Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pregnancy Loss. Miscarriage.

I have about a million things I want to blog about. For some reason today this is taking priority.
I got a call today from a really old and a very dear, dear friend to me. See, she and her husband found out about three months ago that they were expecting twins! TWINS! How wonderful right? Well, yesterday, the found out that one of the babies did not make it. This is a deep and a profound loss as these babies were miracle babies conceived through IVF.
Hearing this news pained me deeply. I talked to her of my deep sorrow for the pain she is feeling, and for the undoubtable lack of significance that will be shed on her at this time. Because she is still pregnant with one beautiful tiny life, she fears people will forget that they began as two lives...and that is hard for her to handle. I told her how sorry I was, and it pained me to hear her say, "Oh it is okay." To which I replied, "NO IT ISN'T!"
So for me, I'm here to talk about what to do if you know someone struggling with pregnancy loss, no matter what stage of pregnancy, and how to help them, what to say, what not to say...none of this is gospel. It is just my take on stuff that I have gone through and the way I feel now. I will be completely honest and say that I never took "miscarriage" so heavily in the past until I lost a baby of my own. I was probably like most of you...or some of you, when you hear someone had a miscarriage. "Oh that sucks." "You can try again!" "You still have two beautiful children." And the list of well meaning thoughts goes on and on. Here are some things that have been on my mind constantly for the last little bit and especially today as I thought of my sweet friend.
When you talk to someone who lost a baby...tell them how much it stinks! How unfair it is! And if they try to tell you it is okay...tell them it IS NOT okay...and let them feel anger. Be there to listen to them if they want to talk, and respect the desire to be left alone if that is what they want. With that being said, you can do the following whether they are wanting to be surrounded or left alone. Just do it!
Do send a card in the mail.
Do send flowers.
Do make dinner.
Do offer to watch children so the couple can go on a date.
Do give giftcards to Blockbuster and a tub of popcorn.
Do bring Baskin Robbins.
If the person wants company, do their dishes...do their laundry...do vacuum....do something.
You have had a loss too, do talk about how you are feeling with your partner.
Do hold your partner when she throws things at the wall.
Let her throw her fits and tantrums.
Do hug...a lot.
Do support your spouse if she needs a little medication to help her through the loss.
There are a lot of things not to do. I'm not sure how to handle them because everyone is different. My biggest suggestion is trying not to lessen the loss. Allow someone to grieve. I am a very spiritual person. I believe every living thing has a spirit. I believe that these tiny lives have a spirit the second they are conceived. It is a loss. It is real. The feelings are tragic. Most of all be a true friend.
I know I am so thankful for mine during our struggle. I can honestly say I am healed and happy because of the love of so many. Hope this can help you help someone else.


dust and kam said...

Kim: Very, very good post. Thank you so much for writing out your feelings. And I agree with you 100%. I wish that everyone could read this so they would know how to help someone going through a loss. Very good advice.

I needed friends when I was going through losing my baby. Sure, I had Dustyn, but he was hurting too. No one knew how to approach me or to show me they cared. So I figured they didn't. Even though I know I was 100% wrong, but at the time, I didn't see it that way. Oh how i wish I blogged back then.

Your dear friend is in my thoughts and prayers.

Arianne said...


I think you might be talking about Melanie's cousin. Oh I had no idea! that is so sad!!!

Thank you for this post, I think it is a good reminder to those who have lost a child or may know someone that has. It makes me want to be a better friend to those who are suffering.

I remember when I lost Spencer I heard over and over, well maybe there was something wrong at the begining so at least he is gone now. Or it is for the best. AND so on!! I still hate well at least you have ANika now!! I don't know why I hate hearing that but i do, I am thankful to have ANika BUT I want my son too!
ANyway thanks again Kim for this post and my prayers are for sure with your sweet dear friend!!!

Ponczoch Family said...

One of my pregnancies was a result of Clomid, and I was prego with twins and lost one of them. It's a strange feeling because you're so happy to be pregnant, yet you are also experiencing a loss. For me it was a confusing time because I wasn't sure how I supposed to feel (or how I really was feeling, for that matter). Your friend is lucky to have you.

Trina said...

Kim, As I've mentioned to you before,as a nursing student in the middle of my maternity rotation I hunted feverishly to try to find anything to know how to help with your loss. Until this rotation and the experience of one of our nursing students with a miscarriage, I too did not not understand how painful it was emotionally, physically, socially...she had shared her experience just before I found out about your miscarriage and I cried, I cried *a lot* for you and your loss. You never saw those tears except for my blog postings and for that I am truly sorry. Kim, you are wonderful and amaze me. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal insight. Hugs.

Cassie said...

Fantastic post Kim. So many people wonder what they can do to help a friend going through such a horrible time, especially when they've not experienced anything remotely close to this. Thank you for the insight and ideas. I love you so much!

Aranne and Dan said...

Thank you, thank you... It has been a while for us and our loss but for some reason that post still means the world to me. It just struck a cord and I appreciate your words. I know it will mean a lot to your friend as well. She and her family are in my thoughts and I wish her the best with her miracle still growing!

Ron and Jessica said...

Well the computer just ate my last comment. Hopefully I can say it again. Just this weekend I had a friend tell me she's been trying to get pregnant for five years. Recently she lost twins. She told me she shouldn't be greedy because she has two blessings already. It left me speechless! Maybe someone has said that to her before. Maybe she didn't want to seem ungrateful for her two children since I don't have any. But it isn't about being greedy. It's about having your family complete. Until then it's feels a little empty. I'm sorry so many have to suffer the loss of a baby.

Jed and Kate said...

Kim, I thought your advice was perfect. I don't know if you were aware that I had a miscarriage while I was still working in adoption. I was 16 weeks when I lost the baby after it had taken me a year to get pregnant. It was a very difficult time--especially since I had two birthmothers deliver around the same time I miscarried. I also had a few people angrily express to me that I did not understand their pain of childlessness. I never talked about my miscarriage with them because it was not appropriate under the circumstances. But, it reminded me that we should be very careful about our words and our assumptions. My friends didn't realize that I understood their pain a bit more intimately than they thought.

My advice is to never make assumptions. Miscarriage occurs regularly enough that you are bound to be surrounded by people who have experienced it--whether you know it or not. I chose to be very vocal about my miscarriage in the appropriate settings and found that many of my friends had lost babies and had never said a thing about it. It was very healing for us to talk about it together and offer one another support. If you've expereinced miscarriage, try and talk about it--it may give you the opportunity to help someone else get through it and will be healing for you.

Lace said...

Oh this is very sad news. I am so sorry to hear this. Would you please tell her hello for me and let her know that I am thinking of her.

Anonymous said...

Your friend Trina sent me to your site. I have a link to share that may help those in the Salt Lake area, at least, coping with the loss of a baby.


Caring Connections offers bereavement support for those suffering loss from all different types of death, including miscarriage. Hope this will help those seeking some solace in their loss.


Emily R said...

Thank you.
When I was 19 weeks along my friend lost her baby at 20 weeks. I feel guilty being around her since I'm still pregnant, and I feel guilty for feeling sick and whiny about being pregnant.
This post is helpful.

Katie said...

Wonderful post. Only someone who has gone through a miscarriage could explain things the way you have. I had someone recently say to me that having a miscarriage was normal (I had one at 5 wks). So, I responded that I know it's normal, but I didn't want to be a part of that normal.

There are now 3 people due right around the time I would've been due (one being my sister). I hope and pray that I will be able to handle it when she has her baby, but I don't know how. It still hurts so much. Any advice?

The Lilly's said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. As you mentioned, most people just don't realize the devastation until you've experienced it, even very early losses. I especially loved the part directed towards husbands. So often they are hurt and disappointed too, but don't know how to show it because they're afraid of upsetting their wives. Good job Kim!

kimsueellen said...


I know exactly how you are feeling. I have about three friends who are due the same time my sweet baby was to be born. One, I kind of relish in the fact that I am NOT pregnant in this heat. Two, I try to remeber that Heavenly Father had a far greater plan for me, and for my baby than I could ever imagine. Three, I try to sincerely have joy for my friends and even though it brings tears to my eyes...I honestly do have joy for them. Four, I am planning on going to their house as often as possible and love on their babies...and just tell them, "I need to hold your baby!" And kiss on that baby, cuddle that baby...smell that baby. For me anyway this is very healing. Five, make sure you and your husband have a date on your due date. Talk about that little life, and relish in the fact that you still have one another...there are so many women who have no one.

I dunno. I'm not perfect, but these things have helped me tremendously.

My heart is with you!

Holly said...

Kim, these are all great points and a good post.
I think we could all put together a great list the WORST things to say to someone having had this loss - many from personal experience. My all time favorite "worst thing to say" actually came from my dad. I am just glad I can laugh about it now. I think that is how you know you're healing.

AFRo said...

If I may share for your friend... I know that she's probably heard a million times that everything happens for a reason and it just sounds like a load of BS.

However, when I was 16, my appendix ruptured after leaking slowly for about 8 months. (they found a mess when they went in to operate) The only thing that saved my life was the fact that I had two appendices.

My mother lost my twin much earlier in the pregnancy than yours did, but it was a loss all the same. And 16 years later we saw a small part of His master plan.

Sell...Party Of 4 said...

Wow...good thoughts! Amazing photo of your daughter...love, love, love her lips! BEAUTIFUL!!
Thanks for the advice on this subject. I have never had one, and hope that I never have to experience it. I never know how to react when other people do though. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

Heather said...

I love you lady!! You amaze me and help me to be a better person!! Thank you for your love and your friendship!!

Carlotta said...

Um.. Love it!! I always am stopped in my tracks when people talk about loosing a child. I don't feel connected to it yet I am. Probably cause I try to forget it yet there is no way to ever. You heal and go forward but never forget. I look at Little Miss in awe as my pregnancy with her started off with two. Lost her sibling at 8wks. It probably wouldn't have hurt so much except for the fact that I saw this special one on the ultrasound. The heartbeat and was able to acknowledge it's life. I remember when I was told that I was loosing that one it hurt. It hurt oh so bad. I couldn't understand why it hurt since it was so early. It was a miscarriage nontheless. I remember when you lost your Little Love it hurt me inside. My pain wasn't yours but I remembered mine and didn't want you to feel what you were feeling. I think that is were people try to discount a miscarriage. Is when they say " oh I was only so far along" doesn't matter still a loss. A special Child with life. We all have emotions and when we feel them the best thing is to validate them. Just like you have said here. Never tell anyone it will get better or it's ok. Give them space and persmission to feel what they are feeling. Great post my friend. I am astounded by your strength.

Not sure if I made since, interesting that I am connected to this. Thanks for your honesty and sincerity.

Christal said...

you are inspiring wonderful and insightful and amazing! Thanks for this post!

Amber Ro said...

What a great post and good reminder to all of us to have tact and be sensitive in times like this. You are a great example to many people :)

Erin said...

Thank you for this awesome post! I think there's never a right thing to say when someone experiences this loss...it's the "being there" that makes a difference.
A group of friends gave us gift cards for local restaurants. So you can eat when you're ready and not have to clean up.
I completely agree: it's a real loss, and as mothers we don't want that to be "glossed over." We want to acknowledge our children, even if they're not here with us.