Having a baby is supposed to be one of the most exciting events in the life of a couple. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way. Far too often (approximately one in three to four pregnancies) what began as an exciting new phase of life ends as a nightmare.
Many more couples face miscarriages than you might think and the feelings experienced by these couples can be very mixed. Some might feel embarrassed by their miscarriage, wishing they never told friends or family as early as they did. Others might feel the complete opposite. For instance, some couples are grateful they told their friends and family because now they have an extended support system.
Sometimes, it is not easy for couples to deal with these complicated feelings that arise from their miscarriage. It is indeed an extremely emotional situation, and it’s very common to experience added stress, crying, or arguing between couples trying to cope with their loss. Unfortunately, some couples fall victims to their own negative thinking which can hurt communication.
If the unexpected happens when you’re expecting, you and your partner can get through it. Whether your loss was at 6 weeks or 26, you’re likely going through a flood of emotions and we’ve got some expert advice to help deal. Read on for 7 things couples should talk about after a miscarriage.
TALK TO EACH OTHER
Experts strongly suggest confiding in one another. This is one of the most important things couples can do after experiencing a miscarriage in order to cope. Sharing your feelings and truly listening to one another can help you understand what the other person is going through. Oftentimes, couples will downplay a miscarriage in order to deal with the ensuing grief, particularly if they lost the baby early on. This can make coping with miscarriage grief even worse. Acknowledge your loss together, as well as the emotions you’re feeling. Being completely honest about your pain, sadness, hurt and anger will help both of you heal during this time.
NO ONE IS TO BLAME
Guilt and blame is often among the most painful parts of the aftermath of a pregnancy loss — and yet is almost always unwarranted. Whether your loss was so early you didn’t even know you were pregnant or you were only days from your due date, it’s hard not to wonder if you did anything wrong and what you could have done to prevent it. The hard truth is, in most cases, there was most likely nothing you or your partner could have done to prevent your pregnancy loss.
If you hadn’t already shared the news of your pregnancy, you may wonder if it will be easier not to tell anyone about the miscarriage. Some couples lose the baby early on and never tell anyone they were expecting or that they had a miscarriage. Others want to share the news of their loss just as they did the news of the pregnancy. They find it comforting to surround themselves with the support of family and friends. This is a personal decisions based on your circumstances. If you and your partner do choose to share your experience, you don’t have to give a lot of information about what happened.
memorialize your loss
One way that couples comfort themselves and honor their late babies is by memorializing their loss. Some plant a tree, start a flower garden or donate to a charity every year after the loss. This helps them remember the child while still moving on with their lives. While one never forgets a miscarriage, the pain and sadness does usually lessen with time. Creating a special way to remember the baby can help couples heal.
give it time
As with any loss, it is normal for couples to feel grief after a miscarriage. Don’t feel frustrated at yourself or your partner if the grief sticks around longer than you thought it would. It’s common for couples dealing with miscarriage to have a bad day some time after they thought they’d recovered sufficiently. Negative emotions can come and go; just remember that a better day is right around the corner. Whether you had an early miscarriage or stillbirth, the pain can be equally acute. Only you will know how long you need to grieve for.
Don’t give up on intimacy
Miscarriages can negatively affect intimacy. For a woman, she might fear another miscarriage and therefore avoid sex altogether. Or she might want to get pregnant so badly that she urges her partner to have sex so much that it becomes a chore. What used to be something that was fun and fulfilling can easily become scary and upsetting. Give yourself and each other some time, absolutely, but don’t give up on intimacy altogether. Allow this loss to bring you and your spouse closer together, not push you apart.
When (and if) to try again
For couples who want to try for another baby, the decision comes down to feeling ready, both physically and emotionally, and having the OK from the doctor. Some couples may be eager to conceive again, amidst some concern around having further miscarriages. Fortunately, according to statistics, at least 85% of women who have had one loss will go on to have a successful pregnancy the next time, so feel confident to go into your second pregnancy with all the same hopes and happiness as your first!