Miscarriage: Comments I wish I could un-hear

I must admit at first I was not planning on touching this subject as it still hurts a lot. However, it seems important to talk about it because so many good people are making so many awful mistakes over and over again by saying things that shouldn’t have been said to someone who has lost a child. And although I am going to use examples from my personal experience, I am now talking in the name of all women that went through a miscarriage.

Sadly, miscarriages happen more often than you would want to and more often than you would think. Medical statistics claim that a miscarriage occurs in 15-20% of recognized pregnancies (80-85% occurring in weeks 1-12). That’s almost one in five! In most cases there is no reason whatsoever, just a “natural selection”. Some women get through this relatively easy, some others crash. I crashed.

However, in addition to already feeling indescribably awful I got additionally hurt by some comments people said to me. And I believe that it was not only me who has experienced that, probably hundreds of other women heard something alike. And trust me – it hurts enormously! This is why I made a list of comments I heard, which I wish I could un-hear and maybe that would trigger some people to think twice before saying certain things:

  • “Oh, but it’s only 12 weeks, it’s not yet a child” (For a mother it is a child from the moment she saw the two stripes.)
  • “But you already have two gorgeous kids” (yes, I have two. But I had three and one died.)
  • “It’s probably because you didn’t have enough time to recuperate after your previous pregnancy” (So on top of everything, you say I am the one to blame? That’s so painful, so unfair, so not true and besides this is so not the cause!)
  • “But why did that happen?” (You really think I am going to provide you the answer now?! Even though the only answer is: “it just did”, it’s the question that is going to be nagging me forever. There is totally no need to bring it up again)
  • “You are still young, you can still have more kids if you want” (I think you missed the point)
  • “Oh, I understand you, I also had a threat of miscarriage and I know how it feels” (Your kid is looking at you now and holding your hand with her sweet little hands. You had a threat. I had a nightmare come true. How can you possibly understand?)
  • “Are you going to try again?” (Sorry, but how’s that your business?)
  • “Maybe it is a sign that you should stop getting pregnant?” (With all due respect but maybe you missed a sign that you should stop talking?)
  • “At least now you are not going to have morning sickness anymore” (Have you seriously just said that?)

There are probably more. There are definitely more.

The point I want to make is that if you found out that a friend of yours or anybody you know went through a miscarriage, the only thing you should say is: “I am sorry for your loss”. If you want to help, offer to entertain older kids, offer to do the groceries or help cleaning-up the house. Unless you went through this yourself, trust me you have not even the slightest idea how it feels! So, please stick to “I am sorry for your loss” and don’t hurt her even more…

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31 thoughts on “Miscarriage: Comments I wish I could un-hear”

  1. But it the end, what YOU think should matter the most.
    People are screwed, people have individual standards, especially those who have never experienced something like that.

    Like

    1. In the end… I am emotionally strong and in general immune to what people say, and still in this particular situation I was hurt a lot by all those remarks. So I cannot even imagine how much would somebody more fragile than me would have been hurt!What I am advocating is basically that instead of higher IQ everybody must cultivate in themselves higher emotional intelligence and empathy especially when dealing with people in situations of enhanced vulnerability… Don’t give advice when not asked; don’t make assumptions/conclusions when you don’t know; and keep your evaluations to yourself – not exhaustive list of course 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for your article. I haven’t lost a baby, personally. I can only imagine what it would be like. Your words on this has helped me know how to respond to my friends that have experienced this. I’m sorry for your loss. 😥

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have never experience a miscarriage, several friends have. I give a hug, tell them I am so sorry for what they are going through and if they need to talk I’m there to listen. They appreciated it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We need to keep telling people this. I lost 4 (3 in second tri) about 10 years ago. People still haven’t learned. I kept in mind that people typically mean well and speak because they don’t like silence. I am so sorry you lost your little one.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This was a really interesting read. I had a friend have 3 miscarriages but I really did not know how to be there for her or what to say or not to say that I said nothing. I think back now and reaching out would to her to know she had a friend would have been better than nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for talking about this – if more people were open about their struggles, there would be more awareness of the prevalence. It is very personal and I understand why people keep it to themselves, it can be very difficult to relive the experience. I personally had a chemical pregnancy, not much time to get used to the idea of being pregnant but since it was an IVF cycle there were a lot of friend and family who knew and lots of questions about whether or not there was success. As difficult as it was to discuss (since it was our last chance at a 3rd child), I wanted to use the opportunity to educate others. Sorry for the novel, I just really appreciate that you were brave enough to share!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I lost my 2nd son in the beginning of the 3rd trimester (7 Months) People said at least you weren’t full term. When people ask me how many children I’ve had, I say 4 boys and a girl, even though only 3 of my son’s are alive along with my daughter. I only had a small gravesite service w/me, my husband and my 18 month old son. I new I would not be able to take all the stupid people so I just kept it private for us. It was a challenge working through the loss. Blessings ❤ to you

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I crashed, too. Miscarriage sucks. Big time. It doesn’t matter how unplanned the pregnancy, how “inconvenient” the timing, how far along you were… It just sucks.

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Seven children and I never experienced a miscarriage. But one of our sobs was killed at age twenty and my daughter has suffered miscarriage. So as a grandmother, I saw her pain. Yes, “I’m sorry for you loss” is the only thing to say.

    I am sorry for your loss. Your child is loved. I know you hurt. I’m sorry.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I have never experienced a miscarriage before, but I had a friend who did. I could never ever imagine having said anything like the above before… Seriously, what are people thinking? I’m sorry you have to go through this pain. Virtual hug from me. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We had a miscarriage as well. It was our first. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. No one talks about miscarriage until it happens, and then you start hearing the stories: my sister, my mother, we had a miscarriage. And, then you start to realize how many.

    Our miscarriage happened in December. On Christmas Day, my wife had a D n C. Christmas has never been the same since.

    We lived in Korea for ten years and had out daughter about eight years into our stay. Before we had her, many Koreans would ask, “Why don’t you have children?” I always thought it was the cruelest question. “We would like to but we can’t.” “We had a child but it died.” “I don’t want to have children.” What are the possible answers? Why would you put someone in such an awkward position. I finally settled on, “I’m just unlucky.”

    When my mother-in-law died many many well-meaning people would ask or give you their condolences or make other remarks. It got to so going out in public was just exhausting. Every contact meant you had to re-experience the emotions again. For our friends and acquaintances, it was just once with the question or comment, and then they could move on. For us, it was repeated several times a day for literally weeks. I started calling it, “Killing with kindness.”

    People are even more callous about miscarriage and pets. They are both removed… Miscarriage doesn’t seem real if it is early in the pregnancy before the baby bump shows. So, people don’t react to it like they would had the child been born and then died. And, of course, no one knows what your feelings were towards the pregnancy, so they just blunder ahead trying to be “nice,” and wounding you with their kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Killing with kindness… So rightly put. So painfully right. I am sorry for your loss and what you’ve been through afterwards. Those questions…it’s like they are everytime opening up the wound that didn’t even start healing yet, and you relive that pain over and over again – your very personal hell. Painful.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I know I’m late, just doing some perusing on my reader for blogs on the topic of miscarriage and I came across this post. I couldn’t agree more! People say insanely ridiculous things in an attempt to comfort. I wrote a very similar blog on this subject, I too had a miscarriage. I’m sorry for your loss!

    Liked by 1 person

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