31 year old G3 S3 has recently suffered from her third early (first trimester) pregnancy loss. For a short period of time she appeared to be handling the loss “remarkably well” (as though nothing happened) and now she always seems to be angry (strikes out in a hostile manner at anyone she meets).
Is this behavior normal (?) and when might one expect her to return to her more pleasant self?
When someone loses something valuable, especially a member of the family (many people consider an unborn fetus to already be a member of their family) or a body part (such as a limb), they normally undergo a grieving process.
Different people appear to grieve in different ways and at different speeds. It may be that having an understanding of the usual components of the grieving process may help couples to complete this process more quickly and comfortably.
The components of the grieving process have been described in several psychological texts. These descriptions differ to some extent, but most seem to involve an initial phase of “denial” or “retreat” at the end of which the person comes to realize that there has (in reality) been a serious loss. The next phase(s) may involve anger (bargaining depression) or acknowledgment (that the loss needs to be placed within an appropriate context).
It may be extremely helpful for individuals (or couples) undergoing these phases of grieving to work through the loss with a professional counselor.