Written by: CCRM Fertility of Colorado counselor Angie Fouts-Hyatt
If you’ve had a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, you might be feeling a lot of different emotions. Sadness, anger, bitterness, grief, ambivalence, and shock are some ways people describe how they feel after a loss. Oftentimes, you might feel more than one emotion at a time, or experience multiple different emotions a day. This is completely normal. Here are some ways to cope after pregnancy loss.
Let yourself feel your emotions
When it comes to having a loss, you’re allowed to grieve the way you need to. Your journey is your own, so give yourself permission to work through your emotions in the way right for you. You might want to talk about your loss, or you may not feel comfortable sharing at all. It’s all right if you aren’t feeling sad or cry, just as it’s normal to feel angry, ambivalent, or even relieved. The important thing is to give yourself permission to feel what you need to in the moment.
Be kind to yourself
A loss is a loss—it doesn’t matter when it occurred. Take some time and know this is a process. It can be difficult to talk about it and you might feel like you have no idea how to navigate this situation. Try to be gentle with yourself and focus on what you need during this time. Do things that make you feel good such as eating your favorite foods, taking a bath, or getting a massage.
Talk about it
When you share your story with others, it not only helps with the healing process, but also gives you the opportunity to find a community of others who have also experienced a loss. Support groups can also give you a way to connect with others in similar situations. You may find it helpful to simply talk to a friend or family member that you trust. Whatever you decide, it needs to feel comfortable for you. How much you share of your journey is up to you.
Find ways to honor your loss
Many people find it helpful to create a memorial to remember their baby, no matter how far along in pregnancy they may have been. The process is personal to you and there’s no right or wrong thing to do. Some ideas could be:
- Writing a letter to your baby
- Planting a tree
- Buying an ornament or plaque
- Naming your baby
- Buying a baby blanket or teddy bear
- Having jewelry made
Talking with a therapist that specializes in working with grief and loss can be a safe place to process your feelings. Many times, if you have experienced a pregnancy loss, you can be triggered by something that reminds you of it: a song on the radio, a certain smell, or seeing an ultrasound photo. Counseling can help you with coping skills, both with those triggers and in processing your grief.
If you have had a pregnancy loss, know that you aren’t going to always feel the way you do now. Working through your thoughts and emotions looks different for everyone, and it’s important not to put a timeline on when you should “feel better.” Go easy on yourself and take your time with the process. We’re here for you. Get in touch with one of our CCRM counselors if you need additional support.