Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy is utterly heartbreaking, and the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. As you deal with the feelings of grief, choosing when or whether to try again is a huge decision. There’s no right or wrong time; although you do need to have recovered physically, knowing when you’re ready emotionally is much more difficult to pinpoint. Listen to your head and your heart and do whatever feels right for you. While, in the vast majority of cases, having miscarried previously does not bring any additional risk to your pregnancy, you are bound to be worried. You may find that you’re on an emotional rollercoaster with many conflicting feelings ranging from elation, to anxiety, to guilt.
It may be a long time before you can start to enjoy pregnancy after a miscarriage, especially up to and around the stage of your previous loss. You might feel detached from this pregnancy, fearful about whether things are going to go wrong and of having to go through the same emotional pain again, or guilty that you’ve moved on. At other times you could be thrilled at the thought of the baby growing inside you, excited about its development and the looking forward to the prospect of holding it in your arms soon. However you’re feeling – which may vary from day to day or hour to hour – it’s important that you acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. Don’t give yourself a hard time; cry if you need to and share your feelings with friends and loved ones. It’s also important to talk to your partner as they are probably on the same emotional rollercoaster.
Understanding and coming to terms with your loss
Talking to a doctor or midwife about what happened may help you to understand the reason behind your previous miscarriage, if this can be identified. It may also help to reassure you that the chances of it happening again are very, very low. While it’s important to reflect on what you’ve been through and remember the baby you lost, you need to keep looking forward. Focus on the fact that each pregnancy is different. You can worry about each and every twinge and symptom (or lack of them) but try your best not to. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but keep in mind that miscarriage is very common and the vast majority of women go on to have healthy pregnancies. It can help to talk with other mums who have been in the same situation or to speak with professionals trained in this area. The following charities and groups offer support and advice, and can put you in touch with groups of parents you can talk with:
Miscarraige Association: http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/how-we-can-help
Ways of coping
As well as talking and being as open and honest as possible about the way you’re feeling, there are other coping strategies that may help you deal with your worries and conflicting emotions. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can help you to feel calmer – try picturing your healthy baby, safe and protected, growing inside you. Once it gets to the stage when you can feel the kicks enjoy the reassurance that baby is healthy and strong. Remember the baby you lost and talk to your bump about it. You could keep a diary of your pregnancy or write a blog, being honest about your feelings but also recording all the positives. The important thing to remember is that, although it’s inevitable, worrying will not help. Even though it’s inside you, you don’t have control over the way your baby is developing so try not to feel responsible. Instead, focus on the time when you’ll be able to hold your baby in your arms and enjoy that precious first cuddle.
Although increased worry and anxiety could mean that you’re finding it hard to feel excited about this pregnancy, try to cherish your growing bump. A pregnancy photoshoot can help to create positive feelings towards your blooming body and provide you with a lasting memory of this special time.