Miscarriage Misery

11 Apr

IFDear LetterBalm: My daughter had a miscarriage – her first pregnancy – six months ago. There was no medical reason for it, and, as you can imagine, she and her husband were shattered. On the surface, it looks like the two of them have dealt with their loss, but my daughter calls me and cries on the phone. She’s deep in grief and blames herself for the miscarriage. Her doctor has suggested counseling and a support group to help her deal with her loss. My daughter hasn’t taken his advice. What can I say to her to get her to admit she needs help to understand and accept her loss before she can move on?

–Mother of an Inconsolable Daughter

As you and your doctor know, there is a wide range of reactions to a miscarriage, from profound and lifelong grief to curiosity, even annoyance at the medical inconvenience. There is no one correct way to recover from such a loss. Clearly, your daughter – and, perhaps her husband – need therapy and the support of those who have been through the experience to process their sadness and come to terms with it. Ms. L.B. presumes your family, your son-in-law’s family and their friends are being supportive and allowing them time to heal. If your daughter’s sadness is affecting her life (mistakes at work, refusing social invitations, depression, etc.), she definitely needs help. Talk with her quietly and privately in this way:

Michelle, my heart is breaking to see you in such grief. I’m doing all I can to help you, but you need more than my help. You’re telling me you and Steve are having arguments, that you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning for work, and you don’t want to do things you love with your friends. This is serious. You could be depressed. It’s not good for you or your marriage. Please consider Dr. Cigogne’s recommendation to see a counselor who works with those who have had a miscarriage. He also suggested a support group because they really understand what you’re going through. No one is asking you or Steve to forget the child you might have had, just to put that memory in the proper place in your lives. You are my darling daughter. I love you, and I want you to be the happy, warm person you’ve always been since you were a little girl. Getting better is the best thing you can do for yourself and your husband.

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