Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A moment to reflect

Today is International Stillbirth and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.

Chances are, you know someone (or of someone) who has suffered through the pain of loss of pregnancy. Please take a moment to think of and prayer for them today.

Also prayer for the women in your life who are pregnant and about to embark on the journey of motherhood.

If you are struggling with loss, or what to do or say to someone coping with loss, check out this site which is directory of sites that may help.

I also want to share this quick note from an article I read in Parents magazine, called Say the Right Thing. I should reiterate a point made in the article, and say that I truly believe that people are most often well intentioned and not sure what to say. The comments that can sometimes hurt most are usually said with the intent of helping a friend and easing their pain.

When a Friend Has a Miscarriage
Lisa Bertrand, of St. Louis, felt sad and alone after her pregnancy ended at nine weeks. Her friends and family tried to be supportive, but some of their remarks were piercing and painful. "One friend said, 'The baby must have had a lot of problems,'" she recalls. "To me, it sounded like she was saying, 'It probably wasn't a perfect baby, and so what's there to be so upset about?'" What helped was talking to a friend who cried with Bertrand when she told her the news. "That friend really understood how I felt, and I ended up being the one reassuring her, saying, 'Don't worry; I'll be okay,'" Bertrand said.

No matter how clunky their reaction, most people genuinely want to make a friend who's lost a baby feel better. "Even the most insensitive things that pop out of their mouth are usually motivated by an impulse to make everything okay," says Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. With a miscarriage, what often gets minimized is the depth of the loss -- or at least that's how it can feel to someone who is hurting. "Even a very early miscarriage is the loss of a baby, and that causes grief," Douglas says. In addition, a woman who loses a pregnancy often feels guilty, as if it's somehow her fault. Friends who don't acknowledge what happened can compound that feeling. "If you aren't sure what to say, just say, 'I'm so sorry,'" suggests Douglas. "It might seem generic, but in most cases, it's the most appropriate thing to tell someone." If she wants to share details of the situation, she will, otherwise don't pry.

Don't say...
"It just wasn't meant to be." It's easy to be philosophical when it's not happening to you.

"Are you going to try again?" When some one's grieving the loss of an unborn child, she doesn't really want to think about another just yet.

"At least you know you can get pregnant!" Right. But she also knows she can lose the baby. Not something she wants to be reminded of.

"I just know everything will work out next time" Actually, you don't

Do say...
"I'm so sorry to hear about what happened."
"I'm here if you feel like talking about it."
"Can I run any errands for you? I'd like to help in any way I can."


Jennifer P. said...

Thank you for this. I have had friends suffer with miscarriage,and I really wasn't sure what to say.

and you are most certainly SITS worthy! You just submit your blog name and "get in the line"-- everybody gets featured when their turn comes up....and it's lots of fun!

Angie said...

I love the fact that you posted this. It is so hard to know what to say or how someone is feeling after such a loss when you've (thank god) never personally experienced it. I'm just reading the "don't say" list praying that I didn't say any of those things. If I did, I didn't mean it and I love you!