First appeared in Straits Time’s MIND YOUR BODY supplement, where Wendy had a column “Life Lessons” (2005-6).
Dealing with miscarriage
I just had a miscarriage after 6 weeks of pregnancy. It was very scary and now I am trying to cope with this. Some people tell me “don’t be sad, you are young. You can try again.” I want to scream when I hear that. It does not console me at all. I would rather they say nothing.
My husband and I really want kids. I am already 30. We are married for 3 years. We thought we would wait till we are ready. We did not expect that when we were ready, that I would lose our first baby.
How do I recover from this? Physically, I know I will recover with time, and the doctor says we can have sex again in a few weeks. But emotionally, I am all over the place. I would cry non-stop for hours and then I would feel OK for a few hours, and then numb.
Emotions are valid
You have the right to grieve. You have obviously formed an emotional attachment to your baby. To you, it was real, not just a fetus.
Part of your grief is anger. You may be feeling angry towards God, others, yourself, doctors, husband for all sort of reasons. You may be afraid that you will never conceive again, or have another miscarriage. You may find yourself spiral to depression.
Ignore people who try to invalidate your feelings. They may mean well, though they appear insensitive to you.
You and your husband may want to spend some time together to grieve, either together or separately.
Ask yourself: What am I angry about? What am I afraid of? What am I so sad over?
Write, draw and express your emotions.
You may also feel guilty that you put off getting pregnant. Express it if it is real for you so you can let go of guilt. Staying in that feeling of guilt does not free you to move on.
Just as you may want to avoid people who are insensitive to your feelings, you may want to spend time with those who are empathetic and sincere. Seek out those you know will show you the care in ways you appreciate now.
Is it chicken soup that you need? Someone to cry with? Or pray with? Or sing with? Is it someone who would just sit with you and say nothing? Or perhaps you would like to seek counseling from a professional because you need someone objective.
Know what support works for you and ask for it. Learn to express your needs in ways that are clear and respectful.
You don’t have to go through this period alone.
Different ways to grieve
If your husband chooses to grieve in a different way, ask him how he is dealing with the loss. Do not blame him for not grieving like you. Sometimes men appear withdrawn, or go for a run, or drink. It does not mean he is heartless. He may be afraid to cry or thinks he needs to put on a strong front for you.
He may need you to assure him that you will accept it if he wishes to cry with you.
Instead of letting this miscarriage tear both of you apart, use it to bring you closer as a couple. Cry together, and laugh together. Allow yourself moments of calm and joy. It is ok to feel sometimes normal and sometimes about to break down.
Soon, you will have the courage to dream together again, of having kids and your future.
Once the doctor confirms that you are physically fit to conceive again, you would want to be emotionally ready to have sex.
Some women feel too afraid to make love. Some couples worry that they will miscarriage again and so avoid sex. Some are still angry.
Thus, it is all the more important that you deal with your emotions and thoughts now, so you are stable emotionally for sex and conception.
It is a difficult time for you, and I wish you peace, courage and love to bounce back from this setback, and to create again, as a stronger and wiser person.