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Readers Respond: Things to Say and Things Not to Say After a Pregnancy Loss

Responses: 118

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Updated September 03, 2014

Having a miscarriage, stillbirth or other pregnancy loss is a horrible experience. During this time and the time after, what women and their families need differs widely. Some families want to be alone, others want lots of friends and family to gather for support. Knowing what to say is difficult. There are plenty of things you shouldn't say (You're young, you can have another baby, it was meant to be...) but there can also be plenty of right things to say. What has someone said to you that helped? Care to share a story of something not so sensitive? How do you handle this? Share Your Experience

Emotionally dead boss

It was a few weeks after I had miscarried and had my d & c. It was my first pregnancy, and I had miscarried at 9 weeks. My boss approached me one day after just getting back from leave, and because she would see me crying intermittently, came to check on me. In talking about my experience (she doesn't have children), she asked me how I could possibly be so attached to something I had only known of for a short time, and just couldn't imagine why it was hurting me as much as it was. I couldn't believe that she had just asked me this, and in talking to my therapist in the weeks to follow, he was dumbfounded that someone could be emotionally dead as this. It really pierces my heart to know that people exist that severely lack in sensitivity. Its been 7 months since my miscarriage - I was supposed to deliver in a few weeks, and most days are okay now, but I'm still painfully aware of every pregnant women in the same vicinity as me... it sucks :(
—Guest Sada

15 weeks heart stopped beating @12

I have had a miscarriage before and currently am going through one, I can honestly say that not one person around me had a negative thing to say and now that I read some of your stories I'm grateful for that. People should understand that it's a really difficult moment in a couple's life and if they have nothing good to say to just stay quiet. The first time it happened I was upset that not all of my closest family members had come to see me but now that I think about it maybe they had nothing good to say so it's better that they stayed away.... This second time around that it's happening I don't know how to tell people, I know that they're going to find out at some point, but it's hard. It's harder to think that this coming Saturday it's a friends baby shower and I do not feel like being there.
—Guest Ariadna valentina-Nathan

things not to say or do

Just found out today I'm having a miscarriage I was 7 weeks and Im hurting very bad well at the docs office my husband kept checking out nurses and other women I felt so worthless so I asked him why he was doing these thing which he denied then went on to yell at me infront of the other patients and take my phone and keys away like a child and told me it was my fault our baby's dead and he hates me.... I'm sorry but where's the support he then got mad at me for being upset. Husband's need to support their wives threw hard times not throw them to the wolves
—Guest k

Too skinny (apparently)

I had a missed miscarriage, at 11 wks I started getting bad cramps and bleeding, went for a scan, baby measured 6wks so I went home and did it all naturally, it was awful, I was too scared to even move because the stuff would just start coming out of me and nothing could beat the pain of mopping up your pregnancy off the bathroom floor everytime you went to the toilet (to go and flush the never ending bits of your baby down the loo) Anyway, I told my Nan and do you know what she said "Well I'm not suprised you were too skinny" The thing is, I was by no means underweight, I wasn't even close, I was 'healthy'. She wasn't the only person to say this either. Thing is I did lose weight before I found out I was pregnant and I have never felt so confident, after the miscarriage I put a lot of weight on and after a year of trying I have just lost our baby at 16wks, I am now 'overweight' but I can't imagine any1 telling me it was bcos I was too fat!
—Guest Kay

2nd miscarriage, 7 weeks

I lost the baby on Sunday, then had an appointment on Thursday to check that I was okay and wasn't going to need surgery. My best friend drove me which I appreciate. what I didn't apppreciate was when I walked out of the doctors office having just had my miscarriage confirmed, my best friend turned to me and said 'being in the maternity section makes me want another baby. its really hard seeing all the little babies...' I was so angry with how insensitive that was.
—Guest Tamar

Lost

My wife and I have been married 7 years. We have tried to get pregnant the whole time. Recently, my wife found out she was pregnant. We were able to date it at 15 1/2 weeks. We didn't know she was pregnant until a month ago. We thought she just had the flu. Yesterday while at work I called my wife to make sure she and the baby were ok. My wife answered the phone in tears saying there was something wrong with the baby. She thought she was miscarrying. I immediately called her OBGYN who said for us to come in right away. As we went into the room and they began to do the ultrasound I prayed that we would see our baby still growing and that everything be ok. Unfortunately as we gazed at the monitor all we saw was emptiness. I lost a parent when I was only 14, but this feels just as hard. We had already began to tell people and started picking out names. I had already began to imagine the baby in the car seat and holding the baby in my arms. We miss our baby so much.
—Guest heartbroken daddy

cousin offers surrogacy

This was my first miscarriage that I tested clinically pregnant. I was 12 weeks along when light spotting made me run to the ER for an ultrasound which showed the baby's heart had stopped and growth was only at 10 weeks. My husband and I were devastated. We went home and I opted for a natural miscarriage. During the follow five days that I waited for my body to do what it needed to do my cousin contacted me every day. The third day she wrote me an email offering herself as a surrogate in five years after she was done having her own children (she'd be mid-thirties by then) if I couldn't carry my own. She demanded that I think about it carefully. I was so offended (this was our first attempt to start a family) that she'd think something was "wrong" with me and insinuated she'd have better luck carrying our egg and sperm than I would. I know you're supposed to have patience with people while you're grieving because its easy to get angry but this really felt insensitive of her.
—Guest weepingwillow

Maybe 4th time is the charm?

I am 27yrs old and have experienced 3 miscarriages over the past 5 years! The first was at 24wks with my son. The second at 7wks, and the third also at 7-8wks and the 3rd was also a boy. First, there aren't many people at all who can understand what I am going through...however I often hear I understand how you're feeling. Really? Because, no you don't and unless you've gone through this you never will. Also, when I hear the overly quoted "everything happens for a reason" all I want to do is scream!!! At this point, I do know what may have caused my 1st miscarriage it is one of two high risk factors which the doctors have kept an eye out for during both the 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. The 2nd one, I have no idea as to what caused it, and am still so very confused by it as I was just 25yrs old young and health, as I am today at 27 when I had my 3rd just 1mo ago. I wish people would be more careful of what they say when someone faces such a difficult situation as this!! My
—Guest Nicole27

Oma

A miscarriage should be treated like the loss of any family member, with empathy and caring. The biggest mistake people make is not aknowledging the little life that's lost, as being developed sufficiently to really matter. The little soul is very real to the parents and the loss matters more than others (except those who have had the same experience) can understand. Often it isn't so much about words but just being present for them when they are ready for company, allowing them the freedom of crying when they need to and just helping in practical ways. The most important and the most awkward moment is the first time you see them after the miscarriage. Keeping it simple and sincere with words like: " I'm so sorry for your loss" is best. Once the pregnancy loss is aknowledged and time is allowed for grieving, then healing can naturally follow.
—Guest Monika

HOW DARE HE!

My condolences to all whom have suffered the loss of what is the greatest gift! My sis @ 32wks with her little girl misscarried, the father was M.I.A but while she lay in her hospital bed we were all there right by her side, even our own father came, but unfortunately instead of being concerned for his daughter & granddaughter all he could think about was borrowing her car & money for gas until we asked him to leave. After her return to my home to grief for our angel our family was invited over for pozole what started as a happy day for her took a sharp turn for sadness &doubt about herself my day turned into hatred toward my father when he as usual made things about himself then screaming @ his daughter said "thats why GOD is punishing you by taking your baby"! Because this happened in my home i chased him out the door & asked that he didnt return, we both 4gave him but of all the f***ed things to say this was the worst! I just pray for our angel & smile to kno she'll always be ours!
—Guest diaz

Indescribable sadness of my loss

I was 8-10 weeks pregnant, everything seemed to be going well I felt a certain happiness I have never felt before, I felt a huge connection to my baby, I was excited, I was dumb enough to pretty much tell everyone I knew... I even picked out names. I changed my whole life and everything I thought and did revolved around the child I had in my belly... Then about a week ago I started spotting a brownish kinda color, everyone kept telling me it's normal dont worry... Then the pain came.... Like a cramp I've never felt before, the bleeding got heavier and I went to the doctor" if your got to miscarry your going to miscarry" with no expression or look on his face. Poked and prodded me then sent me on my way. He sent up an ultra sound for yesterday. Yesterday morning the cramps got worse to the point where I couldn't move about 5 minutes later my baby came out sac and all, it crushed my world to see my child be flushed down the toilet. Ppl keep saying I know how u feel but u don't.
—Guest Katrina

Indescribable sadness of my loss

I was 8-10 weeks pregnant, everything seemed to be going well I felt a certain happiness I have never felt before, I felt a huge connection to my baby, I was excited, I was dumb enough to pretty much tell everyone I knew... I even picked out names. I changed my whole life and everything I thought and did revolved around the child I had in my belly... Then about a week ago I started spotting a brownish kinda color, everyone kept telling me it's normal dont worry... Then the pain came.... Like a cramp I've never felt before, the bleeding got heavier and I went to the doctor" if your got to miscarry your going to miscarry" with no expression or look on his face. Poked and prodded me then sent me on my way. He sent up an ultra sound for yesterday. Yesterday morning the cramps got worse to the point where I couldn't move about 5 minutes later my baby came out and all, it crushed my world to see my child be flushed down the toilet. Ppl keep saying I know how u feel but u don't.
—Guest Katrina

Pregnancy Test was Negative

My fiance, of 3 years and I broke up. I took a preg test bc we hadn't used birth control. The test came back negative. I won't lie I went on a drinking binge, not realizing how hard the break was on me. A few weeks later my fiance & I decided to hangout & see if we could salvage our relationship. I ended up staying the night, we had sex & I felt very used. The same night I was laying in his bed thinking over&over again 'Im pregnant and he doesn't want me'. I knew I was pregnant and told him I knew I needed a preg test. We drove to a store, he said he couldn't find one & drove me home. I started my period 3 days later. I ended up going to the ER the day after starting my 'period' bc of VERY heavy bleeding & they told me I was miscarrying. I didn't know for fact I was pregnant but it still broke my heart because I wanted a baby.  This happened in 5/11. It is now 3/12, my husband said that my partying caused my mc. He later apologize but how can I forgive him? I've always blamed myself.
—Guest Ashley

its a cruel joke

I am currently miscarrying. I found out I was pregnant and went for my 1st scan. They told me that the egg was empty. I asked about an ectopic pregnancy, they said that my tubes seem clear & this is what they call a 'blighted ovum' there is an egg but no baby inside. I was devestated for days. My mum had 2 ectopics so she said she was thankful she hadnt 'passed them on to me'. The worst thing i had anyone say to me came from my partner. He told me 'youre going to have to get over this one day' i just looked at him and said i cant believe you would say that, its only been a few days i need time to deal with this and burst into tears. He came back to me later and apologised. Last sunday i started bleeding and was taken to the hospital. There they gave me a drip and sent me home to see my doc on monday. 2days ago i started passing clots, some very big ones. I need another u/s today to see if the miscarriage is complete. I hope it is. Its been a week a 1 day so far. The waiting is hardest.
—Guest Emma

Shattered Dreams

I am 22, and have just gone through a 2nd miscarriage. My dad is the only one in my family who has been supportive besides my partner. My family has told me things like it was too early to love this baby, and maybe its gods way of telling you not to have kids, and that you werent meant to. They have said a lot of hurtful stuff. They question what i did to cause the miscarriage. I know that neither one was my fault. They havent been through a miscarriage, im the only female in my family to have one. They need to learn when to just keep their mouth shut and be supportive.
—Guest Saphira

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Things to Say and Things Not to Say After a Pregnancy Loss

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  2. Health
  3. Pregnancy & Childbirth
  4. Complications of Pregnancy
  5. Pregnancy Loss
  6. Things NOT to Say When Someone Has Had a Miscarriage

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