Losing a baby at any point during pregnancy has got to be the most difficult thing a mom-to-be can experience. I know, because I’ve been there.
My husband and I lost our first baby sometime around the 10th week of my pregnancy. It’s a moment I will never forget – sitting alone at the doctor’s office (in our public OBGYN offices, men aren’t allowed to enter with mothers, regardless of it being their own child, too!) and being told my baby’s heartbeat had died out.
I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what to do, who to turn to for comfort, and whether it’ll ever be less painful. If you’ve been through it, or you’re there right now, I know what it feels like. It’s a void, a dull pain in your chest that feels like it’s there to stay.
Grief is normal. It wouldn’t be normal to go through this without it. Grief helps us come to terms with our loss, and find a way to get closure. I thought my own pain was never going to fade, but it did. It hasn’t gone away – I honestly don’t think it ever will.
I want to step away from the most basic, curated content, where I’d tell you what everyone else recommends you do to heal after such a traumatic experience. I will share what’s gotten me through this rough journey, hoping it’ll help you, too!
Find a friend who had been through this already.
When I lost my baby, I found out about many of my friends’ miscarriages, too. It seems to be the thing nobody wants to talk about, until it happens to someone they know. That’s not too difficult to understand, considering it’s such a difficult topic.
If you’ve lost your baby, try to talk about it with the women around you. You might find out someone’s been through it and can give you the kind of comfort others can’t. On the other hand, you may become a voice of reason to others, who will feel just as hurt and lost as you’re feeling now.
Have another baby – or at least start planning for it.
One of my friends who I turned to when I miscarried, knowing she’d been through it too, said something very wise to me.
“You’ll never full heal until you’ve had another baby.” When she told me this, she was holding her 1-year-old girl, lovingly stroking her golden hair.
Today, I believe her. My rainbow child is about to turn 14 months, and even though I still feel pain from time to time, he does make it go away. At the time, I thought it would feel like ages before I’ve had another one, but it really isn’t that far away (unless there are complications or you’re not ready to try, of course, which is also completely normal).
A couple of days after my D&C, I gathered some empty boxes, colored paper, little gadgets, and anything that looked even remotely interesting around our house. I started making toys for my rainbow baby that I couldn’t even begin to try for, not for at least six months. Still, those little toys I made have kept me alive, and seeing my son playing with them makes me feel like a part of his older brother or sister is still with us in those rattles and sensory boxes.
Cross something from your pre-pregnancy bucket list.
This is mostly relevant for the first-time moms, since life gets quite complicated to navigate once you’ve had your first baby. Regardless of your situation, though, try to do something to “fill the gap” between your loss and a new positive pregnancy test.
I’m not very proud of everything that’s been on my bucket list, but at the time, I was a passionate (even full-time) gamer. When I miscarried, I tried to distract myself from grief by getting my hands on as many games as I could. If this is not your jam, no problem! Just focus on something in your life you know you’ll have a lot less time for, once your rainbow baby is here. Is it reading? Traveling? Watching unlimited amounts of your TV shows? Whatever gets you through this – hold onto it and give in if it makes you feel better!
I hope you’ll find comfort in my words. There isn’t a right answer to this question – if there was, there would be a lot less pain in the world of parenting. The main thing to keep in mind is to not be too hard on yourself. Everyone recovers in their own pace and this is not a competition. Take your time and do whatever makes you feel good.
I dedicated a full chapter to my after-miscarriage experience in my new book, From Bottle To Bottle: How I Broke Bad Habits, Changed My Lifestyle And Taught A Toddler To Eat Everything. I think you’ll find it extremely helpful on your journey of recovery – especially if you’re hoping for a little rainbow miracle once you’re ready.
Here’s a free chapter for you, so you can get to know me and my story.
Stay strong! You’ve got this! Share your thoughts in the comments, or if you feel like contacting me in a more personal way for some guidance, drop me a message. (Oh, and I guess I should point out I’m not a healthcare professional. If there’s anything you wish to discuss when it comes to your mental and physical health/recovery, be sure to talk to your doctor. My words are my story – hopefully, though, they help!)