Dear Annie: I’ve been heartbroken since I lost my baby 15 weeks into my pregnancy. Although the baby wasn’t planned, my partner and I were both over the moon when we found out I was pregnant. He has been really supportive and we’ve been trying again. But I still can’t get over what I lost.
People don’t understand and just assume getting pregnant again will help. One of my best friends made a comment implying “at least it wasn’t further along.” It makes me so angry I want to scream. I have to pretend it’s fine because everyone seems to think it wasn’t like losing a ‘real’ baby.
I think I know deep down that they don’t mean to hurt me, but it’s so painful – GT
Annie says: I’m so sorry that you lost your baby. Fifteen weeks is a very long time to know that you have a baby growing inside you, to imagine and look forward to.
It’s such a shame that even now, miscarriages are still not acknowledged as legitimate experiences of loss and grief, so I really hear you when you say how painful it is that people are dismissing your experience.
Whilst I am sure that everyone’s intentions are very good, it can feel totally annihilating when our pain is ignored. Where possible, I would encourage you to engage in dialogue with the people around you – tell them that what they’re saying upsets you and doesn’t resonate at all with your experience.
So much of the misunderstanding around grief comes from people not knowing, because there is such little conversation about it. So if you feel up to it, share your experience with people around you.
There are also lots of places you can get support, such as The Miscarriage Association, which has a section on dealing with other people’s responses, a helpline and support groups.
Try not to feel rushed into having another baby. It’s important you give yourself time to feel the loss and process what has happened. And the time you need will be totally unique to you, so try not to worry about how long this may take.
If you have a question for Annie to answer in this column, you can write to her at DearAnnie@funeralguide.com
Annie Broadbent is a trained psychosynthesis counsellor, with specialist experience working with the bereaved. As a therapist she explores the mind, body, feelings and spirit, working with individuals in a way that is most appropriate for them.
She is the author of bestselling self-help book Speaking of Death (What the Bereaved Really Need), inspired by personal experiences of living through bereavement, including her own. Whilst writing her book, Annie volunteered at St Christopher's Hospice and has given a number of talks on issues around grief, bereavement and mental health.
Regretfully, Annie cannot enter into personal correspondence