Coping With A Miscarriage: How Can You And Your Partner Heal Emotionally

Coping With A Miscarriage: How Can You And Your Partner Heal Emotionally

If you'd been really looking forward to holding the little bundle of joy in your arms, a miscarriage can gut you. You may have never seen the little one - except for in ultrasounds - but they're more real than most things in your life. It is a personal tragedy that is hard to come to terms with and to deal with. No matter how hard you try, it will hit you badly and you will feel a range of emotions in the aftermath - from disappointment to anger to deep sense of depression and loss. But in the end, it's important to remember that your reaction is absolutely normal - no matter how you deal with miscarriage and even if nobody else seems to really get what you're going through. 

Feeling lost and helpless comes with it though. While we cannot fathom what you're going through, we can always try to help you figure out the best ways on how to deal with miscarriage. 

Causes Of Miscarriage

How To Cope With Miscarriage

Partners Help To Get Over Miscarriage

Recommended Reads

Causes Of Miscarriage

A lot of times, miscarriages happen when the fetus has fatal genetic problems or is not developing normally. Over 50% of miscarriages are associated with extra or missing chromosomes - a problem that isn't the fault of the mother or the father.

Other causes of miscarriage may be:

  • Infection

  • Medical conditions in the mother, such as diabetes or thyroid disease

  • Hormone problems

  • Immune system responses

  • Physical problems in the mother

  • Uterine abnormalities

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Also, a woman is at a higher risk of miscarriage if she:

  • Is over age 35

  • Has certain diseases, such as diabetes or thyroid problems

  • Has had three or more miscarriages

Contrary to popular belief, these activities don't provoke a miscarriage:

  • Any kind of exercise - including high-intensity ones like jogging and cycling

  • Sexual intercourse.

  • Going to work, given that you're not exposed to harmful chemicals or radiation.

How To Cope After Having A Miscarriage

1. Accept That It Happened

There is no way to deal with grief except to feel it as much as you can and then get over it. If you stash away your feelings and try to deal with all that happened by avoiding the whole incident, you're not helping yourself in any way. Let go and fall into the pit of grief that's calling to you. While it may feel soul-crushing, once you pick yourself up, you'll be stronger than ever before. It's okay to mourn your baby - just because you lost it doesn't make it less real.

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2. Talk About It...

If you can manage it, you must try and talk about what happened. By not telling people what you're going through, you're depriving them of the chance to give you your space to heal while you recover and deal with your miscarriage and be back to normal. People cannot be expected to be understanding and compassionate if they don't know what's happening. And you never know, maybe your story gives someone else the strength to come forward and share theirs.

3. Get Your Gang Together

We're all humans and in the time of crisis, we need our gang with us to help us get through things. Call up your girlfriends, your sisters, your aunts or your cousins - every woman you can trust and talk to openly. Your husband may be your partner in pain but there's something about women having each other's back because they can understand your situation better than any other man, no matter how hard they try. A part of getting over the loss is fully comprehending it and your girls will help you do that.

4. It's Okay To Distract Yourself

While you shouldn't deny your feelings, you can totally take some hours each day to distract yourself and let other things take over your mind. It can be your temporary pain relief. Going to work is always a good idea if you can will yourself into doing it.  

5. Take Your Time To Deal

Every person is different in the way they deal with things - some take days, some months and some years to get over something like this. Some women choose to go out to work and distract themselves while some choose to stay home and can even retreat into in a shell. Whatever you choose to do, it doesn't make you a weepy mess, an insensitive woman or a weakling - it only makes you YOU. So, take your time and do whatever you need to do to feel better. After all, nobody knows your pain as you do. 

6. Remember The Baby In Your Own Way

I once heard of a woman who planted roses in her garden in the memory of the baby she lost due to a miscarriage. Every time she looked at the roses in the garden, she smiled fondly and remembered the baby who wasn't real for the world but too real for her. It was her way of honouring that child and his short life. You don't necessarily have to do the same thing for your baby but you can always come up with a way that'll help you feel much better.

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7. You Can Always Seek Professional Help

If you feel like dealing with a miscarriage is getting too difficult for you and you're unable to do it anymore, seek professional help. There is no shame in going to a licensed professional who may be able to help you cope better or to a support group of women who've been through what you have. Asking for help is difficult but in the end, it is for the best.

8. Make Sure You Look After Yourself

When you're grieving, it is easy to let go of yourself physically and not take care of your appearance. While you don't have to apply a full face of makeup or dress to the nines every day, you need to take basic care of yourself because it'll help you feel better. Even mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or working out can bring back a semblance of normalcy back into your life and make you feel like all's not lost yet.

9. Think Of The Future

Look to the future with hope in your heart. A lot of women who've had miscarriages have gone on to have healthy babies and so can you. While the loss of this baby is all too real and undeniable, know that you will be a mom in the future. No other baby can substitute this one, because every pregnancy is special, but a new baby will help fill the void in your heart bit by bit. 

How Can The Partners Help Each Other Cope With A Miscarriage?

It may be a stereotype but men and women deal with grief differently. Generally, women are more expressive and look for support from others. Men are more inclined towards problem-solving and they may not choose to share their feelings. This does not lessen his grief and his feelings. The one thing you two need to remember is to help each other through this difficult time. While you both may be grieving in different ways, your grief is altogether too real. Here are some things you can do to make the process easier for one another.

1. Try Not To Let The Distance Grow

One thing that may happen if you're not mindful is that the distance between you two may grow. While you're both dealing with things on your own, make sure you involve your partner in your pain too. They may be clueless about how you need help and this makes them unable to give you all that you need. So, sit down and talk to each other about what you need. Ladies, if you need your partner to lend you a patient ear as you talk about it, ask for it. Your partner isn't a mind-reader, especially not when he's suffering too.

2. Do Not Blame Each Other

Tragedy can bring two people closer than ever before or really tear them apart. The drifting apart happens when the two partners start blaming each other instead of supporting one another. Miscarriages happen to a lot of couples and mostly the cause is beyond anyone's control. Don't place the blame on each other saying things like "You were there to prevent it," or "You should've cared for yourself better."

3. Be Extra Supportive And Understanding 

At this point in time, you need to sit down and vow to be as understanding and as patient as you possibly can be. The miscarriage is as real as the passing away of any loved one and you wouldn't expect your partner to bounce back to being themselves immediately now, would you? They may be functioning below par and all you need to do is let them know you're there for them.

Recommended Reads

Books really are your best friends and they can help you in more ways than you can imagine. When you're coping with a miscarriage, these books will provide you both a refuge and an escape as you read accounts of other women who went through the same thing and help you heal better.

1. Empty Arms, Pam V. Vredevelt

miscarriage 1

When you've suffered a miscarriage, your first instinct is to blame yourself over it. Pam, who had suffered a miscarriage herself, offers advice to all grieving women along with answers and reassurance for those who're starting to lose faith.

2. Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth about Miscarriage, Jon Cohen

Jon Cohen, whose wife suffered from four miscarriages, set out to gather accurate information about miscarriages. The book has proven facts as well as vivid narrations, like the fact that nearly seven out of ten women who have had three or more miscarriages can still carry a child to term without medical intervention, to give hope to women all over.

3. Miscarriage: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Lesley Regan

The book provides necessary information that every woman needs to read - from many causes of miscarriage to the latest treatments available. It also covers how to prepare for and cope with the next pregnancy and answers all questions one might possibly have on the topic.

4. Pregnancy After a Loss, Carol Cirulli Lanham

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Once you've lost one baby, you cannot help but panic the next time you're pregnant too. You worry that this will end up the same way as your last pregnancy. Lanham, in this book, talks about her time being pregnant after having lost one baby. The best part? The book also has a section that covers the dad's point of view!

5. Grieving Together: A Couple's Journey Through Miscarriage, Franco D Fanucci & Laura K Fanucci

Like we've mentioned in the article, once a baby is prematurely lost, both the partners suffer and go through pain but in their own way. This book will help you understand your partner and what he/she is going through better.

We cannot promise the process will be easy, in fact, it is going to be painful but we hope that you come out of it stronger and at peace with what happened.

Images: Shutterstock

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