I am a regular lurker on a pregnancy loss message board. Recently, a mother posted asking some questions about the recovery process post-miscarriage and I thought I would share what I responded, in case it is helpful to anyone else:
It takes a long time to get “better” and there is a new “normal” ever after—just like having a full-term, living baby brings a new normal, so does the death of the baby.
These are some things that helped me:
- I read, read, read. Every book about miscarriage/stillbirth that I had and ordered and read a bunch more. I also voraciously read miscarriage stories on the internet—somehow knowing that I wasn’t alone was validating and just like reading birth stories, I hungered for miscarriage stories. (previous post with book list–needs updating, since I’ve read more since I wrote it)
- I journaled a lot too.
- Connected to that need for story, I invited two of my close friends over within a week and told them the whole story from start to finish—I needed to tell it, just as I needed to tell the birth stories of my other two sons. I needed to tell the WHOLE thing, not just “my baby died and I’m so sad,” but, “and then contractions were two minutes apart…” etc., etc., etc. They brought me food and we sat and cried together and they listened with care and respect while I told the WHOLE thing. It took me two hours to tell it. It was such a gift that they were there to listen.
- I requested a (free) birth certificate for my baby from Angel Whispers. It came really fast and is very nice. I love it. They sent a little gift with it that I also found meaningful. Even though I don’t completely connect with the “angel” image (I think in the “forever in my heart” language rather than angel language), I love having the angel birth certificate. It even has an “official” gold seal on it 🙂
- I bought a pendant in honor of my baby—I got a footprints on my heart charm and also the “baby in my heart” pendant from Miscarriage Memories. (more about jewelry here)
- When people asked what they could do for me (other than bring food), I had them send me a bead for the baby and later, on the three month anniversary, I strung them together into a “necklace” and hung them up over his birth certificate. (there are pictures of it here)
Be patient and gentle with yourself. Be generous with yourself. Give yourself permission to just STOP for a while. Sit with your feelings. Cry when you need to. Let the pain hurt.