TRIGGER WARNING: The following article contains content related to infant loss and complications in pregnancy and delivery.
The excitement you feel when you find out you're expecting a new family member cannot be beaten. There is the rush, the disbelief, and the planning and dreaming for the future. You wonder how your baby is going to be personality wise, what will be their strengths, hopes, and fears, and finally what their future will look like. Then, you're hit with the news that the baby has something wrong and will likely not make it long past delivery- if they survive that long. The hopes and dreams are slashed and you feel a rush of emotions- from guilt to disbelief and from anger to depression. All the feelings are normal, but how do you handle them? Do you terminate or wait and see? Is there a chance the doctors are wrong? Do you tell people or leave it alone? Here are a few tips to help guide you through coping, from someone who has been there.
Allow yourself to feel everything, bottling never helps and usually ends up with you self-destructing or going off the deep end for no reason.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800"] Via End The Killing[/caption]
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Remember, you will grieve differently from your partner. They may not show the same emotional reactions as you, but it might take them longer to fully come to terms with everything since you're the one carrying the baby. Don't take his reaction personally, men can often be very different from women.
On the same note, use this occasion to pull together with your significant other. Even if you know a bunch of people who have lost babies, nobody else other than your partner understands what you're going through at the same level. Both of you are losing the same baby, both of you are losing those same hopes and dreams and you both need each other to lean on through this. These occasions make or break relationships, they tear some couples apart but also render some couples' relationships, even more, rock solid.
Additionally, do not be afraid to rely on any friend or family member who has been there and lends their shoulder. This is not the time to isolate yourself and think you have to be strong and handle it yourself. Now is a time for support and to try and make life as normal as you can. Isolation has been found to be bad for emotional healing, so try not to be completely alone.
Take your time to let yourself feel everything and fully understand what has happened. this is not something that you can get over in a few hours or even days. You will be devastated but things will get better. You'll come to terms with your situation eventually and it will get easier- it will never go away and the pain will always be there, but over time you will be able to live with it.
Losing a baby has been called the worst pain you will ever feel. It goes against nature, we are not meant to have to bury our kids. With time, it does get better but the pain never leaves, nor does the empty feeling. Leaning on friends and family and giving yourself time are the most important things you can do. And remember, there are plenty of mental health resources available to help you. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about therapy or other coping methods.