how do I deal with well-meaning people?

kygirl99August 4, 2007

I'm going through a really rough time right now. My husband and I are going through our second miscarriage. it's particularly devastating because we have been trying for many years to have a family and we've been through numerous IVF and IUI treatments.

This time was so heartbreaking because we had to literally wait for the baby to die. The doctor knew it wasn't growing properly, but yet there was a slow heartbeat. So he knew it wasn't going to make it but he couldn't say when. We had to go back three times over 2-1/2 weeks until we were told yesterday that the baby was really dead.

I have a D&C scheduled for Wednesday.

My question to you guys is - how do you handle everyone who keeps trying to give advice/see how I'm doing/etc. My sister-in-law tried to console me and ended up saying something really dumb - she told me that maybe this was a blessing in disguise since the hormones I'd been taking made me gain 10 lbs and I'd been wanting to lose the weight. She said that now that I wasn't pregnant, I could lose the weight more easily. I was so stunned, I actually found myself saying, "yeah, that's true..." to her as my mind tried to comprehend what she'd just said.

I really want people to just say they're sorry and leave it at that. Or not call me at all. But then if they don't call I get mad at that, too.

People keeping telling me that grief is cyclical and not linear. So I think I'm doing better and then, boom, I'm worse again. I was just healing emotionally from my last miscarriage when this one happened.

Thanks...I guess I'm just venting, mostly. I cried tonight while watching Adoption Stories. It was so beautiful to see a family get their baby girls. It made me think about my dead embryo and it made me so sad.

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Dora Vann Snider

My heart goes out to you and your husband. It is an ache that no one understands unless they have been through it.

Our granddaughter had a stillborn baby boy in June,2005. We knew he was very sick for five months. His little heart was just not strong enough. It was the saddest time in our lives. He was a beautiful little red head. She had a miscarriage about six months later. It just about put her over the edge. This year in June she gave birth to a healthy 8lb. boy.

My prayer for you is that you will go on and try again and have a little child that will be healthy.

Our granddaughter was astonished at some of the things people can say trying to console you. They usually don't know what to say and must not realize how sensitive your feelings are at this sad time in your life. One man told her that at least she wasn't attached to him yet.

Just try to overlook the remarks that hurt so bad and think they are really trying to help. Think of the sweet things people tell you and cherish those.

DL Snider

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:19AM
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DL, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful grandson. And about your granddaughter's subsequent miscarriage. How absolutely heartbreaking. I'm so glad she gave birth to a healthy baby this summer.

and yes, people are truly clueless. how horrible of that man to say that to your granddaughter. not attached? that's horrible! you get attached from the very moment you know there's a little beating heart in your uterus!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:16AM
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I am sorry for the loss of this little one, but I too have difficulty expressing in words to a person who has lost a child regardless on the situation. Most of the time, I try to say almost nothing because I too have said things I really wish I chould take back.
I might suggest a support group or some grief counseling. Check in your local paper, ask the medical group/hospital in your area or the YMCA. Many of these have excellent resourses avaiable.
Again sending you hugs.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:15PM
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I am truly sorry about your miscarriages, I can not imagine what you are going through. My prayers are with you. God Bless both of you.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 8:09PM
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One miscarriage would be more than enough for a lifetime, and you've had two! I'm so sorry. My heart aches for you.

I think your anger is natural. People are just trying to be kind, and sometimes they say the wrong thing because they have absolutely no idea of the agony you are experiencing. Could you gently correct any words which are not helpful, like the weight loss thing?

Do you think it's a good idea to watch Adoption Stories right now when your emotions are so powerful? Maybe you should put that one aside for a while.

I think grief is linear, but sometimes it's two steps forward and one back. If it were cyclical, no one would ever get out of it. Hang in there, sweetie.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:11PM
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I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. I experienced years of infertility, but nothing like what you've had to bear. I only tell you this because I was eventually blessed with three full-term pregnancies and three beautiful children, and I wish a happy outcome for you.

It is truly astonishing what some people think passes for comfort. Your sister-in-law's comments were insensitive in the extreme . . . I wonder if she regretted them later. Just yesterday I was telling someone about a comment made to me after my mother's funeral. I was nine years old, and a woman said, "It's a good thing your mother had that miscarriage last year." Even at age nine, I was appalled. We had mourned the loss of that baby, and mourned it still, and here's this old bat telling me it's a good thing the family wasn't left with a baby to raise.

I don't know how to advise you about inappropriate comments except to say they don't matter. They simply don't. When my daughter died half the people I worked with said nothing because they didn't know what to say. It registered on me, but I didn't care. I received two profoundly offensive "sympathy" cards from rabid fundamentalists. I dropped them in the trash. Everything that mattered was contained in the circle of my family and the friends who were truly there for me. And I hope you will come to feel that way, and to let dumb comments or cold silences register with you, but not in a significant way.

I've shared this on the forum before, but it bears repeating. A friend of mine who survived breast cancer said after my daughter died, "You'll be surprised at who is there for me, and you'll be surprised at who is not." It was true.

Very best of luck to you.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:24PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think people often are taken aback by unexpected bad news;
they don't know what to say...
so they say the stupidest, most profoundly awful, wrong things.

I don't know that you can do anything in this world about what people say or how they act;

like they say, you can't change anyone else, all you can change is yourself.

Don't let insensitive comments pierce your heart;
let them go by you.

Sometimes if something is gnawing at my heart, I write it down on a piece of paper.

I read it.

I recognize it for what it is. insubstantial trash.

I tear it up &, depending on my mood, I flush it or I burn it.

Take care of yourelf.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 4:38PM
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I have been through what you are going through.

This happened, to me, in 1990, so quite a while ago now.

I remember my aunt phoned me, and said "you'll have another one". At the time I thought that was really insensitive, and I remember thinking, I want this one !

But you know, people have good intentions, and they are only trying to help.

If you don't want to talk to anyone just say "I want to be on my own now". People will understand.

When I was in the hospital, after loosing my son, they were going to put me in the maternity ward. I kicked up a big fuss about dumb, as if I would want to be in with women who have had their babies !

I am so sorry about your situation, but it all makes you a better person, you will always be a person who knows this pain, and you will put that to good use, helping people along the way. Like I am now, I suppose.

I went on the have another boy, in 1992, and I often think that if I hadnt lost my first boy, I would not have my second one. So it all has a way of sorting it out in the end, I think.

Be brave, you will get through it.

Adoption is one avenue you could go down. My sister has two adopted children.

Take care.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 4:42AM
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I am so sorry for your loss. It is a horrible thing to go through. I have been were you are. Like a poster said above, people really don't know what to say, and in haste, often the strangest things come out of their mouth. I've heard it all. And when you are "in the moment", nothing really comforts your heartache. I just wish they would keep it simple. "I am sorry, please let me know if there is anything that you need". It when they start running out of things to say, that these "slips" come out. I really don't believe that they are intentionally mean or thoughtless, just careless. Know that they love you and want the best for you.

After my 3rd Mis. last August, I had to get a D&C after weeks of monitoring (it was very hard, I know your angst). After the procedure, I had my check up with my OB, and he walked into the room and said "Ok .. looks good, what would you like to do now? Do you want birth control pills?" I couldn't breathe. I just sat there, staring at this insensitive man.

It has been a year, and the pain of loss is there, but I am looking forward to trying to concieve again (also been going through the infertility treatments & procedures), and hoping for a healthy pregnancy. It can happen, this I need to know.

I wish you the very best. If you ever need to talk to someone, sometimes it's easier to talk to people outside your circle, please feel free to email me.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:52PM
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I so understand what your feeling. While I myself did not lose a child my daughter did just a few weeks ago. Her baby girl (leah Rose) was due any day. My daughter went to her last appointment and the doctors could find no heartbeat. We were all stunned to hear the news...just a day before we were feeling the baby kick. She endured 12 hours of induced labor. The doctors could find no medical reason why it happened....prebirth SIDS they call it. To look in my daughter eyes and see the pain when she held her "sleeping" angel was more then I could bare, how was she going to stand it?
People tell her oh you can have another one...she can't, her husband had a vasectomy. Or they say well just be glad you have other doesn't make you miss the one you lost any easier. Or as my stupid ex husband told her...well you didn't want to have another baby anyway. True, she was upset when she found out she was pregnant again but that didn't mean she didn't love this baby. People often say well it happened for a reason, my daughter wants to know what was the reason then? Or when people tell her she's with god or a loved one in heaven...that doesn't help either...she wants the baby to be with her. If god didn't want her to have a baby why did she get pregnant in the first place. My daughter works in a bank and all of the customers knew she was pregnant...she dreaded having to go back and have everyone keep askin how's the baby? Or I am so sorry. Or it's gods will. She said each time it was like reliving the experience all over again.
It's very emotional, I know and I have no easy answers for
you. Some people don't mean to come off hurtful,they just don't know of a way to comfort you. You will have bad days and good days for a quite a while. Like another poster offered....if you'd like to chat email me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:29AM
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All good posts here. This all brings back so many memories for me. I lost my daughter when she was 18 - 13 years ago. I can't even begin to tell you some of the bizarre words that have come my way. I'm sure they all mean well, but when you are the recipient, it's difficult not to throw them back at the person saying them. I talk about my daughter all of the time. She was a real person with a real life - boy did she have a life!!. I had someone ask me when I thought woulb be a good time to stop taling about her. I say NEVER. She didn't disappear - she died, and left a true lifetime of memories.

I say, accept the comments that you feel are healthy, and ignore those that aren't. Oprah once had a show on death and dying; the subject - people are afraid to talk about death, and frankly don't know how to express their thoughts. I'm sure that's part of the reason for such ill thought comments.

I reach out to each of you with love, and hope that you find the peace and joy that will allow you to begin to enjoy the memories.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 1:00AM
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kygirl99, I not sure that this idea will work for you but having just lost my brother recently in terrible circumstances (see post I miss my brother too). As a family we dont like to talk to much about what went on, so we emailed everybody thanking tham for their support and said that we would contact them in due course, or that we would speak to them about what happened when it felt right for us.

There is a website called where you can set up a webpage in memory of your lovedones, I know they didt have a chance to enter this world but they are in the spirit world and in your world too, its a nice way to be able to say goodbye, but also for people to offer you their condolonces and too light a candle in remeberence of your sleeping children.

I hope this may help you or anyone that reads this post as it has been good for my family.

lots of love bumble

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 6:50AM
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It's so very hard to KNOW what to say - I mean nothing somebody says is really going to comfort a woman who has gone/is going through that. I remenber a coworker who lost her baby through miscarriage. I wanted to say something kind to her, but all I said was "I'm so sorry.." and she came off on me like a wounded tiger. Not that I blamed her at all, of course, she was really hurting. But I think some people don't say anything or they make awkward or inappropriate tries in the face of such an overwhelming situation as the death of a baby. Our hearts go out to you, that's all I can say.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 4:57PM
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