After suffering a miscarriage, deciding on which friends or family to confide in will come naturally to you. Although you may want to keep the extent of your heartbreak between you and your partner, we all need someone to talk to outside of that bubble.
However, everyone tackles miscarriage differently and while your confidant is doing everything they can to help, their current life stage or lack of personal experience may result in their reaction not being the one you wanted. A lack of understanding or advice you see as insensitive can make you feel sad, isolated and at times, stupid. Here’s how to handle those reactions and start your road to recovery.
“You’ll get pregnant again soon.”
Your instincts are shouting “How do you know?”, but try to recognise your friend’s positivity and explain that you want to spend time moving on from this baby before you try for another. She will then understand that with miscarriage comes an important grieving process and begin finding other support methods that you may find more helpful.
“I’ve been researching miscarriage and it’s really common”.
While this is intended to make you feel less alone, you would rather be part of a different club. “Be comforted by the fact that your friend has taken the time to research this for you,” advises Susie Gower, fertility mentor and founder of becomingamama.com. “Ask her if she came across any forums or local groups that might be useful so you can chat to other women in your position.”
“Thank goodness you hadn’t felt a kick yet”.
No matter how big or small, you felt your baby emotionally or physically. “It’s hard if you haven’t been through miscarriage to understand an intangible loss,” explains Susie. “Acknowledge the fact that your friend is listening and trying to support you in her own way.” There’s no shame in grieving an unborn baby; “You need to release that emotion in order to move on,” Susie says. “The memory will never go away but how you react to it will change if you let yourself mourn.”
“At least you don’t have morning sickness anymore.”
No matter how kind your friend’s intentions, you’d give anything to feel even the worst pregnancy symptoms right now. During the grieving process, keep a healthy distance from friends and family who are expecting or have young babies. Be honest with them and say that in order to recover, you need to dedicate some time to yourself and your partner.
“I had two miscarriages before having my baby”.
While your happy ending feels like a million miles away, take your friend’s success story as a sign of hope that one day you too will be in her position. Use it as something to aim for and don’t be afraid to ask her about the key things that helped her cope. It will mean more coming from a friend who has been there.