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…