Loving Someone Who Has Miscarried

grief3There are some sadnesses that colour everyday life, even though we don’t talk about them. Miscarriages are one example. My experience is limited but here’s some thoughts on how to support those who are grieving:

don’t pretend it hasn’t happened or avoid talking about it. Act like you would with any bereavement and acknowledge the loss.  Give the couple opportunities to talk about the baby if they want to – but follow their lead.  So if they talk about their shock, identify with that.  Or if you don’t know what to say, then ‘I’m sorry’. Let them tell their story if they want to.

be aware that the woman may be feeling misplaced shame or a sense that her body has somehow let her down.  Most miscarriages are unexplained – but you can help by reassuring them it’s not their fault. They may also feel panicked about losing other important things in their life: let them talk about this if they want to.

don’t ignore the dads – they need support and care too; especially if they feel they have to be strong for their partner.

be sensitive if you are pregnant.

cook meals, do washing, take other kids out or offer DVDs and relaxed company.

be aware that any time a body goes from being pregnant to not being pregnant, there is a significant shift in hormones that can affect brain chemistry.  Postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders can affect a mother regardless of the point at which a baby is delivered.

try and remember anniversaries and send messages to say you’re thinking of and praying for them.

give them time.

don’t say ‘you can adopt’ or ‘you can have another one’ or ‘at least you’ve got children’.  This is happening, right now, and that’s the issue for now. Having other kids doesn’t make losing one easier. They don’t want another baby – they want the one they had.

be aware that this is the experience of many, many couples, including those with families.  it’s estimated that 1 in 5 pregnancies will end in this way. Don’t assume that because you haven’t discussed it, it hasn’t happened.

recognise that it is devastating – at whatever stage it happens.

if it’s happened to you and you are willing to share, say that you’re willing to talk.

follow up and let them know you’re still thinking of them

make or buy something to remember the baby.

 

Dai Woolridge has made this poignant video (which may be upsetting if you’re raw, or it may be just the thing)

For more information: Saying Goodbye: remembrance services for people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/

http://www.achingarms.co.uk/ (for those who have lost babies)

 

Psalm 34;18-19:

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 

8 thoughts on “Loving Someone Who Has Miscarried

  1. Emma, this. SO this. Having a very raw day, and reading this has really helped – our suggestions are totally spot on, and it helps to know people recognise how painful it can be.

  2. this is spot on, thank you, we have walked this road twice, each were very different experiences but the rawness was real both times. i struggled with ppd after our 2nd miscarriage which i was not anticapating. remembering husbands is vital as often they are enter the emotional grief quicker than the woman whose energy is all caught up in the physical journey of it all and hormonally all at sea. many see us as a family with 3 but for us we have 5 children, we just don’t get to bring two of them up. another point is to walk gently with them through future pregnancies which can be filled with uncertainties and fears even if all is good.my heart is for mums and dads who are silenced by it all and who are burdened with guilt. thank you for posting this

  3. Hi Emma,

    Never expected myself to comment on this post, simply because I never knew it existed!

    But I digress – if you remember, some time ago I told you on separate occasions that – 1. I was writing an article about how I fix myself instead of turning to Jesus & His gospel (the one on Our Daily Bread’s young adult platform, yes!) & 2. about miscarriage within the church family, for which you recommended your friend’s lemonsugar blog.

    Well it turns out now that I have another opportunity to write again, and July’s theme is about suffering. I wanted to share about the miscarriage within my church family, because I thought it was a poignant illustration of unwavering faith in God despite circumstances. Because I have never been married nor pregnant myself (ha), I decided to take a chance on your blog when I came across this old article, hidden amidst your archives.

    I think, succinctly, I just wanted to say that – given that your blog always seems to have some anecdotal answers for the hard bits in life – I found myself thankful, for how God uses broken vessels like you to shine for His glory. Also thankful for your transparent vulnerability in documenting all these experiences – it takes tremendous courage and .. you don’t know how many quiet readers you have unknowingly encouraged in this way – like me!

    Likewise, I can show you the article when it’s out, again. If you want. Haha.

  4. Haha Emma I am such a procrastinator (partly life things, like church camp etc, but also b/c I wanted to make sure I was theologically correct, didn’t want to run the risk of saying miscarried babies definitely go to heaven when the Bible doesn’t state so, etc) but I’m (finally) finishing up this article today. When I get the final to-be-published version, I’ll show you – you know where to find me! xx

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