Most likely, you will know someone who experiences a miscarriage. It may be your sister or friend or coworker or wife. Miscarriage does not discriminate. So, how do you walk alongside someone during this journey? Let’s start by breaking down the things you SHOULD NOT SAY.
- “This probably won’t happen with the next one.” – I’m sorry, what?? The day I found out my child was dying from hydrops, I heard this phrase over and over and over again (mostly from nurses and doctors). I don’t understand why the healthcare industry believes that a statistic of what will happen with my next pregnancy is comforting during the loss of my child. It’s not comforting. Of course, it’s nice to know that my next pregnancy (probably) will be healthy, but not during a moment of unexplainable grief that is shattering my world.
- “Are you going to try again?” – Pause. Think about that question. OF COURSE, I’M GOING TO TRY AGAIN. Do I need you to ask me that right after I lost my child? Probably not. Thinking about a future baby only fills me with guilt. Of course, I think about the next pregnancy every day. I wonder when it will be, how it will feel and if it will be healthy. But, I don’t want to give up the memory of my first baby just yet, so please just don’t ask this question.
- “I just want you to listen to what the doctors say about trying again.” – I literally just went through one of the most traumatic things your body can experience. I have been tested for everything possible. I have been poked, questioned and examined. I want nothing more than to produce a healthy child. Obviously, I’m listening to my doctors. Reminding me that I now have to consider my body a danger zone for creating a child just doesn’t sit well. Thank you for looking out though.
- “Are you sure a child is what you want right now?” – Uhhhh…. I was going to have a child in the next four months and I was over the moon happy about it. Yes, I’m sure a child is what I want. I know I am 21 and fresh out of college. Life kind of changes you when you become a mom. Please do me a favor and just never, ever, ever ask this.
Okay… now that we got that out of the way… here are my favorite things I have heard since the loss of our Peanut.
“How are you feeling today? You are so strong. I am proud to call you my friend. I am praying for you. You are heavy on my mind today. What can I do to make today a little easier? I’m always here to talk. You are a great mom. How is your husband doing? Wanna grab lunch/drinks/coffee/anything to get you out of bed? What happened to your baby? I love you. I care about you. You are a beautiful and strong woman.”
I realize many of you may have reached out to me and said 1 of the 4 things I listed as what not to say. Please know, I am not angry with you. I understand this situation is hard to navigate at times, and you each only want the best for me. Like I have said before, it is something no one talks about. How are you suppose to know how to comfort me? As I have said and will continue to say, nothing you say or do will heal me. This is a task I must complete on my own. Just knowing I can count on you as a friend is good enough for me. Thank you for caring and texting and calling and praying. Friends like mine are one in a million.
(Written in August 2016)