Having a miscarriage is heartbreaking and traumatic, and there is no magic word to make everything better. I lost my second child to a miscarriage over fifteen years ago, and to this day, I find myself wondering who he may have become. If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, let me first say I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter how far along in your pregnancy, that child was loved and will never be forgotten. If your loss has happened recently, you may wonder if you will ever heal and move forward with your life. Let me encourage you and tell you that yes, you can find healing and live a happy, fulfilled life. The grieving process may be intense and long, but you will come out the other side stronger. There are ways you can help yourself heal and begin to feel like you again. It won’t be easy, but you are stronger than you think, and you will get through this.
Give Yourself Time
They say “time heals all wounds,” and there is truth in that statement. Over time your body will heal, and you will find you’re ready to allow your heart to heal also. It’s important not to rush this process; there is no correct timetable for mending a broken heart. Don’t fall into the trap of putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to “get back to normal” for your family and friends. You are allowed to grieve, and that doesn’t make you weak or selfish. Remember, no one would make you feel guilty for mourning the death of a family member, so don’t allow yourself to feel that way over the loss of your baby.
Having a solid support system during this time can make all the difference in the world. Depending on your personality, it may be hard to reach out and ask for help, but doing so is vital. Whether you turn to your family, friends, pastor, or therapist, don’t suffer in silence; let those who love you walk alongside you. It can also be beneficial to find a miscarriage support group. Here you can talk to others who know precisely what you are feeling and understand the thoughts and emotions that weigh heavily on your heart. Your instinct may be to isolate yourself, but that will make the process harder, and there will be no one around to help you if your thoughts turn negative. Reach out and allow yourself to get the help you need. If you find you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please reach out immediately and call either the police or the national suicide helpline at 1-800-273-8255. Hurting yourself is never the answer.
Prioritize Self Care
It may be hard to think about yourself after experiencing such a painful loss, but self-care is essential after a miscarriage. Eating right and staying hydrating can help your body heal and ensure your brain is functioning correctly. Taking a walk can increase serotonin which will help you begin to feel like yourself again. Self-care doesn’t mean you have to take a spa day, although that is amazing if you’re able. It means making sure you give your body what it needs to function properly for you and the ones you love.
Consider Memorializing Your Baby
A memorial is a way to help you and your family find closure and allow you to let the world know your baby existed and was loved. Some women find they’re ready to memorialize their baby right away; for others, it takes time. After my miscarriage, I couldn’t even think about a memorial. Doing so would make everything too real, and I couldn’t handle that. If you find yourself in the same place, that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t mean you didn’t love your child or you aren’t honoring them. About ten years after my miscarriage, my husband and I went on a weekend retreat that focused on healing after a miscarriage. We were able to memorialize our baby boy finally. It took a long time to get to that point for us, but it was a special moment that I treasure regardless of the time span. Memorializing your baby doesn’t have to be full of fanfare. You may go to the park and say goodbye. Maybe you would like to journal and write everything you would like to tell them. However, and whenever you do it, memorializing your loss may help you find peace.
Having a miscarriage is an experience that will change your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find happiness and healing afterward. Your heart is broken, but over time, it will mend, and in its place will remain love for the little life that was lost. Give yourself the time you need to heal, reach out for help, prioritize self-care, and consider memorializing your baby when you’re ready. You will get through this, I promise. You’re not alone, and you are loved.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of self-harm, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.