How to Support Your Wife After a Miscarriage

Deeper In Grief

My husband and I decided to immediately get back on the horse and to our surprise, we got pregnant again the first month we started trying. Except for this time I experienced no joy. Only fear. My parents and husband assured me another miscarriage wasn’t likely and that I should enjoy the pregnancy. But several weeks into my first trimester I miscarried again.

Oh, friend. Those were dark days. The grief. The disappointment. Fear. It was the perfect opportunity for the enemy to attack me and that is exactly what he did. I heard some horrible thoughts in those moments. I was tempted to believe it was my fault. That something was inherently wrong with me. Even that I was unworthy of being a mother. Satan is, after all, the accuser (Rev 12:10), and he will absolutely try to kick you when you are down. He will lie to you. It is in his nature (John 8:44).

When I began to sink into deep depression, grief, and confusion, I turned to God’s holy word and it comforted me. So today, I’m sharing those verses with you today. Not long after my second miscarriage, I got pregnant with my oldest son, my rainbow baby. I’ll save that experience for another time. I still think of my two babies Gabriel and Daphne and I always will. Even though they are not with us, they are a part of my family and a part of my heart. If you are struggling with grief from miscarriage, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to my prayer list. You aren’t alone, mama. I know how you feel. Half of my children are in heaven. I hope these 15 comforting scriptures for miscarriage being help assuage your grief.

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15 tips to support a partner after a miscarriage

Here are some helpful ways to support a partner after a miscarriage. This handy list of dos and don’ts to support your spouse better will help you both overcome the situation.

1. Be supportive

Listen with a nonjudgmental ear. Do not try to fix it. Know what to say after miscarriage.

To support a partner after a miscarriage, let your partner talk about it as much as they need to. 

Whether the support you show is active listening, reassurance or simply being present and grieving together it is important that your partner knows that no matter what they can count on you right now.

2. Avoid discussing the miscarriage

The rule is simple. Comfort wife after miscarriage by not bringing it up.

Avoid talking about miscarriage with your partner. The lesser you talk about it, the better. It’s the best way to move forward, leaving a painful memory behind. Unless your partner wants to discuss it, don’t bring it up. 

Tell her it’s not her fault

I remember thinking that I was somehow responsible for my miscarriage. Maybe if I hadn’t had that cup of coffee, or if I had gone running or taken a prenatal vitamin, this wouldn’t have happened. But my sweet husband kept telling me over and over that the miscarriage was not my fault and that life was in the Lord’s hands to give and take.

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Don’ts

1) Avoid clichéd comments. While well intended, comments such as “it wasn’t meant to be” or “it’s so common” can be hurtful and dismissive of their loss.

People saying, ‘oh you know, you’ll get pregnant again’ or ‘oh it wasn’t meant to be’. You know, that’s just the worst thing to say. And so many people say stuff like that … (Samantha)

2) Avoid blaming and offering unsolicited advice. Be sensitive and empathetic; don’t offer advice that could make a woman feel she is to blame.

lots of unhelpful, unsolicited advice… it was all about ‘you’re working too hard’, ‘you’re stressing too much’, ‘you’re over-thinking it’. (Amy)

3) Recognise grief doesn’t have a time limit. Women’s levels of grief are not contingent on how many weeks pregnant they were – their baby has died. It’s OK for them to work through their grief in their own time.

Temperature

Temperature indicates infection which can result in infertility. If you have one see your medical professional urgently. You will be treated with antibiotics and possibly a D&C (or repeat D&C).

Bonus: Grief care package Items Id add specifically for a miscarriage

Care Package Item #10: A Sweet Stuffie

My mother-in-law gave my a sweet bunny after my miscarriage. The bunny stayed on our bed, as a reminder of the child we had longed for and lost, for awhile. Then, I moved bunny into my daughter’s stash of lovies, and somehow, watching her play with that special bunny reminds me of the dreams I had of the baby we lost playing with his or her big sister and I feel a little closer to our little one in heaven. Someday, they will play together. If you’re looking for a stuffed animal, I’d recommend one that looks whimsical and babyish, since you’re choosing one to be a reminder of the baby who was lost.

Care Package Item #11: Gifts for older children

When I had my miscarriage, I didn’t cry much. Weeping is a part of grief for many people, but it hasn’t been for me. I tend to keep on trucking and tell myself that I’m fine. But usually, when I’m sad, I’m pretty darn numb to the world and in the first weeks after losing my baby I found myself finding it hard to connect with my daughter. I got annoyed easily. I was prickly. I wasn’t my best self. All of that passed within a few weeks, but it was a difficult thing to have happen. That’s a big part of why I’ve included a small book that can be sung along with a child in the care package for my friend, to give her a way to connect with her sweet girl and hopefully get a smile, in the midst of the hard, however grief manifests itself for her. I chose a book that is meaningful, but not a tear jerker – it’s not time for that, now.

Bonus. It doesn’t end with a care package

It’s hard to know how to talk to someone about a loss. I know that I usually answer questions about how I’m doing with a bit of polite fiction, especially if I don’t want to get into it. “We’re just so enjoying our toddler,” I’ll say.

I don’t mention how totally gutted we are that we aren’t welcoming a new baby at Christmas. I haven’t managed to get pregnant again and if I’m being honest, the months of cycling through hope and despair has been awful and I’m emotionally running on empty. I knew when I miscarried that I would very much like to be pregnant again before the due date of the baby we lost and there’s still a chance of that, but it’s getting slimmer and slimmer. This isn’t the ending I’d hoped for in any way, shape, or form, and I’m grieving the family that I longed for – the family with kids close together in age.

Grief takes time and comes in waves and stages. So do check in regularly with your friends and ask how they’re doing, or tell them you’re praying for them. That kind of kindness means the world to me. I’ve noticed, after a few years of repeated heartaches, that many people I’m close to don’t know how to check in… and so they don’t. Honestly, that is far more hurtful than if they said something a little wrong. You don’t need to ask someone for all of the gory details, and as I said, it’s likely that a grieving person will give you an overly optimistic response, but it means a lot to be asked.

Update: Joanna wrote this piece last summer, when she was still reeling from her miscarriage. A few weeks ago, she and her husband welcomed little Talitha into the world!

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When can I have sex again after a miscarriage?

You should avoid having sex until all of your miscarriage symptoms have gone. Your periods should return within 4 to 8 weeks of your miscarriage, although it may take several months to settle into a regular cycle.

If you do not want to get pregnant, you should use contraception immediately. If you do want to get pregnant again, you may want to discuss it with your GP or hospital care team. Make sure you are feeling physically and emotionally well before trying for another pregnancy.

The Miscarriage Association has information on Thinking about another pregnancy that you may find helpful. It’s important to remember that most miscarriages are a one-off and are followed by a healthy pregnancy.

Although it’s not usually possible to prevent a miscarriage, there are some ways you can reduce the risk. See preventing miscarriage for more information and advice.

Common effects of miscarriage

While the pregnancy may have lasted only a few weeks the emotional impact is one that can be felt for weeks, months and even years to come. It may be difficult to understand what your loved one is going through.

Women go through various emotional effects of miscarriage in phases. There are 6 stages of grief after miscarriage:

  1. Denial
  2. Disbelief
  3. Anger
  4. Bargaining
  5. Depression
  6. Acceptance

Some of the physical effects of grief from miscarriage are 

  1. Constant crying
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Loss of concentration
  4. Constipation, diarrhea, etc

Planning the pregnancy takes months and when there is a miscarriage, the woman goes through guilt and loss of faith in life. There are also signs of mistrust in any kind of relationship and a constant longing for the lost child.

Different people react to miscarriage differently and it is important to respect those differences. 

While for some couples, miscarriage acts as a catalyst to bring them closer, and for a few, it leads to a crack in the relationship as husband and wife fail to understand each other’s emotional trauma. relationship after miscarriage can drastically change and it depends on the couple how they steer it.

There could be frustration, misunderstanding, feeling of powerlessness in the relationship.

Hold Fast

The words of Genesis 2:24 speak to us as men today: “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife.” Your wife will certainly hold fast to you as she mourns your loss, but the Bible’s command to hold fast to your wife is true in all of marriage, especially in miscarriage.

Though you may want to be strong like Samson, holding fast to your wife will be one of the most God-glorifying responses you can give to her. In your holding fast of her, she will be comforted that you deeply share this burden with her. Even when you don’t know what to say, your holding fast of her will speak more than a lifetime of words ever could.

Talk with Other Men

The experience of great comfort and peace await you when you take the tough step of speaking with other men who have also experienced miscarriage. Over the last six months, I have learned many valuable gospel lessons from men who have walked through a miscarriage with their wife. These men have stirred my affections for Jesus, and the care I have received from them has been invaluable as I seek to glorify Christ in the loss of our child.

As you speak with other men, this will help you live out the apostle Paul’s opening in 2 Corinthians, “God comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (1:4).

God has stores of comforting grace even for the affliction of miscarriage. And he not only comforts us in our pain, but enriches our joy by making us instruments of his comfort to others who are enduring this painful affliction as well.

Why Do Miscarriages Happen?

Primarily, miscarriages happen due to genetic reasons and chromosomal abnormalities. These factors inhibit the growth of the fetus. Besides the above, hormonal levels, uncontrolled diabetes, exposure to toxic agents, uterine abnormalities, medications, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse can also lead to miscarriages. A blood condition called thrombophilia can also lead to miscarriage.

Ectopic pregnancy symptoms, which show up around the sixth to eighth week of pregnancy also lead to an early miscarriage (4).

Miscarriage is an unfortunate experience, which affects both the partners. However, the woman goes through both physical and mental trauma.

The hCG hormone remains in the blood for a few months after a miscarriage and the levels come to zero only after the placental tissue is completely separated.

The physical symptoms of grief

Many women find they experience physical symptoms of grief as well as the emotional aspects. These vary greatly from person to person, and include:

  • disturbed sleep and eating patterns
  • unexplainable tiredness
  • unexpected tears
  • disturbing dreams and mental confusion

Be gentle and patient with yourself during this time and take comfort in knowing that these symptoms are normal.

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