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The Five Stages of Grief
Dealing with your loss
 

Stage 1: Denial
Losing a child is one of the hardest things for a person to deal with. Most of the time, miscarriages happen suddenly, with little or no warning. At first, you may not realize what has really happened. You may think, "I'm okay," or you may be embarrassed and not want to make a big deal out of the whole thing. Miscarriages are often very painful, both for the mind and for the body, and you may find yourself relieved that, momentarily, the pain is gone. However, this is not the case for everyone; everybody deals with pain and loss in different ways.


Stage 2: Anger
The second stage of grief is anger. You may find yourself having major mood swings, and getting angry at everyone around you for no apparent reason. This is normal! You might find yourself getting angry at your husband/boyfriend, your friends, your family, your doctor, or even your god. You might ask yourself, "Why me?" I know I did. You might be angry because of insensitive remarks; it is very important that you try to take these remarks with a grain of salt. Most people do not understand what it feels like to go through a miscarriage, and they will try to be helpful by saying things that they believe will help, but in reality, hurt you unbelievably. They might say, "It is for the best," or, "there was probably something wrong with it, anyway," or even, "it's better this way because you weren't really prepared for a child." Trust me, I have heard them all, and then some. It is okay for you to be angry, because you lost something that nobody can replace. If anyone tells you that you don't have a right to be angry, they are wrong! The important thing is not to blame yourself, and to remember that you ARE a mommy - your baby just left sooner. Reminding myself of that helps me, and I hope that it helps you as well.


Stage 3: Bargaining
Now this stage is really a tough one. Bargaining is where you try to rationalize your loss, or maybe even try to replace that empty hole with something else. I personally spent almost a year and a half in this stage. First, I immediately wanted to start trying to conceive another child. I didn't care about anything else; all I cared about was 'getting it back'. I wanted to be pregnant again, and this time it would go perfectly fine. I disregarded my doctor's advice to wait a few months before having unprotected sex. I disregarded my fiancÚ's preference to wait until we were more financially stable. I refused to get birth control pills. I started eating more, because in my mind, I was going to be pregnant soon, so I needed to start eating for two. I stopped drinking caffeinated drinks and started drinking only juice and water. I went to the store and bought all kinds of vitamins. Every month I would buy pregnancy tests and stare at the space where the blue line was supposed to appear and never did. When my period came, I would cry for hours. At these times I would hate myself, and hate my body. I began to despair and think of myself as 'just another statistic.' I would also sit and think to myself, "if only I would have done something different." I didn't know what that something was, but I knew if I had done it differently, everything would have been fine. It has taken me over two years to realize that no matter what I might have done differently, it still would have happened. Nothing that I could have done would have prevented it.


Stage 4: Depression
The depression stage is pretty self-explanatory. This is the stage where we cry a lot, and remain in a very sad state. I spent a lot of time in my room during this stage, listening to music that reminded me of my loss. Sometimes music helps, because it expresses for us how we feel. Music is beautiful and emotional, and I highly recommend finding music that you feel expresses yourself. A few favorite artists of mine: Sarah McLaughlin, Jewel, and Nina Gordon. It is important for you to have 'alone time' during this stage. This probably won't be hard, because you will probably not want to be around people much during this stage. Don't shut off the world from yourself too much; being around people is important as well, even if they don't always understand. Do things for yourself; go shopping, take a luxurious hot bath with salts or sweet smelling oils, go find a favorite tree and sit down beside it. Do whatever pleases you, because you deserve it.


Stage 5: Acceptance
This stage is the final stage in our hard journey. This is where we finally accept that what we have lost is gone but not forgotten. This stage does have it's moments of regression into past stages, however. There are days where I am doing just fine, and then I see something or hear something that triggers my sadness and I am right back into depression again. This is normal. All that it takes for me is to see someone mistreating their child, or to see a pregnant woman mistreating her body. Then I get angry and think, "they don't deserve to have their child," or, "they take their child for granted." It's just not fair that some of us want a child so badly, and can't have one, and then there are other people who don't even care, and are popping out children like pop tarts. It is okay for you to be angered and hurt by this. Hopefully you will be consoled at least a little by knowing that there are others out here who understand what you are going through. Know also that no matter how many years go by, the hurt may lessen but will never go away completely. The only thing that changes is how we deal with our losses.
 

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