How to talk to a friend who has suffered a miscarriage.

It’s been four years this week since we lost our baby at 14 weeks and I’ve been thinking a lot about that time in our lives again, it’s impossible for me not to think about it at this time of year. At 14 weeks the odds of losing your baby are low.

We had announced our pregnancy at the 12 week mark, we were breathing easy thinking we were in the clear. I’d had some bleeding in the first trimester but they couldn’t find from where and our baby was growing well, our baby with its tiny, beautiful beating heart who was forming perfectly just the way it should be, waving and sucking it’s thumb in ultrasounds. We had plenty of ultrasounds to monitor the situation, plenty of times to bond with our baby, to imagine its future, to fall in love.

The day we went in for a scan and there wasn’t a heartbeat is etched permanently in my memory, it’s a reoccurring nightmare. You can’t breathe, it feels like the room is closing in on you, it’s a pain like I could have never imagined. I still feel my soul break when I think back to that moment. It’s there forever, the exact moment innocence was lost.

Laura Flanagan Image: Supplied.

My baby wasn’t just cells, a product of conception, it was a little person created from love and it was loved fiercely. The grief my husband and I felt was consuming. It was the saddest moment of our lives.

There were a lot of things going on after losing our baby, what I wasn’t prepared for was the barrage of comments from well meaning people. These are things that were said to us that we’d encourage people not to say should you ever come into the situation of talking to someone who lost an unborn baby;

“There was obviously something wrong with the baby”. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. There are many reasons for a pregnancy to end and they aren’t all because something is wrong with the baby.

Image: iStock.

“You are still young, there’s plenty of time for more babies”. That doesn’t take away the pain of losing a child. I was lucky and had two beautiful babies that made it earth side but some couples aren’t so lucky.

“Why are you taking it so hard when you never held the baby”? You don’t hold air and yet you still know it’s there and you’d know if it wasn’t. Loving something and then losing something isn’t dependent on holding it.

“At least you know you can get pregnant”. Many woman can get pregnant but that doesn’t mean we can stay pregnant and end up holding those babies in our arms. Sometimes getting pregnant is the easy part (although not for us but that’s a whole other blog).

“It’s natures way”. Fuck nature!

“You’ll have more babies”. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. Even if you do you’ll always grieve the one you lost.

“You should get back on the horse and try for another baby really quickly as you’re so fertile right now”. Fertile maybe but emotionally ready, not even close.

Our co-founder Mia Freedman talks about feeling lost after her miscarriage. Post continues below...

I understand these comments are well intended and aren’t said to be hurtful. I also understand miscarriage and pregnancy loss are uncomfortable to talk about and people often don’t know what to say but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of showing you care to the grieving parents without saying things that hurt more.

So what can you say to the parents who have lost a baby? The same things you’d say to anyone who has lost someone; I’m sorry for your loss, is there anything I can do to help, would you like to talk, I’m here any time, you are in our thoughts, your baby won’t ever be forgotten, let me make you a cuppa.

To the parents of someone who has lost; I feel your pain, I understand the heartache and that time doesn’t take away your loss even when your baby watches over the healthy babies you went on to create. May our angels rest in peace. xx

This post originally appeared on The Younger Mrs Flanagan Blog and has been republished here with full permission. 

If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.

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