Responding When People Don't Understand Your Miscarriage

So what do you say? Well, aside from the most horrible thing you can think of to say back, these responses can still be made, while preserving your decorum. How about, "So if one of my children die, I should consider the rest reserves and not be so sad?" or, "Just because you didn't see or feel my baby, doesn't mean that it did not exist. A positive pregnancy test means just that. I was positively pregnant and now I'm not...my baby died."

The Idiots

The last group we deal with are the Idiots. We all have them in our lives. Those people, who no matter how well intentioned, just don't get it. No matter how much we cry or relay our feelings, they just don't get how moved you are and how much losing this baby has affected your life. These people are the ones that invite you to a baby shower, or excitedly tell you about a new pregnancy. They call you and never address your situation, and get their own feelings hurt when you don't run to get your nails done with them a week later.

The worst thing these people do is NOT acknowledge the pregnancy and loss at all. They chat and talk with you about insignificant things, never stopping to ask how you are doing or what they can do to support you. Guilt surrounds your interaction with them, because you sincerely feel like something is wrong with you, that you cannot just be "happy" like they assume you are.

It may be hard, but if it seems they just don't get it, stop hanging out with them. Now, this can get complicated when it's close friends and especially family members, but this is not a time in your life to be more concerned with what they think and feel. Going through the grief of losing a pregnancy is one of the hardest types of grief. You need to focus on your emotions and healing, and that's hard to do, while worried about the Idiot in your life.

But not to worry, even this confrontation doesn't have to be hard. If it boils down to texting, e-mailing or a phone call, let them know that you need some time to yourself. It doesn't have to be some long drawn out explanation, but make sure you are clear on your position.

If you need them to take a break on being the ignoring ray of sunshine, tell them so.

If you need them to stop showing up unexpected to take you to coffee, and trying to make you laugh in a group of people, tell them so.

Be specific, be direct and don't worry about offending them. If they truly care for you, they will not exit your life, just take a little break.

It all boils down to clear communication. Doesn't have to be articulate, and sometimes, you don't even have to use words. Walking away from people, is one of the most effective responses one can give when confronted by people who don't understand what we're going through.

Take courage and love yourself enough to protect your feelings. There shouldn't be any judgments about your miscarriage, only support and understanding. If people don't have those for you, then are they really people you need to have in your life right now?

Bad things happen every day. Unfortunately, women have babies die within them, and pregnancies do not produce little bundles of utter joy. One true test of our character, is the ability to stand up for ourselves in the midst of dealing with the cold reality of miscarriage. And it is cold...even the word "miscarriage" is cold and unsupportive. If the medical dictionary uses a term that means "mismanagement," how could we expect our friends and family to get what we are going through?

Remember, we didn't miscarry anything, our babies died. No one has any right to offend, belittle or make us feel we are unnecessarily upset. One of the best ways to take care of ourselves is to stand up for ourselves. No matter how broken you feel, it's hard to heal, when people keep hurting you with invisible words that leave obvious wounds.

Michelle Myers-Walters' life was turned upside down in January of 2004 when she lost her seventh baby. Experiencing the loss of an unborn child taught Michelle so much more than she could ever imagine. She was inspired to write down what she had learned for other women who were on similar journeys. Her book I Didn't Miscarry Her...She Died will be released on November 15th, 2009.

Comments

Thank you for your comment Cassie - I believe that the author was trying to help those going through the tragic loss of a baby with how to deal with the situation and people and not necessarily calling other people names. We do appreciate your comment however!

I'm sorry. This article comes off extremely self-righteous. Loss and grief is difficult. I understand that. I work in an area of healthcare where I've seen all kinds of people pass away for all types of reasons. I was looking for an article to help understand what a friend is going through. Being called names is not what I bargained for. I suppose it all depends on one's point of view. Some people have a different view of life and death. It IS ok for someone to not feel the same as you. You don't have the market cornered on bad life experiences because you've had a miscarriage. It is extremely selfish for you to expect everyone to take on your point of view.