Guest post by Layla Hassanali
About the Author: Layla Hassanali is the owner of My Modest Mama, a Muslim parenting website designed to make parenting easier. You can find them on www.mymodestmama.com
Although I was holding a positive test in my hands, I just knew deep down I was losing the pregnancy. This wasn’t just the regular spotting you experience in early pregnancy – what I had initially hoped it was – but rather a full flow of blood.
As I walked over to the local A&E, I kept praying to Allah to keep this pregnancy viable and if I was to lose it, to make it as easy as possible. As they scanned me, the miscarriage was much more dire than I had imagined; I had suffered an ectopic pregnancy which had led to my tube bursting and filling my abdominal cavity with blood. I would need surgery to remove the damaged fallopian tube and any shreds of the remaining pregnancy. Unfortunately, many complications arose before the surgery even took place meaning the ordeal was much longer and painful than anticipated.
After a few weeks, the shock and pain from the procedure was starting to wane off. Family and friends who had come to see me initially had returned to their lives, my husband had gone back to work and now it was time to get back on my feet and get back to “normal”. However, I just couldn’t shake off what happened.
I had questions. I felt anger. I couldn’t believe that this had happened to me. How could I possibly continue when I felt spiritually and emotionally hurt?
I started to turn to the family members of mine who had dealt with loss – some having had multiple pregnancy losses – to see what helped them. They reminded me of two important verses in the Quran:
Your Lord has not taken leave of you, [O Muhammad], nor has He detested [you] [93:3]
And He found you lost and guided [you]. [93:7]
Sure, it wasn’t a change overnight but when I started to feel even the slightest bit upset, I would remind myself that Allah was with me every step of the way and what had happened was part of his plan for me. This was His test for me and once I came to terms with that, I started to reach inner peace.
Pregnancy loss is, unfortunately, still a taboo topic amongst the communities and it can be hard to find one set guide that tells you just how to cope with a miscarriage. I am grateful that I had relatives who had gone through this and had helped me deal with my loss but I am aware that many may not have this so I have written this post with the hope that it helps someone out there somewhere.
Here is how I survived a pregnancy loss emotionally and spiritually:
Grieve What Could Have Been
It’s important to grieve what you have lost, whether it was as early as a few weeks or a stillbirth, as the grieving process helps you to come to terms with what has happened and allows you to “free-up your energy that is bound to the lost person or experience”.
Grieving does not mean you are not accepting of what is Allah’s will as even prominent figures in Islam showed grief upon losing a child. The Prophet (SAW) had suffered many losses in his lifetime, including six out of his seven children, and upon losing his son Ibrahim (AS), it is narrated:
Ibrahim was in his last breaths and the eyes of Allah’s Messenger started shedding tears. Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf said, “O Allah’s Messenger (SAW), even you are weeping!”. He (SAW) said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy”. Then he (SAW) wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! Indeed, we are grieved by your separation”.
Don’t Blame Yourself
You may be running through all the different scenarios as to why this loss occurred. Were you working out too much? Not eating healthy enough? Not taking it easy? But around 1 in 8 pregnancies end in a miscarriage due to reasons that are out of your control, whether you were doing everything right or not. This may be a hard pill to swallow but it should alleviate any blame you are placing on yourself!
Learn to Let Go of The Anger
After a loss, you naturally start to question “why me?”. I was angry at what had happened. Why did I have to go through this? How is this fair?
However, it is important to remember that Allah has a plan for everyone of us even from the moment we are in our mother’s womb. A loss is part of His plan but it is essential to remember this verse from Surah Baqarah.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” [ 2:286]
This verse enforces in us that Allah has made us face this test as He knows we are strong enough to get through it and will be rewarded in doing so.
Rest and Focus on Yourself
It is absolutely vital to take some time out for yourself and rest after a loss as it can be both physically and emotionally taxing on an individual. You’ll need this time to recoup and feel better before facing the world again and whether this is for one day or one month, use this time to nurture yourself.
This could be ordering a new book to read, incorporating more Quran into your daily routine, implementing exercise, surrounding yourself with close friends – all these things are a step in the right direction of helping yourself to heal.
Have a good support network
Although many people close to you will be supportive when the loss occurs, you may come to realise that a few may not understand what you have gone through or be there in the way you would like them to be and that’s okay. Find yourself a good support network of close friends and/or family who you can turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on or may need some help with. This is just as important later down the line.
If you do not have anyone close by, you can use a Muslim bereavement service such as Sakoon
or Muslim Beareavement Support Service
Although it may seem difficult, one of the best ways to cope with a loss is to remain patient and have trust in Allah’s plan as those who are patient are rewarded as mentioned in the Quran.
“And Allah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient)” [3:146]
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning” [39:10]
Remember, the children that you have lost will be waiting for you by the gates of Heaven
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, the miscarried fetus will carry his mother by his umbilical cord into Paradise, if she was seeking its reward.” [Mu’adh ibn Jabal]