Will I Ever Get Over It?
Each Has Their Way
There really are no pat answers for recovering from the loss of a pregnancy. Every woman goes through the experience in their own way, expressing their pain and sorrow and dealing with it according to their own personalities and makeup. Of course there are many tools available to help a woman and her partner work their way through the labyrinth of emotions and making use of those aids truly enable them to grieve and to cope.
The gestational age of the baby before the miscarriage can have a profound effect. If the miscarriage occurs early on, before the 12th week, it is usually attributed to a chromosomal defect with the fetus. Because there is such a high percentage of miscarriage in the first trimester, tests are not usually done to establish a cause. Tests are commonly conducted in the second trimester since there are fewer occurrences during this period and a miscarriage at this time often indicates a uterine problem. Still, even with all this information, the experience of pregnancy loss is devastating and no amount of accurate data eases the pain.
Emotions Gone Wild
Many women who experience a miscarriage immediately blame themselves. They believe they are at fault; it must have been something they did or did not do that caused this to happen. The feeling of inadequacy and the thoughts of being "defective" pile on top of guilt and wondering what they had done to deserve such devastation. Then anger is added to the equation - anger at themselves, their mate, at the heavens, the medical establishment and even anger toward other women who have successfully carried to term. This is all part of the grieving process and the anger is usually about the loss of control.
A small percentage of women go into depression, crying frequently and not wanting to face the day. Crying is a healthy thing to do and often leads to an opening of the emotions to healing. However, if the symptoms of depression linger or interfere with a woman's day-to-day life for a long period of time, professional help should be sought. The fear of getting pregnant again, or if she does get pregnant the fear of another loss, can be a very real worry to a woman.
There Is An Answer
So, what can be done? How can a couple cope with the massive sense of loss and failure and be willing to try again? Probably the most important key of all is communication. By talking about the loss with each other and with people who are skilled at both listening and guidance, the pain will have a voice and the emotions can be released. Bottling it all in may cause an implosion of emotion which may result in mental, emotional and physical illness. Finding ways to express the pain, whether by talking, writing in a journal, or being part of a support group opens the door to healing and hope.