Miscarriage: What Not To Say
There are a lot of things you shouldn’t say to someone who just lost her baby. Miscarriage is easily one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. The no brainer thing that you should not say to someone who jut miscarried is “I’m so sorry, but you’ll have another baby.” Or how about “At least you know you can get pregnant.” A real good one is “Life goes on and you must move on.” The perfect response to this last one can be summed up by three words we all used to say back in middle school: “Yeah, no duh!” Here’s a link from What To Expect When You’re Expecting that gives a few more examples.
NONE of any of the above show any sign of empathy for the woman who just lost her child. You’re better off saying nothing. It’s like that saying our mommas ingrained in our brains since the day we learned to talk “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That doesn’t mean say something mean and then try to backtrack by saying “but I really do care.” And the “I am sorry, but….” doesn’t work either.
Perfect scenario: a comment someone (who names herself as “I Understand”) just left on my blog titled “Losing Our Baby.” If you can’t see from the title of the post how hurt and devastated I am you can click on it and read just how painful having a miscarriage has been for my husband and me. So when you leave a comment like the one below you bet your a$$ I am going to be hurt, frustrated and straight up angry!
What Not To Say To Someone Who Just Miscarried:
I understand: “I think you may be using this [blog] as “cathartic release”, but you are also capitalizing on the fact that there is sympathy to be sought after enduring such a thing. It is understandable to write about such loss and pain. Some of us have been there, too. But to publicize it on a platform to sell your book is disgusting. You need to heal your heart instead of capitalizing on the monetary gain to be had in place of your loss. I can’t imagine enduring your loss, I can’t imagine the immeasurable loss, the confounding sorrow. I can’t imagine it. My heart is, indeed, with you. I truly hope for healing and strength for your family.”
Because Here’s What A Woman Who Just Miscarried Will Say Back:
Me: “This is one of the rudest things you could say to me. Typically I would ignore such a hateful comment, but since you’re on my blog and I am a bit emotional I am going to address this. First of all, I am not publicizing the loss of my son on a platform to sell books. That makes me disgusted – to think that you’d even think that is heartless. And quite frankly, anything you wrote after that does not even resonate. I wrote my book and poured my heart and soul into. I wrote it in a way to help inspire women and young girls who are going through or have gone through similar experiences I went through growing up; I talk about my struggles of domestic violence, sexual abuse, drugs, neglect – the list goes on. Obviously this plays a role in dating/marriage – and played a huge role in me wanting to be a mother and have my very own family for love and stability. I want to help others by sharing my story. Hence, I wrote my book. Writing my book and releasing it has been my work for the last year of my life – my job.
It is incredibly unfortunate that I lost my son. (Do I even have to say that????) It was only a month after my book was released. I wasn’t doing anything to help promote my book for the first weeks of it’s release – which happen to be the most crucial – because I was worried about losing my son. (I haven’t even shared half of the battle of my pregnancy, but at this point I doubt you’d care to know.) Then when I did lose him I felt like I lost my life. I’d sit in bed numb with no motivation to get out and do anything. I walked around like a zombie day in and day out. I cancelled two TV shows in LA and an abundance of press based around my book. I had no will or strength for anything “normal” in life. My life no longer felt “normal.” Finally my husband said to me that I have to get back to work. He told me it was the only thing that would help me and make me feel better. So the next day I began working. I “promoted” my book and my jewelry. And Doug was right. It helped keep my mind busy so I wasn’t just lying around with greasy hair crying all day. I put my book up on my site for autographed copies. Signing my book is my way of connecting with my “fans.” (Obviously I cancelled all plans of a book tour the moment I found out I was losing my baby.) Writing is very therapeutic, but it can be a lonely job so when I get to sign a book I feel like I am almost interacting with friends. I’m so thankful to my husband and his advice. Working has helped me begin to “move on.”
Many of you know me as a nurse. I loved working in labor and delivery in New York. 6 months after being married my husband and I moved to NJ. At first I would take the hour drive into the hospital but eventually I realized it was just too much. Unfortunately, I don’t have my nursing license in NJ yet so I can’t work at a hospital here. To address your nasty comment – had I gone back to work as a nurse and talked about my loss and my book I doubt you’d ever have the audacity to say that to me. (Mostly because it would have to be to my face and I’d hope you wouldn’t be so cruel – though it was no less cruel for you to type and post on my blog.)
The short of it all: YES, I am “promoting my book.” And my jewelry line for that matter. It’s my job and it’s the only thing helping me move forward. When I want to lay in bed in a puddle of tears and wallow in my own self pity I tell myself to get up and get moving. I remind myself the advice my husband gave me. Typically the first thing I do is grab a cup of coffee and my computer and read comments here and on social media; they’ve been so encouraging and helpful to me. (Clearly your comment – not so much. As a matter of fact, your comment was more hurtful than I’d like to admit.) I’ve worked harder after losing my son than I have in months! It’s not even something I am necessarily proud of. It’s just that I don’t know what else to do to keep my mind off the pain and misery…to keep my mind from remembering the day when I delivered my son and got to hold his tiny little body in my hands and kiss his itty bitty forehead. I can’t wipe away the memory of seeing the image of my son in my hands and then having to hand him over to go to a lab to be tested. How dare you judge me! I wish I didn’t give you so much of my time.”
Miscarriage is hard enough. Think before you speak/write. Keep negative, painful comments to yourself.
I will not allow bullying on my blog to be ignored and over looked. I will not let this deceivingly “kind” bully affect me, my family, or my work. “I understand’s” bullying is discrete. It is hidden by “nice” and “supportive” words in between, but it is bullying nonetheless.
Miss “I understand,” I hope you now understand why I will continue to work on promoting my book and my jewelry. And I hope you’ve learned a good lesson. Until you’re in my shoes (especially right after a miscarriage) and know exactly what I am going through – do not judge me.
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