How To Comfort Someone During a Miscarriage (she: Alicia)

Hello, all! My name is Alicia, and I’m excited to be posting a second time at Or So She Says. This is me with my little family!


My handsome husband and I have been married for 5 1/2 years, and we have two kidlets. Our daughter is three and our son in 1 1/2.
Isn’t this blog amazing?! I bless the day I found it! Jessica found me through my site: Story Lady Blog and asked me if I would like to write a guest post. I have a bad habit of never really writing anything of substance, so I was little lost when it came time to selecting a topic for my post. Luckily, a few of the brilliant Or So She Says readers have given topic suggestions. As I read through the list, I knew -without a doubt -what my topic would be.
Miscarriage.
I married the greatest man in the world in 2004. We had only dated for six months (including engagement!) when we were married. (It poured rain on our wedding day.)


We wanted to get to know one another a little better before we had children, and it never crossed our minds that getting pregnant would be, well, difficult. We had spent so much time PREVENTING pregnancy that when we actually welcomed it we were stunned that it didn’t just happen! We waited nearly a year -which I realize isn’t long at all, but when you’re going through it… it seems like it! When we got our first positive pregnancy test, we were jumping up and down, screaming, hugging, and crying. Just as soon as we could dial a phone, we were sharing the good news with our parents.

(this amazing picture was found at gurgle.com)
We were poor. Oh MAN, were we ever poor. We were both full-time students living in a studio apartment and had been known to scrounge for change to buy toilet paper. I didn’t have much money to go out and buy baby clothes, so I took myself down to a used clothing store and bought a few new-looking white infant jumpsuits. Toward the back of the store, I found a tattered copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

I spent more time reading that book than I did reading any other text book I had. I did everything the book told me to do. I ate fresh foods. I took naps. I made sure to exercise adequately. One afternoon, I was awakened from my nap by sharp, painful cramps in my abdomen. It didn’t worry me -I just thought it was all a normal part of being pregnant.

Easter was coming up, and we traveled to my in-law’s home to spend it with them. The night before, I had some spotting that worried me. After spending all night waiting in a busy ER, I was given a slip of paper with the words “SPONTANEOUS ABORTION” written on the top. The doctor who gave it to me gave me a look that told me he wished he could take my pain away.
I spent Easter Day locked in a bedroom in a sort of surreal haze. Miscarriage was something that happened to other people -something I read about and heard about. The most I could do was curl up on the floor and try to make up for the sleep I lost in the waiting room the night before. I knew going home would be the worst part. I would have to walk through my front door and see everything: the tiny little outfits I had purchased and the worn book I had read so much of.
My husband and I didn’t talk much on the two hour drive home. We didn’t need to. I tried to think about anything other than what was waiting for me behind the door of my studio apartment. I looked out the window and wished unrealistically that we could just drive forever. When we pulled into our driveway, I noticed something strange on my door. As my husband and I moved in closer, we realized that our door was covered with paper hearts. Some of the hearts had messages written on them by two of our good friends. Do you know what they said? “We love you. You’re the best.”

That was JUST what I needed to hear.
What I have to say today is not for those who have miscarried, but for those who have not and wonder how to help or what to say. I’m grateful for my miscarriage because now I know what to say to other women who have to go through it. The pain of miscarriage is unspeakable, but the words of “comfort” people try to give can almost hurt worse.
It is normal -expected, even -to want to comfort someone in pain. So I felt bad hating some of the things that people said to make me feel better…
They told me that miscarriage was common.
They told me that it was for my own good -something must have been wrong with the fetus.
They told me I’d get pregnant again.
And you know what? I suddenly felt like a statistic who made mutated fetuses.
I didn’t want any more “comfort.” I just wanted to be pregnant again. I can not tell you enough how much it meant to me when someone would just say “I’m sorry.” Those two words gave me more comfort than any statistic ever did!
If you’re a mother, a brother, a father or anyone else close to someone who has miscarried, offer to take the burden of telling those who need to know that a miscarriage has occurred. If you’re a friend, just take your hurting friend something good to eat and pass along something that will make her smile: a movie, a book, a letter full of fun memories the two of you made together.
Yes, miscarriage is common. But it doesn’t feel that way when you’re going through it. Support is needed, but only the right kind of support is appreciated.

To recap:
Say “I’m sorry.”
Say “I love you.”
Say “Here’s a bag of Oreos and a chick flick.”
And then hug them while they cry.
Finally, always keep in mind that the mother will always remember her due date that never came to be. She’ll always look at children who are the same age as her “what might have been.” And she’ll always remember what it was like to lose a pregnancy.
If you are in a position to, program her due date into your phone and send a bouquet of flowers her way when that day comes. More than anything, it is nice to know that someone hasn’t forgotten.
~Alicia
Mariel

Mariel

Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!
Mariel
Mariel




Comments

  1. Great advice, I just had a miscarriage 3 weeks ago. All those things you said are true!! I’m glad it gets easier.

  2. HAving been through 5 miscarriages before we finally had our daughter, I’ve heard everything. The worst was when my BF, who was pregnant, said “I feel so guilty that I’m pregnant and you aren’t. I don’t know what to say to you.” LIke it was my fault that she felt guilty. AWKWARD! Thanks for your post!

  3. with all of the things I heard – the thing that meant the most was a care package that arrived in the mail 4 days later from two dear childhood friends… they must have scrambled to put it together at such short notice – and one of the items in that box still holds a special place in my home, just as a reminder. A reminder of my baby and a reminder that I have friends who truly care.

  4. After my miscarriage I hated it when people would tell me “Oh, it happens alot”, “it could’ve been anything that was wrong”. One person told me I might not have drank enough orange juice. WHICH, made me feel HORRIBLE, cuz I hadn’t drinken ANY (my first pregnancy I got really sick with orange juice, haven’t been able to stomach it since!) Then I had someone I had met one time come and camp out at my house for a whole afternoon because she didn’t want to go home till she had to pick her other kids up at school. I still feel so much resentment toward her for that. Wish more people knew how to handle these situations.

  5. I’ve never had a miscarriage cause I have never been pregnant. My husband and I cannot have children after 7 years of marriage. The feelings are the same for those of us who can’t have kids and have struggled through the dark pits of despair as we bury the life we expected/planned to have. All we want to hear is that we are loved. That someone acknowledges the pain we are going through. A hug. And we also would probably very much enjoy a very large piece of chocolate in any of its varieties.

    Good Post!

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I have had a few friends that have miscarried and I never know what to say! So thank you… next time I hope I can be more comforting and supportive by using your tips.

  7. I just had a miscarriage last week. Thank you for writing this. My heart is hurting and reading this article has helped me. People don’t mean to sound crass but they do. Thank you for your words.

  8. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. My heart goes out to all of you who have miscarried, and I’m hoping that someday miscarriage won’t be so widely misunderstood.

    http://storyladyblog.com

  9. Great post Alicia! I miscarried between my 2 kids and what you said at the end of the post is so true. I do remember when I would’ve delivered, I DO look at kids who were born at the same time and wonder. It’s amazing the comments you get that are just heartless and unthoughtful with people thinking that they are helping. I’m so glad you wrote this. :)

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