When you have any form of a miscarriage, let alone an early miscarriage, it’s easy to start going down the rabbit hole of “if only.”
You tell yourself if you had only had done this or that thing differently, then the results would be different than they are now.
But this train of thought doesn’t do you any good.
Miscarriages do happen, and the statistics are heartbreaking. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, between 10-20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage.
What is also heartbreaking, however, is the lingering doubts of what could have happened “if only.”
Here’s how to manage those thoughts.
Allow Yourself Time and Space to Grieve
An early miscarriage is undoubtedly a cause for grief and loss. You were prepared to welcome a new life into this world. Then, that reality changed very quickly and unexpectedly.
It makes sense that you need to take time and space to grieve this loss. Whether you are with a partner or going solo, allow yourself permission to grieve. Let yourself feel those feelings and thoughts.
This approach can help you avoid the “if only” thoughts later down the road. Mainly because grief eventually leads to acceptance, which then becomes healing. So give yourself the time and space to grieve the loss.
Don’t Doubt Yourself
You might be tempted to doubt the individual choices you made during your pregnancy, even if you did everything that was expected of you. Self-doubt implies that you had some control or power over the situation.
However, early miscarriages often occur for no apparent reason. Although disheartening, there isn’t always a medical explanation of why the miscarriage occurs.
As humans, we want to believe that everything happens for a reason. But that isn’t always the case as “reasons” don’t always reveal themselves.
By doubting yourself, you somehow think that “if only” you had done something differently, you could have affected the outcome of the situation. It seems unfair, but overall, you genuinely had little control over your pregnancy at that point.
Stick to Your Routine
Often, having a routine can be a steadying force in these situations. A method pulls your mind away from “if only” thoughts and back into the present moment.
It helps to have a distraction from these thoughts. Just don’t let distractions occur without resolution, making it escapism. You do need closure from this experience.
Remember that closure doesn’t mean getting answers. Closure merely allows you to get back to living your life, even if that life is different from what you expected.
Take a Break from the Internet
Another way that “if only” thoughts manifest is through the internet. You get drawn into the never-ending spiral that is the internet search in pursuit of answers.
“If only I had known, this wouldn’t have happened!” Or, you look in vain for more meaningful and specific answers for why the miscarriage did happen.
Most likely, though, you will read the same reasons over and over within the first few web pages. Instead of torturing yourself, why not put down the phone or step away from the computer?
If a routine is a healthy distraction, spending an excessive amount of time online looking for answers to “if only” questions is an unhealthy distraction.
Find Therapeutic Support
It’s a good idea to seek therapeutic support after an early miscarriage. Certainly, they can help deal with the “if only” thoughts. Plenty more nagging questions exist, as well—what if?, but why?, etc.
With the help of a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist, you can get through this challenging time in your life. Because life can and does continue past this awful chapter.
An early miscarriage is such a terrible loss fraught with questions and doubts. Miscarriage counseling will help you through this challenging time, including the burden of “if only” thoughts that plague your mind.
For more support, please contact me today. Or visit my page on miscarriage counseling to learn more about how I can help.