Experiencing a miscarriage is both physically and emotionally challenging, however when you’ve also been undergoing fertility treatment, it can feel especially distressing.
According to Sands, up to one in four pregnancies result in miscarriage and over 100,000 families are affected each year. Miscarriage has been an uncomfortable topic among women and couples and it is often hard to open up and talk about these painful experiences.
At Fertility First, we recognise the importance of being able to talk about such a delicate topic and provide support and compassion to our patients who have experiences early pregnancy loss.
Here, we offer some suggestions, some helpful stories and coping strategies that may potentially help you during this difficult time and assist in the healing process.
1. Acknowledge your loss and allow yourself time to grieve
It’s easier said than done and this is probably the hardest part of the process. Just because the pregnancy loss occurred quite early, it doesn’t mean that we have to ignore it. Know that your loss is very real, it’s absolutely ok to feel insufferable sadness, sometimes anger, whatever form your grief takes.
It is worthwhile to take time out for yourself and spend time grieving in your own way. This can mean curling up and having a good cry, or smashing out a session at the gym to take out all your frustration, it’s a completely normal reaction to have during these early days.
2. Reach out
Some women can find the process very difficult, especially if they’re experiencing the loss alone, so it’s incredibly important to reach out and find someone to talk to, whether that person is a partner, a family member, a friend or a work colleague.
You would be incredibly surprised how understanding and supportive people are when you’re faced with this challenging time. If you’re struggling to find someone to connect with who you know will provide you with the support you need during this time, our highly qualified counsellors at Fertility First are available to speak to you and help you through this time.
3. Be mindful of your feelings
During the early days, after you experienced your miscarriage, you may find it hard to be around friends or relatives who are pregnant and this is perfectly normal.
It is not selfish for you to want to spend time alone and to give yourself permission not to visit or spend time with them. Let them know that you still hold their relationship dear, but you need to take time out to look after yourself and explain that it may be too difficult at this stage to see them now.
4. Don’t ever apologise for your pain
During this time, friends and relatives may try to help by encouraging you to “move on” and try to “return to normal life” as soon as possible, but don’t feel pressured to speed through your healing process.
It’s important to take as much time as you need to seek support, surround yourself with people who will support you and move forward at your own pace. There is no set time for your grieving process, some women take a few months, others may take up to a year, it’s all dependent on the person and there no right or wrong amount of time it takes to work through this.
Sadness, anger, and pain is a normal part of the grieving process and you should never apologise to anyone or blame yourself for your feelings during this challenging time.
5. Don’t take hurtful comments personally
Many people don’t understand that some comments can sting, especially if you’ve suffered a miscarriage after enduring fertility treatment. Comments from unsuspecting friends or relatives such as “we got pregnant without even trying” can feel like salt in the wound or comments such as “you can always try again”, “it’s for the best” or “be grateful for the children you have” can be equally as painful.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first miscarriage, your fourth or your seventh, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a child previously or are still trying to achieve that first pregnancy, comments like this can hurt.
Remember that when people have had no personal experience with pregnancy loss, they may also have no idea what to say and that a seamlessly harmless comment meant in good faith may upset.