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Life After Loss: How To Survive Holidays & Milestones After A Miscarriage

If you have experienced a miscarriage, then you know just how tricky holidays or even baby milestones can be for your emotions. If you have just experienced a pregnancy loss and are looking for some encouragement and insight on how to handle these upcoming emotional days, I’m here for you.

I’ve had 2 miscarriages, and am still waiting and praying for our double rainbow baby. The lessons I learned after struggling emotionally with out first loss has greatly helped me process our second. I now know that certain holidays and seasons are harder for me than others, and that there will be days when things just hit me.

Today I’ll walk you through some of the tough days you may be facing in the coming weeks and months. I’m always here for you, so if you need someone to talk to, please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out to me privately via email at

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Coping With Holidays After A Miscarriage

Holidays always seem to be a struggle for me following a pregnancy loss. Whether it’s the holiday when most of our family would’ve been congratulating us, or a holiday gathering where I should’ve been sporting a big ole pregnant belly, these days can be a challenge. Here’s how I’ve meandered through various holidays seasons following a miscarriage…

Big Holidays & Family Gatherings After A Miscarriage

Family gatherings around holidays, can be tough following a miscarriage especially if you are grieving the loss of your baby alone. I know for me personally, my husband and I have been at family get togethers where our family knows we’ve just suffered a loss and others where they don’t.

My best piece of advice is to show yourself and others grace. Sometimes there are comments made that might make you feel sad, and that’s totally normal. I know in the midst of grieving I’ve been asked when we’re going to have babies of our own, or comments about me always being around the babies in the family and I’d make the best mom ever. While those comments are made typically in love, they can create a tailspin of emotions for me personally.

I have literally been at family gatherings for the holidays and had to leave to go for a walk just to take a breath, cry a little, and vent to my husband. We pretend to be looking at landscaping, while we allow our emotions to rest before graciously facing the people we know love us. So, sweet friend, you too may need to take a breather, go to a quiet place and cry for a minute, or perhaps even skip a gathering or two until you feel more comfortable. And that’s all ok.

How To Prepare For Those Sneaky Holidays

I’ve found that my emotions tend to really run high around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for obvious reasons. You may find that particular holidays cause you more grief than others. For me this year, Easter hit me really hard. It would’ve been our second baby’s first Easter, and I had forgotten about how I was dreaming up a beautiful basket for him/her, and planning new family Easter traditions to enjoy.

You might be surprised at the things that make you upset, especially around the holidays when you otherwise are happy and joyful. Give yourself a little room and little grace to grieve and process those emotions. They are all normal, and your not a bad person for crying and being upset on Easter, or Mother’s Day, etc. Give yourself that space, and then go and celebrate with those you love and honor the people that mean so much to you. But, always remember that your not forgotten and your emotions matter and are real and are a necessary part of the grieving process.

Related Post: Miscarriage- What To Expect During A Pregnancy Loss

Troublesome Seasons

Another thing I’ve found after grieving two pregnancy losses, is that certain seasons will sneak up on me and cause my emotions to sky rocket. Fall is especially hard for me for some reasons. When I see all of my friends and family sending their little ones off to preschool or kindergarten, I think of how our first child would be heading off to school too. I’d love nothing more than to be packing lunch boxes, and shopping for backpacks, crayons, and new tennis shoes.

Then during that fall season are all of the family traditions and outings that we love…like going apple picking and going to the pumpkin patch. I grieve every season that I don’t have a little one to do that with yet, but then strap on my shoes and go with my sister and my niece (who’s not so little anymore, but thankfully still wants to hang with us oldies) and we hit the cider mill. Then, as you can imagine, next comes Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas…and by then I’m just a blubbering hot mess.

I know this about myself and my husband knows this about myself. The days when it hits me, I just need to sit in the grief and acknowledge it, and then pick myself up and find things around me to be grateful for. Sometimes it’s really hard to find those things in the midst of grief and all of the “what-ifs”. But, I find that being grateful and finding joy in the midst of sorrow helps me process things and move on with purpose, honoring that little life that was lost.

Holidays That Would’ve Been Baby’s 1st

Baby’s 1st holidays can be some of the hardest. Once you’ve made it through your pregnancy milestones and the due date, next comes all of the first holidays and seasons. Really give yourself and your family grace here. Most truly don’t understand the sorrow that continues long after a miscarriage, so be patient with them and yourself. The grief from a pregnancy loss doesn’t go away overnight, it may not even go away after the birth of other children.

Once again, it is ok to be sad and yet excited for upcoming holiday seasons that you expected to look much different. Something that we’ve found that helps, is to create our own family traditions that we can do as a couple to celebrate. We don’t want to let these precious seasons of our life and holidays as a couple pass us by even though they may be hard, you know?

Related Post: How To Support A Couple Going Through A Miscarriage

Pregnancy Announcements Around The Holidays

And, of course I’ve got to talk about the elephant in the room…the black cloud that can send us over the edge on any given holiday…the dreaded holiday-themed pregnancy announcements. They are so cute, and I don’t blame couples for sharing on holidays at all. But, just know and be prepared, that if you’ve recently gone through a loss, you may want to steer clear of Facebook for a day or two to avoid the inevitable meltdown.

Pregnancy announcements can be tough enough to see, even if you feel a mix of emotions from jealousy to sadness to happiness for your friend. But, seeing them on a holiday when you may already feel vulnerable and sad, can be the absolute worst.

Related Post: The Story Of Our Second Miscarriage- Coping With Grief & Loss Again

Making It Through Milestones After A Pregnancy Loss

Now let’s talk about the pregnancy and baby milestones and beyond that my cause some grief when you least expect it. Hang in there, sweet friend. Things do get better. There is light and joy in the days ahead, even though right now is hard. Here’s my two-cents on how to meander through milestones without losing your mind…

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Milestones

If you happened to have signed up on every pregnancy app known to man when you first got your positive, you may want to unsubscribe to their mailing list or else you’ll receive an email weekly sharing what pregnancy milestones you should be experiencing which is like a kick in the teeth after a miscarriage.

After my first loss, my hubby know that every Thursday I’d have a meltdown. That was the day I would’ve been one week closer to meeting our baby, to snuggling him or her, and to us finally being a family. But, instead that day was filled with grief and sorry…like a scab being ripped off week after week.

The second time around, I think I guarded my emotions a little bit more, and haven’t struggled as much because the situation was much different and I’ve been through it before. And, while this is not a club I would’ve ever signed up for to join, I did learn after my first that we could be happy again and find fulfillment in each other without having a baby. Even though that yearning and heartache never went away, we did find hope and joy which helped me grieve our second with a different perspective, I guess.

Related Post: Life After Loss- Our Appointment At A Pregnancy Loss Clinic

The Dreaded Due Date

Just speaking from experience, and I heard this from a friend when I went through my first miscarriage, the due date can be a really really tough day. There’s nothing magical about a due date. Baby’s come when they come, speaking as an OB nurse here. But, it certainly give parents a goal, and end-date of sorts. And for parents that have lost a baby, the due date takes on a whole new meaning.

I routinely, purposely take the day off work or try to schedule myself off those days because I never know where my emotions will fall. It might be a little bit different for me, though, since I work with new moms and babies as a postpartum nurse which is a blessing and a curse in the midst of infertility and loss.

So, once again, give yourself the space you may need to grieve and process on your baby’s due date. That may look different for you than it does for me. We typically go for a walk at our favorite park, go eat some comfort food (probably not the healthiest option), and spend the day together. You’ll find what works best for you. This grief may be like nothing you’ve ever processed before. But, eventually, you’ll figure out what triggers you and how to handle life after a pregnancy loss.

Related Post: 8 Ways To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy

Birthdays and Beyond

Often times I’ll stop and think about where we’d be as parents if everything had worked out how we’d hoped it would. That is a sad place to go in my mind. Every year when the due date…now first, second, or third birthday…comes around it’s like another layer of sadness that’s hard to explain.

Personally, I don’t think you’re ever truly done grieving the loss of a baby, no matter how long that little one was in your life. The instant you find out your pregnant, your life changes and your heart expands to capacities you didn’t know where possible. Then, after a miscarriage, the heart that had grown three times as big to welcome and selflessly care for another human being, is left empty.

One of the most thoughtful gifts that was sent to me after having my second miscarriage was a curate box for grieving mothers from Lullaby of Hope. If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, send them this thoughtful gift from moms who’ve been there and understand. It was certainly healing for my broken heart.

If you have experienced a miscarriage, then you know just how tricky holidays and baby milestones can be for your emotions.  Here's how to survive and maybe even thrive following a pregnancy loss.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, then you know just how tricky holidays and baby milestones can be for your emotions.  Here's how to survive and maybe even thrive following a pregnancy loss.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, then you know just how tricky holidays and baby milestones can be for your emotions.  Here's how to survive and maybe even thrive following a pregnancy loss.

I understand the sorrow and the grief all too well. I know that there are dark days and there are happy ones as well. And, I sincerely hope this post helps you understand the days ahead and the triggers you may face. But, most importantly, I hope you realize that what you’re feeling and how your grieving is not bad, it’s ok, and normal, and you’ll work through it. There will be a rainbow after this storm. You are not alone in this.

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