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Email: contact@bearsofhope.org.au

Grief Support: 1300 11 HOPE
Email: support@bearsofhope.org.au

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Grief Reactions

You may experience only some or all of these responses in no particular order or for any particular length of time. Grieving is a process you need to experience and can take some time.

Disbelief

The loss of your baby cheats the very order of life. No one expects the death of a baby so when this occurs, you are thrown into total shock.

Denial

The refusal to face the reality of your loss. "This can't be real" "This is not happening to me." "There must be a mistake". Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss may leave you feeling numb and there is usually no crying involved. As you slowly allow youself to acknowledge what has happened, your denial will fade and more feelings will appear.

Anger

Anger may be expressed toward yourself, the doctors, God, your partner, or anyone else. You may be angry and wanting to know why me? How could God do this to me?

Feeling unable to cope

You may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your emotions and having to face a future without your baby. Trying to deal with everything going on in your life may make you feel as though you are losing control.

Bargaining

Before your actual loss you may have done anything to spare the life of your baby. You may attempt to make deals with God to stop or change the loss. Begging, wishing, praying for your baby to come back. Bargaining also gives rise to guilt.The 'if onlys' can haunt you and keep you stuck in the past.

Yearning

To hold, to kiss and cuddle your baby. Yearning for the future that you and your baby would have had together. Yearning for your baby to be back safe in your womb.

Jealousy

You may feel deeply jealous of other parents who are pregnant or who currently have babies.

Resentment

You may become resentful of others who aren’t grieving too, who don't acknowledge your loss, of other parents who are pregnant or have a baby safe in their arms.

Sadness and Depression

Feeling teary, feeling down, losing interest in daily activities, isolating yourself.

Decrease in Self Esteem and Confidence

You may find yourself having trouble making decisions, you may feel you're not good enough, worthless, a failure.

Blame

It's a normal response to blame yourself for losing your baby. You tend to feel that way because you're the parent, it's a responsibility, and believe you should have protected your baby from any harm. That perhaps you should have done more.

Loneliness

Many parents feel lonely during their grief journey. The pain is that deep you feel as though nobody understands, especially if you're grieving differently to your partner, if your friends and family appear to be getting on with their lives, or you don't have a support network. Please know we are ready to support you when ever you need.

Guilt

It is hard not to feel guilty when you lose your baby. You may feel that you somehow caused this loss. You might feel guilty for exercising, having that glass of wine, lifting something heavy, that rejection of your baby prior to your loss could have done this, working etc. This is a very common reaction and Doctor's will tell you it is highly unlikely any of the above would have caused your miscarriage. You may also feel guilty catching yourself smiling or laughing because you have not long lost your baby.

Betrayal

You may feel like you have been completely ripped off in life, or that your body has betrayed you and let you down by not being able to carry your baby. If this is a subsequent loss, these feelings of betrayal may certainly heighten for you, especially when you may have done everything by the book, are completely healthy and had so much love for this much wanted baby. You may also feel completely betrayed by God to have let you down like this.

Fear

You may fear walking out your front door to face the normality of every day life, when you are not feeling that way yourself. You may fear ever falling pregnant again because of the chance it may occur again.

Acceptance

In time, the rawness of your pain and grief will subside and you will learn to live with the loss of your baby in a more peaceful and gentler way. When you find yourself "living" again, smiling and laughing without feeling guilty, you know you are getting on with your life and have found a way to live with the loss of your baby.

Delayed Grief

It is possible that some people don't allow themselves to grieve. The shut down and/or the inability to grieve the loss of your baby is considered unhealthy for your emotional and mental wellbeing. It is also possible to get stuck feeling a certain way in an unresolved and long-lasting state. When this occurs it's important you get the help to progress through the grieving you need to experience.

Coping Strategies