I started writing my book “How to Survive a Miscarriage – A guide for omen, their partners, friends and families” after I lost my very first child in 2011 to a missed miscarriage.
Here are my top five tips:
1. Pick a ritual.
A miscarriage is a complicated loss. We have lost someone we love so much but have never met. It leaves a special void in our hearts and souls. There are often not many memories to hold on to and to find comfort in. Therefore, it is very important to find a ritual to remember this little life and to create memories. Miscarriage is often not considered a ‘real’ loss, which is highly inappropriate and plain wrong. It is a real loss. So we are more than entitled to pick a ritual to honour our little ones. This can be lighting a candle on their due date, planting a tree or creating a garden or making a scrapbook to reflect your journey and emotions. The one rule to follow is – do what feels right for you.
2. Self care.
After a miscarriage, many women experience a number of conflicting emotions. It is not only the question ‘why me?’ or ‘why my baby?’ that plagues us but also disappointment, anger and maybe even disgust at our own bodies for having failed us. While these thoughts and emotions are normal, it is important to keep them in check. We did nothing wrong. Self care is absolutely crucial after a loss like miscarriage. We have been through a traumatic experience, often unnoticed by the outside world, and we deserve a break. So go and have a spa day, get a massage, buy something nice for yourself. You deserve it. Beating ourselves up over our loss will only take us so far. Instead, to begin the healing journey, we need to focus on ourselves and recognise that we deserve to look after ourselves and do so in a way that suits us.
3. Give it time.
Just like any other loss, a miscarriage needs time. Time to process, time to heal, time to remember. There is the expectation that women have to just ‘get over it’ but that is nonsense. Take all the time you need to grieve, to be sad, to be upset and to heal. You lost your baby! Grief knows no time limit. Know that it is OK to take as long as you need to feel better.
Miscarriage is first and foremost on many occasions, a very lonely experience. We were pregnant one day and the next we are not. If we are lucky, we have supportive family around us. If not, we lose our babies and no one cares. Therefore, it is very, very important to connect with the right people – fellow sufferers who understand what you are going through. They will listen and support you and give you strength to face the outside world again.