Pregnancy Loss & Tips on How To Cope
For women who want to experience motherhood in the worst way, finding out that you are finally pregnant after months or even years of trying can be an exciting moment. Getting that first positive pregnancy test can fill the mom-to-be with so much love and hope. But, sadly, sometimes that excitement and hope can disappear right before your very eyes leaving sadness, grief, and loss in its place.
About 15 to 25 percent of all documented pregnancies end in a miscarriage. An estimated 1 in 50 pregnancies turn out to be ectopic and need to be terminated for the mother’s safety. And a stillbirth can happen in about 1 in 100 pregnancies.
No matter how you look at it, there is so much that can go wrong once you find out that you are pregnant. You can only hope and pray for the best. If you are a woman who has never had to endure losing a pregnancy and child, consider yourself lucky. Losing a child at any stage of pregnancy can be completely heartbreaking and emotionally devastating for any woman who was thrilled to find out that they were pregnant. It can even be a painful loss for women who didn’t want to be pregnant, but it’s even more tragic when the pregnancy was welcomed with open arms.
Regardless of how your pregnancy came to a premature end, you are going to have to be easy and gentle with yourself after losing a baby. You have to give yourself time to heal. But how do you even begin to cope with something so devastating that can make you feel like your own body has betrayed you? I was in this very same boat on February 2, 2020, when I found out that I needed emergency surgery to remove my right fallopian tube as well as my baby because it was ectopic and the pregnancy ruptured my right fallopian tube causing internal bleeding.
I am still learning new ways to cope with this loss. The first few weeks were the hardest for me. I didn’t think that I would ever stop crying. I blamed myself for this devastating loss. It’s only been three months since my procedure, and while I still have very challenging days, things have slowly gotten easier to deal with. You’ll never forgot your loss, but it won’t break you down and make you want to disappear after awhile either. We somehow just learn to live with it like we have learned to do with everything else our entire lives.
There are a few tips I have picked up along the way when it comes to learning how to cope with the loss of a pregnancy. What works for me, might not work for you but anything is worth a try.
Understand That It Is Not Your Fault
If you want to begin to heal, you have to stop blaming yourself first. You need to understand, and I mean really understand, that there was most likely nothing that you could have done differently to prevent the loss. Unfortunately, sometimes these things just happen and are out of our control. You can even try asking your doctor if there was any way you could have prevented what happened to you, I know I asked, and most of the time they will tell you that you did everything you possibly could of.
Talk with A Therapist or Grief Counselor
Therapy and counseling can be vital for your mental and emotional wellbeing. You and your body have just gone through some major trauma that is going to need to be worked on and talked about. Don’t think or feel like you have to brave this out alone. Work through the stages of grief with a licensed professional. Don’t hold back or be afraid to cry in front of your therapist either. Plus, with a therapist you will most likely learn some new coping mechanisms that may not have came to mind otherwise.
Journal Your Heart Out
Besides speaking with a therapist, journaling will be the best thing you can try in order to get all of your emotions and feelings out. Don’t let this pain swallow you whole by keeping your emotions inside. When you journal, it is your own private thoughts where you don’t have to worry about feeling judged. People, my partner included, kept pretty much telling me to get over it and to cheer up already. They kept telling me that losing a pregnancy wasn’t the end of the world, but it was the end of my world as I knew it. Journaling was the only real way I could get out everything that I was feeling on the inside. I cried and journaled for what felt like hours the one day.
Light Some Candles & Have Your Own Little Memorial
You can try to light some candles and saying a little prayer and sending it off into the universe. You can read a poem that you have written for or about your angel baby. You can try holding a little memorial for just you and your benefit.
Write A Letter to Your Angel Baby
As a way to help express yourself and how you are feeling, you can try to write a letter to your angel baby. Tell your baby how you felt when you found out you were pregnant with him or her, tell them how much you love them and will always love them, tell them how you felt when they taken before their time. It is your letter and you can add whatever you choose. You can even write the letter in your personal journal. Or you could write it out on a loose-leaf piece of paper that you can burn afterwards since some people feel burning the letter gives them a sense of closure.
Join an Online Support Group
One thing that is also helped me cope was to interact with other women who have gone through something similar as me. I found a really amazing ectopic pregnancy support group on Facebook that I still keep up with and post in from time to time. Talking to other women who have gone through what I did helped me to feel so much less alone because before I found this support group, I was sure that no one would be able to understand me and how I was feeling, especially with how the people in my life made me feel crazier than I was for being in such a great deal of emotional pain.
Choose A Name for Your Angel Baby & Talk to Him or Her
Many women are unsure of their baby’s gender by the time the experience the loss since pregnancy loss is more common in the first trimester, although it can happen at any time. So, most women don’t yet have a name picked out. But even if you were unsure of your baby’s gender, you can still give your angel baby a name so that you can speak to him or her whenever you feel like it. Your angel is baby is waiting to be reunited with you again one day once your time is up here on this earth.
Create Some Memories
While you won’t be able to make the memories you wanted with your baby, once you have given him or her a name you can get customized jewelry with the name you chose for your little one on it to wear as a keepsake. You can also plant a tree or garden in memory of your angel baby, and if you wanted to you could also choose to name a star up in the sky after your little one.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.