To a mother, grieving the loss of an unborn child is real, even though some people may not understand why you are in so much pain. Understandably, you have built a relationship with your baby right from the day you realized you were pregnant. You went through all the emotions and challenges of pregnancy, and when your baby started kicking and moving, it was a joyous moment.
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You had made plans, probably prepared a room for the new family member and bought clothes and accessories. Your unborn baby was a favorite topic you never got tired of discussing with your loved ones and anyone who cared to listen. When calamity struck, the pain was unimaginable. How do you get over the loss?
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
You may experience a myriad of emotions from denial, anger, regret, blame, guilt, envy, and yearning. Whatever you feel, don’t suppress it. If you feel like crying, it doesn’t matter where you are. Just let it out. Give yourself time away from work to grieve the loss. If possible, talk to someone about your feelings. Grieving is a process, and each day and step is different. Nothing is predictable.
Involve Your Partner
Men usually don’t grieve openly, but he may also be going through a hard time. It may also be painful watching you go through all that pain, and there’s little he can do to make the situation better. It’s traumatic for a man not to protect his family from loss and pain; therefore, even if you don’t see him grieving openly, understand his pain. Talk to him about your feelings, and make him comfortable enough to open up about his loss. If you have other children, they may have questions to ask. Be honest and try as much as you can to spend time with them.
It’s Okay to Hold on to The Reminders
Some hospitals may let you take photos with your baby. It’s okay to keep them and even give your child a name. If you had bought baby stuff, you could hold on to them for as long as you want. If possible, build a memorial garden for the baby where you can occasionally visit and spend time just soaking in on the memories. There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of your stillborn. You can even hold a funeral, write a love letter or poem, and have a beautiful inscription on the headstone.
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Take Care of Yourself
When grieving, taking care of yourself can be hard. Simple tasks such as taking a shower or fixing your hair become a bother. You may also rely on comfort foods, which means you will have to deal with more than the pregnancy weight. Even if you don’t feel like it, fix yourself a nice meal, take a shower and dress up. The more you take care of yourself, the higher your spirits will rise. Also, start thinking of a weight loss plan that will help you shed the baby weight.
Friends and loved ones may not know how to help you through the grieving period and may watch from a distance. Most will be going through pain seeing you in so much distress, and there’s nothing much they can do to help. Let them know how they can help. If you need to talk, call a trusted friend or relative, and spend time with them talking about the baby and your feelings. If you want to build a memorial for your baby, involve your loved ones and let them know how they can help. It’s also okay to seek professional help. Grieve can easily turn into depression or lead to health complications. If you cannot process your feelings, or are still in denial, get a professional counselor. You can do so with your partner.
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Get a Support Group
With time, you will realize you are not alone. Many women have gone through a similar loss, and connecting with them will not only help you express your feelings but will make you feel safer and stop focusing so much on your pain. You may even start helping others going through similar situations, which may speed up your healing process.
Although you can never completely get over the pain of losing a baby, it gets easier with time. It’s okay to try to get another baby. The decision can bring joy and hope for a better future for your family.