21 answers

Miscarriage Support Advice

Hi Ladies. I am hoping that some of you who have suffered similarly will know what I can do. My S-I-L (across the country from us) has suffered a miscarriage.
After a long struggle for a baby (multiple miscarriage after IV), they were able to adopt 2 children, then became pregnant with a third, which she delivered by C-section after some complications last summer. In December, she was unexpectedly 2 months pregnant. She has lost this baby. She did not reveal the pregnancy to us or many in the rest of the family (didn't want to deal with all the questions while struggling to digest it themselves, and worried about carrying to term). What do you suggest my husband and I do to support her? I don't want to pry or butt in, but we love them, and I'm not sure that I can pretend to not know what has happened. What do you suggest?
Thanks for any suggestions.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks ladies. I went to some of the miscarriage-grief websites and found what I think I really needed to know. It's not the loss of the pregnancy that she didn't want us to know, but after having miscarried several times before, there is a fear in letting anyone know you are pregnant. So, I am proceeding as if we knew all along... she needs to know that we recognize their loss.
Thank you ladies for being willing to open up about such painful memories.

Featured Answers

Don't do anything. I had a misccarriage a year ago and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it and be reminded. Let her grieve on her own.

Just do something nice for her, send her a present or something if she's far away, and write a note like, "Random kindness for no good reason, to a great person" She may get the idea you know, but won't feel obligated to talk about it unless she wants to.

More Answers

I just read a great article in a parents mag, can't remember if it was Cookie or Parents or Wondertime... I want to say it was last month's issue of Cookie. This was written by a woman who had suffered miscarriage and told everyone to acknowledge the loss, just as you would another death in the family (except without flowers, etc.)... b/c even if the SIL did not share this with everyone, she knows you all know now. And to ignore it, even if you believe in your heart that you're doing her a favor by not highlighting the pain, the pain is there anyway. Nothing will take that away, but acknowledgment of her struggle, her pain and their loss is what they need. There are no perfect words or ways to do that. Just be real, be genuine and be THERE for them. That's all we can do. Whatever you do, if you have not had a miscarriage, do not say that you know how she feels... you cannot. Also, do not bother with platititudes about how it "must be for the best." She can't see that right now. If she is a Christian, you can give her the comfort that this is God's plan, all for good, even though the circumstances are painful. But that's up to you. Again, just be real.

My sister had 3 before she finally conceived her daughter and honestly, sometimes, I just let her cry, scream or do nothing. Sometimes, you just have to hold them and give them the opportunity to do what THEY need to do to deal with their grief. It's not about us but it's normal to feel awkward.

GOod luck!
K.

2 moms found this helpful

if she didn't reveal the pregnancy to you, how do you know about it? I have suffered miscarriage too and the pain is so real....one of the hardest parts is that people have the attitude that this child did not exist yet and so they minimize the loss. I even lost a twin at birth, and you would be surprised how many people ask "well, did the baby die before birth or after?"....like the location makes a difference. In or out of the womb, my babies were still people! In a way it hurts more because society discounts them.

In your SIL's case, however....if she did not reveal the pregnancy to you, but you found out anyway, I would continue to pretend you know nothing. Otherwise you will betray the confidence of the person who told you! This can do real damage to their relationship, causing trust issues. Why go there?

If you want to help her, talk in general about the value of life, and how precious our babies are from the very beginning. That will help validate her loss.

K. G.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear V.,
Your love for your S-I-L is beautiful. It can be difficult to sit back and watch someone live with pain and hurt, but you are exactly where she needs you to be right now. At this point in time its about her needs. When we watch someone in pain, and we love them, we feel the need to take away their pain. She will reach out when and if she needs to. She is doing what she needs to right now. I experienced 3 miscarriages and a pre-term labor where my son did not survive. I kept to myself at times, and when I could cope, I reached out. All you can do is wait for her to need to be near you and your husband. Its ok to let her know that you know, she will connect when she feels ready. The time will come, but for now be patient and pray for her strength.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi V.,

I agree with Kimberly 100%. When I lost my twins I was devastated and it comforted me to know that people were thinking of us and praying for us but words, just for word's sake, does nothing. I know that this is not something she wants to discuss or keep rehashing. A note, some flowers and you're sincere words of comfort and care is plenty right now. An offering of an ear if she ever needs it will comfort her as well.

God bless you!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello V.,
My own history includes a miscarriage after 3 months; it was called a blighted ovum. Then I lost a daughter in my 7th month of pregnancy due to an umbilical cord twisting. She was fully developed. I was so ill from side effects of the induced labor that I got out of the hospital one hour before her funeral. So I do know how you feel, and how she feels. I did have two sons after those, for which I am grateful.

You are not butting in. God bless you for thinking about her! First of all, an appropriate sympathy card sent via regular mail would be great. That helped me tremendously. You could e-mail her, or write in the card via regular mail, that you are sorry for their loss. Ask her if there is anything you could do for her. Offer your thoughts and prayers. She may say no to any kind of help, but at least you have asked.

Here are two sites for support. The second one may offer you some more advice on what to say. She may or may not be receptive to these click-ons you could provide (copy from below). Check them out yourself. There are many support groups online now. I did not have those when I was pregnant.

http://www.amysangels.com/

http://www.miscarriagesupport.org.nz/grief_issues.html

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND HER DURING THIS TIME!

1 mom found this helpful

I on the other hand is that mom who has had 2 still births one at 21 weeks and one at my 23rd week. Thats rough but life. I have also had 4 miscarraiges in my first trimester. I didnt tell any one either of the pregnancies until after the 3rd month. My wonderful doctor told me that believe it or not the odds of carrying a child was less than having a miscarriage. I do have 4 wonderful children and if money was endless I would keep having them till I couldnt. I am thankful for my losses, they could have been something wrong. Even the stillbirths, where there were no signs of any problems, something was wrong. I am a very healthy person!
I wouldnt have wanted to here about my losses anymore than what was already planted in my mind.
Maybe I am harsh but I am all about getting over it and going on. Everything happens for a reason and I think if people went on about it I would have lost it.
Quiet time is all I needed.
Make your decision on her personality and she will let you know if she needs to talk, it will just come out.

Just do something nice for her, send her a present or something if she's far away, and write a note like, "Random kindness for no good reason, to a great person" She may get the idea you know, but won't feel obligated to talk about it unless she wants to.

MPO: I would just say that you are opened to talk with her if she needs it and leave it at that. I have been through three miscarriages myself, but we have two beautiful kids out of those complications. If you bring it up more than once -- you could open that wound over and over again for her. I think having a miscarriage that early in pregnancy is better than later in pregnancy. It's easier to handle mentally (though it still hurts) and physically. I can totally understand your concern of her situation. After you let her know that she can talk with you anytime about sensitive subjects, you need to not bring up the subject again.

Good luck!

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