What can you do to ease your pain and loss after a miscarriage?
For many couples having a baby is not a simple exercise, and there are countless obstacles and stages to pass before that baby is brought home. From my work as a Therapeutic Reflexologist, Bereavement Counselor, Logotherapy practitioner and mental imagery for healing practitioner, I have come to believe that the support women need on their journeys to conception and birth is a whole-istic (holistic) approach where the MIND and BODY are treated as one. We can’t just focus on getting the body right for conception; we have to deal with the emotions that come with the experience as well.
Often the beginning stage of conception is filled with struggles and difficulties and many couples today are battling here. This challenge comes with lots of emotions, highs and lows, and intimacy often becomes a huge challenge for the couple.
Then there is the devastating news from the doctor that there is no heart beat….. Women will report feeling so shattered or empty after a miscarriage and are not supported for the deep loss that they are experiencing. This lack of support may be from doctors, spouses, family or friends.
This loss is all about the potential that will not materialize, and will never be.
Doctors give reassurances that next month is another month or “Wait a month and you can try again.” This approach does not help one bit, because the pain is so real and has not been acknowledged. They know that they still want a baby and every passing month is precious time wasted, but they don’t know what to do with the pain!
What can you do with the hurt, the pain, and the loss?
Couples don’t know what to do with this new reality. There are two aspects to deal with; the physical loss as well as the emotional loss. From an emotional perspective I always encourage speaking to a psychologist and working through the emotions. That pain that you are experiencing needs to be heard. My recommendations to couples are that both aspects need to be addressed. We can work towards building a strong internal reproductive system, and bring in healthy eating and lifestyle. We can take the vitamins and omegas, but we need to deal with the loss as well.
In the course of life when there is a death, this is marked with some type of ceremony or funeral. This is a very important step towards healing. However in the case of a miscarriage, there is no ceremony, and too often the event passes without recognition.
How can you mark this event so that you can move towards healing?
Emotional healing can take place once the pain has been acknowledged. My suggestion to couples is that just because there was no funeral; it doesn’t mean that there should not be some kind of ritual to mark the event. I like them to think of something meaningful that they can do that will help them to begin healing. Ideas or suggestions that have worked are:
• Buy something from the nursery to plant in the garden, something that appeals to you, something meaningful or special. It could be a rose bush, a fruit tree or a water feature. Dedicate this in your mind to your loss.
• Dedicate some time as a couple or on your own (whatever your needs are) to speak about the loss. This could be any type of ritual from a special dinner together, a candle-lit bath, lighting a candle or listening to a certain piece of music that is healing.
• Write a letter to that baby expressing your pain, heartache and disappointment
Whatever you have chosen to do, have in mind that this ritual is dedicated to saying ‘goodbye’, to acknowledging that there was life that is no more, and to invite a healing into your heart.
The important idea behind these rituals is your intention. Your intention is to acknowledge that you have had a loss. You have now done something tangible and physical to mark this loss in the hope of bringing acceptance to your body and soul. It is also very important to note that there is no set time to how long it will take for you to heal or to begin healing. Perhaps you will even do a combination of the above suggestions. Be kind to yourself. Take small steps towards healing.
I have seen how this ritual has brought a sense of peace to many patients that I have worked with, and once we are at a place like this, then we are able to focus on moving forward, to be able to invite and welcome a healthy baby into their space and lives.
By Devorah Kur