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Life after Miscarriage
Nothing is quite as joyous as finding out that wanted baby is on the way. This initial joy evaporates into a pain that is unlike anything else when things don’t go as planned. A miscarriage steals away the hopes and dreams of expectant parents just when their happiness is at its zenith.
There are many causes for miscarriage, most of which cannot be prevented by any amount of careful maternal watching. It is estimated that 10%-20% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage, and most of those occur before 12 weeks.
Miscarriage, especially very early miscarriage is so common that obstetricians view them as normal, even healthy occurrences from time to time. This might not make the first hand experience any easier, but it does mean that a normal and healthy pregnancy is not out of reach.
Most miscarriages are caused by some sort of problem with the embryo itself. When the proper course of development is not on track the fetus can spontaneously abort itself.
Other causes of miscarriage include smoking, drinking or illicit drugs, abnormalities with the uterus or other health problems like thyroid problems or weight issues. There are also a number of pathogens, such as listeria, that can lead to spontaneous miscarriage.
When a miscarriage does occur a period of mourning is to be expected. From the time the pregnancy test comes back positive it is as if baby is in your arms. This is the real tragedy of miscarriage; the dissolution of all the dreams and hopes that parents build once they find out that a baby is on the way.
Husbands and wives need to be patient with one another as each may mourn differently. It can be a good idea to seek grief counseling, read books and seek the comfort of friends and family, but most of all each other.
Miscarriage requires recovery on many levels: emotional and physical. Depending on the cause of miscarriage physical recovery can be short or lengthy.
Talking to a health care provider and following their specific instructions will help you to return to physical health much more quickly. Common post miscarriage physical complaints include soreness in the abdomen and vaginal areas, bleeding like a heavy period, changes in hormone levels, headaches and pregnancy like symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.
Depending on how far along the pregnancy was a return to physical normalcy can take two to four weeks. Emotional healing can take longer, but allowing the five stages of grieving to progress will lead to acceptance and closure.
Dealing with Others
One of the most challenging aspects of miscarriage or stillbirth can be handling the well meaning but overly intrusive or ignorant actions of others. In some cultures it is frowned upon to even mention the lost child, making healing so much more difficult. No matter what your culture says, dealing with a miscarriage can be a very personal and private matter.
It is fine to simply unplug from the social network until healing and acceptance have made it less painful to socialize. Keep in mind that many of the people within your inner circle of friends and family may simply be at a loss as to what to do. Overlook awkward overtures, or seemingly cruel suggestions to get on with life and try again. Surely the comments, while perhaps misguided are meant to be helpful.
What might surprise you is that many of your women friends have also suffered through a miscarriage as well. Their support will be invaluable as you grieve the loss of your child.
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