This is one of those boards that I wish there were never a need for. Unfortunately I know all too well that having support after a loss can be so very beneficial -- particularly as you begin that path towards healing.
Please feel free to join in. Share your story and know that there are others that do truly understand what you are going through. To "outsiders" -- including our beloved family and friends, a pregnancy & infant loss is not necessarily viewed as a "real" loss. To all of you that have been there, done that -- you know it very much is. Those surrounding you may not realize that you are grieving the loss of your child and expect you to bounce back faster than you are ready.
If you are just joining us here, there are some things to know:
- As hard as it is to even think about, please take care of yourself. This means physically and emotionally. Physically, your body has been dealt a blow and while you may not feel like it right now, please do your best to eat regularly, get some rest, etc. You may find that your body needs some extra iron stores during this time. You can buy those OTC but ask your personal caregiver about it first. Emotionally, support is really important. Online, IRL grief support groups, and counseling are some options. Know that this is not something that makes you weak... but serves as a tool that you can use.
- What to expect? Physically - each woman is different. Bleeding may range from light to heavy and can last up to two weeks. Clots may also be passed. If you have undergone a D & C, you may should have been given instructions from your doctor. Avoid using tampons during this time until your next period. If your bleeding becomes extremely heavy (i.e. soaking a pad in less than two hours) you may need to call your doctor (or again, as each woman is different, follow the advice you were given.) Avoid douching; refrain from hot tubs/pools and sexual intercourse until cleared by your doctor and at minimum, until the bleeding has ceased. This is important to avoid infections. Do report any fever as that may be a sign of infection and you may need antibiotics. If you are given a prescription, be sure to take as prescribed. If an antibiotic, complete the entire course vs ending when you may "feel better." Your breasts may not feel as full or tender; if you were experiencing nausea, that should conclude. Some women report difficulty sleeping. Others have the opposite problem and feel they are completely drained. If you have support available, allow them to help out. If not, prioritize. You and your body are first and foremost. The housework and laundry may have to wait a little bit.
- Emotionally - a rollercoaster is about the best word to sum it up. Do recognize that it is a grieving process with no specific timetable and no right / wrong way to work through. Some women may "recover" faster. Don't feel that means you didn't care or that you aren't dealing with it at all. Others may truly struggle to feel *any* sense of normalcy and may be concerned about issues of depression. Most fall somewhere in between -- with those periods that feel like two steps forward... three steps back for a bit. Guilt feelings; anger; jealousy; vast mood swings; sadness; and periods of numbness, and more -- all normal. Do stay focused on the *fact* that while you may never "forget" - that you can find your path towards healing. Be gentle with yourself and grant yourself permission to grieve in your own time/way.
Together with this group you may exchange ideas on ways you coped; what to anticipate regarding "trigger dates" and ways to work through those; memorials and tributes, and more.
Feel free to introduce yourself and talk about what's on your mind.
Know you remain in my personal thoughts and prayers. Please let me know how we can support you -- whether connecting you with resources onsite or local to you.