I’m at a point in my life where many of my friends are starting to grow their families. When a close friend of mine delivered a healthy baby boy three years ago, I thought it was that easy. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that it’s not. Recently, another friend had two miscarriages before successfully getting pregnant. I’ve learned that they’re much more common than I realized, or wanted to believe. In fact, about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages.
Stigma Around Miscarriages
If miscarriages are so common, why aren’t they talked about more frequently? Part of the reason is stigma. Many women express feeling guilty after having a miscarriage. They report feeling that they “must have done something wrong” that caused the miscarriage. While it seems to be human nature to look for blame when something goes wrong, miscarriages often aren’t caused by anything the mother did. In my friend’s case, the miscarriage occurred due to a chromosomal abnormality that would have resulted in the baby being born with severe birth defects. In a way, the miscarriage was the body’s way of carrying out the process of natural selection. While this may be comforting information, it does not fully heal the hurt of a miscarriage.
The Pain Surrounding Miscarriages
A part of why miscarriages hurt so much is because a miscarriage is a loss. Even though the parents did not meet their baby, they still had expectations of what their baby would be like.
When a couple finds out they are pregnant, they visualize how their lives will change. They may have wondered about their baby’s personality, what he or she would look like, and what their name will be. A miscarriage shatters these anticipated happy moments, and because of this the parents must go through a grieving process.
If you are mourning the loss of a child due to miscarriage, consider seeking therapy. A therapist can provide an empathetic ear and help you move through the grieving process. Couple’s counseling may also be a helpful way to process differences and learn how to best support one another in the wake of this loss. If you would like to begin individual or couple’s therapy with a counselor, call The Light Program and schedule an intake evaluation today.