful. Loss of pregnancy is worthy of taking time out to grieve.

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4 Responses to “Grieving Pregnancy Loss”

  1. Lisa April 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I am so sorry for your loss. And absolutely you need to grieve. There was a baby. A person. And now there is not. You had dreams for a future with that baby. Those dreams were coming true, and now they are not. That is a LOT to deal with. Hopefully you will be blessed with another little life, but it won’t be that one. How could you not be devastated? It doesn’t matter if your head knew that miscarriage can happen. Your heart knew that you were a mother. Thank you for being so open about your experience. Hugs to you.

  2. Chantelle April 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I think you right here. People kept telling me while I was pregnant with Aimee that miscarrage was really common in women my age and went on to say how late it can happen in pregnancy. Not what anyone wants to hear when your trying to grow a healthy baby. I tried to surround myself with positive happy people instead of these ridiculous idiots with no idea how much their so called “wisdom and advice” effect people. Enough said on that matter. I truely hope your grieving gives you some peace and when your ready you can try again. x x

  3. melz1207 November 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    I agree 100%. After my first loss at 19 weeks, people kept telling me “to keep trying” “try again” “it will be okay next time”. The problem I had with that is that the reason I lost my baby was because of my stupid cervix. I knew why I lost her. My mother had the same problem, losing 6 of her own. My second baby however just stopped growing at 8 weeks. People need to #1 think about what they say before they say it, and #2 seriously think about the pain and heartache losing a baby involves. Some people might not want to try again, and definitely don’t want to hear that so soon after losing one. People frustrate me! I am having a hard time grieving for my little one, and can’t seem to get out of the dark hole I am in.

    • motherinwaiting November 19, 2011 at 6:01 am #

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are right. Although people mostly intend the very best, they don’t think through what to say about it. Honour your time to grieve. I believe this is important. I thought I had given myself sufficient time to do this – turns out I hadn’t. I send you all my best wishes and support. xx

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