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insensitive comments after miscarriage

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#1 Boo_Girl

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

Hi, I just wanted to find out if others have found themselves in a similar situation to mine. I have a few friends who have had miscarriages and only one of them experienced some of the insensitivity I've experienced. I had a D&C after missed miscarriage was found on my 9 week scan. At 6 weeks I had a 'strong viable heartbeat' so it was a very big shock. I had no idea, my body was still producing all the hormones and I felt very very preg.

Anyways, my mother in law, sister (and now my husband!) have said to me how miscarriages are common. Newsflash! Thanks so much for letting me know! As if I didn't know this!

That's not the point. The point is that it happened to me and I feel loss. These comments do not help and are in no way helpful. Remind me of the facts when I'm down, yes please do! Yes miscarriage is common. Yes older women have problems falling pregnant. Yes it was only 9 weeks. And so on.

Has anyone else experienced comments such as this and if so how did you deal with them???

Thanks! sad.gif !

#2 Chelli

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

"It's probably for the best" and "It's nature's way of taking care of something that wasn't perfect" were two pearlers I received.

I'm very sorry for your loss OP and I hope that you are not further distressed by other people's insensitivity.


#3 Natttmumm

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

Sorry for you loss - its a really tough time!

I did experience all of those types of comments which is why I didnt tell people about this pregnancy until 18 weeks and I was more sure everything was ok. If we had of lost this pregnancy (we had some complications around 12 weeks) I wouldnt have told many people.

Even people really close to me - like my mum said things that hurt when I had two miscarriages 6 years ago. I think its difficult to say the right thing in those circumstances e.g. some people may feel comfort from the fact that its common and there is nothing wrong with them so it depends on each person to what offends

I remember my mum saying to me "im surprised at how upset you are - you will have another baby - lucky you lost it so early and it wsnt further along".

#4 lynneyours

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

I'm sorry for your loss OP.  I haven't experienced this myself (came in through we are discussing), but nearly all my female relatives and friends have  sad.gif

I don't get that attitude at all?   It's like saying "well, a parent dying is pretty common, so no need to be upset about it".  Would anyone dream of saying such a thing?  
So I don't understand how a much wanted and/or planned for and already loved baby would feel different to that.  The baby is part of you literally.

hhugs.gif OP

ETA -why do people need to say something, apart from "I'm sorry"

Edited by lynnemine, 23 November 2012 - 01:13 PM.

#5 HRH Countrymel

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

Respond with - "I am aware of all of that. But it doesn't stop me from feeling desperately, desperately sad. Can you please respect that?"

I was lucky - anyone who found out (we hadn't told anyone about our pregnancy) just said "I am so very sorry."  Which in my opinion is the right thing to say.

#6 Schmig

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

I've been in a similar boat to you. I lost my bub at 11 weeks almost 3 weeks ago and I have had some pretty ordinary comments my way. From  "Isn't it over yet?" when the bleeding went on for weeks and I wasn't feeling well to remarks about my DD's bike and how I could just "give it to my next baby - when I actually have one". And my favourite- "why are you so flat? It's over now".

Well I'm flat because my hormones are still a bit crazy, I am very sad at the loss of a much wanted child and uncomfortable as my DH told people against my wishes and now I have to 'untell' them.

I have just started answering these remarks with - well clearly it has never happened to you as if it had you would have some empathy with the situation rather than being so insensitive. At least that has stopped some of them from mentioning it again.

I understand exactly how you feel and it is harder to deal with than I thought it would be. There are a lot of lovely people here on EB who you can talk to if you want to. I'm sorry  and I hope that soon you will be  feeling a little better with each passing day.

Edited by Schmig, 23 November 2012 - 01:22 PM.

#7 DontKnowDontCare

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:19 PM

When I was bemoaning the fact that it wasn't fair to have gotten so close to the end of the "danger zone", only to lose my baby, the nurse tending to me asked when would I have rather had it happen?
Um, I kind of would rather it didn't!!!

Then, when my sister learned that we were attempting to get copies of the lab report after our second loss (just to see if there was anything showed up we needed to be aware of) she demanded to know why we needed to see it and told us we needed to move on and get over it.  I told her that when she's been in the same position, she can dictate what should and shouldn't be done - only to get in trouble by my family for the way I spoke to her!

#8 Marchioness Flea

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I had one (male) friend tell me "It was bound to happen", gee thanks! JUST what I wanted to hear after my first MC after nearly 5 years of TTC and 3 years of fertility treatment.
I think people just don't know what to say, it IS very common and they just don't get how bad it feels. I think partly as well, it's hard for people to understand with early miscarriages as they seem to assume that you're not emotionally involved with your own pregnancy, which is stupid. You get attached the minute you get your positive test I think.
As to how I dealt with comments and the loss...i cried for weeks and ate a fair bit of chocolate. I swear chocolate is medicinal.

#9 Dawarr

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

Hi OP, I'm really sorry for you loss, and for what has been said to you.

I've had 7 miscarriages (and two kids, but had 5 miscarriages before child number one), so have had some treasures. These include:
- It was probably for the best
- It's nature's way of saying it wasn't meant to be
- It is better than having a child with a severe disability
- Better now than further down the track (in the pregnancy)
- Are you SURE there is nothing wrong with you? (After the fifth miscarriage, before child number 1)
- At least you know you can GET pregnant (again, after 5 miscarriages - not helpful if I can't sustain it!)
- This one was meant to get through to the keeper (or some sporting reference)

Nope, none of them are helpful. But equally unhelpful for me was, after I kept having miscarriages, how people said nothing. I guess it all became too hard. I found I wouldn't tell most people until the 12 week mark (although some of my miscarriages were after that anyway, so no guarantee of safety).

What I found out was that most of these people cared about me, but didn't know what to say or do. So, if/when I was feeling strong enough, I would tell them "I know you care about me, but what you said kind of sucked. All I need to hear is that you are sorry this has happened to me (again)". That honestly helped most people respond in a more helpful way.

Good luck with everything.

#10 Soontobegran

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

I am very sorry for your loss Boo_Girl sad.gif
I think that most people who have suffered a miscarriage have had to deal with this type of insensitive comment.
I always say that if you are not sure what to say then just hug and tell them you are sorry.....that's it.

For some reason people think it will make you feel better to know that it quite commonly happens to others and it surprises me when these comments come from women who are mothers who should know from the moment you have that first positive pregnancy test that you are in love with the little life growing within.
Take care OP.

Edited by soontobegran, 23 November 2012 - 06:17 PM.

#11 Lagom

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss OP.

My FIL made a similar comment and I hissed, "Yes, it's like dying.  That's pretty 'common' too but people still get sad and are allowed to grieve. My baby was alive and then it died.  I had imagined  a whole life for this little baby and now it's gone. cry1.gif "  He swiftly apologised.  He was only trying to comfort me but really didn't have a clue and went about it in completely the wrong way.  It can be hard for your family to see you so upset and they can never know how bonded you were with your baby, all the things you imagined and hoped for, how you felt your body changing etc.  Life can be so unfair.

Take care of yourself OP.   hhugs.gif

#12 Mumma2furrykids

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

Just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. And yes, those comments are absolutely insensitive. Comments like that help no one.

I've had a couple of nasty comments, but the think that struck me the most was the lack of support and contact from friends and family. I've never felt so isolated. Did anyone else experience this?

#13 chubbabub

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

So sorry for your loss OP. Hope it gets better for you soon x

I lost twins and had to have a d&c at 13 weeks. I came home from the hospital to a couple of DH'S, my (DP at the time )friend's who took that very time to announce that they were due with their first.

They knew what I had just gone through and I had to sit there and entertain them, whilst feeling like crap and hearing them give me the old "it's so common to  have a miscarriage" talk . They also proceeded to tell me of the all the people that they knew who had had a miscarriage.

On top of that old chesnut, I got this pearl of wisdom aswell  "at least you can get pregnant". Insensitive on all fronts, them and my idiot DH (granted he is hopeless with expressing grief).

Why I just sat there and said nothing is beyond me, but had it happened now, I would have kicked them out of my home.

Edited by chubbabub, 23 November 2012 - 01:45 PM.

#14 tothebeach

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:46 PM

I'm so sorry about your loss.   My doctor expressed my sadness perfectly after my miscarriage at 10 weeks:' It's not just a miscarriage. You are grieving the loss of all the hopes and dreams that you already had for this child'.

My SIL who had 4 children already, on the other hand, told me how common it was :'In fact, I'm sure that I've had one.  I had a heavy period once and I think that might have been a miscarriage'.  I think that I just stared at her in disbelief.

#15 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

So sorry for your loss.

I had those comments too, including "at least you know you can get pregnant" from my FS.  

It hurt at the time but later on I could see the comfort in knowing that it was common and part of nature.  It meant that I hadn't done anything to cause it, it was probably inevitable and there probably wasn't anything drastically wrong with me.

But it doesn't help at the time, and you don't need reminding from all and sundry.

#16 frizzle

Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

QUOTE (Chelli @ 23/11/2012, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"It's probably for the best" and "It's nature's way of taking care of something that wasn't perfect" were two pearlers I received.

Same here. I also had the charming comment that I wouldn't have wanted a Xmas baby anyway. I was due in December.

#17 password1234

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

When we say miscarriage is common - What we are trying to say is your friends and family will have had this too and so may be able to support you.

When we tell you its because there is something wrong with the pregnancy - what we are trying to say is THIS ISNT YOUR FAULT, this is not because of something you have done or not done.

Saying at least its now and not later - is because we have seen women who find out at 14wks that their pregnancy stopped growing at 7 wks.

But honestly there is nothing anyone can say that will be right, sorry for your loss.

#18 kez71

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

i found after my second miscarriage at 10 weeks that I had zero support. We hadn't told many people we were pregnant, but because I ended up taking a week off work right at the busiest time my DH told them what happened. Not one person said anything when i came back to work.  But a few weeks ago my cat died and every person I work with expressed their sadness over our loss. I found that a bit odd. I just figure they didn't know what to say about a baby loss.

#19 Guest_Amy Ramekin_*

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

I'm sorry for your loss, OP.

People don't mean to be insensitive; they just don't know what to say. My Dad mumbled something like "It's nature's way". I said "That doesn't help Dad". He replied with something like "I'm sorry, I just don't know what to say". Then I felt sorry for him.  sad.gif  I think this is the case for most people - they have no idea what to say. This is probably, in part, because despite the fact that miscarriage is veyr common, it is very rarely talked about openly. I wish people were more open about it.

My FS, like Meggs', also said "Well now you know you can get pregnant" and I did take heart from that, rather than finding it offensive. We had been TTC for two years and had been doing IVF so it was reassuring to know that I could get pregnant and I was aware of that even in my grief.

#20 Redgumhoney

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (brookstar @ 23/11/2012, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. And yes, those comments are absolutely insensitive. Comments like that help no one.

I've had a couple of nasty comments, but the think that struck me the most was the lack of support and contact from friends and family. I've never felt so isolated. Did anyone else experience this?

So sorry for your loss.
After my second m/c I felt very angry with my SIL who was 6 months pregnant herself,and who after hearing the news from other family, not once picked up the phone to ask how I or hubbie were managing. I would have been happy with a text message really, just an acknowledgement...
Later on I realise that perhaps she just didn't know what to say...
It is a dreadful time to go through big hugs.

#21 WibbleWobble

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

I am so very sorry for your loss. It is hard enough to deal with as it is without the comments some people make.

I had some great ones, some already mentioned, but my personal favourites were:

"I couldn't see you as a mum anyway" (from my sister who had already had a m/c herself)

"I don't know what is wrong with you, I had no problems having kids" from my Mum.

"At least it's not as bad as X, she lost hers at 12 weeks" this pearler from DH on my birthday no less, after my 3rd miscarriage.

Really all I wanted anyone to do was acknowledge my loss with an "I'm sorry".

Big hugs to you OP and all those who are currently hurting.

#22 antsy

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

I have had 3 m/c and to be honest, a comment like that wouldnt have upset me at all? You know their heart is in the right place, they are just trying to make you feel better. It is not said in malice or to hurt you in any way.

People say it is a common occurence because they want you to know that it can happen to anyone, and that you didnt do anything wrong to cause it. They arent saying it to trivialise what you went through.

#23 katniss

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

I do agree with the PP's that people just don't know how to deal with it. I've had similar experiences. I've had all those comments aswell & all you really want to hear is "I'm sorry".

My MIL came over while I was miscarrying & was saying it's not that big a deal. My parents on the other hand hugged me & cried with me when I told them  wub.gif

I had a missed miscarriage & the female u/s technician went to get a colleague to double check there was no heart beat. He was so insensitive when he confirmed it & said "No need to cry. You'll have another baby." I couldn't believe it. Then the female tech came back & could tell I was holding my tears & she told me it was okay to let it all out. I just lost it crying & felt good for it. She was lovely to acknowledge the grief.

OP, people are going to say the wrong things. Most of them don't mean to be insensitive, they just don't know what to say. All I can say is to brush most of them off but if you feel up to it, say something to those who are being exceptionally insensitive. Just saying "A simple I'm sorry would've been enough" is good.

I'm so sorry for your loss, OP. and I send you strength.

#24 libbylu

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

I think people just really don't know what to say.  My mother said to me "Oh, well, it wasn't meant to be".
All you want to hear is "I'm so sorry to hear that - you must feel heartbroken".
Try not to take it personally.  Few people have truly mastered the art of tact and it doesn't mean they don't care ...they are just caught out without the right words and so they say the wrong thing.
Wishing you the best of luck for next time.

#25 GreenEyedGirl

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

At least you are not burdened with a disabled child
Its natures way of dealing with abnormalities
Least you can get pregnant
You can be a great aunty instead
Maybe you aren’t meant to be a mother

In 8 years I have heard it all !!!!!!!

I ignore most because it is people who have no idea wtf to say and say something totally inappropriate as a result. Some I will answer back to but at the end of the day regardless of what you say to people they forget and you will remember.
Each comment sticks in my heart like a knife, yet whoever said it probably has no recollection of it whatsoever... sadly such is life.
We lose a life that no one else sees so it is not respected. That is very sad. However I respect and remember my losses and those who truly care and understand will be there by your side

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