Dealing with pregnancy loss and the death of an infant is a cruel journey that no parent is ever prepared for or wishes to go through. Unfortunately, this is a tragedy that happens every other day robbing parents of their dream to nurture and care for their children. Whether you lose your baby as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth or after birth, you may experience feelings of shock, anger, denial, self-blame, powerlessness and hopelessness.
The duration and preferred method a parent choses to grieve their baby is a process that cannot be dictated but could be made easier through the following steps;
Take your time.
There is no time limit to how long you should mourn the death of your baby or the loss of your pregnancy. Cry as much as you want to release all the pain and sadness that you feel. No matter how strong you think you are, do not avoid the grief but rather allow yourself to go through it. Remember time heals and you will survive the tragedy.
Lean on people.
Find a strong support system and let them offer their help and comfort. Do not distance yourself from people as it will make you more lonely and you may fall further into depression. Remember that your spouse and family hurt too and this may be a good opportunity to bond and console each other instead of shutting them out. Talk to someone you trust and share wit them your pain. You can go to support groups to try and heal with others in a similar situation.
Connect to the memory of your child.
You don’t need to try and completely forget your baby. Do not discard the baby gifts or destroy everything that reminds you of them. Collect all the stuff like the hospital bracelet, ultrasound pictures and keep them for whenever you want to remember your baby. Try to remember the good things about your pregnancy or your infant. You can honor their memory by e.g planting a tree and giving it the name of your infant.
When you lose a pregnancy or an infant, you will replay the moments before it happened a million times in your head and try to figure out what you would have done differently. In as much as it is not your fault, you will keep blaming yourself. Accept all the self-blame but learn to forgive yourself. Finding out the real cause of the pregnancy loss or death of your infant is also a step to accepting that it is not your fault and learning to let go of the hard feeling towards yourself.
Engage in activities that make you happy.
Though this might feel like the end of the world, do not punish yourself by curtailing your happiness.Try and do things that you love. For example if you love cooking, prepare your favorite meal.To avoid too many questions from people, you can engage only on indoor activities with your family and friends until you are ready to go out.
If you think you have done everything but cant still get over the grief, seek professional help. You could also visit a therapist who will take you through the process of healing. Left unchecked, the grief could result to depression, talk to your doctor, allow him to prescribe the best treatment for you and make sure you take the medicine as directed.