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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss || What Not To Say

I am a mother of 8 children.  6 on this earth and 2 in heaven.  My first 3 were given to me when I was very, very young.  My 3 little girls were given to me after years of secondary infertility, which included our fist miscarriage.  Our most recent miscarriage happened 9 months ago.

Today I'm sharing the insensitive words that have been said to me.  Well meaning words but hurtful.  It is hard enough for some women to open up and talk about their loss.  When we are faced with these types of words from our friends and family, it's understandable why it's hard to open up.

Words that have been said to me:

At least you have other children : My other children  have nothing to do with the baby that was lost.  My baby was a living being who existed for a purpose.

Be grateful for and enjoy the children you already have : Just because I am grieving for my baby that was lost does not mean I'm not grateful for and enjoying my other children.

It wasn't meant to be : And you know this how?

At least you know you can get pregnant : This is true, after all the infertility stuff we went through but it is irrelevant to the loss of my baby.

Each pregnancy is a life.  One that changes the man and woman forever from the moment you are aware of their existence.  All these things that were said to me dismissed my broken heart and grieving for my baby.  When you suffer a loss so great as losing a child, THERE ARE NO WORDS.  Period!  No matter how well intended those words are.

Some suggestions if you know someone who has lost a child:
Validate: acknowledge that it happened
Meals: set up a meal schedule with friends and family and drop off meals for the family for at least a week
Ask: how can I help you?  Does it help to talk about it or would you rather not?  Know I am here when you are ready to talk.
Pray: Everyone grieves differently.  Pray for comfort and strength.
Notes: I'm praying for you. Thinking about you.  You are on my heart.  I'm here for you.
Remember dates: date they lost their child, birthday of child, due date if had a miscarriage.
It is a big deal: don't make light of it by ignoring what has happened.  Be there for them even if it's sitting in silence or just listening.
"I don't know what to say, but I'm here":  This means all the world.

Some suggestions if YOU lost a child:
Talk to someone: Find someone you trust and share your feelings, get it out.
Ask for help: If you need to, ask a trusted friend or family member to make calls for you if you need help with cancelling appointments or gatherings.  If you have other kids and need a break.  Some people won't know what your needs are so tell them. If they ask, take them up on their offer.  They are willing to help, let them.
Take all the time you need: I made the mistake of going back to work and not taking the time my body needed to heal.  I was also not ready emotionally or mentally to be anywhere but in bed.

Some helpful posts from others:

This month, Sarah {from Fontenot Four} and I are joining together to bring awareness to others in this blogging community and to be a support and encouragement to other women who have experienced the devastating loss of a baby whether during pregnancy, stillbirth, or after the birth of the baby.  It can be a very isolating experience, and we want you to know that if you have experienced such a loss, you are not alone.  This October 15th, Sarah and I will be hosting a very special link up.  We want to use this link up as a way for us to share our stories of loss, no matter how recent or how many.  Whether your loss is new or you have been on a journey of healing for some time, we welcome you to join in our link up.  We want to provide a place to share your stories because you just never know when something you share might have a profound impact on someone who is traveling a similar journey.

Please feel free to grab a button to help spread the word!
A Little Piece of Me

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