What to say to a couple who miscarried their child
If you ever heard these four words, "There is no heartbeat," you know that there is no loss as devastating as learning your pregnancy will not result in a bundle of joy for you and your partner. After telling your family the heartbreaking news, you will then be faced with sharing the news with other people. People you would prefer not to share something so personal with, but you have to because they already knew you were having a baby. What do you say to a couple who has miscarried their child?
According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC - most fetal deaths or miscarriages occur within the first 20 to 27 weeks of pregnancy. It is important to know that a miscarriage can occur at any stage of pregnancy. In fact, between 10 to 20% of all pregnancies result in miscarriage and this is heartbreaking for all of those involved. It is also a common reason that couples do not announce their pregnancies until they have at least hit the 12-week mark of gestation.
Pregnancy is so personal and private. However, at the same time, it is so outwardly noticeable because your body will show the world that you are carrying a child. It isn't easy to hide a pregnancy, even if you would have preferred to keep the news private, you really cannot. Everyone will know you are pregnant, so it is overwhelming when the baby is miscarried because so many people knew you were going to have a baby.
They will eventually know that you are no longer pregnant, and then you will have to awkwardly explain what happened. It's an odd situation to be in because you may not even have had the time to have fully process the event yourself. It is a horrific ordeal for the parents of the lost child who now have to come to grips with what has transpired and must try to make sense of it to someone else.
It is hard to know what to say to couples when they have lost their baby. However, as uncomfortable as it may be for you to bring it up, you really need to say something. The worst possible thing you can do in this situation is to say nothing. You absolutely must acknowledge their grief because it is a huge loss for the couple. Remember, they thought they were going to have a beautiful baby to hold in their arms and rock to sleep, and now that is not going to happen. They went from being a soon-to-be mommy and daddy to becoming a childless couple within a matter of hours.
Don't say anything trite like "It wasn't meant to be," or "You can try again," because this is not helpful and does not show empathy, which is what the couple desperately needs. Refrain from telling the couple that you know exactly how they are feeling. You don't. Every loss is different and even if you suffered a miscarriage yourself, your experience is still different from their experience. Maybe you got pregnant again and successfully had a healthy baby, and that is wonderful for you, but it in no way means the same will happen for the couple you are speaking with. Ask the couple what it is that they would like to talk about. Ask them to tell you about their child. It will make them happy that you are showing you understand that they had a baby who did not live.
While a lot of miscarriages occur within the first 27 weeks of pregnancy, it can actually occur between weeks 28 and 36 and that is referred to as a late term miscarriage. It is also possible that the woman carries the child to term, but the baby is stillborn. She may actually have to give birth to the fetus, and this is another degree of tradgedy to deal with. It is also very difficult to lose a baby so late in the pregnancy. At this point, the couple probably already have prepared their home for the child and may have decided upon a name. Losing the baby this late is almost unbelievable to the parents, so they really need reassurance from their friends and family that the baby was real and their grief is also real.
15 Miscarriage Quotes
No one likes talking about miscarriages, yet it happens fairly regularly. Sometimes the woman isn't even aware she is pregnant and the baby miscarries. The number of miscarriages are based on reported events and do not include these very early stage spontaneous miscarriages, so it is even more common than documented. As a result, we should be speaking openly about miscarriages in an attempt to normalize the loss. Women shouldn't have to feel as if they need to hide their grief. They suffered a tragic loss, and it doesn't matter whether the baby was 8 weeks old or 37 weeks old because the loss is the same. The mother still knew that she had a baby growing inside of her, and now her baby is gone.
General Baby Loss
No matter what stage of pregnancy the baby miscarries, the loss is still felt by the parents. As a supportive friend or family member, you need to acknowledge this loss. Help the parent's through their grief by allowing them to talk about their lost child. Everyone deals with grief differently, and they have their own timetable. You cannot set a time limit on grief, so do not try to impose one. Allow the couple to move at their own pace.
A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.
Grieving is like having broken ribs. On the outside you look fine, but with every breath, it hurts
What does a miscarriage feel like? It feels as if you have been short changed by nature. You will cry for what might have been but nobody will understand because they didn't feel it
Parents who have suffered a miscarriage often feel shame. Shame because they couldn't carry the baby to term, or shame because they think perhaps they did something wrong to cause the miscarriage. Babies miscarry or spontaneously abort for a variety of reasons. It can occur because there is an abnormal amount of chromosomes in the fertilized egg, which is a random event that you cannot control. No one is at fault. It just happens. Parents can need good friends and words of encouragement to help them through this difficult time. They do not want to hear that they were "lucky" to have lost the baby so early on in the pregnancy. In no way would that be considered luck by anyone who has miscarried a child.
A mother is never defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.
We do not "get over" a death. We learn to carry the grief and integrate the loss in our lives. In our hearts, we carry those who have died. We grieve and we love. We remember.
Heaven and earth may separate us today, but nothing will ever change the fact that you made me a mom.
Dads are often overlooked when there is a miscarriage because everyone is focused on the mother and her well-being. Mommies feel the physical and emotional loss of a baby, so it is natural to want to centralize your sympathies on her, and she deserves it. However, do not forget about the father. Dads experience the same tremendous heartbreak and disappointment of not having a baby to hold in their arms, and need comfort too. The odds are pretty high that the dad was there to see the first ultrasound and to hear that first heartbeat, so it is very real to them.
Although they are looking after their wives, the dads are also experiencing the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) while trying to help their wives through theirs. Take him out for a beer or a cup of coffee and ask him how he is doing. He will appreciate your concern and probably welcome the opportunity to talk to someone else about his grief.
Grief never ends, but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.
There is a unique PAIN that comes from preparing a place in your HEART for a child that NEVER COMES
A life need not be long lived, for it to be meaningful.
Quotes with Images
Don't exclude the couple who lost their baby from baby-type events. For example, don't take it upon yourself to shield them from other people's pregnancies. If her best friend is pregnant, and there is a baby shower, she will need to be invited to the shower. Excluding her from the party is unkind. She may be sad that she doesn't have a baby, but that doesn't make her angry that her best friend is having a baby. She might actually enjoy sharing in someone else's happiness. Allow her the opportunity to decide whether she feels up to attending the shower.
You can give the mom a necklace with her baby's birthstone or you can make a donation to a children's hospital in the baby's name. It is a nice token to show that you know her baby was real. That is one of the biggest issues women have when they lose a baby. If you give the couple a momento to honor their child, it acknowledges their grief. It may not seem like much, but it can be very useful in helping the couple to heal their broken hearts.