Healing After Miscarriage
If the unexpected happens when you're expecting, you will get through it. We've got some advice to help the process along.
You'll want a spokesperson. To avoid repeating your sad news over and over again (and sitting through botched attempts at sympathy), enlist the help of a sensitive friend or family member. Susan Kulasekara of Edwardsville, IL, who miscarried between her children Michaela, then 9, and Ryan, 4, asked her parents, her in-laws, and her “most motherly coworker” to tell others she had lost the baby.
Your kids may help… Simply having a child (or several children) often seems to make pregnancy loss easier to take. And your kids might actually comfort you—or, at least, keep you from having time to feel sorry for yourself. Beth Resweber, whose sons Drew and Clay were 2 1/2 and 1 when her third pregnancy failed, coped by staying “so busy I didn't have time to think—which wasn't hard with two little ones!”
…But they might also make it more difficult. Other women find that being around their kids adds to their pain. “Because I had Sam, who was two at the time, I couldn't just remove myself from the world of children,” says Margaret Moxley of Nashville. “And then he kept asking me when he was going to have a baby brother or sister! It felt like salt in my wounds.”
Susan Kulasekara recalls that her daughter picked up on her distress and invented her own to match: “So there I was, sitting in one room, crying, and she was sitting in another, whining and carrying on that her stomach hurt, too. I remember thinking, This is awful—she won't even let me cry!”
Memorialize your loss. At the suggestion of a friend who'd miscarried, Kulasekara and her husband planted a maple tree in their yard. “Picking out the tree, planting it, and watching it grow made me feel so much better. It gave me a way to remember what had happened without just feeling sad.”
No one ever forgets a miscarriage: “I figured out when she—a girl, in my mind—would have been born, and still mourn every year when May arrives,” says Susie Doelger of Chappaqua, NY. But the pain and sadness do abate with time. If a miscarriage happens to you, remember that one-in-five statistic: It may not take away the pain of your loss, but it guarantees there are many, many other women who know exactly what you're going through.
Fernanda Moore is a mom of two and frequent contributor to Parenting.