Intimacy After Miscarriage

Walking through a miscarriage is a very difficult process; one that effects each woman individually. It can influence both devistation and great faith even within the same woman.  I lost a baby in between the two children I have now. We didn’t have an easy time getting pregnant the first two times. For both our son and the baby we lost, we tried for a year to conceive so to lose our baby filled us with deep sorrow. At the same time, I also heard the Voice of my Lord loud and clear. My husband and I were part of creating a life that could worship Him for eternity and nothing could take that from us. Regardless of my circumstances, my spirit was drawn to worship Him because He had worked out a faith in me that had confidence in His goodness. I stood firm in His Word over me that He had something else for me to walk in. Our doctor told us to wait at least one cycle before trying again so we did and that very next month we conceived the daughter we have now. And I can’t imagine my life without her. That is my story, and if you have had to endure a miscarriage, I am sure you have your own story. Feel free to share it. It doesn’t need to sound like mine. In fact, I am sure that it won’t. Please be free to share honestly what you felt and experienced just as I have.

We received an email requesting an article about how miscarriage can effect a husband and wife’s sex life. This, too, is something that is influenced in a unique way depending on the couple. Some couples find that it draws them deeper into intimacy. For others it becomes something that developes into a wedge between them. Some couples are required to abstain from sex for physical reasons and some couples find that the emotional wounds result in sexual separation. Some women desire more sex, some women desire less. It can be very scary for both the husband and the wife to begin having sex again as it may be physically or emotionally painful. I want to offer a few things that helped my husband and I through these issues related to our miscarriage.

First, we discussed the physical aspects with our doctor and one another. We determined what was physically safe and made further sexual decisions with that in mind. Some couples are required to abstain for longer periods depending on the circumstances of the miscarriage. Now, having said that, just because a husband and wife are given the go ahead to start having sex again doesn’t mean things resume as they were before without some difficulty. On the other hand, for some women, it is less of a problem and they find themselves drawn to physical intimacy as much as they had before. Whichever category you may fit in, know that both are normal and can be worked through and result in deepening intimacy for you and your husband.

It is important that both the husband and the wife feel safe to share their emotions honestly. It’s also important for them to commit to empathizing with their spouse. A miscarriage can be devistating and part of the grieving will result in becoming very self focused. That is part of the grieving process and shouldn’t be discouraged. In order to grow in intimacy with the Lord and with your husband, though, we can not stay in that place. We must commit to walking through grief and not allowing our pain or regret to keep us stuck in it.

This brings me to the aspect of prayer. Staying connected to your relationship with the Lord through prayer will help so much in the healing process and the growth of a vibrant sex life after a miscarriage. It is through this lifeline with God that you will hear His truth about your situation. His voice is one of healing and will bring unity to you and your husband as you listen together and respond to Him. I look at painful experiences such as miscarriage as an opportunity. I see them as encountering a choice to use it to go deeper in intimacy with my husband and my God or to allow it to become a divisive wedge. This isn’t something I come up with in the moment. It is my over-arching perspective of life and is then put to the test when I am faced with something that is hard to walk in. It doesn’t make my responses perfect every time I encounter something hard, but I keep it as a value and endeavor to live according to it. Each of us is at a different place in our journey with God though so I can not transfer this to everyone’s situation and make a judgement that it should look this way for them. I can only share what has worked in my life. God is faithful and because of my history with Him, I do not shy away from things that will result in a more godly character. I don’t go looking for bad situations, but when I am faced with one, I pursue God for His perspective. After all these years with Him, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

There is no predetermined time frame for grieving. It will look different for each of us and won’t be expressed in a neat little package, but if a husband and wife turn towards one another and become a strength for the other they can often end up moving into a deeper intimacy and richer sex life.

21 Comments

  1. We m/c’ed between our 2nd and 3rd child that we have now, and the thing that stands out for me — there were times afterwards that the grief snuck up on me when least expected. For me, for ex, we found out we were expecting on Valentine’s Day (several years ago) and I used that to tell my hubby. Then we lost that baby and the following year, pregnant with our 3rd son, Valentine’s Day was such a hard, hard day. I didn’t expect it, my hubby didn’t expect it, but we talked about it and he understood that I was just “not in the mood” that day….and then that I was a week or so later, the grief had passed again and I was able to move on. He was patient throughout.

    I think you are right, though; communication and prayer are the key. Thanks for touching on this hard, hard topic.

  2. My husband and I have been ttc for several months now; since he returned from a year-long deployment. This past month, we really believed that we had conceived because of numerous symptoms. But a trip to the doc resulted in a negative pregnancy test and I later started my “monthly cycle.” I was heartbroken, and still am. I pray daily for God to grant me peace and perseverance since we don’t have a lot of time to make a baby before my husband could deploy yet again. I would greatly appreciate it if you all could keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

  3. ironically yesterday was my baby’s due date. I really had thought I was over the grief but no. everytime I think about my little one i feel love and pride. I am truly proud of my good little baby in heaven because he is closer to God than I am. Sometimes I dream about him. In those dreams he is this glowing light and i realize that i am glowing too. But his light is so much brighter than mine because he is closer to God. it helps get me through but I was warned that the grief will sneak up on you when you least expect it. but it’s OK to love and miss your baby. you’re a mom/dad.

  4. “My husband and I were part of creating a life that could worship Him for eternity and nothing could take that from us. ” < that is the most beautiful way of thinking about it and helping to heal from it that i have ever heard….. wow…. inexpressable thanks

  5. i am grateful for this website and have been blessed by the ministry provided by it. I know this is way later but I understand armywife completely. My husband and i have been ttc for nearly 5 years, and last month had the same thing only to be sorely disappointed. I am angry and feel like we were fooled, having false hope and making plans. But i have to believe that God is in control and knows whats best for us. I was feeling so hopeless and not wanting to even think about children, but i know thats not how God would want me to respond. Reading the opening article here i have been truly encouraged and reminded that i have a choice to make, and to draw closer to Jesus in intimacy and also my husband is what i need to do no matter what happens. Thank you for this and giving me the opportunity to share openly. I ask that you pray for us and i look forward to sharing good news with you all on here someday soon:)
    God bless you ladies wherever you are

  6. I miscarried two weeks ago – one week before my sister’s wedding. All those emotions and heartache had to be tucked away. I don’t know how to deal with this grief. We have one child, and I really feel like my family is looking at me like I need to just move on now that the wedding is over – but I feel like I missed out on a very important part of the process. None of them (Aunts, Mom, Grandmothers) have ever experienced a miscarriage. I was just reaching 12 weeks. Am I just supposed to pick up and move on? My husband has been so supportive through this all, and I think he’s actually handled the grief process better than me.

  7. There is no set time for grieving a lost baby. We all come to the place of acceptance in different ways and the timeline isn’t consistent from one woman to another. You don’t need to restrict your emotions to the expectations of your family. I just want to give you that freedom. The freedom to feel what you feel without expectation. If you need to take two steps back in order to face the emotions you had to sweep under the rug at the time, that is OK.

    I pray that God will hold you through this time of grieving, but also want to encourage you that it does get better. I’ll always have a space in my heart for the baby I lost, but I am free from regret and embrace the joy that I could be a part of creating that life.

  8. Thank you.

  9. This probably isn’t much consolation, but at least you had that life inside you for a little while. I have never been able to get pregnant. We’ve been ttc for 2 yrs, and nothing. I would love to have that experience, even if it ended in miscarriage. Sorry if that sounds weird, but that’s the way I look at it.

  10. Hi, I am a healthy 26 year old. I am strong, kind, loving and generous. I am an Early Childhood Educator. In july, I got married, and about a week later, I was pregnant. It was the happiest single moment of my life. I still remember the way my husband smiled and leapt for joy when I told him. I went to my doctor, confirmed my pregnency and then was awaiting my first ultrasound. At 10 weeks and 2 days into my pregnency, I experienced the most devestating moment i could ever imagine. I went to the bathroom and there it was. A few drops of light coloured blood. I rushed to the doctors office in a panic. My heart was pounding, my legs were trmbling and something inside of me told me “This is it. It’s over.” I told my doctor that I had seen a few drops of blood and that I was having slight cramping on the right side of my lower abdomen. His response was “Uh-oh, thats not good.” He sent me for a blood test and scheduled my ultrasound for the next day. I went home praying to god, “Please, this is my first baby, please let him/her be okay.” Gradually, the bleeding went from a few drops to a more steady flow. My husband and I rushed to the hospital. As I was waiting to see a doctor, I went to the washroom as I felt a gust of blood comming, I wiped….and on the kleenex, covered in blood, lay my 10 week and 2 day old baby. I thought, is this a blood clot? or is this my baby. I wanted to believe so badly that it was a jus blood clot. I inspected it. As I looked closer, I saw two tiny arms, a tiny head, a back, and a tail. My baby was in my hands, but i was in denial. I was scared, shocked and in disbelief. I wondered, “should I wash the blood off?” should I touch it?” Or am i just dilusional?? God wont do this to me!I could’nt do it…I thought no! this is not my baby, it’s just a clot. So i flushed it….I told my husband and my family what I had just seen and did, and they all said, “NO” you’re just scared. I knew at that moment, I had just flushed my baby and that I was no longer pregnent. The doctor at the hospital did an ultrasound the next day and there I saw the truth for myself. I had an empty sac. I cried, I cried a lot. But I was told by close family and friends to move on, that its ok, im young, I will have another one, that it happens, that it’s common, that something was wrong with the baby and I should be glad that it happened now and not later, that how would I have felt if the baby was born with special needs, that the next one would be healthy ETC, ETC….But how do I explain to anyone that ALL i want is my baby back and that one in particular which I lost! I want him/her back..I flushed him/her away..How do I explain the hurt? the intensity of the sorrow, guilt and the way I miss my baby? It’a been a month now, I can’t be intimate with my (loving, amazing and supportive) husband because the thought of having anything near my private area makes me remember my loss and the process of it. I know that people only have good intent when they comment a miscarriage, but sometimes, the best thing to say is just. “sorry, please let me know how I can be here for you in this time of such a tragic loss.” I dont think I’ll ever get over what happened to me. It’s scarred me for life. It’s an emotional process, for anyone and everyone who has been through it. I’m So sorry that it happened!!! I understand your loss!

  11. I’m so sorry for this painful situation you’ve been enduring. There are so many different emotions that you are encountering in your grief and I know it will take time to find healing in many of them, but I pray that you will know the presence of our Lord as you walk through it.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. People respond to loss differently be it the death of a spouse, a parent, best friend, child or other. I went searching and I found some links to Christian websites designed just for those who have experienced the loss of a child whether thru miscarriage or shortly after birth.

    http://www.mend.org/support/home.asp

    http://www.cafemom.com/group/36866

    http://www.missionaryresources.com/miscarriage.html

    http://www.missinggrace.org/LinksSupportGroups.html

    There were more, but I think this is a good place to start. I hope you check them out. You need others who have gone thru what you have gone thru to ask questions, unload on or just have support. Also, don’t forget that your husband has also gone thru this loss as well. He may not have physically experienced it, but he has lost the child with you. Men tend to stuff their feelings down inside and he needs to get out what he feels. He needs to share his own grief and the two of you need to talk about it together. Don’t go thru this time without him. You are a couple and have experienced this loss as a couple. Don’t push him away. Sexual intimacy may not be something you can engage in just yet due to your memories, but you do need to have emotional and mental intimacy with your husband, both of you expressing your feelings about the loss, fears, difficulties, etc. The two of you should draw towards each other at this time. Don’t let the miscarriage drive the two of you apart. He needs your support at this time as much as you need his. I’ll be praying for you both.

  13. I once encountered a lady who found out she was pregnant and then miscarried about a week later. I had no idea how it felt to lose a baby, but my heart went out to her and I was able to share how bad I felt for her sake.

    I’m hurt to read that the people close to you are treating your miscarriage like getting wisdom teeth extracted, like once it’s done and over, you forget about it. From what you’ve shared, I know that’s definitely not the case. This was a new life growing inside you. A human being.

    I’ll be praying for you. *Hugs*

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. I also experienced a miscarriage and know it can be extremely difficult and painful. That said, I do want to encourage you to begin thinking about moving forward with your life and marriage. It seems problematic to me that a month has gone by and you still cannot be intimate with your husband. That isn’t fair to him or to you. You just got married, and you need to begin building intimacy in your life together. If you cannot move forward on your own, please seek wise counsel to help you do so.

  15. People who haven’t miscarried cannot understand how you can grieve over a baby that you never knew. To them it wasn’t a “real life” baby – they never saw it. But those of us who have miscarried will understand how real your baby was to you and that you don’t just “get over it”. I know I’m a bit late posting this, but I am praying for you.

  16. Amen

  17. I struggle with the way you phrased this. I think I understand part of what you are saying, but how we process the grief of losing a baby isn’t set to a timeline and it’s a common response for it to have an effect on sexuality. So while I do agree that it would be incredibly beneficial for this woman to seek the help of godly advisors to help her through, she and her husband should be given the freedom to feel what they feel without rushing their grief according to a calendar. They are going to be building their true intimacy (beyond sex) by learning how to move through intense loss like this together. I have confidence that their sexual oneness will happen in time and believe that they can find full healing. And I do agree that it would be highly beneficial to them both if they sought biblical counsel to help them find Jesus and walk with Him through this painful experience.

  18. please be aware of the perspective you dont have…maybe her husband is in just as much pain… it definately takes time to “move on” as it seems on the outside, but moving on in a marriage, especially over a trauma such as this, is building intimacy through it, not pushing it behind you before you’re ready. it’s good to encourage whats “right”, but dont let yourself accidentally become another voice that’s treating a misscarraige like a wisdom tooth extraction to the woman&/couple who’ve experienced the loss. be aware of how you’re critiquing the way another individual responds to/heals from such a loss–saying something like “that’s not fair to __”; that’s not your place to say–make sure it’s just love you’re offering to the ones who are in hurt, esp in such a cituation as a miscarriage.

  19. I apologize if this sounded harsh. I did not intend for it to sound that way. I agree with cinnamonsticks that people grieve differently and that this woman and her husband will have to grieve in their own way. One thing that was really in my mind as I wrote that was how difficult it must be for a young husband to get married, be able to have sex with his wife for two or three weeks, and then not be able to for a month. I think that a lot of young wives really do not understand how important sex is to their husbands (I certainly did not as a newlywed) and that, for men, sex is a critical part of building intimacy. So I was trying to emphasize that point. But, clearly, a lot of things are going on for them right now, and they will have to work it out in their own time.

  20. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost a baby at 11 weeks a few months ago. Grief is good, you lost a child. And that child waits for you in heaven, where there is no suffering, no pain, and Jesus Himself holds those babies we never get to hold. I still miss my baby, all I want is to scoop him up once and kiss his cheek and tell him how much I love and miss him. So cry, and grieve. Don’t feel guilt, there was nothing you could have done. It’s horrific to think you flushed your baby away, I understand that guilt and pain, but while there body is gone, their soul lives on. I’d really encourage you to hold a small memorial service with a few close family members and/or friends, people need a funeral when someone passes away, and it’s just as important to recognize your loss. I hope and pray that you will heal, I don’t think the pain ever goes away, but with time you learn to deal with it. Praying you are comforted, and reach out to your husband, make sure he understands what you are going through, even if you don’t get physically intimate. I feel your pain. Prayers, and hugs!

  21. I agree with you on that point.


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