Archive for Miscarriage/Loss

What NOT to Say to a Friend or Family Member Experiencing a Miscarriage

As we near the anniversary of our miscarriage, I have been thinking a lot about all the things people said to me and how they made me feel. Here are a few things I would never recommend you saying to your friend or family member who is experiencing a miscarriage.

1. Well, at least you have your other kids or You should just be thankful you have your other kids. Yes, of course I am grateful for my other children. I have been blessed with two healthy children but this child that I lost was a child in his or her own right. If he or she had been born, no one would ever say “at least you have your other kids” as if I could just exchange the one I lost for one that is living.

2. Will you have more kids? I still don’t know the answer to this question and it’s been almost a year. Besides, it’s really none of your business, regardless. I honestly wouldn’t ask this question of anyone unless it was to someone I was super close to, and even then, I might not even ask.

3. Tell her about acquaintances whom she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years who are newly pregnant. Unless it’s a close friend or a family member, I really don’t need to know. There are enough pregnancy announcements on Facebook…I don’t need more than that.

4. It’s good that it happened so early. Maybe it would have been harder had we been further along, or maybe not. All I know is that in my mind, we lost a baby…a human child. And it honestly doesn’t matter that it was so early. It hurts all the same.

5. Nothing. This might be the worst thing you can do, to be honest. I realize it can be awkward for people to bring up a miscarriage but it meant the world to me when people acknowledged that I had lost a child and not some embryo or something. You don’t have to worry about “bringing it up again” because I can guarantee you that I was always thinking about it anyway. I still think about it every day, in fact.

Another thing that has been bothering me is the stigma surrounding miscarriages. Like I said before, I understand that people feel awkward with this topic but it really doesn’t have to be this way if we talk about our experiences when are moved to.

One thing I have noticed that really bothers me is that people are fine with reading posts about someone’s dog or other pet who is sick or has died and people will acknowledge this with no problems. However, talking about losing a human child while in utero just doesn’t get the same effect, and that is sad. Don’t get me wrong…I love our pets and I would do just about anything to keep them alive and well, so I’m not saying people shouldn’t post about them when things happen. They totally should. And so should a woman who has suffered a miscarriage, if she feels so inclined.

Recently, I have seen close family and friends express sympathy for people whose dogs are sick, mostly in the way of material gifts. Our dog also recently suffered a heat stroke and he got a package in the mail with a dog toy in it. All these things are super nice gestures, of course, but where the hell were these people when I was going through a miscarriage? It wasn’t that I needed anything material or anything; all I really needed was for people to acknowledge what I had lost and offer support in some way, whether through a text message or a phone call. It is during times like these that you really know who your true friends are. They are the ones who remember dates that are important to you and remember to check in with you that day. They are the ones who ask you how you’re feeling and don’t just ignore the giant elephant in the room. They are the ones who offer their support whenever you need it but still allow you the space to be silent if that is what you need.

 

The Days That Mean Nothing To You….

…but mean something to me…

Last September was a great month for me. It was the month we found out we were pregnant and I spent the entire rest of the month trying to keep such an exciting secret. Truth be told, we told more people than we planned to, but we were just so darn excited.

So for the past month or so, I’ve been thinking about how my life was exactly a year ago…all the yearly events that were going on that year and how they are panning out for this year….

The Sunday before Labor Day was the day we found out we were pregnant and the following day, we announced it to close family. Over Labor Day weekend this year we were camping, so I was able to get away and have a short run in the woods. I did ok until I saw a dad come walking down the trail with a baby in a stroller, and that’s when things started to break down.

We also attended a family game night at church recently. It went well but all I could think of was how a year ago at that same event, I had told a couple of parents there that night that we were expecting, only to find out a few days later that there would be no baby. Now that we are into October, we have come to the point where the blissful idea of a new baby ended so abruptly.

Unfortunately, so many of these significant days happened near things that happen every year or are significant on their own. For example, I miscarried the week of the Fall Festival in our town, which is one of my favorite things that happens around here. So not only will I remember that the Monday of the Fall Festival was the day that I was told there was no baby at my ultrasound and then went from there to the Fall Festival, only to have to pretend to everyone I saw there that I was fine and hope to God that no one asked how the ultrasound went, but I will also feel something on October 5, whatever day of the week that falls on. So on the Thursday of the Fall Festival, I’m going to remember feeling the gestational sac literally rip away from the inside of my body that night as we were actually at the Fall Festival, and I’m also going to relive it again on October 8, which is the Saturday of the Fall Festival. The Friday of my kids’ Fall Break, I’m going to remember being alone with the kids by myself, making a phone call to my doctors’ office to tell them I had lost the baby, and dragging both my kids to the lab to have my hormones checked, the whole time still cramping, bleeding, and crying. And I’m going to feel it all again on October 9, which is a Sunday.

I’m almost angry because October has always been one of my favorite months, but it will always be the month I lost my third child and spent the rest of the month walking around in a daze. With the fall weather moving in, I’m feeling it more and more…that the last time I was here, I was hurting badly. And the world will go on like it does, and few will notice the significance it all holds for me, so I will hold it in my silence and allow myself to feel it all again and hope that it passes quicker this time around.