I will never forget those two moments in my life. The first one was when I held my son for the first time. His beautiful little face, his perfect long fingers; I remember everything about that moment. How we held him until he passed. That moment I will carry with me always. The second moment I will never forget was at my doctor appointment, I was expecting to see our fourth child’s heart beat. Waiting in anticipation until we heard the dreaded news, there is no baby. You are in the process of miscarrying right now. Life is full of many moments, these are two I will always remember; always hold on to despite the pain caused by them. If you are on this page you are most likely in the same boat I was in. Whether you suffer from a miscarriage, a second or third trimester loss or a neonatal loss, we want you to know that you are not alone in your pain. When you’re newly bereaved, suddenly you find yourself on an emotional roller coaster where you have no idea what to expect next. These are a few things you might experience.
Forgetfulness. You may be driving and forget where you are going. You may forget a conversation you were just having, or you may forget what you just read. This is normal and over time will pass.
Distracted. When you are talking to a friend, co-worker or family member you might suddenly daze off and “leave” the conversation.
Guilt. This was one I struggled with the most. What if I did this or didn’t do that. “What if” is a struggle many bereaved parents face on this journey. Deep down you know what happened wasn’t your fault, but at times you still may feel that it is. Letting go and just celebrating the life your child had, no matter the duration is key in the process of healing.
Depression. You feel sad that you do not have your child with you, you long for a few minutes with your child, you long to carry the baby just a little bit longer. You just wish you knew what he or she would have looked like so you could always carry a mental picture with you.
These are normal feelings and you are not alone in feeling them. After we miscarried, one of the hardest things for me was not knowing the gender. I wanted to give my child a name, I wanted to imagine a little girl or a little boy.
If you ever have a suicidal thought get some help immediately.
The Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
Health changes. You may find yourself not eating or sleeping, or maybe it’s the opposite all you want to do is eat or sleep. These are all normal reactions when you come through such a trauma.
Emotional Changes. Breaking out in tears when you least expect it is normal. Hearing a song or seeing an item of clothing might trigger a memory. Don’t feel bad for feeling.
Another common feeling is frustration. Sometimes it’s the little things that push us over the edge. We may find ourselves losing it when a car drives too slowly in front of us, if a friend stops by unexpectedly or a family member says something callous unintentionally. I have learned to step back for a few seconds and just breathe, this doesn’t always work but it seems to help.
Family and friends. It can be hard to relate to others after dealing with a loss. Things that used to be important may no longer feel the same. Family may try to feed you “helpful” tips on how common it is to have lost a baby or that “you can always have another one.” People may find you hard to be around when you are facing such a deep sorrow. Friends that used to spend a lot of time with you may start fading away. Other friendships with those who have gone through a similar loss may start drawing near to you.
When you have just lost a child you may not think straight, you may never feel like you can be happy again, you may feel like no one understands. While you will never “recover” from your loss, you will eventually find the “new me”, the new after loss you. You will never quite be the same as you were before you lost your child and it might be hard to believe now, but in time and with plenty of grieving, you will one day think about the good memories you had. Memories of your pregnancy and the moments you shared with your baby. The joy you had when you saw that positive sign on that pregnancy test and how it felt to love someone so deeply.
On my journey of grief the quote I thought was so suitable was one from the movie Sleepless in Seattle. Tom Hanks character said, “Well, I’m gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out… and, then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.”
This might be how you feel for a while, but with time and support you will again be able to do these things again without having to remind yourself to do them.
What we want to do is come alongside you and help on this new journey you are on. Losing a child is hard; you don’t have to grieve alone. If you suffer from losing a child please go to our support page and fill it out, we would love to be there for you!