Friday, February 4, 2011

What NOT to say to someone who has miscarried a baby

I know most people mean well, but having been through this experience and talked to others who have, I have learned that some comments are less than helpful and some are just plain hurtful.

If you are theatre nurse, when a woman comes round from the anesthetic, and she's sad because her baby has just been sucked from her body, please don't tell her it was probably for the best, that the baby was probably chromosomally abnormal. It won't help. Would you say that to someone who lost a loved one? I hope not.

Please don't tell her,"At least you can get pregnant". Yes, she got pregnant, but her baby is now gone, and it is no consolation.

When she is feeling her grief, struggling to make it through the day, please don't tell her, "Things can only get better". That may be true, but at that time, it doesn't feel that way. It won't bring her baby back.
Here's a quick list of some of the other things you should not say:

Be grateful for the healthy children you've got.( I am, but they can't replace the little one I lost.)
You need to move on. (Do I? Perhaps, right now, I need to grieve.)
You can try again.(Can I? Perhaps this is true, but it won't bring back the baby I lost.And there are no guarantees.)
These things happen.(Yes, but it doesn't make me feel any better.)
It's nature's way.(So what?That doesn't make it right or easy or acceptable.)
It is very common.(That really doesn't make me feel any better).

Instead, you might give her a hug and tell her that you are sorry for her loss. You might say,"Call me when you are ready to talk". You could send a beautiful card and say you are thinking of her often, and sending extra love, suggesting you might like to make a remembrance cake and add a layer for her lost little one. You might ask if you could take the other children so she and her husband could have some time together.

And, please, when her due date approaches, be aware that the grief will still be immense and difficult to carry. She might need extra love and understanding.

1 comment:

  1. Aww Angie, I am sorry for your loss. I think about you sitting on your porch, walking down your beach and making your beautiful quilt so often. Just wish things were different for us both.

    People are crass. I get tired hearing they mean well or don't know what to say. Why can't they just shut up and listen then? Not hard, eh?

    Sending you love xx