“I feel like there is a huge black hole sucking me deeper and deeper. How do I cope?” asks mom of two and Circle of Moms member Jackie M.
The experience of loss many women have after a miscarriage is hard to describe. But Circle of Moms members talk about their shattered confidence in their ability to carry a baby to term, which is intimately tied to their sense of femininity.
“It is very stressful after a miscarriage...because you always have that fear that something is going to happen again and always wonder what you could have done differently. After a time it goes away, but will always be in the back of your mind,” says Jennifer H.
She’s not the only woman expressing doubts about the ability to have a baby after miscarriage. With two losses behind her, Joanie S. writes “I am so scared because of the past." And another mom shares, anonymously, that she was “an emotional wreck" before delivering a healthy child. “I was afraid everything I did was going to cause a miscarriage, or if I had some weird pain, I felt like I was going to miscarry again.”
As the non-profit AmericanPregnancy.org states, the emotions shared by these women are not unusual: “The emotional impact can usually take longer to heal than the physical impact." But how long that grieving will take is as varied as women are themselves.
“I don’t think there is any quick fix for this. You never really forget it, just hurts less over time,” shares Sarah C.
“It is not an easy thing to cope with and you will never forget the loss you have had. But it does get easier,” writes Helen E.--after seven miscarriages.
And Ella H. reassures that “coping with miscarriage is a very personal experience that every woman will do differently."
How Quickly Should You Try Again?
While many women naturally want to try conceiving again as soon as possible, many moms who’ve been through miscarriage recommend against it.
“I wouldn't rush it. Don't try to replace. A lot of people say that they don't, but they do,” says Aisha G.
And as Dianne C. points out, “Your emotional recovery is important.”
Tracey A. can relate. She miscarried at 12 weeks and was pregnant again three months later. The pregnancy, which should have been a period of happy anticipation, turned torturous as she fell into mourning for the child she’d lost.
“Three months into that pregnancy, I was a total mess because it was the due date of the baby I lost...my baby girl was born six days before the first anniversary of my miscarriage. I was a complete wreck for weeks, suddenly having a newborn and trying to deal with all this grief that hit me without warning. I was going out of my mind because I didn't feel bonded with my new baby. A lot of the time I was feeling guilty for missing the baby I lost, because...if he had been born his younger sister would not exist. I almost drove myself mad thinking too much.”
Could You Handle Another Miscarriage?
Moms who've been through it say that processing the emotions that come with the loss of one child before the arrival of another is critical. As Stephine B. shares, “The one question you should ask yourself is ‘can I handle another miscarriage so close together if that’s what happens.’ Just be honest with yourself."
She and other moms suggest taking practical steps toward emotional healing, including talking about your feelings rather than bottling them up.
“It took me a while to be ok about (my miscarriages) and to be able to talk about them. But when I did talk it helped me,” shares Leanna H.
Then she took an even more deliberate step toward healing. For each of her four miscarriages, Leanna got a cross tattoo with a rose.
Joanie S. also designed a ritual to help her let go: together with her 6 year-old daughter, she released “baby balloons" into the sky in remembrance of two subsequent pregnancies that ended in miscarriages. When she posted in March 2010 she was pregnant again, but had not yet told her daughter.
“If I miscarry again I don't want her to be hurt. I am haunted by the loss,” she says.
They say time can heal all wounds, but they don't say anything about the removal all scars.
“It's an incredibly painful thing to experience and you just have to allow yourself to grieve,” advises Micah M.
Perhaps the best advice on dealing with miscarriage and on deciding when to try again comes from Jennifer H., who went on to deliver five healthy children after a miscarriage.
“Do what your heart tells you, not anyone else."
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.