Going through a miscarriage is both physically and mentally stressful, and it is okay to take time to recover. There are no rules on how to grieve or process a miscarriage. In this article, Liss, who coaches women and couples going through a miscarriage or infertility, offers her best tools for taking care of yourself after a miscarriage.
Allow yourself to grieve (both by yourself and with your partner, if any).
Miscarriage is a grief and it is okay to be sad and grieve. Often there are many parts we are sad about. Therefore, try to put into words and figure out what you are feeling, so you give yourself the opportunity to finish grieving. If you have a partner, it is a shared loss. Take the time to grieve together, share your feelings, be honest, cry, hold each other and most importantly listen.
Take a time out!
Allow yourself time and space to sort out your thoughts and feelings and to recover both physically and mentally. This is important! Only you know when you are ready to move on, so listen carefully to what your heart tells you.
It's OK to say no!
You don't have to be strong, suck it up, smile and pretend that everything is fine with others. That often just makes it even harder to deal with. If you think that a certain social event or occasion will mean more stress and less well-being, it's okay to say no! If you still want to go, there are strategies you can use:
● Come late and leave early
● Prepare people that you do not want to talk about your situation.
● Rehearse an answer if you get questions you can't answer.
Set up a support team
Who could help you through this tough period? Specific friends, family members, your partner or a professional who can be there to listen, chat and support you when you need it.
Choose these people with your heart, dare to ask and be clear about what you would need from them. It's worth setting expectations so that the support is as good as possible. For example, you could say "I will need to talk about this 100 times over", "I need to cry" or "I need encouragement".
You will find yourself in situations that are emotionally difficult. Prepare yourself by:
● Decide who you tell what to. For example, some will know everything, some will know some and some will not know at all. If it makes it easier for you, write these people down on a list in notes on your phone so you don't forget this. Reminding yourself can be important so that you both stand up for what is best for you, but also don't forget to talk to those you trust and want to support.
● Prepare what to say if questions or situations arise, so you don't get caught off guard and emotional if/when you don't want to.
● Prepare what to do if you find yourself in a situation or context you don't feel comfortable with, such as sneaking off to the bathroom and calling one of your support people.
Mark what you have lost
A miscarriage is not only a lost pregnancy but also the loss of a long-awaited version of the future. A loss of hopes and dreams. To mark the occasion, a ceremony or ritual can be helpful. For example, you could plant a plant or tree, light a candle or write a letter to your child. Big or small, it doesn't matter - as long as it feels right for you.
Disconnect from social media
Is it hard to see children, pregnancies and families in your daily feed? Take a break! At the same time, think about what you could do with that time instead, what would do you good in this period of your life. What do you need right now to feel a bit better? Put yourself in focus!
Become a self-care queen
After a miscarriage, it's important to be kind to yourself and really give yourself the time, care and love you need to heal. Think about what makes you feel good. Could it be a walk in the woods, a nice massage, a long bath, watching a great show on the couch or meeting a friend?
Let your emotions run free
It is perfectly normal to feel angry, disappointed, sad and despondent about losing your pregnancy and the baby that was to come. And it's perfectly normal to be jealous, tired and angry with both friends and people around you who are pregnant and have children. So don't punish yourself! You are not a bad person for feeling that way. On the contrary, it makes you human.
If you can accept that these feelings are here and let yourself feel what you actually feel and let what needs to come out, it will be easier to move forward. You won't feel this way forever! If it feels too tough to manage on your own, there is help available from coaches, psychologists, talk therapists and various communities.
Got a big holiday coming up that's hard to get through right now? Why not skip it this year? Go away with your partner or a friend and do something completely different from what you've already envisioned.
Contact your clinic
If you are in treatment or have already sought help for repeated miscarriages, contact your doctor to talk about what has happened. Is it possible to find a cause? Is there anything to investigate further to avoid further miscarriages?
What do you want to do now? Everyone faces this question eventually. Take a really close look... what does your gut tell you? If you are unsure, take your time. Do you want to try again right away, do you need to rest and heal, do you need a consultation to know what the next step is, or could it be that you don't really want more? Once you have landed on what you feel most strongly about, you can make a plan and land on your next step.
If you want to get in touch with Liss, she offers a free initial meeting. You can find more information on her website Act'aime.