Losing a loved one can be awful. When that loved one is a child, whom you never had the chance to meet; it’s proves to be a very unique type of loss.
I struggled (and still do) with our miscarriage. It is just a different kind of loss. There are usually no funerals, no announcements on Facebook, no bereavement days off from work. Life carries on as usual even though your private world is crashing down. It’s rough.
But, here we are 5 months later and I am making it. My marriage is stronger than ever and I don’t cry 2-3 times a day, every day, anymore. I’m making it through. And it feels good to be able to say that.
I want to share 5 major things I do/did that I believe help me cope with the loss. I know everyone handles loss [in general, and miscarriage in particular] differently, so these things may not work for you. But, I did just want to share what has helped me heal, and I invite you to share what has helped you, too!
- Name your baby – We gave our little nugget a name! The saying by Dr. Suess, “a person’s a person no matter how small” has never been more relevant in my life. Picking a name was a way for us to honor the life and little person that was, and also helped provide a small sense of closure. Naming helped to make a familial connection with the baby and gave me a way to reference him without saying “the baby I miscarried”. We picked the name August. I don’t really expect anyone else to call my unborn child by that name, but it helps when I can say to my husband “I miss August”. I’ll blog more about the name choice some other time!
- Go on a trip – We got away, just hubby and I! We went on a short weekend trip to Chicago, and it was a great opportunity to get out of the house, try to relax, and forget about our circumstances; if even for a moment. After the miscarriage and subsequent surgery we couldn’t have sex for a little while, which was really hard on us, but the trip helped us to reconnect and spend uninterrupted time just enjoying each other’s company. A change of scenery never hurts, even if it involves a day at the beach or staying the night at a local hotel. Just get away!
- Online forums – People just don’t talk about miscarriage. Society has thrown ‘miscarriage’ into a pile of dirty words and no one likes to discuss it. This is why I started this blog; reading about other people going through the same thing was a huge outlet for me…and I hope to be that for someone else. I spent so much time searching for blogs, forums, and online support groups that allowed me to connect with other women going through pregnancy loss. Knowing that I was not alone in my grief and feelings helped tremendously.
- Allowed myself to grieve – Possibly the best thing for my healing process was recognizing that it was a process and allowing myself to feel whatever it was that I felt during that time. When I wanted to cry, I did. When I was happy, I rode that wave for as long as I could. People tried to push me to “get over it” and people were also offended when I didn’t want to talk or spend time with them while I grieved. Some people felt as though my reaction was too intense and I shouldn’t be so down. But at the end of the day, you have to do what works for you. Focus on yourself and do (or don’t do) whatever you feel like. I remember feeling so much pressure to “be okay” even when I wasn’t. When I finally stopped forcing the process is when I truly began healing. Take care of yourself!
- Make plans for the “hard days” – So there are those days that come around that remind you of the loss. Those anniversaries and would-be-due-dates that loom over you as the calendar days count down. Make plans for those days. Hubby and I are planning to do a balloon release on August’s due date. Looking forward to that helps me to keep my head up when I’d otherwise be dreading the day.
What are some things you did to help cope with your loss? Thinking of trying any of my suggestions? Maybe you didn’t have a miscarriage but you helped a sister, friend, or whoever cope with theirs; what did you do? Comments are welcome! Let’s talk!