YOUR JOURNEY TO MOTHERHOOD ISN'T WHAT YOU EXPECTED
Miscarriage and pregnancy loss have been historically not talked about enough in our society and therefore has left many of us feeling alone in our emotions. There has been a distinct difference between the intensity of grief experienced with perinatal loss and how “acceptable” our expression of grief is received in the outside world.
You may feel the need to hide your emotions at work after your miscarriage or pregnancy loss, feel jealousy or sadness over getting another invitation to a baby shower, or you may feel that your partner isn’t feeling the exact same emotions as you are which leaves you feeling more alone.
Thankfully, the maternal mental health movement is bringing much needed light and attention to miscarriage and pregnancy loss. Your grief is very real, and you deserve to have a space where your emotions will be paid attention to, will be honored, and will be worked through. It is possible for you to come to a place of meaning and to experience healing.
YOU'RE ON AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER
You might find yourself on an emotional roller coaster following miscarriage or pregnancy loss. These are some commonly reported symptoms and emotions after perinatal loss:
frequent episodes of crying
relationships with family or friends suffering
withdrawing from your social supports
NAMING OUR EMOTIONS
It’s often helpful to review the stages of grief specific to miscarriage or pregnancy loss to help you make sense of your fluctuating emotions. Naming our emotions…or NAMING IT TO TAME IT helps us make sense of what we are feeling.
DENIAL: You are in state of shock, scrambling to grasp what has happened. This was not in the plan. This did not just happen.
GUILT: You might slip into feelings of intense guilt after you move from the denial phase. You may find yourself wondering what you could have done to avoid the pregnancy loss. Did I work out too hard? Did I do too much in the first trimester? (the answer to these questions is an emphatic, NO!)
ANGER: Your guilt may turn into anger. You find yourself angry at yourself or your partner. You are angry because of how completely unfair this situation is. You are angry that this happened to you.
DEPRESSION: In some cases, your sadness may turned into a sustained depressed mood (difficulty sleeping, loss of interest or pleasure in your activities, changes in appetite, unable to concentrate or make decisions).
JEALOUSY: All of a sudden you feel like you are constantly surrounding by “happy” families everywhere and find yourself running into more pregnant women than you ever thought possible. On top of that, you might be beating beating yourself up for being envious of someone else's positive situation! Sound familiar?
YEARNING: This can look like having an intense desire to be with your baby. You may be wondering what your baby would be doing at this point in time if the miscarriage didn’t happen, or wondering how far long you would be in your pregnancy if weren’t for the perinatal loss.
MISCARRIAGE AND PREGNANCY LOSS WITH MOMS IN MIND
Experiencing grief can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. You may find that some days are “okay” and the others can be full of emotional pain and a sense of hopelessness about the situation. As a perinatal mental health therapist, I will encourage you to tell your story, and will help you understand how your miscarriage or pregnancy loss affects you as a woman as well as what it means for your journey to motherhood. You will be equipped with coping skills to help you move through the grief process and find healing.
Reaching out initially for support after miscarriage or pregnancy loss can be difficult. Online therapy or telehealth, over a HIPAA secure video platform, with a therapist specifically trained in perinatal mental health may make it easier. You can do online counseling from the comfort of your home at a time that is convenient for you.