Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Not to Say When a Friend has a Miscarriage

I've had some pretty insensitive things said to me when I've opened up about my miscarriages to friends, family, and church acquaintances. Here they are, with explanations attached! Hopefully this can help you connect to a friend who is or has gone through a miscarriage.

Don't worry, I'm sure you're be pregnant again soon!  

This actually causes me a lot of anxiety. I am suddenly hit with the realization that I will have other babies to worry about, other babies that might die. This statement actually caused me to panic. Also, I'm grieving for this child. If your grandmother died, I wouldn't try to make you feel better by telling you not to worry, you'll have another grandmother one day, would I? 

Are you sure you were pregnant? 

Yes. I'm very sure. You go to the emergency room when you are having a miscarriage, or to a birthing center if you are beyond the first trimester to, well, have a stillbirth. The doctor checks your blood levels as well, when you are admitted. Usually you have already had a doctors appointment verifying your pregnancy at some point before the miscarriage. Honestly, I don't understand this question when people ask it.  

Wow. That's my worst fear ever. 

Great. I'm living your worst fear. That totally helps me deal with this in a rational manner. Please excuse me while I go sob uncontrollably into a pillow.
Did you drink when you were pregnant? 

Why don't you find something more productive to ask, like helping me grieve? If you are not my doctor, you do not need to know what I did/did not put into my mouth during my pregnancy.

Aww, don't worry, it wasn't even alive yet!  

I understand that everyone has a different idea for when life starts, but besides that, this statement just drives me nuts. It makes me feel silly and stupid for grieving, like my sorrow and sadness are trivial and do not matter. Even if you think life starts at a different time then at conception, realize that to me this baby was a potential life, a life that was wanted, dreamed about and greatly anticipated. Now it will never be and it's perfectly reasonable to grieve over the loss.   

Did you know ______ can cause a miscarriage?

Yes I am aware that there is a mile long list of items that you are not supposed to eat when pregnant. And yes, it is none of your business trying to pinpoint what items I may have consumed, or even if they might have affected me in any negative ways. Also, asking if I exercised or rode a motorcycle also does not apply.

I know that most these questions come from individuals with good hearts that are just trying to help, or that people are just curious, but to be honest these statements mostly bewilder me! What do you think? Also, I'm not trying to point figures at anyone--I know it can be hard to think of something to say! I've never had an online friend say any of the above, but in real life I guess people can be more judgmental!

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