3 Ways to Support Women Who’ve Experienced Miscarriage or Stillbirth

Several weeks ago I wrote a post about depression and grief after a miscarriage or loss. To be honest, I was actually surprised by how much reaction it got. Having not experienced infant loss myself, it hadn’t really hit me how many women go through it, how deeply affected they are, how it easy it is to say the wrong thing when trying to support them, and how confused they are about where to find the help they need. My eyes were opened.

I just read a piece written by a mom who has already been through postpartum depression and has just recently had a miscarriage. My heart aches for her. Here is a bit of what she wrote:

“I feel like I have this black pit in my insides and it’s slowly consuming more and more of my being. I just want to come out on the other side of this without losing too much of myself. I feel like I’d finally come out of my postpartum issues and I lost a little piece of myself with it, but I also gained. I have Colin. But now I feel like I’m losing all over again and this time I have no reward for survival.”

Ugh. I always feel like I don’t know exactly what to say to a mom who has had a miscarriage or lost her baby. How to show support. How to avoid blowing it by saying the wrong thing. I came across this really helpful post from the Share blog entitled “What Do You Say?”, which describes exactly what NOT to say:

“After each of my miscarriages, I was truly shocked and amazed by the words that came from my friends’ and loved one’s mouths…things like: ‘You’re young, you’ll have more babies!’ ‘At least it happened early.’ ‘There was probably something wrong with ‘it,’ you should think of it as a blessing.’ (Oh, really? A miscarriage is a blessing? How exactly, I wanted to ask.). My favorite, ‘It’s been a MONTH already! You need to get over this!’ …

I am routinely stunned and horrified by what parents who have had later losses tell me…like the mom who was told after her daughter was born still at 20 weeks, ‘At least you hadn’t done a nursery yet.’ Or the mom who shared with me that her grandmother told her after the full term stillbirth of her third child, ‘Oh well…you didn’t need another baby anyway.’ Or the many parents who are told ‘Count your blessings! You have other children!’ as if that makes the death of one okay. Or, ‘It wasn’t meant to be.’ The ‘ors’ could go on and on.

Oh gosh. Have I said something like this to someone who has had a miscarriage? Somewhere along the way? To be perfectly honest, I bet I have, or some milder version of it, while fumbling for the right words and trying to put a good spin on a horrible situation. Why do we feel that we have to put a spin on it at all? Why can’t we just say “I’m sorry. I’m here for you. I love you.”? It’s as if we want to make it go away for the person who is hurting, to brush it aside, to lighten the load. As if by saying the magic words she will be set on the speedy superhighway to recovery.

The Silent Grief website offers an article on how to help a friend who has gone through a pregnancy loss. They suggest doing a lot of the same things I’d suggest when trying to help a friend who has postpartum depression.

1. Offer to do errands or bring a fresh and nutritious meal. I’ve often heard it said that in this situation you shouldn’t take no for an answer, since many feel so uncomfortable accepting help and are likely to say they don’t need any. Say “I’ve made this for you and I’m going to bring it. When would be the best time to drop it by?” rather than “Would you like me to bring some food?”

2. Be a good listener, allowingher to share her story and feelings. Don’t judge. Don’t decide for her when she should get over this or how she should be reacting to it. It’s her loss, not yours.

3. Make sure your support is ongoing, not just during the first few weeks. Fight the urge to move away from her because it’s so hard to see her suffer and it’s so hard to be around such pain. Keep reaching out.

For those of you going through this right now, please check out my piece on the difference between grief and depression after a loss. It includes a list of specific resources that support women who have had miscarriages or stillbirths. Please consider visiting them so that you might be able tointeract with those who truly understand what you are going through. You are not alone.

Tell Us What You Think

  1. Thanks for posting the blog about the things people say, It's true and scary what people think is an acceptable way of supporting someone. You would never say hey it's great so and so died now instead of later, it just wasn't going to work out. So what makes it acceptable with the loss of a pregnancy? Thanks for the other resources as well. I have loved your blog for a while, and referenced it a few times from my postpartum blog, . Keep up the great work.

  2. Hi!
    I wanted to really comment on this one. I have never had a miscarriage, though I have known those who have. For one of my friends we had a ceremony and a kind of funeral. It seems morbid, but she said later that acknowledging the death in the way that we did helped her through the process. People tend to want to sweep miscarriages under the rug and forget they happened, but to the women it happened to they can't do that.
    One of the things we also did for this friend (it was a group of us that did this) was make little dolls and gave them to her. She could then bury them (her miscarriage was really early so she didn't have anything to bury or mourn over that was tangible) or keep them, whatever she felt she wanted to do with them. We had her write a letter to the baby to say whatever she wanted to say.
    I think acknowledging it and not trying to make it out like "she needs to get over it already" is what women need. Having so many people tell them that they shouldn't be mourning is just going to make it worse.

  3. Thanks for this post. I especially appreciate the quote you had of the woman who has a child already.
    I lost a baby at 14 weeks last month and it is so hard. I have an older son and went through a long drawn-out nasty bout of PPD with him. I had only been back feeling like myself for a few months when I got pregnant again. I had a really hard first trimester, and with all the first trimester nastiness was wondering whether the depression was returning. And then I found out the baby had died.
    I think it's particularly hard to miscarry after PPD when you're on anti-depressants. There is always the lingering question about whether that affected anything. It is already easy enough to feel like it's your fault. Do you go off ADs after a miscarriage so that you remove that question from future pregnancies, thus leaving yourself wide open to depression's return in a vulnerable time???

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping this discussion going. After I lost my son Kye at 20 weeks, I was absolutely devastated. It's been a year and a half and to tell you the truth, I'm still devastated. Just last night I had a major "melt down". I was volunteering at the Foodbank and the lady next to me was talking to her friends for over an hour about her new pregnancy (only 8 weeks along). Saying how rare it is to have a miscarriage, how she didn't like the prenatal vitamins so she wasn't taking them anymore, etc. etc. I've met women who didn't take their prenatal vitamins at my support groups. Their stories are devastating. Suddenly I couldn't listen to it anymore and physically left to go to the bathroom in tears. I'm not sure miscarriage is something that one can ever "get over". It is a dead baby after all whether other people want to acknowledge that or understand it.
    Suffering from PPD after the loss of a child only makes your grief that much deeper, longer, and simply awful. Seek help. It does exist!! Even if the only help you can receive is through online support systems. Miscarriage makes you feel an incredible burden of guilt. It's impossible to realize that it is most likely not caused by something that you did or didn't do. You can't get over it. All you can do is integrate the loss and sadness into your being and learn to have a new normal that includes being the parent of a dead baby.

  5. During my last pregnancy I went into early labor while out of town at a jazz concert. My husband and I left the concert (in Kansas City, Kansas) and went to the hospital where the contractions slowed down. It was easily one of the hardest times of my life.
    The hospital was absolutely wonderful. They have a specialty in high-risk pregnancies, so they are very sensitive toward pregnancy loss.
    One nurse visited with me for a long time, explaining the various things available to mothers who have lost their babies. I will never forget it.
    Some of the nurses spend their free time making tiny clothing. She explained that many times families are disturbed that there is nothing to bury a premature baby in.
    As I was so afraid and vulnerable, I remember feeling a deep respect and appreciation for the facility and people around me. That sensitivity was worth so much.
    Many Postpartum Support International coordinators are familiar with local pregnancy loss groups. If leaders of those types of groups have anything like the skills of the staff of that KC hospital, women are in good hands.

  6. To any moms that are suffering a loss; I have been through it, I know how painful it is, I don't know your exact pain, as no one will, but I will say this, you can survive it, it takes a long time to become even okay, it did me. I still cry over my first one, and that happened 2 years ago. I felt/feel like a failure. I know it isn't my fault, but I can't help feeling that way. You may be feeling something similar. There is no one "right way" to grieve, especially when it is your child (or anyone else for that matter), whatever you are feeling, it is NORMAL.
    If you feel like you are a danger to yourself (I would have tried to kill myself, if I didn't have other responsibilities), get help, please. You in no way brought this on yourself nor do you "deserve it" (I have told myself that as well). I know you loved your baby with all of your heart, I still love mine. If you get help and your "help" tells you that you should be over it, or that you shouldn't think of your child everyday, tell them to shove it, and find another person in that field. I will think of my children that I have lost every single day for the rest of my life, and there is not a damned thing wrong with that.
    I have suffered 2 stillbirths, one full term and one early, I have been told many of the things above and some even worse.
    After my first one, a neighbor told me the day of "Well it is better you didn't bring another kid into this messed up world anyway" I wanted to physically hurt her. My aunt told me that "now he is safe, he is in God's hands", knowing full well I am atheist, and it made me feel like she thought I wasn't capable of taking care of my own kid. It may comfort some people to bring religion into it, but others it doesn't, my advice is not to bring it into it at all, unless the mother has already sad something about the baby being in God's hands or care or whatever. I had a really terrible doctor to top it off, I still say to this day, I would have been better off going to veterinary clinic than that doctor.
    I had a second stillbirth a month ago, my body didn't pass it, and after the doctors found out they gave me options, they also had every OB in the building come in to make sure, because of my past. There was 7 doctors shoved in this tiny room with me. They all told me with sad looks on their faces that my baby had passed (I knew from the emergency ultrasound), and how terribly sorry they were. They gave me 2 options, either I could get induced and have the baby like I had others, or they could send me to a specialist. I chose the specialist.
    They scheduled me for a D&E (basically an abortion, same process, but without having to do stuff to the baby). I am so glad no one referred to it as an abortion, I would have probably freaked out bad. Since it has happened, it is just me and my partner dealing with this, no one even acts like we had a loss. It makes me mad that no one acknowledges this child's life, or how hard it is to lose a child of any age.
    I was blessed to have a very compassionate doctor, she is a researcher normally, but agreed to take me because her second specialty is surgery. I haven't got any answers yet, but I feel confident that if I am going to get answers, it will be because of all the hard work she is doing with all of my samples and because of a natural curiosity she has.
    If you are in Ohio, and you experience anything like this go to OSU in Columbus, if you can, the people that dealt with my case was the "Gyn 1 Clinic". Everyone was very compassionate, even when I broke down and cried like a baby. The anesthesiologist was great and so was all of the nurses, and all of the people that took what seemed like gallons of blood. I do not have even the tiniest complaint, except possibly wait times in the clinic because of the emergencies that come up.
    First time I went up I was there for 2 hours, all but 10 or so minutes of that was with doctors and staff.
    The second time I went was for surgery, I signed in and I was whisked away, a nurse took my history again (after the first visit), I got into their little gowns, and I was off and rolling (in my bed) to a huge room with other patients waiting for anesthesia and others coming back from it. I think I may have waited 1/2 an hour all together, talking with the aneshesiologist, doctor and waiting on them to come back with the medications you need. They answered every single question, down to the specific drug cocktail I was being given to knock me out. I was wheeled back to the surgery room and I got on the table, I was the first surgery of the day, so they all had their morning buzz of coffee, lol, and talked to me like another human being. No one had that "I'm the doctor, you're the patient, you know nothing and I am God" thing that some have. You can request a nurse to sit with you the entire time you are coming out of it too.
    The third time I was in the room for like 1 1/2 hours waiting on a doctor.
    As scary as everything was, and as bad of a situation as it was, they made things better by treating me like I was a sister or cousin, like I was human, and not just a tally in their book. I cannot recommend OSU enough, if you are in the same situation as I was.

  7. i am going through a hard time right now, with so many things.
    i had 3 miscarriages in the past year.
    and have been so miserable. i don't remember a day go by i hadn't cried.
    but lately i noticed getting very attached and been having separation anxiety to people who i don't know if i even like…
    i am always an attached person and i have separation anxiety but not like this with people who i dont know or like.
    only last night it hit me that maybe it has to do with the miscarriages…
    ive been trying to seach such thing on the net but cant really find anything, and was wondering what you think

    • Bea, I know my response is way too old but I wanted to reach out. Those feelings you experienced of increased attachment and anxiet could be symptoms of post traumatic stress. PTSD often needs treatment and does not go away on it’s own. There’s nothing wrong with you. You were reacting normally to a horrible situation. I hope you’ve been able to get the support you need.

  8. It is amazing what people say in those moments of trying to comfort. I’m a mother of 6, I’m also 37 with some pretty serious health issues. After 8 long months of no intimacy with my partner due to medications and illness, we finally had sex. Oddly enough, 3 weeks later I took a pregnancy test, to receive a positive. While anxious over all the negatives from people, I was still thrilled and excited. Well, now, 2 weeks after this surprise, I have been told that a miscarriage is inevitable. It’s because of a blighted ovum. No embryo formed? My partner and 2 of my closest friends said the most horrific thing, ‘well, it’s not like you are losing a baby. It never formed. ‘ well, excuse me. The few weeks of feeling insane, peeing non-stop, not to mention the growth of my uterus(subsequent pregnancies show much sooner), accepting that there must be a purpose as to why I’ve been blessed with conceiving even with all my health issues. To, poof!!!! You will not be having a baby. I stressed over telling my children and dealing with the anxiety of the resentment it caused, to just have to tell them no, I’m not having a baby. Can you say confusing on every level of the word insanity. To be met with the responses when I began bleeding, killed me. My 15 yr old daughter was more tactful. She asked how did it go, when I explained, she hugged me and said I know I didn’t want another baby in the house but not like this. I’m sorry, mom. The worst was my own mother. She said well now you don’t have to decide. Not that I would have entertained the thought ever. I say this to those of you out there that have not experienced this type of loss. I hope you may never, remember that there is an instant connection and the length of time doesn’t change that. A loss is a loss regardless. You wouldn’t say to someone who lost their loved one who was 120, well at least that had a long life. So, why is it those comments of, you have other children, at least it was early or even in my case well there was technically no baby so….. Hugs to all that have loved and lost. May your hearts heal.

    • Hello ladies: I too am sorry for your losses. I have experienced some ugly aspects of what you have gone through. Also, some diverse aspects. I wanted to have a daughter so badly. Everytime I saw a lovely family with their babies, I complimented their babies and made small talk with the parents. Some were kewl with it; others would friek out. I’ve miscarried twice, thanks to a wretched blighted ovum. I can start to get pregnant, but not conplete the process. My husband and best bud have been supportive. Some medical staff have been supportive. My mother says the typical at least there was no baby or it was god’s will that it happened. My jerk of a brother said it happened, tough. He’s currently cheating on his wife with a facebook tramp. I have read stories like these for research and comfort. I have seen some comforting and not-so-conforting memes. I saw a picture of a bittersweet pink statue of a crying mother getting her head petted by her daughter’s ghost. The first day, I cried alot in public and private. Days after, I hardly cried. I started to rebel. I ate sushi, which, for my body, was a big no-no. I started working out painfully and instantly again. I was trying to kill my empty, giant belly. There was nothing in there but an empty sac anyway. The top part of my body still acted pregnant. I felt little ghost hands and feet. My breasts made ghost milk. The bottom part of my body…sigh…has been preparing to get rid of the leftover stuff…slowly. I’ve been sent by gynecologist’s staff to get bloodwork and ultrasounds. Good bloodwork results. Bad ultrasound pics. The staff have taken forever to call me back. I get that they’re busy with other clients, they eat lunch, take a while to receive and study ultrasound results. But still, not even a call to check up on me, not even an I’m sorry for your loss, just a let’s leave her alone to mourn. All I got was a tissue from one of them. The secretary has sometimes been icey with me too. I’m just so fed up with mean people like my brother. I’m so fed up with not being happy with myself. I want this failure to leave my body already! Ironically, the first miscarriage happened during a 49ers vs. a losing team. The losing team kicked my team’s ass. I was in the shower, bleeding non-stop, feeling painful cramps, when a pink pillow fell out of my private area. And some other dark red and brown gross stuff. I tossed the gross stuff in the trash. I slowly caressed the pink pillow thing, feeling…like if my baby’s lost soul was still inside of it…saying goodbye.
      And sooner or later…the same thing will happen again.
      I don’t want to kill another baby. I’m not going through this hell again.
      Ladies, heres a hug and some tears for you. I’m so sorry for your losses.
      Also, I thank your wonderful allies who have comforted you in the right ways.

  9. Thank YOU. I just had my first pregnancy and miscarriage… Ending at 17 weeks. I’ve heard all of these. These comments cause immeasurable pain. I wish everyone could read this post.

  10. I am just completing my loss of my twins at 9 weeks and 3 days. This is my second loss. Reading these posts helps me realize that i am not alone, there are so many more mothers going through this right along with me. it has also shown me the way im feeling is appropriate. Thank you for making these posts!

  11. I have been scouring the internet for support after having my second miscarriage this year. I am back at work two days after my D&C and the anger is so strong it scares me. I feel that no one has any idea of the pain that I am carrying within me. I can relate to all the comments people have said, I know they mean well but they simply don’t help. I feel so irritable but I know that this is a loss. I just wish someone would hug me and give me permission to cry. Of course I am grateful that I have two healthy and beautiful children but I still lost my babies and it hurts so bad. Doesn’t anyone understand that my heart is broken and I just wish there was a way the people around me could know the pain I feel. I asked if I could use bereavement at work and everyone was so surprised by that. How is this not a death, my babies heart was beating, growing inside of me and that is gone now. I don’t know how this sounds but a card, a gesture that the loss of my baby is noticed would mean so much. Instead I feel that I am being treated like my work has done me a favor in covering my duties while I have been out a total of three days. I just can’t believe it can be like this. Thank you so much for your post and commitment to helping women through this pain.

    • Michelle, you are going through so much. I’m sorry for your loss. It IS a loss and I too wish you could be given more time to heal and grieve. Try to be honest with your friends and family about how you are feeling so you can get as much support as possible. I hope you have people you can talk to help work through this. Peace to you…

  12. I think it can be both as I have watched my wife suffer for weeks now at the hands of this unfortunate and devastating scenario. Not that I am not experiencing the exact same feelings of hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration & loss of faith at the loss of my son, but everyone in our life expects me to be fine in order to prioritize my wife’s feelings at the sacrifice of my own which I personally think is ridiculous. My wife IS my priority and always has been and I have done and continue to do my best to make sure she is as okay as is possible at this point but peoples opinions on how men should feel or act in this situation are, I feel, sorely outdated and selfishly misinformed. My wife had a miscarriage on August 28th (our first miscarriage experience), and I can honestly say as a military veteran and former police officer (disabled while on duty) it was the most gut wrenching and sorrow filled day of my life. I am the strong one that always protects my family (we have 3 daughters ages 11, 8 & 6) from everything and takes care of my wife and kiddos against anything that can hurt them but nothing ever prepared me for the helplessness and utter lack of control I felt when my wife screamed for me to help her and I walked in and saw what was happening. She had been having cramps and spotting at about 5 and a half to 5 weeks in and I kept calling her OB/GYN to get a sooner appt. but they were booked solid and no other doctor could see her any sooner so we spent many a night at the ER where we were constantly told everything looked fine and to go home. As her symptoms got worse I got more frustrated with the hospital and her doctor, I know there was more than likely nothing they could have done at that point but I still feel that had her doctor double booked her based on her symptoms or squeezed her in between other patients maybe my son would have had the chance to be here with us now. To be honest, we were quite terrified when she suspected she was pregnant, a fourth child is crazy difficult to raise especially when all of them are still living at home and rely on us to take care of and nurture three of them majority of the time and a new baby requires 24/7 attention. However, we just embraced the news and decided we were going to welcome this new little one just like our three before, and we were both pretty sure it was going to be a boy so we were extra excited although we just wanted he/she to be healthy and happy. Then the 28th of August came, and there is no feeling like seeing your wife in so much pain, shock and so emotionally destroyed and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to make it go away or stop. I came into the room and after catching my breath and swallowing my own tears and choking down that lump in my throat I got my wife all cleaned up and cleaned up the room and got her into bed, I barely processed what had happened by the time she finally cried herself to sleep in my arms and I laid there the remainder of the night trying to figure out what I DID wrong. Of course I realize neither of us did anything wrong but at the time my rationale was that if I could find some kind of tangible excuse or reason behind it or even make it my fault, then my wife wouldn’t focus on what SHE might have done wrong or could have done differently; it may sound stupid now but I thought at the time even if she was mad at me at least she wouldn’t think horribly of herself or believe she was to blame. Since that day I have been trying to help her navigate her grief as best as possible and at what ever pace she needs to go while dealing with my own grief in the process and it has proven to be an extremely difficult task. If she knew how hard it is for me to choke it all down and help her she would feel awful and then she would be even more depressed and distant because she herself has said she doesn’t know what she would do if I wasn’t there for her and I’m afraid of what would happen if I was lost in grief myself, I’m afraid of what might happen and worry about my children’s quality of life while we are going through this loss. I will say this though: sexually, I am fine I mean I am ready to get back in the swing of things like normal before the miscarriage but completely understand how it must feel as a woman going through the same loss just felt in a completely different way and she knows that I am ready as soon as she feels okay to be intimate and I haven’t nagged or egged on about sex or intimacy since it happened, I just let her know I still love and am in love with her, find her sexy, attractive and a wonderful wife and mother and that nothing was her fault. I am far from perfect and still have, dare I say it, “man needs and desires” but a man can still feel that way and still be a loving provider and emotional “rock” for his wife, even if he himself can’t or doesn’t understand what his wife or partner is going through personally. That being said, I think a large majority of men simply cannot process emotions or feelings at the same level or capacity of their spouse or partner and I think a lot of women cannot grasp how some men process complex emotions like the loss of a child. I know, I’m a man and the first emotion that came to me was anger, because my wife was in pain and it was an enemy I could do nothing to stop or protect her from it and it killed me that I couldn’t make it go away and it still angers and upsets me that I can’t do anything against this intangible force that is threatening to unravel her sanity and emotionally wreck the woman I’ve loved and been in love with since I met her 15 years ago. So as far as your husband/boyfriend is concerned, I can almost promise you the issues he is having with this loss has more to do with how powerless he feels rather than his actually feelings towards you or your pregnancy and loss of your child and you have to both lean on each other instead of expecting your partner to carry all your weight; God bless them if they try too but you both need each other regardless of what gender roles or society has pounded into us how it should be, but you must recognize that there may still come a point where you have to just focus on yourself and your own grief and coping with it before you get dragged under a current so strong that you lose yourself instead of your husband or partner. Just my opinion about our struggle to cope and recover from OUR loss, and I know everyone’s situation is different and varied but I wish you all the best in this world and hope each and everyone of us finds the peace we need and deserve. God Bless.

  13. My wife had a miscarriage on August 28th (our first miscarriage experience), and I can honestly say as a military veteran and former police officer (disabled while on duty) it was the most gut wrenching and sorrow filled day of my life. I am the strong one that always protects my family (we have 3 daughters ages 11, 8 & 6) from everything and takes care of my wife and kiddos against anything that can hurt them but nothing ever prepared me for the helplessness and utter lack of control I felt when my wife screamed for me to help her and I walked in and saw what was happening. She had been having cramps and spotting at about 5 and a half to 5 weeks in and I kept calling her OB/GYN to get a sooner appt. but they were booked solid and no other doctor could see her any sooner so we spent many a night at the ER where we were constantly told everything looked fine and to go home. As her symptoms got worse I got more frustrated with the hospital and her doctor, I know there was more than likely nothing they could have done at that point but I still feel that had her doctor double booked her based on her symptoms or squeezed her in between other patients maybe my son would have had the chance to be here with us now. To be honest, we were quite terrified when she suspected she was pregnant, a fourth child is crazy difficult to raise especially when all of them are still living at home and rely on us to take care of and nurture three of them majority of the time and a new baby requires 24/7 attention. However, we just embraced the news and decided we were going to welcome this new little one just like our three before, and we were both pretty sure it was going to be a boy so we were extra excited although we just wanted he/she to be healthy and happy. Then the 28th of August came, and there is no feeling like seeing your wife in so much pain, shock and so emotionally destroyed and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to make it go away or stop. I came into the room and after catching my breath and swallowing my own tears and choking down that lump in my throat I got my wife all cleaned up and cleaned up the room and got her into bed, I barely processed what had happened by the time she finally cried herself to sleep in my arms and I laid there the remainder of the night trying to figure out what I DID wrong. Of course I realize neither of us did anything wrong but at the time my rationale was that if I could find some kind of tangible excuse or reason behind it or even make it my fault, then my wife wouldn’t focus on what SHE might have done wrong or could have done differently; it may sound stupid now but I thought at the time even if she was mad at me at least she wouldn’t think horribly of herself or believe she was to blame. Since that day I have been trying to help her navigate her grief as best as possible and at what ever pace she needs to go while dealing with my own grief in the process and it has proven to be an extremely difficult task. If she knew how hard it is for me to choke it all down and help her she would feel awful and then she would be even more depressed and distant because she herself has said she doesn’t know what she would do if I wasn’t there for her and I’m afraid of what would happen if I was lost in grief myself, I’m afraid of what might happen and worry about my children’s quality of life while we are going through this loss. I will say this though: sexually, I am fine I mean I am ready to get back in the swing of things like normal before the miscarriage but completely understand how it must feel as a woman going through the same loss just felt in a completely different way and she knows that I am ready as soon as she feels okay to be intimate and I haven’t nagged or egged on about sex or intimacy since it happened, I just let her know I still love and am in love with her, find her sexy, attractive and a wonderful wife and mother and that nothing was her fault. I am far from perfect and still have, dare I say it, “man needs and desires” but a man can still feel that way and still be a loving provider and emotional “rock” for his wife, even if he himself can’t or doesn’t understand what his wife or partner is going through personally. That being said, I think a large majority of men simply cannot process emotions or feelings at the same level or capacity of their spouse or partner and I think a lot of women cannot grasp how some men process complex emotions like the loss of a child. I know, I’m a man and the first emotion that came to me was anger, because my wife was in pain and it was an enemy I could do nothing to stop or protect her from it and it killed me that I couldn’t make it go away and it still angers and upsets me that I can’t do anything against this intangible force that is threatening to unravel her sanity and emotionally wreck the woman I’ve loved and been in love with since I met her 15 years ago. So as far as your husband/boyfriend is concerned, I can almost promise you the issues he is having with this loss has more to do with how powerless he feels rather than his actually feelings towards you or your pregnancy and loss of your child and you have to both lean on each other instead of expecting your partner to carry all your weight; God bless them if they try too but you both need each other regardless of what gender roles or society has pounded into us how it should be, but you must recognize that there may still come a point where you have to just focus on yourself and your own grief and coping with it before you get dragged under a current so strong that you lose yourself instead of your husband or partner. Just my opinion about our struggle to cope and recover from OUR loss, and I know everyone’s situation is different and varied but I wish you all the best in this world and hope each and everyone of us finds the peace we need and deserve. God Bless.

  14. Thank you for this! I recently found out that a “strange period” was actually a miscarriage. Tho we were not “trying” for a baby (we have b/g twins and thought that was perfect) I feel so crushed and alone! I have so many friends, and I don’t feel like anyone wants to hear me “complain.” I’m usually the friend who is there for everyone else, even if it almost kills me. Now I wonder if they r actually afraid to talk to me. I need to cry. I need to talk. Why do I feel embarrassed to do this?! I find myself clinging to my husband (more than I ever have or thought I ever could) but I need friends too! I’m a firm believer in “everything has a reason,” but I don’t think I need a reason right now, just a long, hysterical cry on a friends shoulder!

    • Yes, we all need people to just simply show up and listen sometimes. You are going through something painful and it hurts, no matter what a person’s situation. Sometimes people feel like you should just be grateful if you have kids already. But the loss is still a loss and pain is still pain. I’m sorry you are going through this, mama. Maybe a therapist would be a good option right now? Just a thought. Peace to you and yours…

  15. I have had 4 pregnancy losses and 2 children that are healthy, then another loss this last week. Sadly I’ve heard every single thing you mentioned not to say, and then I’ve actually experienced more this time, people completely avoid me, because they’re so uncomfortable with the situation. I’d much rather they just be their normal selves or say I’m sorry, I love you. Without having to even talk about it. Its sad, but I’ve dealt with it so many times, that I know the stages of grief well, and I don’t need people to say anything about it. Just having someone to sit with or talk to about normal things is fine, but being avoided makes a girl feel pretty icky. Thankfully I have my husband, which is my best friend anyway. He is so supportive and knows exactly what I need and I know what he needs. Thank God for that, because you truly do find out what sort of people you have in your life when you are suffering.

    • Chelsey, thank you for your story. I’m so sorry for your losses. And I’m sorry that you haven’t had much support that serves you well–with just showing up to be with you and not saying things that are more damaging than good. I know people mean well, but it can be so frustrating to hear things that it seems she obviously not be said. And the avoiding? Yeah, that’s just so hurtful. People struggle to know what to do or say and they run. That isn’t the right thing to do, but so many people don’t have the tools to do the right thing, sadly. I hope you have at least one or two that can remain supportive. I am so glad you have such great support from your husband. I’m sending you peace…

  16. Wow i feel.the pain of women who jave lost i have had 4 miscarriages and my last one was 2 weeks ago i cry every day and people say those hurt full comments to me i do have 3 kids and i am blessed but that dont change that thisnother children shouldnt get to walk the earth too. I have finally fallen in to depression over this and feel like my partner is not with me on this. I feel empty and alone and no one understand why i feel the way i do.

  17. thank you for your post.i am from Ethiopia the duration is one year. i can’t tolerate because i am a nurse i lost my daughter after delivery due to aspiration of fluid by the fault of doctors and nurses moreover i can’t conceive so what can you suggest psychologically and any recommended drugs like strong follic acid ?

  18. I went through IVF with my boyfriend and at 12 weeks we lost our “blessing” and I have felt so devistated since … Not only because of our loss but quickly went into menopause and would never again be able to bear our child …. My boyfriend move his brothers adopted daughter into our home ; his niece …… And they had sex multiple times and she is now pregnant….. He is 50 and she’s 18….. I had no idea of anything until he told me they planned this and this baby will be given to me ….. For my boyfriend and I to raise….. I immediately moved out ….. I’m sickened beyond any words I have …..

    • Valerie, I am so very sorry. This is just awful. I’m sending you peace, and I hope you find some good counseling and support from friends and family.

      • Thank you so much … After this time I thought I was doing well until this happened …. For me it is tearing all those wounds open again ….. His niece is in “love” with the man now and he’s so happy to have a baby on the way …… Not only to think of the ethical and moral wrongs …. But to have frequent thoughts about the 3 of them together is very very sickening …. I have a great support system and I realize that God has a better plan for me I do not have to tolerate this … I deserve better …
        Thank you again … It means a lot to me
        Valerie

  19. I am currently 6 weeks post-miscarriage. It was my second, but my first was 6 years ago and I have had a daughter since then. It has been so very different this time: i did not grieve long after the first one, and while it was awful it was not debilitating. It did not register as a life lost then. Since having had a successful pregnancy between the two miscarriages, the feeling of loss ilnow is debilitating. I felt every flutter and shift in my body. I had the thrill of early pregnancy and the joy as i prepared to share the news. I talked with my toddler about her baby brother or sister in mommy’s tummy. It was divine.

    And then i miscarried. I was at work when it began, and a friend understood immediately. I worked through the pain and fear for two days, surviving on determination and denial, and the physical pain was excruciating. Beyond description. That friend insisted i go to emergency, and after 7 hours in a waiting room i finally saw a doctor who wouldn’t even do all the available tests to confirm it for me. He said i was most likely having a “weird cycle.” I am 30: i have had 200-some periods in my life and a successful pregnancy. I know the damn difference.

    My husband tries to be supportive, but to him it is just another month without a pregnancy and he carries on. He listens when i need to melt down, but it is a one-sided conversation. The hardest part has been the people around us who are expecting or announcing their pregnancies. Some i can be happy for, because they have lost babies as well and have tried a long time and are good considerate people. Others… others i want to grab by the hair and smash into the pavement every time they open their mouths. One such ‘friend’ actually looked at me when i confided that i had miscarried and said “well at least you know you can still get pregnant.” Oh yeah. Because that is such a comfort. I don’t even want to kiss my husband right now, nevermind try to get pregnant again. I would rather never get pregnant again for the rest of my life than lose another baby. I can’t imagine a more insensitive comment. That ‘friend’ was about 4 weeks pregnant at the time, and told me her news before anybody else, and i can’t be happy for her. I try, but even thinking about it puts me into either a destructive rage or a depressive episode. I don’t know if i can be a part of her child’s life, or if i even want to. Every time it comes up i think of my own loss, and how unfair the world can be. It really is a black hole of regret and doubt and loathing in the pit of the stomach, and the undercurrents of rage and misery tug and pull at me every minute of every day.

    Tonight was especially hard for some reason. Bad news arrived on top of rough day, and my husband had to watch me blubber and try to babble out some sort of explanation in the kitchen before bed. I guess that is why i am here, sharing. I need to get it out, but i don”t want to burden those around me. Sigh. Thanks for reading.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss and pain, mama. Thank you for sharing your story here. So many will read it and understand. Please get help if you feel this is slipping into depression. That’s normal and understandable and your hormones are part of this as well. I’m sending you peace….

  20. I have recently had a stillbirth at 22 weeks in my first pregnancy…and I have heard almost everyone one of these statements…..they are so hurtful to hear….Thank God for my husband and mom…I don’t think I could have survived by myself especially with these statements. Just wanted to throw that out there. It’s only been 3 days :/

    • I’m very sorry for you loss…I’m sending you peace, and I’m so glad you have two supportive people in your life.