Coping with Miscarriage: Remembering Your Baby
Experiencing a miscarriage can be a devastating experience – no matter what stage of pregnancy the mother happened to be in. Unfortunately, however, for many women (and men) coping with the grief and sorrow of a pregnancy loss can be made especially painful, as they are not often given the same opportunities afforded to those experiencing other types of loss to express their grief.
If your miscarriage happened in early pregnancy, for example, there may not have been any remains for you to bury. For others, the option of burying their child is never given. For these parents, it is important that they find other ways of expressing their sadness so that they can move forward in their lives, and, if they choose, become pregnant again.
One of the greatest fears experienced by those who’ve been through a pregnancy loss is that their lost child will be forgotten – either by others, or themselves. Here are some ways in which parents who have lots their babies can keep their memory alive:
Gather as many physical reminders of your baby as possible.
Even if you did not have had the opportunity to hold or see your baby, you will likely have other memorabilia, such as ultrasound photos, stuffed animals, and clothing.
You may want to use these items to create a special place in your home dedicated to your baby. Or you may choose to keep other types of reminders in your home, such as a plant, a handmade blanket, or a framed portrait.
Hold a memorial service.
Many parents think that if their baby wasn’t of a certain gestational age, they will not be justified in holding a memorial service. This is absolutely not the case.
Though a funeral will likely not be necessary unless your baby was more than 20 weeks old, a memorial service can be a special opportunity to say good-bye in whatever way you feel comfortable, such as through prayer, by lighting a candle, or by planting a tree. This will also allow those close to you to share in your grief.
Make a public gesture in your baby’s name.
Some parents feel making a public gesture in their baby’s name helps to give their life additional meaning. This could mean making a donation to a charity, submitting a poem to a newspaper or magazine, or giving a gift to a needy child during the holidays.
No matter what way you choose to remember your baby, it is important to know that you will never forget your child. Your baby’s life and memory will always exist. The best way to honor it is to move forward and continue living your best life.