I suffered a miscarriage in June, I was 10 weeks pregnant, and am finding it hard to cope. This is especially true when friends announce their pregnancies. What advice do you have to get me through this awful time?
Hi, I am so sorry to hear that you have had to go through this. It is such a painful thing to have to deal with and you shouldn't feel bad for finding it hard to cope.
Even if friends try to be sensitive, when a wound is so open and sore it doesn't take much of a prod for us to flinch, so to speak.
When you have just suffered in this way, hearing of other people's pregnancies going well can make you feel useless, helpless and jealous. Even though really you are happy for them, it is overshadowed by how sad you are feeling.
It is human nature to feel this way and it is to be expected so soon after having a miscarriage, so make sure you give yourself time to heal and remember that you won't always feel like you do now.
Death is extremely unnatural to us as humans and when it happens we need to grieve. I firmly believe that an important part of grieving is allowing yourself to have a good cry. It may be that you have already cried buckets, if so, that is good – it will help you to heal.
But some feel that they have to hold back their emotions at times like this and put on a brave face, not allowing themselves to cry. While you do need to be brave as you carry on with your life, not letting out how you feel will only make the healing process longer and harder .
Find someone who is a dear friend who you can rely on and talk to them about how you feel. Let them give you some support as you pour your heart out as much as you need to. If you’d rather they didn’t try and give you words of comfort then tell them that you just need them to listen and give you a hug. I can guarantee that talking about it will make you feel a little better afterwards.
If no one knows about your miscarriage it may be that their insensitivity is due to ignorance. Of course, it is entirely up to you who you tell, but I always find that when I have something hard to deal with, it helps when my friends and family know about it.
Generally friends and family will understand that you don’t want to talk about it all the time, but they will be able to be more sensitive around you, understand how you are feeling and cut you some slack when you are struggling to cope. Knowing that you have a small group of support there for you in this way can also help with the healing process.
Even though you are probably feeling like you just want to curl up in a ball and shut out the world, I would advise you to resist the urge. Isolating ourselves at times like this can actually make us feel worse.
In fact, if you can muster up the courage to arrange some things to do - perhaps things you did before that you enjoy, then you will find that keeping yourself busy in this way will really help you to take your mind off of things.
Once you have allowed time for yourself to heal physically and to grieve, (and this isn’t a set amount of time, but however long you need) you will likely feel it is time to look to the future and move ahead.
Whilst you will never forget what has happened to you, it will feel less painful in time, and you may start to think about trying again for a baby. Again, a decision that is entirely up to you, but if your initial goal was to have a baby, then please don’t let what has happened put you off trying again.
Of course you will not be able to help yourself worrying, it is only to be expected. But many, many women who have suffered miscarriages go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies.
Remember that miscarriages are often due to abnormalities that are specific to the egg or sperm that made the embryo, which then failed to develop as it should. If you were to try to conceive again it would be a new egg and a new sperm and you would have every reason to feel positive about it.
If you decide that you don’t want to try again for a baby then that is fine. Keep yourself busy and move positively ahead with your plans for the future.
I’m afraid I can’t take away the pain you are feeling right now, but I can reassure you that you will feel better before too long. Here is a summary of what I’ve said that hopefully will help you:
1. Don’t feel bad for struggling to cope, it is to be expected.
2. Let yourself grieve and cry when you need to.
3. Pour you heart out to a trusted friend and let them support you.
4. Tell a few people who are close to you what has happened and let them be a small network of support for you.
5. Resist the urge to isolate yourself – try to keep busy and arrange some enjoyable activities.
6. When you have allowed enough time, look positively ahead. If you want to, try again for a baby, you have every chance of succeeding this time.
7. If you don’t want to try again for a baby, then move positively ahead with whatever other plans you have for your life.
I hope this is of some help to you. My thoughts are with you and anyone else going through the same thing.