Feelings and emotions following a miscarriage
Early miscarriage (up to 12 weeks gestation) is the most common pregnancy complication. It is estimated that miscarriage occurs in approximately one in four pregnancies and for some women, it occurs more frequently than this. Many people do not openly talk about it and as a result, there is a lack of education and awareness about miscarriage which can make talking about your loss difficult.
Couples who miscarry often experience the same cycle of emotions as those who have lost a close relative or friend; denial, anger, guilt, feelings of emptiness and longing are all part of the normal grieving process.
“I had two perfectly normal and healthy pregnancies before this one and it simply never occurred to me that I would miscarry. I went to the hospital for my first scan full of excitement only to discover that I had a missed miscarriage. I was utterly shocked and initially didn’t actually believe it”.
Suddenly realising you are bleeding and in pain can be really frightening. Managing the physical symptoms can initially distract from how you may feel about your loss.
“I was so consumed with the physical reality of a miscarriage, managing the pain and heavy bleeding, that it wasn’t until that part was all over that the sadness and tears came. At that stage I was back at home, on my own, and it was very lonely”.
A pregnancy loss may leave you feeling isolated and alone. You may also feel disappointed that your body has let you down. Your emotions can change daily – there is no set pattern and depending on what else is going on in your life, there are days that will be easier than others.
Getting your first period after a miscarriage can be particularly hard as the bleeding can remind you of your miscarriage and the loss of a pregnancy you had really wished for. However, feelings do change and with time, support and giving yourself a chance to physically recover, you should start to feel gradually better.
“I couldn’t understand how my body had let me down. I was fit, healthy and had done all the rights things. I kept going back over the previous few weeks wondering what I had done that might have caused this…..I was full of guilt and confusion and overwhelmed with jealously and anger when I saw other people walk around with pregnancy bumps”.
While it is important to give yourself time to grieve and heal, if you have continued trouble coping with daily life (i.e. loss of appetite, inability to sleep or focus at work, becoming isolated from family and friends) or if you have ongoing feelings of anxiety (anxiety is an even more common symptom following miscarriage than depression), your GP can provide support and refer you for professional counselling if required.
“Talking to a few trusted people was helpful too and it was only then that I realised how many others had similar experiences and I wasn’t so alone in it”.
Some of the information leaflets and web links in this website may also be helpful to you.
The experience of miscarriage is different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to feel. How you cope will often be dependent on your personal and social circumstances at the time of your loss. Your feelings may also be influenced by any previous experience of loss or fertility issues.
Following a positive pregnancy test, you may have already begun to imagine how life as a parent would be. You and your partner may have started to make plans for a new baby to join your family. If you have had previous successful pregnancies, it can be difficult to understand why this pregnancy was not the same.