Healing Your Broken Heart After Miscarriage: A Personal Journey with Professional Insight

If you have experienced a miscarriage, I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain of pregnancy loss all too well as I recently experienced a miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant.

It was a complete shock. I had two healthy previous pregnancies, and everything felt fine… until it wasn’t.

As a mental health professional, I have worked with many women who have experienced miscarriage, and I know the statistics are 1 in 4 will experience pregnancy loss.

With everything I knew and all the stories I had heard I still hadn’t considered how likely it was to happen to me. During and after the loss I found myself in a tunnel of darkness, sorrow, anger, shame, and unrelenting guilt.

Before I go further, I want to affirm that miscarriage is a significant loss, and it is natural to hurt deeply. Your grief is real, and it deserves to be honored.

Grief only exists where love lived first.

This quote is an important reminder that the attachment, love, and hopes you had for a future with your baby was real and it does not matter how many weeks along you were.

Franchesca Cox.

In the aftermath of my miscarriage, I truly expected to move on quickly and didn’t imagine it would take such a toll on my well-being and mental health.

For months, I was triggered by everything and would break down into tears daily. I felt tremendous guilt for miscarrying.

The word itself “miscarriage” made me feel like I must have missed something, like I had failed my baby, my husband, and myself.

At no point had I received a follow-up call or was offered emotional support from doctors, and I truly didn’t realize how traumatic the physical aspect would be.

I knew I couldn’t change the pain of this experience but knew I could not continue to bury the pain and isolate myself with the hopes that the grief would just disappear. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my third baby my life changed, and it changed again when I lost the baby.

Here are some tips as a pregnancy loss survivor and mental health professional that helped me to heal and find my sense of self again:

Grieve and Mourn Your Baby

Grief is your feelings and thoughts associated with the death, whereas mourning is when you take that pain outside of yourself by showing or doing something. Please give yourself permission to feel your feelings and if you have any mementos, consider placing them in a special memory box.

I have a box with my pregnancy test, ultrasound picture, and a picture my 4-year-old daughter drew for her angel baby brother or sister.

Take Time to Heal

Take some time to heal and do not rush to get back into your normal routine. Something traumatic has happened to your body and soul and you need time to recover.

Take some time off work, cancel commitments, let household chores slide, and give yourself time.

Set Aside Time to Grieve

Purposefully invite your pain in and set time aside to mourn your baby. I know this may sound strange, but grief and mourning are hard work and as human beings we can easily push the pain away that comes with grief.

I encourage you to give yourself 5 or 10 minutes of uninterrupted time where you dedicate yourself to your pain and truly allow yourself to feel.

In the early days after miscarriage, I would listen to Taylor Swift’s Bigger Than the Whole Sky and allow myself to cry while writing. That song spoke to me after my miscarriage and can still make me feel close to my baby when I listen to it today.

Find Your Tribe

I know initiating discussions around miscarriage is difficult but remember that you are not alone and every time you share your story you are breaking down the stigma and shame associated with talking about miscarriage.

If you are supporting a loved one through a miscarriage, please do not put pressure on yourself to “fix”.

Your presence, empathy, and ongoing emotional support will help them in their healing more than you know. If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, and alone in your miscarriage grief I would be honored to connect with you to help you grieve and heal from this traumatic loss.

Some parting thoughts – Be gentle and patient with yourself during this time and remember that everyone experiences pregnancy loss grief in their own unique way.

An affirmation that I tell myself on those hard days is; my baby lives in my heart and will be safe there forever.

Take good care,

Chantal Lester MSc, CCC, RP (Qualifying)

Seeking Support

Are you struggling with infertility, loss, or trauma? Chantal Lester, MSc, CCC, RP (Qualifying) is here to support you when you’re ready. Click here to read more about Chantal’s approach and expertise.

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