There is no doubt that losing your child is the most incredibly horrible thing that is likely to happen, but what about those who lose their little ones before being able to meet them?
In our society it is almost frowned upon to announce your pregnancy prior to the end of the first trimester and that magical 12 weeks mark, you know, because what if your baby dies and that makes it uncomfortable for those around you?
The saddest seems to be a sense of failure. It is common for women who experience a miscarriage to feel responsible and guilty. What if I hadn’t eat that hot dog, did I not eat enough vitamins? What if I pushed it too hard in this morning’s run. A friend of mine who recently experienced a miscarriage said that she simply felt that she was not woman enough to carry a baby to term. What an absolutely heartbreaking thing to hear from one of the most successful, passionate, brilliant women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Unfortunately, I learnt quickly that it did not matter how reasonable my arguments were that this was certainly not her fault and that she should not feel this way, her sense of shame could not be pushed away.
So what should you say to a mama-bird that is undergoing one of the saddest times in her life?
Well, here is what not to say:
“Don’t worry, you can try again” and she is likely to think “So, I can just make a new one and forget about this one, is it that easy?”
“It isn’t your fault” and she may think “Ah, so you’re a doctor are you, and can scientifically prove to me it wasn’t my fault?”
“You’re lucky you were only 7 weeks, it wasn’t really a baby yet” “Well actually to me, that little thing in my stomach was my baby and so much more, it was my hopes and dreams and playdates and kisses”
So what should you say?
Just be there. Be supportive, be kind. Give time and hugs and cups of tea.
Importantly, don’t feel bad about bringing it up, people need to talk, it is how you heal. She is probably thinking about it basically 24 hours a day anyway.
The best thing you can give a friend experiencing a miscarriage is time. Give her time to grieve. Not only for her baby, but for the hopes she had attached to that little person.
Do the little things, grab a coffee and pop around. Make dinner and leave it on the doorstep.
The only way to make miscarriage less uncomfortable is to have more conversations. No one wants to suffer alone and nor should they.
Speak to each other, support the sisterhood. Make the uneasy conversations and topics less taboo by simply talking about it.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
If you would like to speak to someone about your experience completely judgment free then call Pregnancy Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 anytime of the day or night for trusted advice and emotional support.
Or alternatively speak with SANDS.Org. Their helpline is available 24 hours a day 1300 072 637.