“And if today all you did was hold yourself together, I am proud of you…”
You can endure a lot, you have been hurt, you have been burned, you have been broken, and you have picked yourself up and survived every time. THIS time, this time feels different. THIS time feels impossible.
Pregnancy loss is so much more than the miscarriage, so much more than the loss of a baby. It is the loss of a dream, of hope, your identity, and often times your faith. You feel shock, disbelief, sadness, alone, anger, shame, judgment, GUILT… You feel guilt.
THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Your brain being the amazing machine that it is, is constantly learning ways to optimize your life, ways to perfect things, ways to do things better. The pitfall in this is when something goes wrong or something awful happens, your brain will be almost 100% convinced that you could have prevented it in some way.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Turns out, pregnancy loss is a very common experience that is very uncommonly talked about. So when it happens you feel lost and isolated from others. When it happens you experience grief like no other.
YOUR LOSS MATTERS + YOU MATTER. This has been called “invisible grief”as there are very few recognized ways to acknowledge the loss. There is no bereavement leave for a miscarriage, and often there is no funeral or ritual to acknowledge the loss. People often do not know what to say or how to react.
WHAT YOU FEEL IS NORMAL. You go through a rapid cycle of different emotions and feel like you should be feeling different, or you should be moving on. You see other people moving on and feeling strong again, ready to start over. You feel lost and confused and in a deep despair. The thing is there is no right way to feel, and there are no “shoulds” in this grief. No one gets to tell you how to feel or when to feel except for you.
What you might be feeling or experiencing:
loss of appetite
broken or suffering relationships with family or friends
**With the significant change in your body during and after pregnancy there is a massive shift in your hormones that affects your brain chemistry. Postpartum depression and anxiety can occur regardless of the point at which the pregnancy ended. Processing through your grief while being vulnerable to this can complicate your grieving process. Read more about postpartum struggles HERE to see if this may be happening to you.
Here are some things therapy can help you with during this time:
- Support during the crisis so that you feel heard, seen + less alone in the process.
- Coping with sadness so that the pain is not your only memory of this experience.
- Grieving the loss so you can create a ritual to acknowledge + move through your grief
- Addressing fears and anxieties about the future so that you're able to stay present through out the process.
- Re-learning yourself so you can still feel confident in this new reality
- Renewing your relationship in the midst of major challenges, so that you feel connection, intimacy + support from the ones you love most.