It's been two weeks since my miscarriage, so I've had some time to reflect on how I got through the thick of it. In no particular order, here are seven ways to cope after a miscarriage (or other life challenge).
Take it Easy. Sleep as much as you need to. Take at least one day off from work and just rest. Once your strength returns, ease back into exercise—if and when it feels okay. I haven't been able to run much yet, but it's been nice get outside for a walk.
Feed Your Body and Soul. I mean this literally. Many people don't feel like eating when they're sad, but when your body has been put through hell, it needs nutrients. In my case, it needed iron. So I ate a lot of red meat, spinach, and chocolate (I said feed your soul, too).
Talk it Out. I'm glad I had already announced my pregnancy. Suffering through this in silence would have made it so much harder for me. For me, it felt right to acknowledge that this happened, almost as a way of honoring the baby.
Treat Yourself to Something Comforting. This could be as simple as buying yourself a favorite latte—or as fancy as you like. I bought myself a pair of fleece pajamas. I've found them strangely comforting and have worn them every night since.
Accept All Offers of Help. This one goes against my nature a bit, but I'm so glad I had the sense to just say yes. Friends and family offered to help with the kids and brought food, flowers, and cards. It really helped to know that people were thinking of us.
Connect with Your Partner. People grieve differently. I didn't expect my stoic husband to understand exactly what I was going through (or vice versa), but I shared my feelings anyway. We went out on a date, and while it felt anything but celebratory, I proposed a toast to resilience.
Pay it Forward. Just a few days after my miscarriage, I heard that a friend also lost her pregnancy. I decided to make a care package for her in honor of all the kindness shown to me. So I packed a cute gift bag with fleece pajamas, Gatorade, and trashy magazines.
I still miss my baby, but it gets a little easier every day. I know that I haven't been dealt an unusually difficult life. All people suffer. But we each get to decide how to process the pain, and I choose to share. I share because someday, these words may serve as a virtual hug for someone who finds herself in a similar situation.