If you want to keep your baby a sacred secret. That’s okay.
Sometimes it feels wrong to tell others. Sometimes you have kept baby a secret and want it to continue to be a secret that only your heart knows about. That’s okay. It’s okay for your experience and your motherhood to be sacred.
If you want to tell everyone you know that you miscarried. That’s okay.
You’ve experienced a major loss. It’s emotionally traumatic. It’s physically hard. If you need others to know what you are going through and want to celebrate the short little life your body protected, that’s perfectly okay. Share away! Find friends who will listen and cry with you!
If you want to include your children in your grieving process. That’s okay.
A gentle introduction to the concept of death is a gift. It can strengthen your family and give them an understanding of the life cycle that is helpful. It can give them the experience of seeing adults cope and love through sorrow.
If you want to protect them from the sorrow. That’s okay.
Sometimes they aren’t ready. Sometimes they can’t grasp it. Sometimes you don’t want them to hurt yet. Sometimes it brings you comfort to watch their world stay naive and beautiful. You’re their mamma — you can choose what is good for them!
If you need to create a memorial. That’s okay.
Whether it’s a keepsake, a piece of jewelry, a tree planted in a park or your yard, a line written in a family Bible, or even a place at a local cemetery for miscarried and stillborn babies. If that’s what your heart needs, that’s ok.
If you don’t want to have any physical reminders around you. That’s okay.
You won’t forget. Don’t worry. It’s ok if you want to make sure there’s nothing visible that will trigger you, or if those things seem trite and inadequate. It’s okay to keep this in your heart.
If you want to tell a few friends, but ask them not to pass it on. That’s okay.
The need for support is real. Feeling the need to share with a few people does not mean that you have to be public with the information. You can choose which people in your life you feel like can support you how you need to be supported.
If you don’t want your parents and siblings to know. That’s okay.
Sometimes family tries too hard to help. Sometimes they simply don’t understand because their phase of life is so different. You don’t have to tell them just because they are family.
If you want to be alone, just you and your partner. That’s okay.
Take your time, mamma. You will heal. Don’t shut your partner out in this time, because they need to heal with you. It’s both your hearts feeling this.
If you want a support team around you. That’s okay.
If you feel the need to reach out and ask for help, then do it! The intensity of grief and physical strain are different for every mamma, and if you need to gather your sisters and gal pals, or find a doula, or go to your ladies’ group to ask for help with food and caring for your other children, or just ask some friends to come and pray for you, then do it!
Each miscarriage is different, and each person’s needs are different. Don’t expect your grief to follow a specific timeline or pattern, just continue to move forward, seeking to find the joys and points of gratitude that make like beautiful.
Remember these things as you journey onward:
- Stay active — eating new things, exercising, keepng a journal, and shopping. Keep on experiencing life.
- Keep moving forward instead of dwelling in despair — finding ways to help others, to get out of the house, to enjoy your life — this will help you to keep from getting in a rut that prevents healing.
- Seek out those you love. While being near those who are hurting with you can and probably will make it seem more raw and real, it is also helpful to draw closer to others during this time.
- Banish guilt. This is not your fault. Don’t let thoughts of guilt into your mind or heart. Dwell on gratitude, on the parts of the journey that were beautiful, and on building newer and deeper relationships.
To Family and Friends — How You Can Help
Let them talk about their child.
The baby was a real person. It is the child that made them parents. Don’t get awkward or change the subject — let them talk about this person that was and is such an important, formative part of who they are.
Feel free to say “I Don’t Know What To Say”
Being honest and being there are better than trying to comfort in ways that don’t always help. Let them know that you are there for them. Listen when they talk, and don’t try to fix it. You can do so much good by just saying “I’m here, but I don’t know what to do for you.”
Let them continue to fulfill their engagements if they believe that they can.
Cancelling everything and replacing them can be hurtful if they are feeling the need to be busy and involved. Tell them that you *can* find someone to take their place, or that an event *can* be put off, but let them set their pace based on what they need. Giving to others helps them to keep themselves out of states of despair.
Don’t Rush Them
It’s a time process to grieve. Don’t feel like they should have “gotten over it” months, or even years from now.
Find ways to ease the burden in other areas.
They may be struggling financially due to extra time of work, or emotional struggles causing sales quotas to suffer, or so on. She may be struggling to cook, as many miscarriages are physically traumatic. Distraction and confusion may make maintaining the house nearly impossible. Find ways to help with these practical burdens so that they have less stress points adding to the grief process.