Are you aching with the pain of loss?
Do you feel guilty or are you blaming yourself for what happened?
Do you feel like your body betrayed you?
Are you aching desperately to become a mother but terrified it may never happen?
Do you want support but feel like no one understands?
Are you fighting back tears and trying to get on with life, like everyone else, but feel so alone?
Do you worry this loss is creating distance between you and your partner?
Do you think everything will be fine if you can just get pregnant again?
As a society we do a terrible job when it comes to supporting people with loss. Pregnancy and infant loss carries even more stigma and is often misunderstood or minimized by others.
I know how painful pregnancy loss can be. My journey into motherhood, like so many women, began with miscarriage. My pregnancy, not unlike many miscarriages, was in the early stages but that didn’t make the pain any less.
When motherhood does not come with the ease we expected but instead is wrapped up in a package of suffocating grief triggering anxiety and a sense of betrayal of our bodies, we can feel lost and alone.
Healing happens in connection.
Healing happens when you have a safe space to be raw and real and not have to pretend you’re fine when you’re not.
Healing happens when partners can talk openly with one another and grieve together.
Healing happens when we can release the self-blame and shame and move through all our feelings.
Healing happens when we can stop worrying about being a burden and show up authentically.
Healing happens when we can learn to ask for what we need and honour the long and winding road of grief.
Healing happens when we can hold onto hope, no matter how hard things feel right now.
For almost 20 years, I’ve been supporting women and men in person and in virtual groups. Weaving education with emotional support, I facilitate a safe, space where you can feel seen, heard, understood and empowered. I am a regular contributor to the Gottman Relationship Blog and have done extensive training on healthy relationships and communication.
I've also done training and reading on grief and loss and specifically perinatal loss.
Using the practices I teach and talking openly with my partner helped me through the grief process and anticipatory anxiety when I became pregnant with our son.
Did you know?
Men and women can grieve differently and a lack of support for fathers and awareness about what partners need can lead to increased disconnection or conflict in relationships and increase the risk of complicated grief for both mothers and fathers.
Did you know?
There is no timeline for grief and no end date. Loss that is not processed, especially unexpected or ambiguous loss can increase the risk of complicated grief.
Did you know?
Pregnancy loss at any stage can put you at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, PTSD or post partum mood and anxiety disorders.
The joy of subsequent pregnancies and post partum periods can be overshadowed by anxiety, rumination or lingering guilt, self-blame and shame.
Your loss matters; no matter how early.
You deserve support.
You deserve to heal.
Sharon Laplante, Perinatal Nurse for Twenty Years