For those of us who have miscarried, we have all had to go through our own grieving processes. Usually part of that grieving process requires us to untell all of the people that we excitedly shared our pregnancy news with early on. Since pregnancy loss is such a taboo subject, most people don’t know how respond to the bad news. Unfortunately more often then not while trying to comfort us, people say the wrong thing and bring more pain to an already difficult time.
So if you know someone who is miscarrying or has lost a pregnancy, here is a list of what NOT to say to them. (I have compiled this list from a group of over 100 moms that have all experienced miscarriage.)
- It wasn’t meant to be.
- Be grateful for the children you already have. Its not a question of being ungrateful for what I have, its that this was a child I lost.
- A lot of women have them, its so common. That doesn’t make it any less painful.
- At least you know you can get pregnant. All I know know is that I can get pregnant and miscarry, not that I can get pregnant and stay pregnant.
- Maybe you did something wrong. Did I cause this? Did I hurt my baby? The guilt…
- Maybe you should have gone to church more. Going to church wouldn’t have cured the chromosome problem that my baby had.
- At least you weren’t that far along, you didn’t really know the baby yet. I loved the baby the moment that I knew I was pregnant.
- At least it wasn’t really a baby yet. Yes, it was, it was my baby.
- There was probably something wrong with it anyways. I wouldn’t have cared, I still loved it.
- It was God’s plan. While many people believe this, it brings no comfort to a grieving woman.
- You can always try again soon. Yes, but it doesn’t take away the pain I feel right now.
- Well at least you aren’t having morning sickness anymore.
- So this means that we can go out and have drinks this weekend after all, huh? Please don’t pretend like this never happened.
- Maybe you aren’t meant to have kids. My greatest fear is never being able to be a mother.
- If you hadn’t tested you wouldn’t have known you were pregnant anyways. I’m pretty sure most people would have realized when their period was two weeks late.
- So tell me all the gory details. No, I’m not strong enough to relieve the pain and I doubt you are either.
- Maybe the miscarriage was a sign telling you about your other health issues. My health issues couldn’t have effected a pregnancy.
- Well it was just a blighted ovum, you weren’t really pregnant. I was still pregnant…
So, you might be wondering what you should say when you find out someone is miscarrying.
- “I’m sorry.”
- “What can I do to help?”
- “I’m here for you.”
- “Take all the time you need to heal.”
- And one of my favorites is “This is just one of those things in life that sucks. It sucks that it happens, it sucks that you have to go through it and it sucks that you will worry about it for the rest of your life. But just remember, you didn’t do anything to deserve it or make it happen, it just sucks.”
Remember to be compassionate and listen, sometimes they want to talk, sometimes they don’t. Be patient with them. Everyone has their own unique grieving process and time frame. Don’t expect them to just “get over it”. Just be a shoulder to cry on and offer a comforting hug, thats what they need most.
2 thoughts on “What Not to Say”
It’s amazing all the crappy things “It sucks” covers.
Perfect! This list should be a POSTER on the OB-GYN’s office wall. It would help educate all women about how to handle those in their life who had to struggle through a loss. (men usually aren’t the ones making the unwanted comments).
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