Pregnancy loss, no matter the stage, can cause grief. This is often compounded by the fact that people may not have known you were pregnant so they can’t empathize with your loss.
Feelings after a miscarriage may include:
• Blame and guilt (thinking "is it something I did?")
• Not wanting to do anything, feeling numb and lethargic
• Feeling jealous of other women who have babies
• Feeling distressed when you see a pregnant woman or newborn
• Loss of sex drive (or the opposite -- wanting to get pregnant again straight away)
There is no one correct way to feel and no rules about how long you should grieve for. Some women are upset and disappointed but then recover after a couple of weeks, others can take longer. If the baby was an IVF baby or the couple tried for a long time to conceive, this can be particularly hard to go through.
Some women recover but then are reminded of their miscarriage every anniversary or when the baby would have been due. This is normal.
Ways to Make Grief Easier
• If you have had a scan and seen your baby, ask to have a scan picture. It can be very therapeutic. I did this for my second and subsequent miscarriages and I keep the scan pictures in frames next to the pictures of my other children.
• Some hospitals run memorial services for miscarried, medically terminated or stillborn children. Ask your hospital if they have a service like this. Some hospitals have a special book you can write your baby’s details in, where you can leave flowers and teddy bears if you want to. These are donated to the children’s wards.
• If there is no service at your hospital, you can do your own in your back yard or if you attend church, you could ask your pastor to say a few words about your baby during a service.
• Joining a miscarriage group can help as you will meet other couples who are going through the same thing and you can talk about it together. People who haven’t lost a baby often feel awkward and don’t know what to say, which can be lonely.
• Lighting a candle for the baby can help. I light my babies’ candles on the days they would have been due.