Last week I spoke about what I wish I knew when I was when facing my first pregnancy loss. Today I’d like to talk about something I think is equally important and not often discussed - the aftermath of a pregnancy loss.
As the miscarriage process was playing out I didn’t think about ‘what next’. The now was so hard it felt impossible to look forward.
When the ‘what next’ become the ‘now’ I again discovered things I wish I knew beforehand…
So What Can Happen After A Pregnancy Loss?
This was a major one for me, so much so I call it the BIG CRASH!!
When you fall pregnant adjusting to the surge of new hormones gives you all those wonderful symptoms. When you lose a pregnancy your body again needs to adjust to sudden hormonal changes, which can cause a whole other bunch of symptoms.
Think PMS on steroids…..
It can hit you like a wrecking ball!!
This may differ for everyone but both times it took about a week after the loss for my body register it was no longer pregnant.
When my body let go of all the pregnancy hormones I had a total collapse.
I felt hollow like someone had scooped my insides out with a spoon. It was so hormonal that I was unable to stop crying and my whole body ached with it.
The first time it happened it took me by surprise and was so out of character that it was terrifying (for my husband as well!!). I thought I’d lost my marbles!!
With my second loss this crash was still bad but I knew it was coming, and would pass, so I was prepared for it.
More Hormonal Crashes!!
Again this might differ for everyone but for the following two to three months, I had mini-crashes that hit me out of no-where.
In hindsight these were mostly timed with hormonal shifts in my cycle – ovulation, cycle end and so on.
They were not on the scale of the BIG CRASH but they were definitely storms to ride out…
Some people bounce straight back. Others take awhile.
My doctor told me to expect my first cycle after the loss anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.
It can be a tough wait not knowing when things will revert back to normal, especially if you are keen to get back onto trying ASAP.
I found it reassuring to know that if it took awhile that was normal – remember your body is grieving the loss too, and taking time to heal!
My Advice to Coping with a Miscarriage
Let yourself grieve in the way that feels natural to you.
There is no right or wrong here. You feel how you feel.
I did things like:
- Wrote a letter to my babies
- Spoke with friends who had experienced miscarriage
- Cried on my husbands shoulder for hours
- Wrote in a journal
Find what feels good for you and go with it.
Give yourself time and space.
This is both a physical and mental ordeal. Don’t underrate that. Take the time to rest and recover, give yourself space to collapse if you need to.
Accept it might take time to feel human again.
The grief process in any situation is around 3 months. For some it might be shorter, for some longer – again there is no right or wrong.
I was hard on myself about still feeling so sad a few months after my first loss. I know now this was perfectly ok.
I certainly wasn’t helping by having an expectation on how long I should feel crappy for!!
What advice would you offer to those who are recovering from a pregnancy loss?