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What To Do When Your Friend Has A Miscarriage

2016 September 21
by Jennifer

miscarriage

It is never easy to know what to do when a friend is experiencing pain or a loss of any kind.  And miscarriage is particularly hard to discuss openly because it affects each of us who experience it differently and it is a tragically taboo topic.  It is the loss of someone we didn’t get the chance to know, the loss of a dream for the future family we imagine, and a loss of innocence for future pregnancies. As we approach the due date for the pregnancy we lost earlier this year, I wanted to reflect back on the things that other people did for me that really helped during that tough time. I felt so unbelievably supported and cared for because of the outpouring of love from my friends.  Here are some ideas of things to do for your friends if they are going through a miscarriage, taken directly from what my kind, generous, thoughtful and funny friends did for me:

Send a note, email, text, telefax or telegram.  It is so hard to know what to say when a friend experiences a loss like this, and it may seem easier to do or say nothing out of fear for saying the wrong thing.  Not sure what to say? Then say, “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry.” No matter how eloquent or ineloquent, every single letter, text, note, email and voicemail meant so much.

I was just settling into the second trimester when I miscarried, so that meant most people in my world knew that I was pregnant.  I was so grateful when a dear friend volunteered to tell our nearest and dearest about our loss so that I didn’t have to do the talking.  This may be a job best suited for a sister or bestie, so if that’s you, volunteer to be the bearer of bad news.

Drop by food. I was emotionally out of commission on the days following the no heartbeat news, and physically out of commission for a few days following my D&C.  I so appreciated the simple meals and sweet treats dropped at the door for our family when cooking wholesome family meals was the last thing I wanted to do.

Share your story.  After I shared my story about my miscarriage, so many people reached out and said “me too.”  It is at once heartbreaking and comforting to know that so many of you have gone through this.  Hearing your stories helped me know that I wasn’t alone.

Give a gift certificate for something your friend likes.  A thoughtful friend surprised me with a gift certificate for a pedicure with a note that said treat yo self.  It was such a treat, and definitely in tune with the be gentle with myself mindset I adopted as I healed physically and emotionally.

Remember the dad too.  It takes two to tango, and the baby’s father experiences his own grief.  It was amazing to see how supportive my husband’s friends were to him.

It’s certainly not an occasion for champagne, but a bottle of wine is always divine.  A sweet neighbor dropped off a bottle of wine at my door with a simple note basically telling me that she would totally understand if I drank it all by myself that afternoon.  Flowers are nice too.

A best friend who has been there before sent me a sweet care package with a cute tea cup, the makings of a vodka cocktail, cozy socks, and an awesome sticker book for my daughter that prompted hours of independent play. Getting mail always puts me in a good mood and this particular package made me feel especially known and loved.

Having a miscarriage sucked.  But it was made better by the fact that I had two precious children already.  That said, it is hard to be an emotional basket case in the fetal position and continue onward with perky parenting protocol as if nothing is wrong.  Sweet friends took my oldest daughter on adventures, ice cream outings and playdates while I was out of commission.  If a friend of yours is going through it, tell her that you are coming by to take her child on an adventure, outing, or playdate.  I’m pretty sure that my oldest daughter had the best few days of her life while I was feeling low…which made me feel a little better.

In some cases, it is best to tell, don’t ask.  So often we say no when someone offers to do something kind for us or offers to help us in anyway.  Instead of asking, “can I bring you dinner?” “Can I come get your big kid?” Tell.  “I’m bringing dinner. I’ll leave it on the back porch.”  “I’m going to pick up your daughter and take her to the park. Ill have her home by 6.”  Your thoughtful initiative will be appreciated.

Check in a week later, a month later, and around the due date.  Knowing that we were due in September, my nearest and dearest have asked how I am doing, or simply told me that they were thinking of me this month.

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Odds are that someone you know has had or will have a miscarriage. So if one of your friends experiences a miscarriage, take a page from my peoples playbook and show you care.   Any little word or deed will go miles to make your friend feel loved.

 

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. September 21, 2016

    Thanks for sharing. It’s so hard to know what to say when someone experiences a loss you haven’t felt yourself. This is really helpful. I’ve had two close friends of mine have lost their babies… One in the first trimester and one at 38 weeks. It’s horrible! I got both of them this gift: http://earthmamaangelbaby.com/products/healing-hearts-comfort-kit.html and it was very well received, too.

  2. September 21, 2016

    I love this, Julie. So thoughtful. And oh my goodness, miscarrying no matter how far along is terrible, but I can’t imagine your sweet friend who lost her baby at 38 weeks. I am so so unbelievably sorry for her loss.

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