I want to talk about unspoken grief – miscarriage. Sadly, some babies are lost during pregnancy, birth or shortly afterwards. It is not only the loss of your child, but perhaps also your dreams, aspirations and expectations leading up to that point.
The period of pregnancy can be different for each woman and sometimes it goes not the way we wish.
Miscarriage or stillbirth is still a taboo topic around the world, which is associated with condemnation or shame. Many women who have lost their babies during pregnancy or childbirth don’t receive either the proper care nor the respect they deserve. Help of a professional counsellor is very important as well as support and understanding of family.
1 in 5 pregnancies resulting in miscarriage, there can often be unanswered questions as to what actually went wrong after being told at your scan that everything was well. Now that the shock and confusion has subsided, it might feel as though you’ve just been left to pick up the pieces.
Sometimes we don’t want our friends and family to be aware of pregnancy in the early stage, which makes the loss an even more isolating experience. In the situation when you have been open and excited about your pregnancy, you may be feeling ashamed with your loss, picking up an expectation that you should be able to come to terms with what happened and move on, hearing: “you can always try again”, “I went through it and you will be ok”, or “at least you already have children”. This can feel dismissive of your journey of personal bond with your baby who was growing inside of you.
Examples of pregnancy-related loss I work with are: Infertility, IVF, Miscarriage, Stillbirth
Going through multiple miscarriages you may stop believing in yourself and lose confidence. You want to scream but feel ashamed even to talk, feeling isolated and guilty, the question constantly buzzing in your head “why?” Sometimes you doubt if you can move on, how to find strength to smile or be “positive you” with friends who have children or pregnant. Maybe you live in fear of never become a mother. You lost interest in everyday life activities and became depressed. Worrying a lot is exhausting. It created negative thought patterns and it changed how you behave. It also made it harder to focus on things that could help you feel better.
There are so many emotions that you can find yourself feeling as if you are on a roller coaster, each loss is unique:
- Intrusive thoughts and memories
- Feelings of guilt
- I ‘should’ be coping better.
- I ‘should’ be stronger or be able to offer more support to my partner.
- It was my fault.
- There’s something wrong with me.
- I have let people down.
- Difficulty and maybe even avoidance of seeing others with their children
- Feeling as though a potential life opportunity or road has been lost to you
- Tensions in your relationship following your loss
- Difficulties grieving with your partner and not feeling ‘supported’
- An increased awareness of your ‘body clock’
You see life carrying on around you, but you may not be ready for life to carry on yet. You may need time to acknowledge, grieve and commemorate your loss.
Loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on your mental health. Pregnancy loss can make you feel alone in different ways. You may feel physically unable to go out to see friends, family due to lockdown or because it’s too difficult emotionally to see pregnant women or children. But this might mean you miss out on valuable sources of comfort and support. You might have lots of people around you but none of them seem to understand how you feel or care for you in the way you would like.
During pandemic, those feelings of isolation might be even more acute, although technology can help, you can join online group support.
I have worked with clients who had a need to tell their story, talk about fears, anxiety of being pregnant again, voice a need to ‘remember’ their baby and mark their loss but may not feel entitled to do so or not know how. I provide a safe non-judgemental space where my clients can process their loss in their own time, in a way that they need to and in a validating space. Don’t hesitate to connect and tell your story.
You can find more information about miscarriages at