Blame can be felt after a loss when feelings of sadness, hurt, and probably anger occur, and we look to someone to be accountable. This can be levelled at your partner, the medical sector or ourselves. Self-blame is common after miscarriage.
Please know that there is very little you could have done to stop your miscarriage; for some reason, your baby just wasn’t forming correctly and this, in all likelihood, was nothing to do with you or what you did or didn’t do.
Blame is a common emotion felt after losing a baby. When we are angry it is very easy to point the finger of blame. It’s a destructive and pointless emotion and no one wins here, least of all you. Carrying blame in our energy weighs heavy on us, especially if the blame is directed inwards.
After my loss, I had a post-mortem because I desperately wanted to know the cause and I felt it would help me understand and move on. It did. The report came back with CMV (Cytomegalovirus) an airborne virus anyone can catch at any time and is hosted within the human body. This can affect you during your pregnancy, which was sadly my reality.
The finger of blame
My partner, on the other hand, blamed the medical profession for the amniocentesis they performed. I couldn’t bare to go along with this as it cast to many aspirations; we were aware of the risks, as it was an invasive technique. Whether it was the fault of the amniocentesis, I will never know and at this stage in my life, it really doesn’t matter. It has happened, I have dealt with it and it serves me no purpose in pursuing this further.
Blame and your relationship
Childbirth is a primal instinct, an inherent calling that most women want to fulfil and when this fails our emotions can run riot. It can also bring up anger between couples. Feelings of anger towards each other, especially if they feel they’ve not been supported.
Its key to keep blame out of your relationship, along with criticism, defensiveness and passive aggressive behaviour. Sometimes, however, if your relationship isn’t strong to begin with, a miscarriage can be the deal breaker. Blame plays a big part. The blame of self and blame of your partner. A client, whose husband went off to play golf when they got home from the hospital, says this was the beginning of the end for their relationship. It took a few years after, but they’re now divorced. It was the beginning of a slippery slope for them.
Family, friends and loved ones
Relationships can be difficult to navigate at the best of times. It’s not always easy to speak about your loss with your friends and family. I found myself supporting them mostly, because I didn’t want them to be upset. It was fine to talk about in the beginning, but after a while, they stopped asking how you are and more less expect you to get on with it. So, you sweep it under the carpet.
Occasionally, a close friend will ask how you are which is nice, and I found myself being honest in those circumstances. But what is overwhelmingly disappointing for many women, is when those you thought might reach out don’t. They feel disappointed and let down by the people they thought might have been there for them and weren’t. It’s difficult to process, its hurtful and, unfortunately, it’s another thing to deal with emotionally.
A range of emotions is normal
You may feel a range of emotions around this: hurt, anger, frustration, sorrow and blame. Otherwise known as the pointy-finger scenario. Try to acknowledge them and let them go as best you can so that you can start to heal. Often, people are awkward around grief and loss; I know I was before my loss because I just didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I have now learnt to ask the person how they are and if there’s anything they need from me.
Children and blame
If you already have children, you might have let them know that they are going to have a baby brother or sister soon. Your child was most probably excited about this and then you had a miscarriage. So how you do you handle the relationship with your children around this?
It can push many buttons for you. How do I explain to my child that their bother or sister is not going to be born? Of course, it depends on what age they are but, in all ages, honesty is key. If we don’t explain that something has happened and we’re feeling sad, want to be quiet and may cry sometimes, they may start to wonder if it’s them that has caused this. They can blame themselves and not tell you about it.
Finding a deeper meaning post-blame
It’s important to not beat yourself up about your loss. It’s happened for a reason and we are often unsure of what that reason is. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and in time we can often conclude why it might have happened. The reason could be biological, simply that the cells were not forming correctly, which is what happens in most cases. For me, I believe in another reason, one on a more spiritual level. I explore this further in my book “Life After Miscarriage: Your Guide to Healing from Pregnancy Loss”.
Release the guilt
What saddens me is, when women are seeking a reason, they often beat themselves up and form a belief that they weren’t going to be a good mother. Of if they have had an elective termination or abortions in the past, they blame themselves for any subsequent miscarriages. If this is you, turn that thought on its head, release the guilt around that and know that in all likelihood it doesn’t have anything to do with why you miscarried.
Research suggests that those who have found meaning from their trauma or loss or keep a positive and hopeful view, such as Nelson Mandela when he was imprisoned for 27 years and Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, fare better and heal quicker. Let yourself be that person.
“Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” – Brene Brown
I mentor women who have experienced miscarriage & pregnancy loss and are feeling stuck, isolated, and terrified of trying again.
I coach (guide) them to confidently release the pain, fear and guilt, so that they can feel acknowledged, heard and supported and ready to try again for another baby, in a way that is soulful, heartfelt and compassionate. Please get in touch if I can help.