So last week I decided to jump right into blog posting boiling water by talking about something we really don’t talk about. Miscarriage.
It’s this tough, messy, hurt-filled topic.
While I hope that I helped and didn’t hurt by posting about our story and the the 3 things I would tell myself right as I went through it, I saved the controversial one for this week.
The thing that I realized after Sarah and I went through the miscarriage was a few things that I was going to immediately stop doing. So if you haven’t been through this in your story, I’m about to get a little bossy. I’m not wanting to come across as judgmental or like I know everything. I don’t. But, here are 3 things that I would tell you to stop doing if you interact, knowingly or unknowingly, with someone going through a miscarriage.
- Stop asking people when they’re having kids.
It seems like an easy conversation starter. Especially when a pregnancy announcement is made. You look toward the newly married couple or the married couple that STILL hasn’t had a baby and say….”So….are you next?”. Maybe it’s not even a couple without kids- maybe the ask is “When’s the next one?”
It seems fun. Maybe, (and this is a big-stinking-maybe) you know this couple SO well that you are 100% they would tell you if they were going through something. But if there’s a 1% chance they could have just gone through or are going through a miscarriage. Don’t. Ask.
It hurts. It stings.
“When’s your turn?” feels like a red-hot iron on their skin saying: “You lost one.”
For some it’s: “You lost ANOTHER one”.
So don’t ask. It feels cute. But it’s not.
Just. Don’t. Ask.
- Tell them you care and then give them space.
I don’t give my mom enough credit for raising the 5 kids she did with the grace that she did. But, here, I have to give her props. She was one of the people we told when we were in the middle of going through this. She said, “I’m sorry” and gave me a hug. That made me feel great. Then she didn’t bring it up again.
A week later I got a sympathy card in the mail from her. I don’t even remember what it looked like or even what it said but it meant the world.
What’s funny is, I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to talk about it again. I mean it felt good to get it off my chest and know she cared. The card was great because it reminded me that she was there for us if we wanted to talk. But at that point, we didn’t want to.
Not having to was the perfect way of having comfort without it hurting.
Just listening to someone is a big deal. Even if they haven’t told you. If you start listening to people, really listening, you hear things they want to say but can’t.
If you hear with a pregnancy announcement “We tried for a really long time, and we’re just so happy that it finally happened”.
You may (not always) be hearing: “We struggled with a miscarriage(s).”
If they do tell you they’re going through it, listen. If it feels right you can share your story but they may not need that. They may just need to talk. And sometimes it’s not about the miscarriage. Sometimes they want to talk about anything and everything else. That’s okay.
I’m not an expert. I’m hoping and praying that on such a serious and sensitive subject I don’t come across as unempathetic or as a person with all the answers. I certainly don’t have them. There are some people with different stories then mine that might disagree with a few things I’ve said and I totally understand that. Hopefully though this has been helpful. Thanks for listening.