Chapter 2: Grief after pregnancy or infant loss

Wanting answers

At first we were going to do an autopsy because I wanted to know what went wrong, but in the end we didn’t.  I’ll never know what happened and I have to live with that.

It’s horrible to not have an answer, to not know the reason. There have been a lot of those “what-ifs” – and then breaking the cycle of the sadness, the guilt, and the “what-ifs.” You can “what-if” yourself to death.

Even when special investigations such as genetic testing or autopsy have been done, you may never know why your baby died. This can be very challenging. If the reason for your pregnancy loss is known, this can also be difficult news for a variety of reasons. It may impact child-bearing decisions in the future. For example, you may think, “The autopsy showed a genetic defect. Can we ever have a healthy baby?”


What you may be feeling

Whether or not the reason for your pregnancy loss is known, you may have feelings such as confusion, anger, frustration, or sadness. Your feelings may be very intense and at times conflicting.


It is normal to have intense and confusing emotions as part of grief, just as it is normal to feel numb and uncertain what you are feeling.