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How To Be A GOOD Friend To Someone Who’s Having A Miscarriage

Seven.

That’s the number of confirmed first trimester miscarriages I had. There were more, but apparently they didn’t count because a pee stick told me I was pregnant and not a blood test. 

It was the darkest, loneliest, saddest time of my life. And what made it harder is how misunderstood I felt in the midst of my emotions. Almost everyone close to me played down what had happened which left me feeling like I was being melodramatic and ridiculous. 

The thing is, a miscarriage is so much more than just “a heavy bleed” It’s the loss of hopes and dreams you had for the child. It’s the loss of who that child could have/should have/would have been. It’s an achingly painful loss that can’t be fully understood unless you’ve been through something similar.

What made it harder to deal with were the flip comments I got from well meaning friends. I know they never meant to be cruel but a lot of what was said to me, which was meant to comfort me, almost always landed up hurting me even more or making me so angry and causing me to withdraw even further from the people I was closest to.

Here are a few of the pearls I’ve received:

  • At least you know you can fall pregnant.
  • Rather now than later
  • You’ll fall pregnant again in no time
  • There was probably something wrong with “IT” (referring to the baby I had lost)
  • At least you lost “it” early on
  • Don’t cry, it’s not the end of the world

None of those comments comforted me in any way, shape or form, they hurt me more. They caused me to feel even more alienated and isolated from everyone around me. They caused me to feel like even more of a failure as a woman and a would be mother.

Recently, I came across a video by Stylist Magazine, where they interviewed 7 women who spoke about their miscarriages and their experiences of how others supported them through it all and what they needed and wanted most in terms of comfort from those around them.

Here is the video:

Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can say, in ANY situation in life is:

“I’m so sorry this happened to you, what can I do to help?”

Did you know that one in four South African women will experience at least one miscarriage? That means that chances are high that you know someone who has gone through this, so I hope this video and post will help you say the right thing and be the friend your friend needs during her time of grieving. 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Debs

    One of the hardest things and something i spoke to my husband about was how quickly your brain adjusted to ‘being pregnant’. You use the words, you stop drinking coffee, you ARE PREGNANT. And then you just aren’t. And it takes your brain so much longer to revert to not being pregnant than it takes your body. I don’t know why more women don’t talk about it, I found myself so badly wanting to talk about it but keeping quiet because that’s what most women do.

    April 25, 2016 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Rene

    I’m the absolute worst when I hear that someones had a miscarriage. Hearing about it fills me with such dread and sadness that I can’t say anything at all without either bursting into tears or going into a panic. I so badly want to help, but know that nothing that I say or do can make it better.

    April 25, 2016 at 10:53 am
    • Reply Sharon

      No. You’re right. There is nothing anyone can say or do to make it better, but feeling compassion towards the person suffering is a fantastic start! xx

      April 25, 2016 at 10:56 am
  • Reply sizwile

    I read this and wondered if you had just had access to my life! I had 4 miscarriages and got such comments countless times. Most people don’t realise there is no “at least” about a miscarriage.

    June 3, 2016 at 9:50 am
    • Reply Sharon

      No there isn’t.
      I think the biggest problem is that you can never full understand the depth and breadth of grief from miscarriage unless you’ve experienced it yourself. (((hugs)))

      June 3, 2016 at 10:19 am

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