Suffering a miscarriage can be a very traumatic experience for both parties. Whereas the woman experiences the physical trauma and pain personally, as well as the emotional symptoms, a man will also experience painful emotional symptoms too.
Experts predict that around one in five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, so they are unfortunately common, but this does not take away the fact that they are extremely distressing and, at times, very hard to cope with.
After a miscarriage, the focus is often on the mother, therefore the father can often feel overlooked and overwhelmed simultaneously. He may find it hard to chat to the mother, for fear of upsetting her further. So, much of the time, he will stay quiet and try to deal with his feelings internally.
What feelings are normal after a miscarriage?
There are no ‘normal’ feelings after a miscarriage. The truth is that everyone will feel differently and there is no right or wrong.
Initially, you may feel shocked, just as you would with the loss of a friend or family member. You may feel a sense of grief and sadness.
You may experience feelings of anger too. The feeling of ‘why did this happen to us’ or ‘what did we do to deserve this?’. The truth is that it’s hard to always establish the cause of the miscarriage. They can be due to genetic problems, hormonal issues or infection, or something anatomical that is unknown or undetectable. They can also occur at any stage of the pregnancy, often much more upsetting the further along with the pregnancy you are. Therefore, it’s not always easy to find reason or logic in why a miscarriage might have occurred.
If you are finding it hard to talk to your partner about the miscarriage, then you might experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. You might also develop symptoms of anxiety and depression such as headaches, dizziness, and lack of appetite. You might feel worried about the health of your partner, or that you might now struggle with future pregnancies as a consequence.
Just remember, that it’s completely fine to experience these feelings, and others too. They are all part of the grieving process associated with miscarriage.
Recognising your partner’s feelings
Although your partner is sure to share many of your feelings herself, she may also be experiencing them in different ways to you.
She may also try to hide her feelings, just like you are doing as she finds it hard to come to terms with. She may also feel isolated and even guilty that she’s let you down by not being able to have this baby.
Other women will be very open about their feelings. They may cry a lot and want to talk about it all the time. She may also want to talk about it to friends and family members, which you might find hard to deal with as it’s such a personal and intimate matter.
She may be desperate to get pregnant again or be feeling terrified about another pregnancy because of the pain of this one. As a result, she may not want to have sex or even any kind of physical contact with you.
Ways to deal with your feelings as a couple
The emotions of a miscarriage can sometimes bring a couple closer together as they deal with the trauma together. They might not even feel the need to tell others or gain support outside of their duo.
But even the strongest relationships can be strained with the grief and emotional after-effects. You may have different feelings about the loss and therefore say the wrong things at the wrong times to each other, ending in tension or confrontation. One of you might want to get on with life and try again for a baby, whereas the other might feel far too much pain to try again so soon.
Listening and talking to each other can help you to understand each other’s feelings. Find a quiet time when you have space together as a couple and sit down in a comfortable environment to chat openly about your emotions and how you feel. Keep an open mind and don’t be surprised if you are both in different head-spaces at that time. It can help to know that this is completely common and normal.
There might also be other elements to consider, such as other children, work commitments, and social engagements. Therefore, it’s important to rely on help as much as you can during this time. Perhaps you have confided in a grandparent, who will take care of your other children for a while as you deal with your loss. Or perhaps you could inform the school and arrange after-care to give you more time alone to process what has happened.
Don’t be surprised if the trauma of miscarriage leads you to question all kinds of other things like your relationship, your career, and even your whole role in life. However, this might not be the best time to make any important life decisions, but it can help to talk about what your feeling.
Getting extra support
You might feel like you have to hide your feelings in order to be strong for the mother of your child. But, the truth is that if you kept the trauma shut-in, it will be sure to come out in other ways, or at another time. The best way to deal with things is to open up and communicate.
You can talk to your doctor about what happened and the implications it has for the future. This may answer some of your unresolved questions. Also, you can contact the Miscarriage Association for further information and help, as well as other people’s real-life experiences that you can relate to.
Sharing your feelings with a friend or therapy professional may also really benefit you and help you to let go of any negative or trapped emotions. This might be one of the first times that you have reached out for support outside your household, and you might not be used to talking to your feelings with others, but it might be worth trying.
Complementary therapies like acupuncture, reflexology, Havening, and hypnotherapy can also help you to deal with the emotions trapped in by the trauma you have experienced.
If you are suffering from the emotional stress caused by a miscarriage, then I am here to talk to you and suggest ways to deal with your loss.
Give me a call on 07787 831 275 for a free consultation or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you back as soon as I can.