Grief During A Pregnancy
There is a lot of joy in pregnancy. A new baby on the way can be exciting. But when you have to face the grief of losing a loved one during a pregnancy, it can feel odd to be happy. There can be a lot of conflicting emotions, and plenty of stress. It can be hard for you to picture your little one growing up without this person in their life. How does one cope with such emotional extremes, on both ends of the spectrum? Sometimes it may feel like a lot to deal with, so we are here to lend a hand.
Humans are complex creatures. Not only can we feel complex emotions, such as love, joy, anger, despair, and grief; but we can experience all of them at once. It can be weird to feel deeply sad about the loss of a loved one, and still feel all of the happiness that comes from a pregnancy. Some people may feel guilty about it. But it is OK to feel happy and sad at the same time. Part of grieving is finding the lights that we can cling to amidst all of the darkness. And a new baby in the family is certainly a bright light. However, pregnancy hormones can heighten emotional extremes, and this can hit you like a ton of bricks. The highest highs and the lowest lows can feel ever more so. When you feel despair and joy in their extremes, it can be confusing and disorienting.
You don’t have to hold off on grieving just because of the pregnancy. It is alright to cry it out. It is fine if you can’t muster up any happiness for your pregnancy, or if you feel guilty about your happiness taking time away from your grief. Neither emotion has to be moved to the back burner. Everyone processes emotions differently; and now you are processing for two, in a way.
Find Your Release
Everyone has their own way of dealing with and overcoming their grief. Finding the things that allow you release your emotions can be difficult when there is a baby growing in your belly. Try exploring some of the things people do to make their pregnancy less stressful. Exercise, however much you can do while pregnant, can be effective at beating grief and staying healthy during pregnancy. Write something down. Keeping a journal can be an effective way to let out some grief. Journaling can also be a good way to keep track of important days of the pregnancy, like the first kick or different doctors visits.
Create a Legacy
You can’t always be as active during a pregnancy as with your normal life. Take some of this well needed downtime to work on your grief, and to create something for your deceased loved one that can be cherished. Create a scrapbook. Make something to remember them by that you can share with your children one day. You may even consider naming your child after your lost loved one.
Your grief won’t end when the baby comes. Grief has a way of sneaking up on you, both on dark and happy days. A new baby is a wonderful thing that can be the source of a lot of stress. It is important to know how to cope with your grief, whenever it decides to spring up. But, there will be many new memories to come with your new baby. Look forward to all the amazing moments you will share with your child, and how your life has been influenced by the deceased.
The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here.
For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.