Developing pregnancy complications can bring up a sense of grief and loss. This is true even if you stay pregnant until your due date and your baby is able to come home with you on time.
The development of pregnancy complications can elicit feelings of grief related to the loss of a healthy pregnancy, the loss of choice in providers or where you will deliver, the loss of innocence, and the loss of peace or trust in your body. This is not a comprehensive list, but an example of the things that you may be grieving as you navigate a complicated pregnancy.
Parijat discusses the role of grieving non-death losses during a high-risk pregnancy in Chapter 4 of Pregnancy Brain.
None of these losses have to make sense to anyone else but you, and there are no losses too big or small to grieve. Additionally, grieving does not negate gratitude for being pregnant with your baby. Each and every one of these losses deserves to be and needs to be mourned.
Being diagnosed with pregnancy complications comes with the requirement and permission to mourn the healthy pregnancy you thought you’d have.
Grief is physiologically taxing, and can lead to an exacerbation or increased risk of health complications. This is why it’s critical that you don’t push away the grief as something you’ll deal with later, and all your body to process it as it comes up. Listen to Delivering Miracles® podcast episode 128 on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for more about healing from grief.
The good news is, our bodies have built in capability to be able to recover from death and non-death losses without having the grief become stuck inside our bodies, resulting in health complications. This is possible when we can grieve with a regulated nervous system.