There is no questioning how painful a miscarriage can be, in every aspect of the word. Here we will address some steps surrounding how to cope with the loss of a multiple. The vision of twins or even triplets being a part of your family can be a very special vision indeed, losing that dream can be devastating and is not something easily understood by others who haven’t experienced it themselves.
Unfortunately, the risk of miscarriage is slightly higher with a multiple pregnancy and miscarriage in early pregnancy is not uncommon. There is a further risk for twins who are identical, where each baby shares the placenta or sac.
Although there is no instruction manual that comes with coping with such a loss, the following steps play an important role in the recovery you will eventually find.
1. Recognise Your Grief
If you are blaming yourself for your loss in any way, know that there are many women who blame themselves. The reality is most miscarriages are beyond the control of others. Try not to unnecessarily add to your grief by blaming yourself.
It is important to take the time you need to heal emotionally after you miscarry. Grief is very normal, not only will you need to grieve for the loss of your babies, but also for the dreams you had for yourself and for them.
Everyone experiences grief in different ways. You may feel a mixture of feelings or there could be one that stands out more than others. You might experience anger, loneliness, guilt, a lack of motivation or lack of concentration. Being around families with healthy infants may be difficult for a while, even when you think you’ve moved on, grief can return without warning.
Your babies due date or even Mother’s Day can bring back old feelings of longing and sorrow. Some women experience a resurgence of grief when they become pregnant again, after the loss of a multiple pregnancy it is understandable to feel you have lost a precious chance to conceive children from a multiple pregnancy.
How long and how deeply you grieve will depend upon many different factors. Grief can be worse if you miscarry later in your pregnancy because you had more time to become attached to your babies. It is possible your grief will take longer to work through and will be deeper if you made many plans for your twins, for example, you chose names or decorated the nursery.
2. Seek Support
Miscarriages can strengthen relationships but some people find their relationship suffers.
You may feel frustrated or even angry if people do not appear to be reacting the way you think they should. Your partner’s reaction to the loss may be similar or different to your own reaction, it is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to react.
You and your partner can provide valuable support for one another, therefore it is important to keep communicating and to seek professional help if you are finding things too difficult to cope with.
It is not uncommon for women and their partners to benefit from seeking counselling and support services after a miscarriage. Reaching out for help is essential if you have strong feelings of sadness or depression.
Hospitals should be able to provide details of available support services, you can also find advice about support services from your doctor, midwife or other health professionals such as grief counsellors or social workers. Your family and friends can also offer a significant amount of support so don’t hold back when it comes to asking. You may feel reluctant to discuss your loss particularly if you had not yet told them about the pregnancy but they will more than likely be willing to offer their support. If you still feel friends and relatives do not understand the significance of your loss then professional services or support organisations may be more helpful for you. You might also find joining an online community helps as there are others experiencing feelings you can relate to, you can also offer support to others online which could help with your own journey to healing.
The Miscarriage Association is a charity that can offer you support. They have a helpline that is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm: 01924200799.
You can also email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cruse Bereavement Care is another support service which helps people understand their grief and cope with their loss. Their helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm: 08444779400.
3. Find What Works For You
Recognising your grief and seeking support are vital steps to take when coping with the loss of a multiple pregnancy. Every loss is unique and every person and family is different, therefore it is equally important to find a way which works best for you. There is nothing wrong with trying different options until you find one that works most effectively for you, or you might wish to use more than one at the same time. There is nothing wrong with not reaching out to professionals at all, but it is still very important to communicate with your partner and the people closest to you so they can understand the changes you are going through.