Fredericksburg Parent

February 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 31

18 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2016 WRITTEN BY VICTORIA MCCOLLUM Things I've Learned from Perinatal Loss From Personal and Work Experience This one is a hard one, guys, because no one wants to think or talk about the tragedies. A LOSS IS STILL A LOSS. 6 weeks or 6 months or 6 years, a mother often already has hopes and dreams and excitement wrapped up in that child, and grief is, in the end, mourning the loss of "what should have been". THERE IS NOTHING MUCH THAT CAN be done for a pregnancy until the baby becomes viable. That is to say that if your body shows signs of a miscarriage before 15-18 weeks at the earliest then there isn't much that can be done to stop it. THIS IS SOMETHING YOUR CARE provider will deal with on a daily basis. Some of the most amazing medical care pro- viders I know are very analytical thinkers. To them, there is a REASON you don't do your pregnancy confirmation appointments until 8-12 weeks in to a pregnancy. This doesn't mean they don't care. It just means they have to keep it professional sometimes, and sadly you may walk out of that appoint- ment feeling a little unsupported. I promise you, they care, even if you need to look else- where for the emotional support. LOSS IS NOT EASIER WHEN YOU DIDN'T TELL ANYONE YOU were pregnant yet. Then you're sitting behind a crushing wall of silence because no one knew you had anything to celebrate, so they have no idea that you've lost anything either. People often feel the need to act "normal" in their everyday life but they don't feel normal. EACH LOSS IS UNIQUE. If someone has suffered more than one loss, they may very likely feel different, but *just as strongly* about it each time. Be patient with yourself and those who have lost. It doesn't get "easier" each time. THE WORDS "AT LEAST" ARE SOME OF THE LEAST compassionate words out there. "At least you already have a child." "At least you know you can get pregnant again." "At least it was early, and your body is showing signs of being ready again when you are." "At least…", even though well intentioned, often means, "I've had enough of your grief, let's find something to be positive about." Compassion begins with allowing someone to exist in their grief with- out making them feel better. Empathy is climbing down there with them, crying with them, and feeling the sadness with them. And then letting that person decide when its time to feel better. PARTNERS OFTEN FEEL THESE LOSSES differently, and neither way is better or right. Or one partner may experience extreme feelings of loss while the other doesn't get it. Grief and loss are intensely personal, and should be dealt with in whatever way the person feeling it needs. This can cause stress between partners though, if not discussed and appreciated in one another. ALLOWING YOURSELF TO GRIEVE IS IMPORTANT. This is not wallowing. This is an important part of working through your loss. The words "at least" are some of the least compassionate words out there.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Fredericksburg Parent - February 2016