How You May Feel
- I feel
- It is natural to feel despair and
incredible, debilitating sadness. You may not want to get out of bed, talk
to anyone, eat, or even breathe. You may think about killing yourself to be
with your baby or just lying in bed until everyone gets the point and leaves
you alone. I felt all these things.
- You have every right to feel this way. Let
it go for a day or two, even as much as a week. By then, it should start to
ease a bit. Your emotions may shift to anger or defeat. But when you cry,
you do eventually stop. Your mind will drift to other things occasionally.
And you will start getting better.
- If in a week you are not feeling somewhat
better, if you are still feeling like being with your baby would be
better than being here, reach out to someone, anyone, email me, call someone
you know, find a miscarriage support group, go to a church, do something.
Fight to get back to the surface and out of deep despair that you feel.
- Remember that you still have things to
live for, things out there in a future you can't see right now--children you
will eventually have, either yourself or through adoption, love you will
feel, friends you will make. Don't give up yet.
- When is despair
dangerous? When you stop thinking about committing suicide and
start planning it. If you have taken any steps toward really
doing it, please, please, get help immediately. What is happening to you
isn't just the loss of your baby, it is a hormone imbalance that is
affecting your thinking. It is very possible to get out of your despair with
just a little bit of help from a professional. You must do this. You have a
- I feel
- You are perfectly justified. It's hard to
know where exactly to direct your anger, though. God? Fate? Your doctor?
Your husband? Yourself? You wonder why in hell you had to get pregnant if
this was going to happen. Why did you have to carry the baby so long? Why
did it have to happen to you?
- Anger is one of the natural parts of the
grieving process. It is a healthy emotion right now and will get you feeling
stronger. But it will probably not last. Anger usually gives way very
quickly to sadness and despair. Sometimes you will feel flushed with anger,
and just as quickly you will be sobbing. You may feel like you are out of
control. Maybe you want to smash things. I actually did smash some things.
It helped for a moment or two. Then I just had to sweep it up.
- All these things are real and valid
feelings. And we all experienced them. You are part of a large sorority of
sad and angry mothers of angels. We all understand. And we're angry too.
miscarriage is my fault.
- I can't tell you how many women have
explained to me what they did to cause their miscarriage, or to ask if their
stressful job or glasses of wine were what did it. For a long time, I blamed
myself too. Then I learned I had a malformed uterus. All that guilt was for
- Let me be the one to tell you: YOU DID NOT
CAUSE THIS MISCARRIAGE.
- I don't care if you were smoking
crack--those babies are born all the time. Stand up on the job all day?
Doesn't matter. On bed rest but got up a couple of times to raid the
refrigerator or use the bathroom (or even to go out to dinner)?
Insignificant. Nature is not perfect. Our genetic code sometimes doesn't
work just right. It's terrible; it's sad. I hate it. But it has nothing to
do with your sins, your stress, your mistakes, your nutrition, or your
relationship. There was nothing you could have done.
- I know. Some of you still feel a nagging
guilt. But try to put it out of your mind. It really, truly was not your
fault. And most likely, it will not happen again.
- I think I'm
- Remember to give yourself time to handle
your grief. IT IS REAL AND VALID. You may want to read some of the other
women's miscarriage stories here or on other web sites to help you see that
the crazy things you feel are normal. I did and thought many things after my
miscarriage that I thought were really unhealthy or insane, including:
- Wanting to die to be with my baby
- Cuddling the sonogram pictures like a
- Hugging the tree we planted in
Casey's memory (in full view of neighbors)
- Getting angry with myself for
laughing or having a good time
- Picking fights with my husband for no
- Telling perfect strangers about my
It may not get much better for a long time.
There will probably be a time, about 3-4 months later, that it will actually
get worse. Getting pregnant again may not give you the release from grief
you seek. Just give yourself time and surround yourself with people who care
and understand. Forget the rest of them, for now.
If I could make one recommendation that has
helped me tremendously, it would be to put together a memory box of your
baby's things, even if it is only sympathy cards and a positive pregnancy
test, or just letters you are writing to him/her. For several months, I went
into the nursery and opened that box and cried every single day. I found
that if I didn't, I felt like I was in a grief-fog all day. The memory box
validates my baby's existence. Since I don't have a grave or a container of
ashes, I go to it.
Check the section on making
baby memories. You can also place your baby's name on my angel
- No one
will talk about it.
- Many, many women write me and say that
no one will let them talk about their baby, and even their close friends,
church members, and family shy away from the topic. This is so common that
it has become the number one comment I get in emails.
- What is really happening? Your friends,
your coworkers, your church acquaintances know you are hurting, and
hurting deeply. They do not know what to say. They want you to feel
better, so they think somehow, if they ignore what happened, you will
forget about it sooner. There are a lot of people who honestly believe
that the more you talk about something, the worse you feel. Nothing could
be further from the truth.
- Unfortunately, unless you feel
comfortable bringing it up (and you SHOULD; it is perfectly okay), no one
else will. Would you want to be talking on the phone with someone, having
a perfectly normal conversation, and then suddenly say something that
makes the other person burst into tears? This is what your friends believe
will happen (and they are probably right), and they don't want to put you
through that. They don't understand that this is exactly what you need to
- I forced the issue on my friends for a
while, refusing to talk about anything else. All the while, however, I got
on the internet, in chat rooms and bulletin boards, talking to other women
in my situation who were interested in every detail. When you can't get
the support you need in your current circle of friends, reach out to those
of us who have been there. I have made countless friends through our
shared experiences, and these are people you can count on to understand
and not to say anything stupid. They have been there, and for a while,
they are the best friends you will have.
- Both www.inciid.com
have good bulletin boards for women who have experienced a loss. Visit
them and get the support you need outside your normal circles, for a
while. When you are used to talking about your baby, then you may be ready
to bring up the subject with your family and friends. I think you will
find that many of them really want to know what happened.
Comment: "If you stop thinking about
it, you'll feel better."
Reply: "Actually, thinking about the
baby is important to me."
- People say
- Most people don't really know what to say,
so they make something up on the spot or repeat old-fashioned sayings that
don't really apply. I think that they feel the need to say something, and
they want somehow to make it all better. While many of the stupid things
that people will say to you upon learning you have lost a baby seem
thoughtless and even cruel, do realize that it is difficult to find the
right thing to say to you. You will probably be upset no matter what they
say. This is okay, you can always just walk away from the
- For those of you who want to retort, here
are some replies to the most common comments you will hear.
- Comment: "This was probably a
blessing in disguise."
- Reply: "I don't see it that way; this
is actually very hard for me."
- Comment: "At least you weren't
- Reply: "I think a baby is a baby no
matter how big he or she is."
- Comment: "Now you have an angel in
- Reply: "Yes, but I'm sure I'd rather
have a baby here."
- Comment: "This was God's will."
- Reply: "I don't think I or anyone
really knows what God's will is exactly."
- Comment: "Be glad you didn't get
attached to it."
- Reply: "Actually, we were quite
attached to our little baby."
- Comment: "Stop worrying. My cousin
had four miscarriages and she had a baby just fine."
- Reply: "I am very sorry for
your cousin. I know how hard those four miscarriages must have been."
- Comment: "You can always have another
- Reply: "Yes, but I still lost this
- Sometimes the best way to handle difficult
people is to simply avoid them until you are up to it. If the problem is a
mother-in-law (and it often is), ask your husband to handle her calls and
keep yourself busy in the kitchen or elsewhere when she visits. Don't take
her or anyone else's comments as being critical of you. Even when they seem
that way; they are rarely meant to be.
- I'm afraid
to try again.
- Of course you are. I was terrified. I
remained terrified for the entire 9 months. Even now, with one healthy baby
in my life, the thought of another pregnancy still terrifies me.
- One thing that was immensely helpful to me
was forming a "trying again" buddy group. I went to www.inciid.com
and found the "trying again" forum. I posted a message saying that
I was looking for women to be buddies with as I tried to get pregnant. Some
25 women replied and we all posted to the forum under the message
- Everyone wrote on their calendars when
each woman was taking their pregnancy test. We sorrowed when it was negative
and rejoiced with the positives. The six of us who got pregnant that August
stayed together our entire pregnancies. One of the group lost her baby
again, and we were there for her. The rest of us kept in touch, exchanging
birth announcements and birth stories. It really, really helped. I wasn't
alone. Every day I could talk to someone else who knew exactly how I
- Many women find, as I did, it will get
very, very bad at the point in your pregnancy that you lost your baby. Once
that time is past, you feel much better. I remember quite clearly the day
that we knew the baby was old enough to survive if born. It was as if the
world had lifted off our shoulders. Even the doctors and nurses smiled more
when we came in for check ups. So it will get better.
- The fear is not going to go away
innocence of pregnancy and some of its joy is permanently gone. But
surrounding yourself with other women in your situation will make it
- I've lost all
faith in God.
- It is hard to imagine a loving,
compassionate God who would let things like this happen. What did an unborn
baby ever do to deserve this? What have you done?
- You may feel your faith is being tested
right now, and it is completely understandable that you will doubt in God.
Regardless of your religion, "Why, God?" is a universal question
when we face suffering. In many ways, you will have to think your way
through your conflicting feelings about a God that you love and believe in,
but you feel has failed you. Your clergy, pastor, preacher, rabbi, or priest
may be able to help.
- I thought of it this way: God is here for
us. He will carry us through our troubles if we let Him, but He does not
guarantee that life will go as we wish. Death and suffering are part of our
life, and our faith is there to help us through it, not prevent it. The last
thing I wanted to do in my hour of need was to cut myself off from the only
person who would not say something thoughtless or let me down--God.
- The Christian Miscarriage Web Site is
another resource for you if you are struggling with this issue. You can find
it on our "books and links" page.