I didn’t plan on writing about this today but as I was thinking about what article I wanted to write next the only thing I could think about was grapes. While this may mean nothing to the average person, at 9 weeks a baby is the size of a grape, so that is what My husband and I called our unborn child.
After finding out I lost my baby and she stopped growing at 9 weeks now all I can think about is grapes. Even though I already have one living child I still feel like I lost another one. I am writing this to help another mother who has living children but can only think about grapes, or apples, or cantaloupe.
If you are dealing with miscarriage grief, You are not alone. Let’s talk about some ways we can address and move forward from miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss even with living children.
First, lets educate ourselves on the terms associated with miscarriage.
A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some woman experience a missed miscarriage, where they will not have any signs or symptoms of loss of pregnancy. Some of the signs according to healthline.com is
- heavy spotting
- vaginal bleeding
- discharge of tissue or fluid from your vagina
- severe abdominal pain or cramping
- mild to severe back pain
The loss of a baby after 20 weeks is considered a stillbirth. Here are the different types of stillbirths according to the CDC.
Stillbirth is further classified as either early, late, or term.
- An early stillbirth is a fetal death occurring between 20 and 27 completed weeks of pregnancy.
- A late stillbirth occurs between 28 and 36 completed pregnancy weeks.
- A term stillbirth occurs between 37 or more completed pregnancy weeks..
An infant loss is a loss that occurs within the first year of life.
No matter at what stage you lost your baby, it can be a very traumatic experience and something you will have to deal with for the rest of your life.
Let’s talk about some of the ways we can cope with the aftermath and grief of miscarriage.
Acknowledge Your Feelings:
It is more important than ever to understand and deal with your feelings when you have other children to take care of. The only way to move forward after a loss is to acknowledge the loss and the hurt you feel because of it.
People who have not had a miscarriage do not understand how you can mourn a person that was never born but the feelings are just as real. I had a missed miscarriage and it was multiple days before I had a D & C and I made it a priority to acknowledge the feeling that my child had passed and I didn’t even know it.
As a mother, you feel like you are the protector of your baby so if something happens to them in your womb you feel like it is your fault, but it isn’t!
Acknowledge the guilt and understand that there was nothing you could do to change the outcome but you can control what you do next.
A great way to get your feelings out is to get a journal where you can write letters to your baby or just write out how you feel, there is something about putting your feelings on paper that can make you feel so much better.
Find a Support Group
This one is so important. You have to have someone to lean on. Your living children may not understand what is going on so you need someone to confide in.
As I stated previously, not many people will understand the feeling of miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. You need a community that you can grieve with and will understand all of the stages of your situation.
I would definitely recommend talking to a therapist who can recommend group therapy for miscarriage. If you are not in the situation to see a therapist, here are some online support groups that have been very helpful in assisting me in moving on and understanding how to cope with loss.
Remember Your Baby in a Special Way
One of the biggest issues with a loss like this one is the thought that your baby will be forgotten.
The rest of the world will move on and your left putting the pieces back together. Something that helped me was having things close to me that reminded me of the short time my baby was on this earth.
I received a clear angel with a flower inside that was really beautiful and I put it on my fireplace mantle so I can look at it every day.
I also got an angel charm from my doctor’s office when I had my D & C. I put it on my bracelet and wear it all the time.
There are so many other ways you can remember your child, I will leave some ideas below.
Try Again if You Want To
Since you already have living children people might say you should be happy with what you have and you shouldn’t try again.
Or maybe that is something you tell yourself; regardless, if you really want more children feel free to have more kids without guilt.
After a miscarriage or still birth your body has to regenerate so don’t obsess over trying to get pregnant right away. Some women do and for others it takes a lot longer.
Don’t rush the process and consult your doctor on what is best for you. If you decide not to try again, that is okay too. No one can make that decision but you.
I hope this was helpful in your healing process and that you have a resource that you can use to move forward in your new way of life. If you know a mother that is struggling with miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss please share this with them and leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!