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.