Pregnancy Loss

night_sky“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night”

The little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If you are visiting this page because you have loss a baby through a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal death, or an ended pregnancy, we at Girlfriends Health, are very sorry for your loss. There are no words to express the devastation, the sorrow, and the grief that you may be experiencing.

Suffering from a perinatal loss can be a very lonely experience. Such losses are often referred to as “invisible losses”. Society has no rituals to address these kinds of losses or to acknowledge the couple’s grief. Parents are left with painful feelings and often no one to turn to for support. Too often, family and friends don’t understand the pain and length of time needed to grieve such a loss.

Guilt, anxiety, sadness, and emptiness are common and normal reactions after a Perinatal loss. Be patient with yourself, grief takes time; it comes and goes, like waves, it peaks and fades. You may find that certain events can trigger its intensity such as going back to work, holidays, and anniversaries of the loss and birth date.

It is also important to understand that men and woman react and deal differently to Perinatal loss and that it is just normal. Traditionally, men feel they must be strong and protect their wives from their own feelings of loss and sadness and try to make things better for them. It is important for couple to acknowledge these differences and support each other without judging how the other is coping.

After the loss of your baby, you may also experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Crying spells, even when you least expect them
  • Experiencing mood shifts, irritability, and anger
  • Dreaming that you are still pregnant
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling as though you loss is not real
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Intense preoccupation
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, tightness in throat and chest
  • Feeling hopeless

 

Girlfriends Health tips for coping with a perinatal loss:empty_crib

Give yourself permission to cry – for as long and as often as you feel you need to – crying is part of the mourning process.

    • Find support. Not many people really understand how great a perinatal loss is and sometimes say hurtful things (usually more out of ignorance). Find others who do understand and can offer support.
    • Many couples find it helpful to gather mementos such as ultrasound pictures, or your baby’s things and create a memory box or photo album. Creating rituals that acknowledge your baby’s life can be helpful such as planting a tree.
    • Nurture yourself. Women sometimes minimize the emotional impact of their loss and blame themselves for not getting over it quickly. A perinatal loss is both physically and emotionally stressful. It is important to give yourself time to heal.
    • If telling others about your loss and/or having to deal with their reactions is too difficult ask someone to tell others for you.
    • Being around pregnant women and infants may be difficult for now and it is fine to not attend baby showers, baptisms or first birthday parties.
    • As anniversaries may be difficult, you may want to plan ahead and take the day off, attend a religious service, or mark the date in some special way.

 

Counseling at Girlfriends Health

Seeking counseling can help process the complicated emotions of grief. If you have experienced a perinatal loss and are experiencing distressing and/or interfering symptoms of grief, sadness, anxiety, and/or depression talking with a professional may help you better understand the distress and day-to-day difficulties you are experiencing.

Loss Resources

Support Group

Free support group in Brevard:

“Remembering Through Sharing”
Perinatal loss support group Murrell Professional Park
845 Executive Lane, Suite 100
Rockledge , FL

The group meets 2nd Wednesday of the month from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.
Call 631-5538 for more information.

 

Books

    • Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby. Deborah L. Davis, Fulgrum Publishing, 1996
    • Miscarriage After Infertility: A Woman’s Guide to Coping. Margaret Comerford Freda and Carrie Ann Semelsberger, Fairview Press, 2003
    • Empty Arms: Coping After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death. Sherokee Ilse,Wintergreen Press, 2000
    • Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream. Sherokee Ilse, Wintergreen Press, 1992
    • A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss – Guidance and Support for You and Your Family.Ingrid Khon, MSW, Perry-Lynn Moffit, Isabelle A. Wilkins, Brunner-Routledge, 2nd edition, 2000
    • Surviving Pregnancy Loss. Rochelle Freidman, Bonnie Gradstein,Carol Publishing, 1996.
    • Unspeakable Losses: Healing From, Miscarriage, Abortion and Other Pregnancy Loss. Kim Kluger-Bell, Perennial Currents, 2000

 

Online Resources