How Can My Partner and I Overcome a Miscarriage?
When a couple has been waiting and pleading for a child, the joy that accompanies a little, pink, plus sign is something special. It warms your soul and fills you with a feeling of contentment, even if it’s accompanied by morning sickness and moodiness. But when the life growing inside you is ended prematurely, there can be an emptiness as exquisite and strong as was your original joy. American Pregnancy Association studies show that 10 to 25 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage, which makes it the most common type of pregnancy loss.
Just because a miscarriage is quite common, it does not diminish the fact it can be devastating. Other’s that have not experienced a miscarriage themselves, or even your partner, may not completely understand the feelings you experience, or know what to say or do to help. Many people who have experienced this loss ask the same question, “How can my partner and I overcome a miscarriage and try to have another child?” Although the situation and feelings are not the same for everyone, the following four things may help in mending hearts, so you can continue to grow your family.
- It’s Okay to Grieve.
First, it is normal to grieve. It’s important to recognize that everyone grieves differently, and in their own time. Respect your partner’s grieving process. Be a support, rather than a drain. The five stages of grief and loss include:
It is normal for everyone to experience each of these stages; however, they do not always happen in a specific order, and there is not a prescribed amount of time for each stage. The ultimate goal is to come to some acceptance regarding the miscarriage. Acceptance does not mean that it will never hurt again; it simply means you can face it and move forward. It can be helpful to find a professional counselor to help you and your partner move through the grief process and manage sorrow and pain.
- Have Perspective and Recognize Distorted, Negative Thoughts.
As people grieve, they often have distorted thinking, not based in reality. They seek someone to blame, or endlessly search for the reason this happened to them. They become angry at their partner, or make deals with God, or themselves. They generalize the miscarriage and think that because they miscarried, they will never have a family. It can be very difficult, but very helpful, to count your blessings at these times. Seek to see your and your partner’s life as a whole, rather than thinking only about your loss.
Because things don’t happen the same way for everyone, it’s important to talk to your partner about how you are feeling, what you want and need, and why. It can be hard to not become easily offended or defensive; but times of trial and conflict can be times of growth for our closest relationships, if we communicate and seek to understand each other’s point of view.
An old technique, often taught in relational communication, is to use “I messages.” I messages are often misunderstood, though. The purpose of I messages is for the person to take responsibility and ownership for their own feelings, without blaming others or manipulating them into doing what we want them to do.
- When You and Your Partner are Ready, Stop “Trying.”
“Trying” to have a baby can be stressful and place unrealistic expectations on things outside of your or your partner’s control. After you and your partner have grieved and are comfortable with moving forward with continuing your family, just enjoy each other. If it happens, it happens. Let this be a time for your relationship to blossom and grow.
Family planning is not a perfect science, and neither are human relationships. Life throws us a lot of curve balls and loss – of many kinds – and can make us feel like we have struck out. But, life is not a ball game; it’s life! Each experience adds value and strength – to us and our relationships – if we take the time, care for ourselves, and care for those we love.