Pregnancy can be such an exciting time for a family. Couples eagerly await the arrival of the baby, so they can finally hold their precious little one in their arms. For a woman, it can be a fulfilling time to be finally nurturing another life. However, pregnancy is always accompanied by great risks for a woman, and her unborn child. Not all pregnancies are successful, and no matter how hard you follow your doctor’s advice, sadly some pregnancies aren’t meant to last.
Pregnancy loss can be really devastating for a woman, and even her partner. And the road to healing may not be easy. After all the anticipation, it is hard to let go of dreams lost for an unborn child. Healing from pregnancy loss can take time, and the process can be different for every person. Oftentimes, grief comes in stages, and some individuals may skip a stage, or go through each stage differently.
During the stage of denial, it may still be impossible to accept the loss of the pregnancy. This stage can be followed by feelings of anger, wherein you may be angry at yourself, your partner, or even a higher power for the loss. This stage is followed by feelings of guilt, or you may keep on blaming yourself for what happened. A lot of women go through this stage wishing they could have been more careful with their pregnancy. This stage is then followed by depression. A woman may feel so resigned at what happened that she can easily give in to her pain and sorrow. Each stage brings an individual towards the last phase, which is acceptance. Acceptance for a woman can mean that she will always remember her baby, but she can already look on to the future with a more positive outlook.
Healing may not be easy, and it is even possible that hormonal changes may cause the mother to manifest symptoms of postpartum depression. Recognize these feelings, and learn to seek help when necessary. Talk openly to your partner, and ask support from family and friends. Tell them how you feel, and let them know how they can support you during this time. You may also find comfort through counseling sessions with your spiritual adviser or somebody in your church.
It may also help if you join support groups in your area. If you can’t find any, try to get support online. People who have been through the same ordeal can be a good source of comfort and strength. During this difficult process, take as much time as you need. Deal with the loss one day at a time because some days may be better than others. Tackle things on a daily basis, and avoid making big decisions for the time being. Set aside plans to change career paths, or to relocate elsewhere while you are going through your grief. Try to focus on your own emotional and physical well-being so that you can learn to accept how things have turned out.
Loved ones may suggest that you keep all the things that can be associated with your baby. If you have already prepared the nursery, and you are not ready to clear all the reminders of your baby, then take your time and set your own pace. If you are invited to a baby shower, and you feel that you are not ready, go ahead and decline. If it would help, create a journal and write down your thoughts. It can be a good way to let go of emotions that you have kept inside. Reading books that you can draw strength from may also be helpful.
Some women can manage to get on with their lives in a short time, while others may have difficulty coping. If you have symptoms of depression that have lasted for more than two weeks, consult your health care provider. Do not hesitate to seek for help because it is a big step towards healing.