Click here to read an excellent post. It’s a post I can’t write, because I’ve not experienced such a loss. Here is an excerpt from the post written by one who has.
I know personally and from talking to others that women can experience Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-partum Depression (PPD) following birth losses. We enter our pregnancies with the fear of loss in the background – some worry more than others – but ultimately expect to be holding our beautiful babies in a mere 8 months after getting that BFP (big “fat” positive) on the home pregnancy test. I myself have been pregnant 4 times and have one living child. I have a lot to be thankful for. But 3 consecutive losses were almost too much for me.
I know many women who have had miscarriages — some before having any other children, some between children. I can’t think of one of my personal friends who has never gone on to have a living child, but I know it happens. I’ve heard of one couple who endured 16 miscarriages, and finally the woman got her tubes tied because she just couldn’t bear the losses any more. Sixteen. One of my neighbor’s coworkers had several miscarriages, and finally went to term with a child, who was born with multiple abnormalities and died within a few days of her birth. (She subsequently adopted twins a few months after the baby’s death, so there was a silver lining even in all of the losses; but I think she is scared to try to have more biological children.)
There is no single “right” way to mourn or to experience loss. My sister had three miscarriages prior to having her two children, and I know it was a difficult time for her, but I don’t think she experienced PTSD about it. It was very difficult for her, and other women who were either infertile or who had experienced miscarriages, to do things like go to baby showers or discuss babies or birth or be around pregnant women. Like rubbing salt into an open wound. While happy for others, it only brought their pain more freshly to mind. Perhaps my sister (and others) just hid it very well, or were not open about it. Just because someone doesn’t tell you everything doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
And PTSD and PPD happen more than just after a pregnancy loss or a difficult birth. It would be good to know the symptoms so that you can recognize them in others — even men, and also not in a pregnancy situation — so that you can help them through it, or comfort them in their affliction.