Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Deal with a Miscarriage in the Family

Miscarriage—the forbidden “M” word nobody wants to talk about.

Losing a baby is one of the most painful tragedies a person can ever experience, whether the child is fully grown or a fragile little fetus inside a mother’s womb. Because society dictates that a miscarriage should be kept hush-hush, grieving parents all over the world carry the pain in their hearts and suffer in silence without any way to mourn their loss. But keeping it all in does not make the pain go away, nor does it make the loss any less real. Here’s how to deal with a loved one who’s coping with losing a baby.

For a Friend

1.Talk to them.

Sadly, we live in a world where women hide in the shame of miscarrying. Being there for your friend and letting her talk about her miscarriage will lift a huge burden off her shoulders and help her pour out her heart without fear of being judged.

2.DO NOT minimize the situation.

A great, big no-no is to say “at least” to your friend who has just miscarried. Never say “at least it was only three months” because it doesn’t matter if the baby was two weeks old or two years old—the pain of the baby’s death is just as excruciating. 

Another horrible thing to do is to say that she can always try again next time. There is no comfort in telling a grieving couple that they can simply replace the baby they’ve lost with another one.

3.Acknowledge the pain instead of dismissing it.

One thing a well-meaning friend usually does is to say that “things happen for a reason.” While this statement may be true, it will not help your grieving friend feel any better if you tell her that losing her baby was all for the best. Avoid criticizing and imposing your advice on her, either. Instead, simply be there for her and listen to her woes—that will be more than enough.

For a Father

1.Allow the father to grieve.

In miscarriages, people often focus too much of their sympathy and well wishes on the mother while completely forgetting that the father is just as in much pain. It’s easy to neglect how the father feels, especially because the husband will most likely try to be as strong as he possibly can for the wife. Everybody tries to console the mom, but who’s there to console the dad? The best thing to do is to acknowledge this pain and allow the father to grieve by talking to a friend. Men hurt, too, no matter how much they try to hide it.

2.Don’t let the father apologize and try to “fix” the problem—it’s not his fault.

Because men usually have the tendency to find a solution to any given problem as an initial instinct, fathers will more often than not find ways to try to “fix” the loss. But a miscarriage is a miscarriage—nobody is at fault.  Relieve that guilt within him instead.

3.Keep going, one day at a time.

The father might have his own way of dealing with the miscarriage by busying himself with other things. Let him keep going but never rush him into moving on. In any loss, it’s important to take it slow. It’s okay to feel the pain. Go through the miscarriage together one day at a time.

For Family Members

1.Support grandparents during this difficult time.

For a grandparent, the pain is doubled during a miscarriage. The grandparents are hurting because of the loss of the grandchild, but at the same time, they are in pain because their own child is in pain. Talk to them and let them vent out their feelings as well.

2.Encourage siblings and be honest with them.

A child who has lost his potential sibling will no doubt mourn, too. Regardless of the child’s age, he or she will be greatly affected especially since they are usually overlooked when a miscarriage happens. Being as honest as possible with them and allowing them to express their thoughts and their fears will ease them into the loss.
For Yourself

1.Don’t be afraid to cry.

Deaths in the family are never easy, especially if that death happens inside your womb. Do not ignore the pain. Cry, mourn, grieve. Take the time to lament in your own little way—your beautiful unborn baby deserves that much.

2.Seek the support of your loved ones.

While losing your baby might tempt you to curl up in a ball and hide under your sheets forever, talking about it with people who love you will help a lot with your grief. Don’t blame yourself for what happened by punishing yourself in solitude. Your family cares about you and will do anything to help make this difficult time easier for you in any way they can. You can also seek out the support of parents who have lost their children. There are plenty of local and international forums and support groups online, and they are more than willing to help fellow grieving parents overcome this great tragedy in life. You might be surprised at how easy it is to find comfort in people who’ve experienced the same pain you are in.

3.Take care of yourself AND your partner.

Just because you’ve lost your precious little miracle doesn’t mean you should lose yourself and your significant other as well. Try your best, no matter how difficult it might be, to keep yourself healthy. Most of all, don’t ever neglect your husband or your wife. You’re both experiencing the same loss, and you need to express your love for each other now more than ever.

There is no easy way to deal with a miscarriage. The most important thing to do is to allow yourself some time to grieve. It may be different for different people, but acknowledging and slowly going through the miscarriage is the best way for you to honor your lost little one, no matter how long it takes.

This article was first seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles HERE.

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