16 Jan Shattered dreams: Coping with pregnancy loss
Debbie was shocked and heartbroken when she realized she had lost the pregnancy.
Her husband Ron and her had been trying to conceive for over a year, but were unsuccessful. When they saw the specialist it turned out that Debbie had not been ovulating regularly. After two months on meds, Debbie and Ron were delighted to find out they were pregnant!
Debbie has always wanted to be a Mom. Growing up in a family with four siblings, she cherished her relationships with all of them. She was yearning to be a mother and, when she realized that Ron was also keen on having children, she was certain her dream would come true.
Alas, at 9 weeks, when she had an ultrasound, they could not find the baby’s heartbeat. Soon after, Debbie miscarried.
Debbie and Ron were both heartbroken but, whereas Ron was trying to remain optimistic about the future, Debbie was inconsolable. For weeks following the miscarriage she did not get out of bed, could not go to work, would eat very little and was weeping for hours on end. Her doctor tried to reassure her, saying it was quite common to miscarry during the first trimester, but Debbie felt that her dream was shattered and that she might not be able to ever carry a pregnancy to term.
As many as 2 in every pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester, often before week 7 of the pregnancy. Most of the times, the reason is chromosomal, which prevents the fetus to develop properly. There are other reasons such as mature maternal age, uncontrolled diabetes and, smoking.
The emotional responses to a miscarriages are varied, but, if the pregnancy was wanted, most women feel sad, disappointed and emotionally empty. Male partners are often sad and disappointed as well, and tend to worry about their wives’ well- being. Sometimes, there are significant differences between the husband and wife in terms of their emotional response and coping with the miscarriage. Such differences sometimes lead to hard feelings between partners, especially when one or both feel dismissed, misunderstood or unsupported.
The pain of a miscarriage is real and significant. It is always easier to deal with this heartbreaking experience together than alone. If you’ve experienced a miscarriage and you find it hard to cope with, seek some counselling. If you are in a relationship, It is a good idea to seek couples counselling to make sure you can support one another through this difficult time.