This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. As many of you know I have experienced two losses and now our Rainbow Baby is on the way. Because of this I would like to share some resources I created at the time I was going through my losses in 2019.
1. THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN SAY IS “I LOVE YOU, I’M HERE FOR YOU, AND I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS”
Wouldn’t you agree that after someone dies, there’s not really much of anything that people can say to take the pain away. Even though people don’t like to see you hurt, they also don’t know what to say. And when it comes to experiencing a miscarriage, people really don’t know what to say. They can see your grieving, but they don’t feel the loss nearly as deeply because they didn’t meet or have a bond with the life that was once inside you. Unfortunately, our society does not know how to treat miscarriage as a loss or death.
When I was grieving and at my worst, people didn’t know what to say to me either. There were people who said a lot of the wrong things, and there were a lot of people who just left me alone. But the best things people said to me that were not hurtful, did not offer unsolicited advice, and were sensitive were: “I love you, I’m here for you, I’m sorry for your loss, if you ever want to talk let me know, I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you.”
2. OFFERING TO CLEAN, COOK AND RUN ERRANDS.
You know how when someone dies, people make you food? Well, I really appreciated this. I don’t know why food is such a comfort, but it is. It seems that when people don’t know what to say they make food. I had a neighbor make dinner for my husband and I, a yummy dish from the Dominican… it was amazing. Our associate pastor and his wife made us chicken, green beans and potatoes…. so good. My sister in law, who worked all day invited us over and made us a feast! Bless her heart. And my Momma provided me with lots of comfort food when I was recovering from surgery. Food doesn’t make everything better, but in that moment of grief when you need something to numb it for awhile, food helps.
3. PAMPERING THE ANGEL MOMMY
Being pampered by friends and family helped me in many ways. My momma bought me a massage right before Mother’s Day. I had no idea how badly I needed it, until my tears and emotions came out all over the table. My husband went out and bought me chicken wings at midnight when I was having a really emotional night and couldn’t sleep. My bestie Alli came over in the middle of the night and we drove all over town eating Oreos. So many people did kind things for me, when I needed it most, I highly recommend this. Of course I also would recommend proceeding with caution and sensitivity.
4. PROVIDING SPACE TO THE GRIEVING COUPLE
I feel this is super important. The Momma is not the only one that experiences a pregnancy loss. Sure, she is the only one that experiences the physical pain of loss, but it’s also important to remember that father’s grieve too. I know of many men, my husband included who not only struggle to help their wives grieve, but also felt somewhat disregarded when it came to their grief and emotions. So, it is super important to allow the grieving couple time and space. Even recommending a getaway could be beneficial… but again proceed with caution.
5. CHECK IN
Hearing the worst news, that your baby is gone is heartbreaking. It honestly numbs you. Looking back now, I barely remember the time in between my ultrasound and my surgery, and the whole month of March is a blur. I do remember laying in bed a lot, eating occasionally, crying until my head hurt and listening to sad music. I also remember having people check in. It’s something I would have never asked for, but truly appreciated. I had friends and family call and text me daily just to check in and make sure I was alive. So many of them opened the doors for communication and gave encouraging words to my tender broken heart. I highly recommend checking in on a friend or loved one if they have suffered a loss. It’s not much, but also not to pushy. Even if they don’t respond it is still nice that people care for you when you are feeling so alone, Sure, there were many times I didn’t want to talk, but I still loved that so many people cared. ❤️
6. BE SENSITIVE WITH YOUR WORDS
This is a big one… and I can’t stress this enough. Please be very careful with your words. After suffering a loss your mind and your heart are in a truly fragile state. It is likely that the grieving mother is heart broken, constantly blaming herself and hating life. So, it is truly important not to contribute to these emotions of anger and sorrow by saying things like “You’re young you’ll have more, or You shouldn’t have stressed yourself out so much, or at least you already have a baby.”
7. HONORING THEIR LOSS
Above anything else I’ve said, I think this is actually the most important. One of the biggest fears that I and so many moms have, is that the child they have lost will be forgotten, as if that little life that lived in them had never existed. It means the world to me when friends and family talk about my baby. It may make me sad and weepy, but also makes me feel loved and my baby never forgotten. I really appreciate it when friends and family are sensitive and saying they are thinking of me on holidays and anniversaries, because they know it’s not going to be an easy day for me. Showing love and honoring the baby’s memory is literally the best thing you can do to help a woman after a miscarriage.
I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, just a woman, a writer and a woman who has lost a baby. I hope these little pieces of advice help in some way. If you are reading this and you have suffered an unimaginable lost, I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, reach out to me anytime.