It's that time of the year when families gather together to celebrate. Perhaps you were really excited about gathering around the Thanksgiving table or the Christmas tree and announcing your pregnancy to the world, but instead you're going to sit there silently an watch everyone else share joy and open presents. After having a miscarriage, its common for these family gatherings to feel really awful. Sometimes you've shared your pregnancy loss with your family and friends, though not always. And just because you've told them, doesn't necessarily make it easier on you, particularly when people say things that even when well meant hurt your feelings.
So if you're wondering what you can do to help yourself during this time of year, I'd suggest the following:
- Have a plan. If you know how you're going to deal with looking at the babies of relatives or questions about your health, whether or not you're going to start a family or any other baby related questions you might be better off. Remember, it is okay not to hold babies.
- Consider not going. This may or may not be a realistic option for you and your family. You might want to strategically plan your trips out. For example, can you make it to dinner but skip the kidfest of presents?
- Be kind to yourself. Remember, this is hard for you. Don't be super woman and ignore that fact. Try to do something nice for yourself. You might consider a massage or a pedicure to lighten your mood just a bit. While it doesn't erase your pain, it might make you feel a tiny bit better as well as help you deal with the stress of family.
- Remember, you're not alone. While you may be incredibly hurt, your partner is suffering too. No, he didn't physically have a miscarriage, but he is sad about the death of his baby and worried about you. It can be common to either cling to one another or fight - sometimes both. Remember to be forgiving when you can.
- Get support. Find at least one person that you can totally turn to, that is not your spouse. Having a safe place to call, even when your hundreds of miles away can be very helpful. I can remember going to Thanksgiving dinner, when I'd had a D & C just days before and texting my friend with snarky comments in the kitchen. It really helped me through a long, painful dinner with family, who meant well but were off the mark.
Not every family gathering will be painful. In fact, some friends and family are incredibly intuitive when it comes to dealing with pregnancy loss and even infertility, particularly as it relates to the holidays and family gatherings. What are your tips for surviving the holidays with a hurt heart?
- Signs of Miscarriage
- Pregnancy Loss
- When to Announce Your Pregnancy
- Facing the Holidays After Miscarriage
- Readers Share: First Signs of Miscarriage
- Readers Share: Bleeding that was NOT Miscarriage
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