The invisible grief
The invisible grief
The experience of losing a pregnancy is “invisible grief.” Parents often feel quite connected to the baby they have anticipated and follow its growth through the normal changes of the pregnant body. After a pregnancy lost moms can even long for morning sickness. The connection to the identity as a parent is lost and there is no evidence of the connection with that identity any longer, only the grief is present. The grief made real by the emptiness of the womb, the absence of a baby in the nursery and the loss of all the parenthood moments that could have happened.
Pregnancy loss might be the most common experience nobody knows about. Normally there is no acknowledgment of it; there is no bereavement leave and often no funeral. Even the word miscarriage, so often use, carries in itself the notion that something went wrong and that it could’ve gone right. It also ignores the deeply personal and individual experience of pregnancy loss. It can seem like grief is never going to end, it will take time and people often feel like they’re off track, not moving forward as they “should be.”
The experience of pregnancy loss can lead to feelings of unworthiness, the pain of isolation, shame, and blame can drive couples apart or bring them closer, opening a door to new levels of compassion and tenderness with one another.
Women tend to be more expressive about their loss and more likely to seek support from others. Whereas men tend to gather facts and problem solving, being more action-oriented and therefore usually not participating in support networks that consist of sharing feelings, which means they normally grief differently. Not only they grief differently but also they express different levels of bonding with their babies. Mothers can begin bonding from the moment she has a positive test and the father may start bonding with his baby as he experienced kick, for example. For that reason, fathers-to-be might seem less affected by the loss which can cause strain in the couple’s relationship as they cope with their loss.
If you have had a pregnancy loss please remember so many women all over the world are grieving the baby loss as well. You are not alone and the truth is that this is not your fault.