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Miscarriage Support

noassvice

I belong to an online infertility support forum and somebody recently asked the question of how best to support a friend after going through a miscarriage. I LOVE that somebody is thoughful enough to ask that question. I wish when I’d been through all of my miscarriages somebody had thought to ask me what I needed from them instead of just having everyone assume that the new what I wanted/needed.

I responded to the question on the forum, using my own experience to offer guidance, or at least, God Forbid, I should have to suffer another miscarriage, this is what I’d like from the people closest to me:

1. Acknowledge Our Loss

Yes, its awkward and uncomfortable for the people around us, but do you know how few people actually acknowledged that we’d lost a baby? It was like my pregnancy never existed, it was like the little being growing inside me never existed or mattered. Having our loss ignored has also, in the past, made me feel like its not such a big deal to loose a pregnancy and that I’m completelyover reacting, something which I really battled withand learned to over come through therapy. It is a big deal, it is sad and hurtful and it should be treated that way. You don’t have to make a huge deal out of it, you don’t have to think of something philosophical to say, all you have to do is acknowledge what we’ve been through by giving a hug and saying: “I’m sorry for your loss”. Please remember that W needs this acknowledged as much as I do, I’m always shocked by how people completely ignore his feelings during a miscarriage.

2. Avoid ASSVICE

I know people mean well, I know that what they said is said to offer comfort, to soothe pain, but understand that a lot the things said to couples suffering miscarriage is so incredibly (and unintentionally) callous and hurtful and cruel.

Its NOT better that I lost the baby now rather than later.

Its NOT better that there was obviously (in your eyes) something wrong with the baby so it had to die.

Its got NOTHING to do with my age, so please don’t insult me with that.

Its NOT better because at least I know I can get pregnant, trust me!

Remember also that I’m in my 7th year of doing this, so whatever the miracle cure you’ve just heard of for getting pregnant and staying pregnant, I’ve probably been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, worn the damn thing till it fell into holes and then thrown away the T-shirt.

3. Ask Me How I’m Feeling/What I Need

I really believe this point is important. Everyone grieves differently, just because I”m not crying my eyes out every time you see me doesn’t mean my heart isn’t broken. But also remember that there are days when I don’t want to talk about it, so test the water, ask me how I’m doing, if I give a detailed answer that’s your que to ask me more questions, if I”m nonchalant in my response then understand that I’m having a day where I don’t want to talk about it. Also, if you really want to be there for me, ask me what I need. Most of the time, the thing I crave the most during my grieving is some indulgent time where I can perhaps drink a bit too much wine and blab my eyes out while you pass me tissues and we talk. Its the little things like just being there that help the most.

4. Don’t Put A Time Limit On My Grieving

The most painful experience I had during my last miscarriage was when one of my pregnant BF’s told me two weeks after I lost the baby that I should get over myself, the world does not revolve around me and my miscarriage and that I should put my miscarriage behind me and participate in her pregnancy. It felt like somebody stabbed me right through the heart. Understand that we all grieve differently and at our own pace. There is no right or wrong way to get through this, what counts is that we do get through the grief, but please allow me to do this at my own pace.

As my IVF creeps closer and closer, I’m forced to face a lot of these emotions again, the simple fact is that miscarriage is a very real possibility for me and if it does happen again, I don’t want any  nasty surprises. I don’t want to have to cope with the added hurt of being inappropriately treated by someone while trying to process my own grief.

For those of you who’ve been through RPL, are there any additional points I”m missing?

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19 Comments

  • Reply Lea White

    Thank you so much for sharing Sharon. I think these things are so appropriate in all sorts of situations.

    Hugs!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 7:38 am
  • Reply Michelle

    Shaz – thanks for sharing you experience and knowledge with those of us whom have never had the misfortune of experiencing these terrible times. I hope that your advice will help someone else who may, God forbid, need it at some point. But most of all I hope it helps us all be better friends to each other. Your advice goes out, not just to, miscarriage but to any circumstances that may require a true friend with the know how to help us in our time of need. A very valid point you made is to acknowledge our DH’s in these times – afterall, we go through this very personal journey with them. They are as much part if it all as we are.
    Very good blog post again my friend.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Amanda

    Very good post Sharon, you put it very well. I’ve had to hear from E all the assvice she got from her in law’s and coleagues, it would make my blood boil!

    January 13, 2009 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Adel

    So true. I also feel the same even when it is a negative IVF. It feels like a loss to me as well and although it cannot be compared to a miscarriage, similar feelings arise.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Lesley

    Thanks for this Sharon. As much as I hope to never need this advice for a friend, it will make me think before speaking.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:53 am
  • Reply stacey

    Fantastic post, Sharon. I fully agree with all points. I have to say that point #2 had me lol-ing. No, it’s not funny (well, the t-shirt part was funny) but I had to chuckle because it’s just so accurate. Every word you wrote has been spoken to me and it’s infuriating.

    Point #4 – absolutely great. It happens far too often. Why can people seem to understand other types of grief? I think some people would be more sympathetic toward someone who just lost a pet than who had a miscarriage. I can’t figure this out.

    Anyway, thanks for the great post. I love this new series you’re doing. Awesome.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:10 am
  • Reply samcy

    Thanks again for opening your heart to us all so that we can be better people to others.

    BTW I really pray and hope like mad that I won’t have to use this advise ever with you in the future!!

    HUGS
    xxx

    January 13, 2009 at 10:49 am
  • Reply 'Murgdan'

    Great post, Sharon. Thanks for this…

    January 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply UK Baby Parenting

    Baby-Parenting.co.uk – Pregnancy Questions, Pregnancy FAQs…

    Baby-Parenting.co.uk – Pregnancy Questions, Pregnancy FAQs, Commonly asked questions…

    January 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Ginger

    Excellent post. I think this should be copied and circulated to some of those SILLY SILLY fertile people. The ones that make stupid comments.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Abbey

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for this brilliant post. I found out today that my miracle natural BFP baby has no heart beat at 8 weeks. I’m scheduled for a D&C on thursday and my heart is broken into a million peices (as I’m sure hubbies is too). Reading your post made me feel less alone and inspired by your courage. You’ve never given up after everything and your heart has remained beautiful in spite of everything you’ve endured. You are my hero Shaz! You’ll be in my prayers every night for your next ivf, I really hope this is it for you because you deserve it so very much.

    Lots of special love
    Abbey

    January 13, 2009 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply C

    So true!!! but I think I am a freak I have become more & more like a wounded lion or bear. I retreat into my cave and lick my wounds on my own not even DH can come there.

    I actually prefer that people avoid it, never mention it, act like it never happened (except some of my IF friends) I think I am afraid that if I open up and talk, the hurt, pain & anger will come spurting out of me like a volcano, it will be ugly and raw, vile and black and awful and people will never come near me again. Like I said I am a FREAK!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply ^WiseGuy^

    “Everyone grieves differently, just because I”m not crying my eyes out every time you see me doesn’t mean my heart isn’t broken.”

    That is what I feel too. However, I would never mention it to anyone as to what has happened. I did not talk about my IVF/ICSI at office, and shared nothing about its consequences or occurence with my closest friends. I can’t handle any more real life bear hugging or words of ‘profound wisdom’, especially when the people who are giving it to me are uber-fertile. What do they know?

    January 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply m

    You nailed it.

    And recognizing our husbands, the fathers of the children we lost, and acknowledging their lost just seems to get absolutely overlooked. Granted, some of them may not be as vocal about their grief as some of us our, but they are such a part of all of this. I was shocked (am shocked) when people go out of their way to ask how I am without a word about M. or worse, ask HIM about me without wondering how he’s holding up as well. An excellent point to make, as were all of the rest of them. Well done, S.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm
  • Reply Courtney

    Thanks for sharing. I wish that people had acknowledged my losses as if they were a “real” loss. They were VERY real to me, even if I never got to see or old that baby- I still lost it and it still hurt more deeply than I thought.

    I hope that you never suffer through another miscarriage.

    January 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm
  • Reply monica lemoine

    Great points, Shaz. I think you covered the big ones (and an awesome accompanying graphic, too. You little “image chef,” you.).

    Yes, I think that saying nothing at all is almost as hurtful – if not more so- than saying the “wrong thing.” I think – as I’ve said before – that people, if they really care about you, can’t say stupid things. As long as they say something well-meaning.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:34 am
  • Reply Elize

    Love this post Sharon. So so true! I think everyone else said it all. Praying for you always my friend. I hope you never have to hear stupid assvise ever again.

    January 14, 2009 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Camille

    Loved reading this post. You definitely nailed this right on the head. Here in the southern USA, we have a lot of overtly religious types who, upon learning of your latest miscarriage, love to try to calm you with the news that “It was God’s will” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can take, you know.” I wonder who these people are who fancy themselves spokespeople for God. I wonder if they realize that their comments are probably meant more to comfort themselves than the person who experienced the loss?

    January 17, 2009 at 1:37 am
  • Reply Laverne

    I see this was posted years ago. Finally I find me in this blog. I’m a sufferer of recurrent pregnancies. You nailed everything on the head. You come to a point where you just hate everyone with their assvices especially these fertile women and the mother giving assvices and stupid unecouraging words. Everything you said was perfectly said. Tx

    July 30, 2015 at 6:50 am
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