The loss of a baby during pregnancy is a heartbreaking reality for many families. This includes miscarriage (loss of a baby before week 20 of pregnancy) and stillbirth (loss of a baby at 20 weeks or later). Sadly, these losses can happen to anyone and are all too common. Miscarriage, specifically, happens in around 15% of pregnancies.
If you’ve experienced pregnancy loss, you know how painful the loss can feel. And there are so many emotions to process. You may feel sad, shocked, jealous, guilty, lonely, even empty, or numb. Amidst your grief, you may also become hypervigilant, obsessive, depressed, guilty or somehow to blame.
Every pregnancy loss is different, so there’s no wrong way to feel. Fortunately, understanding
your grief and finding ways to cope can lead you along the path to emotional healing.
Understanding the Grief Process
There’s no doubt, loss is hard. If you or a loved one is dealing with pregnancy loss, it can be
helpful to learn about the five-step grieving process. Remember, the grieving process can be
complex, and it’s not the same for everyone. But generally, people experience five distinct
stages of grief:
Stage 1: Shock and Denial – A general feeling of disbelief and numbness. It’s a time when you don’t quite understand what happened.
Stage 2: Guilt and Anger – You may be searching for someone or something to blame for your loss. You may even feel jealous of those who have children or are pregnant.
Stage 3: Bargaining – During this stage of grieving, you may try to bargain with God, agreeing to do something in return for being relieved of the pain you feel.
Stage 4: Depression and Despair – Losing a baby can bring on intense sadness and pain, with uncontrollable tears and difficulty finding hope for future pregnancies.
Stage 5: Acceptance – In this final stage, you can come to terms with your loss. It doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your baby or your miscarriage, but you are ready to move forward.
Coping with Pregnancy Loss through Sharing and Support
You’re not meant to deal with loss alone. One of the best things you can do is establish a good support system to confide in. It may be difficult to find the right words, but it’s important to share your feelings.
Talking about your miscarriage with your spouse, family, and loved ones will help them
understand your grief. Confiding in a counselor can help you better understand and cope with your feelings. Sharing your story with a support group can give you a community of other mothers who have survived a miscarriage and can relate.
If you’re in the trenches of pregnancy loss, you are not alone in your experience. Whether
you’re seeking ways to deal with grief or searching to see where God is in your situation, there are people who care about you and want to help you through it. We hope you’ll find comfort and understanding at our new Miscarriage Support Group happening on Wednesdays from 11 am-12 pm. For more information or if you are interested in attending the group, contact Kathryn Deiters at firstname.lastname@example.org. and fill out this short interest form.
Dear Father, it is difficult to grasp the reality of a baby who is desperately loved and wanted yet will never see the light of day, or feel the tender touch of a mother whose heart is now broken. But though we often don’t understand bitter providence, we know that your ways are higher than ours, higher than the heavens are above the earth. It is these unfathomable ways that gave us a love so great that You spared not even Your only Son to make us Your beloved children forever. And therefore we know that You intimately understand every parent’s pain for their lost child, whether born or unborn, and that even this does not fall outside the sphere of your unfailing love and goodness. Our hearts go out to the grieving mothers facing the emptiness of miscarriage. Father, we lift them up to You and pray for their comfort at this moment. May they know the strong help of Your presence today, tomorrow, and in the difficult weeks and months ahead. May they place this burden upon You as they find rest for their souls, both now and for all eternity. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.