Losing a pregnancy is maybe the most painful moment in the life of a woman. It destroys her psychological balance and also that of her partner and the whole family. Losing a pregnancy through a spontaneous abortion – when the uterus evacuates its content much too earlier – is a traumatizing event for all those involved and can cause the same pain as when losing a born child.
The feelings of sadness are harder to manage and more confusing in case of preterm pregnancy loss, because the partners did not have the chance to see and touch their child. The pain a woman feels when she loses her child before she even gives birth is really profound, so other emotions and deep feelings of anger, frustration, isolation and even jealousy of other women who managed to give birth, gather in her heart.
How is this pain manifesting?
A woman who lost her pregnancy can have acceptance issues at the beginning. Once she accepts the situation and the inexistence of a solution, a way back, she will go through an intense depression. The situation can be less intense if she is powerful and supported by her partner. She becomes sad, sickly, having mood swings. She will have insomnia and obsessive nightmares about her unborn child. She will go easily from a state of mind to another, from crying uncontrollably to going angry. She will feel hopeless and sad. The momentary collapse of mental balance can also lead to physical effects: gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, pelvic pain.
The danger caused by the pain of having a miscarriage rests in the way that the woman chooses to confront the situation. There are three ways to face a situation like this, among which two of them can have long time negative effects over her life and her relationship. One way would be through isolation, letting go of her partner and running from reality by consuming psycho-active substances, like: alcohol, tobacco, antidepressants, painkillers, or sleeping pills. Choosing this way, the pain will disappear for a period of time, but this is not the solution to face the situation as it is and continue to live a normal life.
Another way to face the pain of a lost pregnancy is the objectification of the child – the mother won’t see the unborn baby in social terms, but in medical terms: “cluster of cells”, “undeveloped embryo”. Thus, she won’t resolve the inevitable interior conflict of the mother, but it will hide it under a rational cover. Without accepting the situation, without living and sharing her feelings, the pain will burst in. The mother can easily think that she has forgotten everything, until a future random event that will bring her pain out to the surface.
The final way is the most difficult but also the most efficient way to get over the pain of losing a pregnancy. The mother has to accept the terrible loss and she has to mourn her missing child. This can really be a difficult task for a mind that has already gone through a shock. Also, the child didn’t have any form, smell or name, but the partners can imagine who their child would have been and they can turn him/her into a real human being. Mourning for a real person creates a stronger energy than mourning for an abstraction. No matter how hard it would be, once the parents mourn over their lost child, they are able to get over the pain at some point in time. Though the feeling of a lost child will always be in their minds, because this usually happens when a close relative dies, people learn to move on and continue with their lives. Anyone who passes through such experience should have the support of the partner, because without the understanding, support and the closure of a partner, everything will be twice as difficult to endure. The partner is a true key factor for the recovery of a mother who recently lost her child. His biggest suffering is to see his lover pushing him away from her, telling him that he can’t help her. He will feel useless and left alone. If she wants him close and if she shares her emotions, accepting the pain, they will encounter an easier way to find their inner peace.
So, how can you get over the pain of pregnancy loss?
Acceptance is the first step when you try to get over the pain of having a miscarriage. You don’t have to deny what happened and you also don’t have to tell yourself that everything was just a bad dream or to refuse to believe that you have just suffered the most important loss.
Mourning is step two – no matter how much it hurts, you have to imagine your lost child, to give him/her the name you wanted and mourn. Without following this step, you won’t truly get over the situation, or accept it.
The connection to the partner – accept that he suffers too and don’t push him away, because only he can better understand what you’re going through. He also needs help and your support in this situation. Focusing on your pain and his pain as well might really help.
Memory – you have to remember your child as if he/she was alive and took part of your lives. Only by remembering him/her and placing him/her somewhere in your past, you can look towards the future. This child existed once, but now he/she is gone. In turn, you have the right to continue your lives.
Patience – you can’t expect to get through this pain easily, but with patience, courage and without falling in the trap of depression and isolation, as after a while, the pain (as any other pain that people can feel) will shrink, and one day you will be able to think about the future, and maybe think about having another child.