20 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HEALING FROM A MISCARRIAGE
1. You might grieve longer than you expect. I remember after my first miscarriage thinking that once a few weeks had passed I should have been over it by then. I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t, like I was making too big a deal about it. I kept reading that there is no timeline for grief, and everyone heals differently, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was going beyond the scope of “normal” and that I would be judged for it. Now looking back, I can see how deeply the loss affected me, and how silly it was to expect to be over it so quickly. It’s ok to take as long as you need to feel sad. It’s ok to ride out the waves of grief – some days are good, some days are bad. Some days you may seem good, and then you are suddenly “triggered” and you may melt a little. I wish that I had not spent any energy worrying whether I was grieving too much, and spent that energy on self-care and being kind to myself.
2. You may feel “triggered” by seeing other pregnant women, babies, and pregnancy announcements, and that’s ok. A month after my first miscarriage I had my first conversation with my best friend, who shared a due date with me before I lost my baby. I felt I had made a lot of progress in my healing during that month. But as she started talking ultrasounds and making references to her pregnancy, all my sadness came flooded back, as if the miscarriage happened yesterday. And in the days following the miscarriage, I couldn’t see a pregnant woman without crying. This is all very common. You’ve been through a traumatic experience, and these are all triggers that remind you of your trauma.
3. This is the perfect time to take a hiatus from Facebook. Everyone’s lives look perfect on Facebook, and scrolling through your feed may make you feel incredibly isolated and alone in your pain. Plus, it’s usually inundated with baby photos and pregnancy announcements. Seeing them will be counter productive to your healing.
4. You may not feel happy for others during their pregnancy, and this does not make you a bad person. I either felt dead inside and numb when hearing of pregnancy news of close friends and family, or I felt completed devastated by it. The guilt that accompanies feeling sad at hearing of someone else’s joy can be intense, and can feed into often present feelings of self-loathing. You may feel like a terrible person for having these feelings. But again, these announcements are triggers for your grief. You may have daydreamed about making your own announcement before it was ripped away, and you are grieving that loss. This does not make you a bad person.
5. Jealousy is one of the more difficult emotions to contend with after miscarriage. You will likely feel jealous of other pregnant women, women with babies, and of women who get pregnant easily. The jealousy can be a real source of pain. You look at them and you want what they have, and they remind you of your loss. Jealousy is a normal emotion to experience after pregnancy loss.
6. Your friendships may change. I found that I had friends who were so thoughtful and stayed with me through all my pain, and I had other friends who I stopped hearing from. Some friends may be a better source of support than others. Some friends may not know the right things to say, or may say insensitive things, or may not understand the depth of your sadness. It may be hard to spend time with your friends who already have children or who are pregnant, and you may actively start to avoid them. It’s possible this shift in friendship may just be temporary, depending on the kind of relationship you have.
7. The most important thing right now is self-care. Now is the time to be kind to yourself and focus on healing. After my first miscarriage I sought counseling to help me through my grief. I also started going to acupuncture once a week to promote wellness, reduce stress, and help my body recover. I started going to yoga. And then I focused on small pleasures; going for long walks with my husband and dog, enjoying a glass of wine, spending time with family, reading a good book. You may not have your usual motivation, and that’s ok. Do what you can, and don’t come down hard on yourself for what you can’t do.
8. Even if the sadness of the loss stays with you, you will start to heal and feel better. Even when you are still experiencing the waves of grief, each day you are getting stronger. Eventually the pain will be less on the surface. And you will start to feel ready to try again.
9. It’s common to feel like a failure after a miscarriage. You may be mad at your body for failing you. Many women who are high acheivers in real life, may not understand why they are having trouble achieving their conception goals, and may struggle with the lack of control they have. But miscarriage can happen to anyone, you do not have control, and you did not fail.
10. Everyone grieves in their own unique way. There is no need to feel like you should be on a certain “recovery” timeline. I would hear this a lot when I was recovering from my miscarriages, but I still felt pressure to recover within a certain timeframe. I felt if I took too long, people would think that I was making too big a deal out of it. It took me a long time to learn that grief and healing manifests itself in many different ways. You may heal, while still carrying the sadness of your loss tucked within you. You may feel like a changed person. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings in order to process them and move on.
11. Your husband may grieve differently than you. Infertility and miscarriage can be hard on relationships. Your husband may not show outward signs of grief in the same way you do. He may feel he needs to be strong for you, and push his grief aside. The most important thing to do during this time is communicate. Talk about how each of you are feeling. Ask each other questions. Show the same compassion and patience for each other that you would want for yourself. This can also be a time of incredible closeness for the two of you.
12. Other people may not understand your loss. They may not understand the loss because they never saw a tangible baby. But to you, the loss is very real. You loved your baby, you had hopes and dreams for your baby. You may have already picked out names, or planned a nursery. Miscarriage grief is often hard to understand unless you’ve actually experienced it.
13. People will say dumb things. You may hear things like “at least you weren’t further along” or “at least you know you can get pregnant” (click here for my post on the phrase ‘at least’). Or someone may say to you, “it was God’s will” or “everything happens for a reason.” These are well-intentioned, but unfortunately can cause more pain. The first time someone told me, “just relax!” when I was sharing my pain about my losses, I felt incredibly dumb, like I was being overly dramatic and high-strung about it. It was later that I realized that comment was incredibly insensitive, and it’s ok if I’m not “relaxed” during my grief. I didn’t have to feel dumb for caring so much about having a baby.
14. Feelings of sadness for what was lost, anger, shame, guilt, and jealousy are all normal reactions to miscarriage. I’ve spent months navigated all these emotions, sometimes one at a time and sometimes all at once. These emotions are very common, and will subside as you start to heal.
15. You may feel surprised at the depth of your own grief. I know that I did. Sometimes I didn’t even understand why this was so painful and why it cut so deep. I didn’t understand why it was taking so long to feel better. All women have their own relationship with their grief after miscarriage – it can go deeper for some than others. Perhaps if I hadn’t gone on to have a second miscarriage, and my baby had gone full term, I would have healed quicker. Or perhaps the feelings of loss after losing that first pregnancy would have continued to stay with me.
16. Do not be hard on yourself while you are trying to heal. This is the time to have the most compassion for yourself. Know that while you are grieving, you may not be able to do as much as you normally would. This is ok. Allow yourself the time and space that you need. Don’t beat yourself up over the emotions that you feel. Don’t beat yourself if on somedays you feel like you are going backwards in your recovery. Don’t beat yourself up for the journey you are on.
17. Deciding when to try again is a personal decision. Some women feel like they want to try again right away. Other women need to take a break to heal, before they are ready to try again. Trying again may be a stressful experience, as will the subsequent pregnancy. I found that the first negative pregnancy test I got after my miscarriage was extremely difficult. It brought back my feelings of loss from the miscarriage. Having a period again made me incredibly sad.
18. Don’t feel you need to go through this alone. Whether or not to share your loss with others is a personal decision, but you can find support in suprising places if you do decide to open up. Seeking counseling, joining a local support group or an online support group, or starting a blog can all help connect you to others going through the same experience and help you feel less isolated.
19. The emotional recovery is harder than the physical recovery. Physically, you may start to feel better after a few days, depending on what kind of miscarriage you have. The emotional recovery is unique to you, and often winding.
20. None of this is your fault. It is so easy to blame ourselves. It is so easy to feel so terrible about ourselves. You may find all sorts of ways to blame yourself for what happened (read my post here for how I blamed myself for my miscarriages). Often, women suffering from infertility and pregnancy loss are the most hard on themselves. But none of it is your fault.
23 thoughts on “Healing from Miscarriage”
I just found your blog after finding out that we are about to have our second miscarriage. Thank you for sharing your experiences. After the first miscarriage, people said a lot of these same things to me and it was very frustrating. Now no one seems to know what to say, and I really don’t want to talk to anyone for fear of their comments.
I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. It’s a very painful experience which is made harder when you feel like you can’t talk about it, for fear of hurtful comments. Sending hugs your way and hoping you get your baby soon ❤
We should be getting our baby in 7 weeks! Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you to the other ladies who have commented. Even though I’m so thankful for this baby, it does not erase the loss or pain of the first two. Praying for all the others who have to walk this sad road, too.
I was googling around, seeking comfort from a possible third miscarriage in a row. Thank you for this page. I will take as long as I need, and just embrace the grief and sadness till it gets better some day.
Thanks for this post. #13 is so relatable. I get from family, “So-and-so person (that I don’t know) had a miscarriage too,” and that is supposed to make me feel better because why? Also this one is common, “you can always try again.” Yes, but I don’t want to try again. I wanted that baby. The one I started with.
Ugh! “You can always try again…” I love your response to that! Yes, I know I can try again… but that doesn’t make this any easier! I also had a family member say… “at least you weren’t further along, it would have been harder on you as well as family member.” What is that supposed to mean? Do I think that it might be harder if someone were further along or had a baby who was stillborn. Yes perhaps it would be! But that again doesn’t make me feel any better nor does it mean that my loss was any less than someone who had a loss later in pregnancy. 😦
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Oh I had a miscarriage last Thursday 24th I don’t what to do I’m angry for the loss as well as my husband now I put a loop or nova T 380 at least to a year I’ll be fine I wish to another baby to console my heart now 33in may to 34 you know I’m in a deep pain I’m always crying cause this is a second miscarriage. help me what to do from now on cause what I’ve done is not what I want this nova T380 no helpme pls
I’m going through a miscarriage as we speak I chose to do it at home and earlier I discarded the baby and I’m in so much pain I ended up feeling out on everyone now I am so excited and not steady on my feet I still hurt but not as bad I feel like I have no support hear with my boyfriend
Jeez I can’t even spell my phone changed my words
I know it’s been a long time but I just wanted to send you some love ❤
I am experiencing my first miscarriage. It was our first time getting pregnant. I was 7 weeeks among. I’m not sure what is normal and what isn’t. I go and see my doctor tomorrow for my last ultrasound and exam and to talk about what the next process is. I am scared, hurt, emotionally and physically in pain and just lost.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for your comfort and healing.
You never really hear about miscarriages until you’re the one that experiences it. I’m so sorry for any woman that has suffered the loss. I just lost my first pregnancy 10 days ago on December 18th. I was 8 weeks. I’m traumatized and beyond heart broken.
I wanted my baby but instead I was given an angel.
I just want my baby.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I found out I was going to miscarry on the 18th of December as well which happened to be my birthday. It felt like the cruelest thing in the world, not only was I going to lose my baby but I found out my now ex partner had been cheating on me for three months. My body clung to the non-viable pregnancy until January when I was 10 weeks and it was horrendous. It still is horrendous. Tonight I find myself desperately searching the internet for how to heal after my fourth consecutive loss in 14 months and all I can think is, I want my babies back. I hope that these last few months you have been able to allow yourself the time to heal and grieve. x
Thank you for sharing your story. I had a miscarriage 5 weeks ago on the day i turned 12 weeks… the holidays sucked.. and i had to get rid of facebook because i can’t handle anymore baby announcements… 5 of the 10 in the last month are the same month of my would have been due date. Time seems to be standing still while everyone else lives on
Hi Petrina, I know it has been a while now since your comment but I could really relate as I miscarried over the holidays although I was 10 weeks, not 12. Unfortunately I am now facing my fourth consecutive miscarriage which is an ectopic and that brought me to this blog. I totally relate to the feelings of the world standing still and there have been times where I felt like just screaming at the world to stop as others carried on whilst I miscarried and lost my much loved baby. Those feelings are all back and intensified tonight. I hope you have been able to be gentle with yourself and that time has begun to feel a little less stuck but if it hasn’t then remember that’s okay too ❤ x
Thank you for this post. This is my 4th consecutive loss but I previously had 4 before my son, so 8th in total. I am completely swamped by the feelings of having had four in 14 months, especially as this one is an ectopic. I feel so lucky to have my son but it has been so hard to grasp what I have really lost; something that I don’t think I fully understood with the losses before I had him. This is such a great post and has really helped to validate my emotions. I’m going through it alone as the Dad disappeared pretty quick so this has been a gentle reminder to show myself some compassion and self-care. I hope that you were able to have your rainbow baby if that is what you chose to do ❤ x
Hi everyone in still sad of miscarriage on 12 may 2018.I was surprised that my baby turn on 18 weeks but my doctor didn’t say anything or why.My nexst visit was on 8 may I was 23 weeks and the doctor couldn’t give me a photo of baby didn’t tell me im gonna have a miscarriage. It was my first pregnancy and I was already 6 mnths pregnant.I’m still recoverd from my lost.
Thank you for sharing this post. I have felt like nobody understand how I was feeling and then I stumble upon your post that literally speaks to some of my exact thoughts. Your words give me hope and help me to see that I am not alone. I lost my baby back in April and had to go through an induced miscarriage. I feel so broken and having trouble recovering and getting back to “normal”. I am so grateful that you shared this. ❤
This post is indeed so relatable. I was 14 weeks along and went for my ultrasound and was so excited to finally make an announcement to my coworkers and friends.
I learned that the baby had stopped growing at 12 and a few days weeks. It was hard to believe since we had an Ultrasound at week 12 and the baby was fine. I kept telling myself that this was a nightmare and that i will wake up soon. I was heartbroken.
I am glad i found this post and am reassured my feelings of guilt,anger and jealousy were normal.
Not a lot of people knew we were expecting but some of the comments some people made like you said in your post were well intentioned but ended being hurtful. Some of them were just dumb and irrelevant in my opinion. I just responded thanks to all the messages.
“You know at least you can get pregnant”
“You can try again”
“The aunt of so and so and the friend of my friend had a miscarriage too…”
” you will soon forget about it. It is just a normal course of life” really? Since when was a miscarriage normal…?
“Did you do anything wrong for it to happen?”
“Statistically speaking this is normal”
We have decided that if we get pregnant again we will keep the news to ourselves a little bit longer to avoid being inundated with unsolicited advice.
Thank you so much for writing this, I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I just experience the same about 2 weeks ago and you have described exactly what I am feeling. I am glad someone understand what if feels like. I am going to be kind to me meanwhile. Again thank you so much.
Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested. Many thanks!