If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, late-term baby loss or stillbirth, you know the pain. It’s beyond experience, beyond grief and beyond reason.
Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Apparently, 1 in 5 pregnancies will end in miscarriage but because it’s such a private thing and some losses are so early – I believe the rates are much higher. The worst thing for most of us is, we will never know why.
In that moment, you need a raft of coping skills and I really encourage you to reach out for support in your own network or with specific organisations or professionals (e.g. Sands Australia) who know the best ways to support you.
What do I do after a miscarriage or baby loss?
But what about after. How do you deal with the grief? How do you carry on daily life? Where do you put this new hollow, sinking, dark feeling you’re carrying around every day?
Firstly, it’s a really individual thing so don’t let anyone tell you there’s only one way to go through this. Tune into your instincts and go with that.
Secondly, wait a little while. Again it’s a really individual thing but it’s ok to wait as long as you want before you find ways to mark or remember your little one.
My favourite quote on grief
“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go”
Grief is just love with no place to go
Within my fertility coaching, many of my clients have suffered losses and we work together to find the best places for the love and grief to go. By giving it a place, ritual, keepsake, memory box or creative outlet, it doesn’t change what happened, but it does make it easier to put one step in front of the other and to find a way to positively acknowledge your lost little one.
Finding a place for your grief
In EP11 of the Your Fertility Hub podcast, I talk through why this area is so important and delve into case studies of how transformational it has been for some of my clients. I also chat through 5 different ways you can mark, commemorate or remember your baby.
5 ideas to commemorate your miscarriage or baby loss
- Writing a letter – Writing a letter to your baby explaining how you feel, what hopes and dreams you had for them and what you are doing in their memory can be an incredibly cathartic process. Even if you never share the letter, writing it out can be really healing. You can continue this process too.
- Holding a ceremony – Lighting a candle or holding a service or event can be a great way to grieve and celebrate the love you have. This can be just you guys or a larger gathering. You can also make this an annual ritual on the anniversary date or due date. It gives a great outlet to grief at those tough times of the year.
- Creating a place to go – Either in your home, garden or community, create a place to go that commemorates your baby. Plant a tree or put something on the wall in your home. It gives you a place you can go to when you need too.
- Collecting memories – Collect keepsakes, photos and anything related to your little one in a box or on display. This could be scan photos, medical details or bracelets, pictures of you and your family and any special teddy bears or items of clothing. These can serve as a great comfort as the years’ pass.
- Creating something – There’s a multitude of things you could ‘create’ to mark your little one such as art, sculpture, photography, crafts such as quilting or knitting or poetry. This may be something you would like to do or you can commision it from someone else. You can also donate to a charity in your baby’s memory (and ask others to do so) or tattoo their name so it’s with you always.
For more ideas of ways to cope with grief and commemorate your lost baby, please visit Sands and tune into EP11 of the Your Fertility Hub Podcast to hear all this in more detail.
Join Your Fertility Toolbox for more support for the emotional side of your fertility journey.
Fertility Coach, Founder of Your Fertility Hub
Karenna Wood is an international fertility coach, founder of Your Fertility Hub and passionate advocate for more emotional support and information for women trying to get pregnant. She’s an expert in mind-body tools and when not blogging, podcasting, coaching or speaking is...fast asleep!