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Women Grieve Miscarriages for Years, Even after Having a Healthy Baby

Time,  Mar 15, 2011
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Each year, about 1 million U.S. women endure a miscarriage or stillbirth, and new research finds that even women who go on to welcome a child after a miscarriage or stillbirth report prolonged depression and anxiety surrounding their loss. Researchers found that nearly 13% of women who had a miscarriage or stillbirth before delivering a healthy baby still had symptoms of depression 33 months after the birth. Of those with two previous losses, almost 19 percent of new mothers had symptoms of depression within that same time span, according to the study published online in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

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Comments (2)

i have two beautiful girls, which i adore. less than 3 weeks ago i miscarried at 17 weeks and 5 days. we had a d & e and found out the baby was a boy. we named him James Richard. i think about him all the time. we had not planned his pregnancy, so i feel at first i didn't want him, but after several days, i fell in love with him and wanted him very badly. now he is gone. for some reason my husband thinks i should have moved on already. it was one week ago yesterday that we buried his remains. i am not ready to move on. i still love and care for my girls, but i am not ready to be miss socialite of the year. people want to visit and i do NOT want to talk. every time i talk, i cry. i do not want people to see me cry. i feel like i am being forced to move on too quickly. my husband is having is brother and his brother's family over for dinner today and i am totally freaking out. i have no idea how to get through this. i am in so much pain and i don't know what to do. i know he is hurting too. he has cried and grieved with me, but he really seems ready to move on and i don't know what to do. i guess i just needed to vent that. i miss my baby boy. i feel like i will NEVER be normal again. thanks for listening.

It's a common misconception that having a child is going to make up for the children you lost. It's almost the same thought pattern that dismisses early losses as "lucky you weren't further along". Each loss and each birth is unique. I have had 9 miscarriages, and had a son after 7 m/c's. I got over my miscarriages by finding a way to grow from it - I can say I am grateful for the losses and for the journey, because I found a better way to communicate with my husband (the losses forced me to ask for what I needed), I found my career and, I can't think of not having had the son I had - if I hadn't miscarried 7 times before, I would have a different child that I would have loved as much, but it wouldn't have been JOSHUA. I also found my calling, helping other people to get through their own losses. That said, I heard a lovely quote the other day - time doesn't heal, it's what you DO with the time that heals. Expecting someone to get over their losses because they have had a successful pregnancy is not acknowledging the depth of emotions that people who have gone through this sort of thing experience. It DOES help somewhat, but that depends on what the most painful thing for you is.

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