Miscarriage Bereavement: Tips to Handle the Grieving Process 6


miscariagebereavementAfter confirming that my baby had died at 10 weeks back in 2013, I was left trying to deal with the loss both physically and emotionally. In an aim to help other women handle their tragedy, I’ve chosen to share my story from start to finish in a series of short articles so that other women who face what our family did are more prepared. You’ll find my story enhanced with research as well as information gleaned from talking to other women who have had miscarriages and health care professionals I met through the process to help answer questions you may find yourself asking.

Article two addresses handling the grieving process. Our family, unfortunately, suffered two miscarriages at almost the same time. My sister-in-law also had a loss at 10 weeks, one month before my own. She and I handle grief in very different ways offering a perspective from two different ends of the emotional spectrum. I tend to be quite logical. If you can “make sense” of things for me, I can cope, while my sister-in-law tends to be more emotional and less concerned with the details.

What might help you deal with your miscarriage if you are a logical thinker:

For me, research is what helped. I wanted to know why my baby died, why after three healthy pregnancies, I lost the fourth with no warning whatsoever. I never found a factual answer, it is quite difficult to determine why a miscarriage happens, but the most common reason for miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality.

Chromosomes are kind of like the genetic blueprint your baby’s body follows while developing. Sometimes that blueprint may become damaged or be missing portions. This could be from damage to the sperm or egg, poor egg or sperm quality, or just a fluke; it just happens sometimes. This is most often the cause of missed miscarriage, as the baby begins to develop properly, but is unable to finish. As there is no trauma or placental issue, there is often no bleeding and the body goes right on thinking it’s pregnant for weeks. My baby’s passing was estimated to have occurred at 8 weeks, however, I did not fully miscarry naturally until 11 weeks with no bleeding until just past 10.

Some outside factors are also believed to increase the risk of miscarriage in general, including hormonal imbalance (particularly low progesterone), poor maternal health, smoking, drug use, and maternal age.

When I realized that had my baby lived, he or she may not have been healthy or may have had lifelong disabilities due to chromosomal abnormality, I felt better about my loss. I asked myself the question, “If I could have chosen, between a full-term baby that wasn’t healthy and a first trimester loss, which would I choose?” The answer was the loss. It still hurt, I still wished my baby would have been OK, healthy and happy, but knowing that the miscarriage was a mercy made it hurt a little less.

What might help you deal with your miscarriage if you are more emotionally driven:

For my sister, it helped to stay surrounded by the people she loved. She didn’t just keep us around to distract her, she talked about it. She posted on Facebook about it. She wrote about it. She did everything she could to let that emotion out. Think about how you’ve handled sadness at other times in your life; maybe you journaled, listened to music, created art, went out with your friends. While this loss is different and may hurt more than others you’ve survived, those same coping mechanisms are a good place to start if you’re looking for peace.

Above all, know that no matter how you handle grief, this was not your fault. You could not have stopped it, no matter how all-powerful moms seem to be. Things happen in life that are well beyond our control; what is in our control is how we handle them. This is not to say that you can turn off the hurt, but that like all wounds this one will heal, even if it leaves a nasty scar.

You can read the next article in this series which covers what a miscarriage is like here.

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6 thoughts on “Miscarriage Bereavement: Tips to Handle the Grieving Process

  • Darsey

    You will have no idea how grateful I am that you are writing these little articles. I just found out at 12 and 1/2 weeks that I miscarried around 9 weeks. I was in shock at first because I had no symptoms at all. I mean my chest was still tender yesterday! After I got over the initial shock and “what did I do wrong” I moved on to why would my body do this to me? Why wouldn’t it warn me? I honestly thought there HAS to be something wrong with my body then I thought maybe they are wrong and my baby is just smaller. Thanks to your article about missed miscarriage or misdiagnosis and this one I now know that my body is more normal than I thought which gives me a lot of relief and hope for the future. So thank you. I am clearly early in my grieving process but after a lot of crying and a little bit of research I do feel hope and I hope others will too.

    • unwirklich admin

      I am glad they helped, even if a little. I am very sorry for your loss, it’s a difficult grief to handle, the loss of someone you love but have never met. I hope that things look up for you and your heart finds peace.

  • Amber

    My boyfriend of only a year and I had conceived by accident. I have always thought it would be nice to have children, but not a priority for me. He doesn’t want any more. He has one teenager from a young marriage that didn’t work out. We are in our mid thirties. This was accidental, but it got is both so excited about having a baby. I could hear him singing in the shower. we were happy and scared and were prepared to make the best of it and try hard to be good parents. Then I miscarried at 7 weeks. It was painful and heartbreaking. The hardest thing to hear from people is “you can try again!” Sadly that was our one oops chance. I want a baby more than ever now, but he still doesn’t. It has been 4 months since we lost our baby and I still cry when I think of the loss and seeing pregnant girls in public makes me feel empty and useless. I have told my boyfriend how I feel, but I can’t expect him to fully sympathise because 1) it was an accident he would have rather avoided and 2) the baby was in MY body, not his. On the other hand OUR bond has become stronger because of the tragedy. We are more in love now than we were before the pregnancy and the loss, but we aren’t trying again. It could happen by accident, but it’s pointless and cruel for me to hope for this knowing he doesn’t want it. I’m still so sad, but talking about it helps. I hope this comment helps other girls in this situation to know they aren’t alone and its ok to be sad and mourn the loss for as long as you need to. I think I will mourn this loss for the rest of my life.

  • Natalya

    thank you for your articles. I just found out this evening that I have had a silent miscarriage – going on 11 weeks with baby stopped growing at about 8-9.. I still am confused and wish this wasn’t true, that it’s a bad dream, but I know this is a true diagnosis. same way I knew I was pregnant 2 weeks after conception, I just knew.. same way I simply and sadly knew that I was no longer accompanied by my little heart beating companion, my little miracle that I never will get to meet (I was pretty sure I could never get pregnant and only hope that that was not my only chance). there an emptiness inside, one I can’t bear to feel but cannot avoid or run away from. my hope is in time- the best medicine for any pain… tonight this seems like a long and very hard journey. I hope no one has to go through this. the loss, even so early on, is felt on a level I never thought I’d feel. thank you again, reading this helps a little

    • unwirklich admin

      I’m very sorry for your loss. Missed losses are so hard, because the baby is still there and every thing seems fine. It’s so hard to believe a loss has really occurred. I like to think that because love never dies, either do those we love, even if we never got the chance to be properly introduced. Wishing you well.