Losing a baby is one of the most devastating experiences a couple can ever endure. Too often, the stress and strain takes its toll on the relationship and at a time when they need each other the most, the couple drifts apart. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, this shared grief can be another one of the many ties that bind you together. Here’s what worked for us when we suffered a miscarriage at twelve weeks.
1. Express your love.One of the first questions I asked him when he met me in the doctor’s office to plan for the D & C was, “Still love me?” I thought I knew the answer, but I still needed to hear that we were in this forever, no matter what. And I needed to hear that over and over again for days. Luckily, he understood and was quick to confirm that his feelings were intact.
2. Get the answers you need. We asked the doctor numerous questions. We had to know that it wasn’t our fault. We also wanted answers. Would it be safe to try again? What should we do differently next time? How could we ensure that we would never ever lose another baby? Some of the answers take longer than others. We had a pathology report to wait on. And in all honesty, there is never any way to ensure that there won’t be another miscarriage. Ask all the questions you need for your peace of mind.
3. Grieve together.We talked about the way we wanted to handle our grief. We wanted to let it all go, rip it like a Bandaid, and then work on recovering from there. We didn’t want to dwell too long. And so we stayed up late into the night talking and holding each other. We talked about all of our hopes and dreams for our son that died. We talked about every aspect of the experience, what waiting for me to come out of surgery was like, the physical pain I was experiencing. We shared our emotions. Communication is key in relationships when things are good, but it’s even more critical when things are challenging.
4. Accept that people mourn differently.He knew that there would be times that I would just need a moment to cry it out. He knew that there would be times that something would strike a nerve and I’d just need a moment to pull myself together again. I knew that he would react differently. He needed to spar with friends. He needed to work out his anger and aggressions. We know what the other person needs and we allow them that time.
5. Find positive distractions. We had our time to mourn and grieve together, but we knew there was a danger of dwelling on the sad parts too much if we spent too much time home alone. And so we had to find a balance. We called friends and spent time with them. We ran errands, we explored new hobbies, we watched movies. We even started taking naps here and there. I needed the extra sleep to help my body heal. He loved sleep to help him cope with stress. It was a nice quiet way to spend a few hours not talking, crying, or thinking. And we’d wake up refreshed and ready to face life again.
6. Give it time.Yes, time heals all wounds. There is something really therapeutic about that. So don’t place a time limit on grief. You may think that you are all better and then a few months from now, something will set you off. It’s normal. Life will get back to normal. And eventually, you may be ready to try again.
Our relationship could have been devastated by the loss of our son, but instead, we seem to have pulled through stronger and closer than ever. And nothing has brought me more comfort and peace than knowing I have him to share my life with. It’s easy to be together when things are good, but if you have someone to share the bad and the ugly with, life is even sweeter.
To read more about Nicki’s experiences, visit her blog, Suddenly Single Journey.