Not So Well Wishers

How many of you have heard these phrases?

  • It probably would have been deformed.
  • Thank goodness you were only in your first trimester.
  • It’s not like it was a real baby.
  • Just get pregnant again and you’ll feel better.
  • It was just a miscarriage.

When friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers learn of your loss, they are going to feel the need to say something. They feel awkward and unsure. They definitely don’t want to make you cry.

So they try to come up with something to make you feel better. Somehow, they really do believe that downplaying the loss (only first trimester, not a real baby, just a miscarriage) will help you downplay it too. Or, that they can show you a “bright” side (deformed, nature’s way, not the right time.) Or give you advice (get pregnant again, don’t dwell on it, you’re only making yourself depressed.)

I’m not happy with these people. I wish I could be your personal guardian, walking around with duct tape and sealing their mouths. But usually they aren’t really trying to upset you. They want to say something. They don’t know that “I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby. Please let me know if I can do anything,” is plenty.

Ignore them when you can. Just nod and walk away. And when you’re feeling up for it–tell them. And explain to them what to say next time, before they repeat these things to someone else.

24 thoughts on “Not So Well Wishers

  1. After a year (12th week Misscarrage) we still get sad, We (I) cry when we read articles like yours. I am thankful for our 2 great, wounderful perfect children, but we still are sad.
    I am sorry for your loss.

  2. Dear Deanna,
    I lost my first baby 3 days ago at about 8 1/2 weeks gestation. All this after two successful scans (including one just a day before I miscarried) which showed a strong heartbeat and which convinced the doctors, though strangely not me, that all would be well. I sit here bleeding inside and out praying that I will recover physically and emotionally soon, and that one day I will be lucky enough to have a healthy baby. But I will never forget this first baby I have lost, and so I value greatly the help, information and comfort, which your website has offered to me at a very sad time in my life. Thank you.

  3. Ive recently just spent a week in hospital. I went to the A & E the night before, was discharged, then passed out on the way home at midnight,( luckily my husband was driving ) and had the most horrific couple hours pain after that. Went back for a scan the next day, hardly able to stand straight, and with blood pressure through the roof, i was soon surrounded by doctors, and monitored. My first pregnancy, and miscarried at 11 weeks. I was devestated!!! I spent weeks moping about and sobbing, and avoiding people because of those comments you mention. I dont think anyone can appreciate just how emotional and painful it is to go through. I left with no information going forward, what to do, when will my next period be, although i was told to wait 1 clear cycle before starting again. Thank you for this site and the information you clearly make available, its a comfort and a help to have you 24 hours a day.

  4. I think the worst thing I was ever told was after I lost my twins a few months ago. It was my 7th loss in 14 years. A lady in my church whom had just heard of my loss said “Well you know that they say,a mc means that something was wrong with the baby. With all your losses, you shouldnt try to get pg again, since the next time the baby might actually live and be deformed.” The second best was while I was crying after being told that they were having to end the life of the second twin. My nurse whom had such a great bed side manner said “Well you should be used to this by now”.

  5. I’m in the process of a miscarriage right now and your blog and the information has been a big help. Right now I don’t even care so much about the physical pain; I just wish the emotional pain would lessen. I’m not looking forward to dealing with friends and co-workers for statements like the ones you listed.

  6. I miscarried my first pregnancy two weeks ago at 9 weeks. We hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy, and have told only my two closest friends about the miscarriage. For me, it’s been much less devastating, knowing that I’m safe from the comments you mention here. Private joy, private heartache. We were planning on telling everyone at 12 weeks, after the “dangerous” phase had passed.

    I think on my next, I’ll wait until my belly gets remarked on by strangers before telling anyone!!!

  7. As a guy, you probably find it strange that I’m writing here, but don’t forget, it takes two, and fathers have feelings too.
    My wife lost a baby at 13 weeks, when she was 36, and the doctors told her she would always be at risk of losing a baby, because the first child, our daughter, was delivered by emegency cesaerean, because of a misdiagnosed breech.
    People were telling us ‘its for the best’…all the usual stuff, and yes, it was annoying, and yes, duck tape would have been really useful at the time.
    Looking back, I can see that all those friends and relatives just didn’t really know what to say, so they just said something, rather than nothing.
    Anyway, we proved the docs wrong, when my wife gave birth to a boy when she was 40……so never believe what they tell you!

  8. I miscarried on January 8, 2007. I was 13 weeks. As I approach what would have been my baby’s due date, I find myself crying alot and just really sad. Not only have I endured the well-meant comments, but I also get “What are you going to do with yourself?” because my son is going to Kindergarten in September. I just came upon this blog because I’m having a particularly bad night. Your writing is so helpful, soothing, and wise. Thank You.

  9. This blog has been wonderful in helping me cope with our recent loss. I had D&C planned for yesterday (Wednesday), but I woke up early with severe pain and cramping. Immediately I began bleeding like crazy. It turns out that I had the miscarriage at home right before the D&C.

    Well, I get to work from home sometimes, and my boss sent me an email today saying that I should get back to work to get my mind off things and start talking to good people about “worthwhile things” instead of it being all about the loss of a baby that wasn’t even a baby yet. Wow…this frustrated and hurt me more than anything, and I let him know exactly what I felt.

    I appreciate the blog and knowing what others have been through. I will be praying for you all as you go throughout your lives. My husband and I named our child Keelan. We never want Keelan forgotten…and because of this, we will not forget Casey, either. Because of Casey, our lives have been forever changed. Casey and Keelan are probably in heaven playing together! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I have had two mc in 7mon. One in Sept 06 at 8 weeks, the last in Apil 07 at 10 weeks, the last we were sure everything was great just the day before we had a strong heart beat. The pain is very hard. We have a 5yr old that now ask what his babys are doing in heaven, why are they not with us. We have just started trying again.

  11. Deanna and all, this website has been so helpful in dealing with my loss over the last few months. It has made me feel like I’m not alone in dealing with this loss. We lost our twins at 12 weeks last month and have been devastated. We went in for our 3-month ultrasound and were shocked to be told that one had passed and the other had dire chances. We lost our second twin and had a D&C a few days later. What makes it worse is that the cause was found to be Parvovirus B19, which I contracted from one our relatives. We hadn’t told anyone since we spent 2 years, and an IVF cycle to get to this point. All this at the time I was supposed to be telling friends and family we were pregnant and made it past the 1st trimester. May my babies rest in heaven and know how much they are loved. I’m trying to get my emotional and physical strength back to try again and maintain hope that I’ll hold a healthy baby in my arms one day.

  12. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 8 weeks, although I didn’t find out until I was 11 weeks at a scheduled OB appointment. I struggled to find a reason that it happened and for me it was no different than losing a full term child. While most were supportive, my boss at the time had the nerve to remark that I was going to “milk this one” and the nurse that took me back for my D&C asked if I was just not ready for the baby, assuming that I was there for an abortion. I finally found my reason about four weeks before my original due date when we concieved our oldest son. We are now fortunate to have two beautiful boys, but I will always miss our first baby. I take comfort in knowing that he or she has a lot of playmates in heaven and that I will one day finally meet my angel. We lost that baby nearly five years ago, and I still take comfort in your website. I have directed more than one friend here after similar losses, and will continue to do so. Thank you for a wonderful site.

  13. Thank you for this site. I am currently going through my fourth miscarriage over the course of a year. I haven’t told my mom about this or the last two losses, mainly because she point-blank asked me what I did to cause the first miscarriage and still has no idea how insensitive or ignorant that comment is. Fortunately, my older sister is very supportive and has said and done the right things to help me through this. I sometimes worry that we have “tried again” too soon after the other losses, but at 43 years old, time is not on my side. We are blessed with having a lovely 2- year-old at home and the continued ability to conceive, but are challenged with carrying a subsequent pregnancy past 8 weeks. I’m not sure what we’ll do at this point, but your site has been a comfort to me.

  14. my best friend had a miscarriage about four months ago, and she has been having random waves of sadness and anger, and she told me the other day that she still hasnt stopped thinking about her baby. she is only 17. and I dont know how to help her. any advice?

  15. The teen years are already hard, as you try to figure out where you’re going in life, and who your friends are, and your changing relationship with your parents. Certainly something has frightening and terrible as a miscarriage is going to take a long time to recover from. Let her know it’s okay to be sad, and that you support her. She’ll take a good portion of emotional need from those around her, but that’s what it takes. In the end, though, it’s up to her when she feels ready to move forward a bit more.

  16. Ok where could I begin on the things people say? I have had two miscarriages in one year… My first miscarriage was the worst one for me mentally…. I actually told everyone I knew that my husband and I were expecting…with never ever once realizing that this could even happen to anyone… I was 3 months when I lost my first baby and I closed myself off from the world.I didn’t want to socialize with no one,I felt no one could understand how this felt to loose a child that I loved so much from the moment I knew I was expecting… A few weeks went by and I finally said to myself, You have to get out of the house and give yourself a break you can’t let this control what things you do have in life… So, I took a deep breathe and went out, I also reminded myself how people could be really thoughtless… They have no clue… A close family member rubbed her belly and said, we are preparing for the little one? WHAT? I mean she was even expecting at this time and I thought to myself, does this person have a heart? I just left with tears in my eyes….. Or if I could possibly count for all of you how many times one of my sister in laws says baby and man its intentionelly…. I tell you, PEOPLE COULD BE CRUEL AND NORMALLY ITS YOUR CLOSE FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO SCAR YOU THE MOST….. MY SECOND MISCARRIAGE , NO BODY REALLY KNEW BECAUSE OF FEAR OF MISCARRIAGE I DIDN”T TELL MANY BUT I WAS 4 MONTHS WHEN I LOST MY BABY BUT ITS ONLY BEEN A MONTH AND IT HURTS LIKE HELL…. HEALING PROCESS…. I HAVE MY UPS AND DOWNS…. MY immediate family knew… This time physically it took a toll on my body,I was dialating and having contractions… It was horrible…I couldn’t understand why this was happening again… Well, a couple weeks went by and I went to my parents house to walk in to the spare room where my mom assembled a crib and changing table for my brother and sis-in-laws baby on the way… Can you say SMACK!!! I almost lost my breathe…. My one brother didn’t even call me when he found out what had happened and his excuse was because they were expecting he didn’t know what to say to me? WHAT? to me thats all the reason to know what to say to me…. I felt as a parent you should know the love you feel for your cild is unconditional no matter what…. People will never realize how much they say could really affect a person in one of their darkest hours…. This second time around I was selective on who would be apart on what has happened to me and my family…. even my mother-in-law said you have to take care of yourself….!!! What? I said, There is probable causes to why miscarriages happen, before I was even pg there was no visual condition that I had or have… They have no reason for me why this happens so I was like who Do you think you are telling me take care of myself? I took a deep breathe and said, Ok, I will talk to you later…. Thanks for making this website for I believe talking and listening to each others stories really makes stronger by being surrounded by those who really can relate…. All of our angels are playing together and we will all one day be united as one… Hugs to all…

  17. I miscarried a few days ago during the night and went back to work the next day. I work with families and children and it was very hard. In addition, my sister in-law will be having a baby this month and I want to be happy for her, but I don’t know how I will feel. My husband’s best friend and his wife will have a baby about the same time I was due. I want to be happy for them too. This was my first pregnancy and I am scared that I might never have children. I don’t feel courageous enough to try again. Any advice?…

  18. THe one I am sick of hearing is “God won’t give you any more then you can handle and you need to figure that out” people are really so insensitive it drives me crazy.

  19. I lost my angel in Nov 09, at 8 weeks. It was our 1st child and I had no idea that I could feel so much pain. . . We recently decided to start trying again despite my fears of having to go through this all over again. No sooner did we start trying then my job let me go. With no insurance and no income there is no way that we could have a baby right now. The idea that I do not know when I will be able to try again hurts almost as much as when they told me our baby was gone. I feel like I have no hope, that I will never have a child. . .

  20. I lost my baby February 12. I have a son that I love with all my heart. My husband has been supportive but now, he believes I should just not let it get to me anymore. He does not want to try again or have any more children. Customers keep asking when I am going to have another child. They don’t t know I had a miscarriage or that I was pregnant. A client today said it is cruel to have an only child. I should hurry up and get pregnant. He relentlessly kept saying I would be alot happier if I had another child to play with my son. I finally told him I had a miscarriage a month ago. I explained I had one blessing with my son. I probably will not be able to have another child. He gave me a lecture that I have no right to just give up. He said plenty of people have more than one miscarriage I should just move on and not let if get to me. He said it is God’s decision for me to have a baby not mine. He said I have not right to make a decision not to try. He told me to just enjoy my husband. I knew he meant well, but, I hung up then had to leave my office for a while.

  21. Omg. Its been 6 months since I lost my baby and my mother in law is constantly asking my husband if I’m pregnant yet to which he answers”We’re still trying”. Yesterday she had the gall to recommend a fertility doc her neighbour’s daughter went to! That kind of makes me mad. Its my body and 6 months may feel long but to me, fertility treatments, etc should be a last resort. NOT something to satisfy her desire for more grandchildren. Why can’t she just enjoy the one she has? ( his sister has a little girl). Her saying she wants more grandchildren just stresses me out even more! What is she thinking?

  22. My Sister in law is pregnant and call often with by the minure pregnancy updates, cheerrie sonogram experiences etc/ I’m happy for her, but I wish she would shut the hell up, her lack of sensitivity irritates me and offends me. My D&C was only 2 weeks ago and she won’t stop running her mouth about her peffect pregnancy and flaeless sonograms. I cry everytime she calls.

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