Coming to Terms

It is important to be open about your own feelings, anger and anxieties. The loss of your baby can be a lonely and frightening experience. Communicate how you feel with your partner, family or close friends. Some of us find great help and comfort in our own families. In some cases families can offer comfort and care that others cannot.

It helps to remember that what you are experiencing happens to many women. In fact, approximately one in every five pregnancies end in miscarriage. The Miscarriage Association of Ireland provides telephone and email support and group support meetings. Talking to someone and sharing your story with someone who has been through a similar loss can really help you feel less alone and isolated.

Each woman varies in the amount of pain she suffers at actual miscarriage stage. The sense of emotional loss, generally seems to be universal. A miscarriage is a sudden unexpected loss of life. It shatters your hopes for this baby and fills you with doubts about the future. Sadly, you have to say “goodbye” before you get the opportunity to say “hello”.

There are no effective methods of treatment for miscarriage, and while we are physically going through a miscarriage, it may be that you feel angry with doctors and medicine as a whole.

All women and their partners have the right to grieve whether they lose their baby through early or late miscarriage.

Everybody’s grief is different and not all women and their partners will grieve following a miscarriage and some recover quite quickly emotionally and physically. For others losing their baby can leave them feeling shocked, angry, empty and depressed.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve and no time-frame to “get over it”.  In time you will learn to live with the loss of your baby and come to a level of acceptance.

Some people find it easier than others to express their feelings during times of distress. For the partner, you may grieve the loss of your baby differently and on a different time frame to your partner.  This can lead to more tension. Expressing those feelings to each other is an important part of getting through the crisis and can help in understanding each other’s feelings about your loss.

Friends, especially those with a personal experience of miscarriage, are often major sources of support. Sharing the physical as well as the emotional details of your miscarriage can help you come to terms with your loss.

In families who already have children, explaining in gentle terms what has happened will help with their understanding as to why their parents are sad and assure them that it is not their fault. They deserve some clarification appropriate to their ages. Sharing the experience with the whole family can be more supportive to the grieving parents and allow you to grieve as a family.

Discuss with your partner about how you both feel about trying for another baby. There can be a lot of anxiety about trying for another baby after a miscarriage.  Fear of it happening again, how will we react? Will we be able to cope? Talking to your partner will help and if necessary talk to your GP / Consultant Gynaecologist if you feel you need further advice and information.  Assurance that “nothing is wrong” can go a long way to ease the feelings of anxiety around trying to become pregnant again.

You may have no mementos if you lost your baby in early pregnancy and this can be a source of heartbreak. It can help to do something tangible in memory of your baby.  See the section on ‘remembering your baby’ for ideas.

“It is never too late to acknowledge your baby whether your miscarriage was recent or long ago.”

Counselling after a miscarriage. The Miscarriage Association does not provide a counselling service, but professional counselling can be very helpful. If you’re looking for a counsellor we would always suggest that you find out: if they are qualified and registered (see The Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy website whether they have special interest or experience in pregnancy loss, if there are any costs and if you can have a ‘no obligation’ meeting or phone call to begin with. Please see for a list of low cost services.

The decision to stop trying for another baby is rarely an easy one. The life you are facing is a very different one from the one you had hoped and wished for and the process of adapting to that new life is likely to take some time. You are very likely to make and unmake decisions several times before you finally decide on the way ahead. And even if your decision is clear and strong, you may still have times when you wish it were otherwise and times of great sadness at what might have been. It is important to know that you are not alone and there are many resources available to help you and/or your partner come to the right decision for you. Hopefully they can help you move towards a positive future.