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To not know what to say?

(38 Posts)
bluesheep Fri 05-Jul-13 23:41:17

My friend has been through hell during her pregnancy and she has found out today her babies have sadly not survived. I don't know what to say to her. I'm so gutted that I can't stop crying but I want to be strong for her. What do I say? I know there isn't anything really, just wondered if anyone else has been through this and had any advice.

roslet Sun 07-Jul-13 16:07:59

Look on the SANDS website, they give really helpful advice on how to show your support.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

buy her a beautiful plant or tree and a special card. send a ribbonto tie on it on their due date and just be there, its ok to cry with them too. but yes the practical stuff like food is helpful. let them guide you as to how much and how often you talk from my own experience there were times when I wanted to wallow in grief and times too when I wanted to smile and be as upbeat as I was able to be and try and forget for a while, go with them on it all people grieve differently

fluffyraggies Sun 07-Jul-13 12:21:43

All this advice is fab, and in the weeks to come please don't be afraid of asking how she is - in a meaningful way. Sometimes it's hard to raise the subject of your loss again when it's clear friends and family think you're ''ok now and putting it behind you''.

The time a few weeks later, when everyone else seems to have forgotten or seem to be finding it a relief not to have to talk or cry with you anymore are sometimes worse than the weeks right after the event. Because you feel bad about bringing it all up again. You feel like you're meant to be managing now.

Ditto landmark dates. Due dates. Loss anniversaries, etc.

icklemssunshine1 Sun 07-Jul-13 11:57:12

Totally agree with Weegie. I lost my 2nd baby in Feb & my BF just sat & cried with me. I didn't expect her to say anything, I just wanted company. I am currently surrounded by pregnant women & my BF will come over & just give my hand a squeeze. She also lights a candle for my baby each week at church.

She's a wonderful BF & you sound wonderful too. Sometimes a hug is all that is needed.

angelopal Sun 07-Jul-13 10:38:17

When I lost my first baby last year when she was 4 days old last year most people just said they didn't know what to say which was ok with me as had it be the other way round I wouldn't have either.

Bringing food is good. We never felt like cooking but did eat food friends had brought.

For longer term remember important dates and let her know you are thinking of on them.

You sound like a really caring friend and she will need your support in the coming weeks and months.

GiveItYourBestShot Sun 07-Jul-13 01:34:26

Would you prefer awkward silence, spoomoo? I personally prefer that someone says something to acknowledge my loss, even if they are generic words. "I love you" is pretty generic too.

dayshiftdoris Sun 07-Jul-13 01:19:22

Why Clothes? Because some parents want to dress their babies just one time and you can't just buy baby clothes that small. Maternity units have clothes that small but the offer of someone making your baby some clothes and knowing you can get something ready for them could be very comforting.

How do I know this? Because I'm a midwife and I have dressed many babies for parents after loss - they choose the clothes with such care and cherish those moments forever.

It is very personal though dressing baby may well be talked about by parents and if you have the skills to make them then it may well be a very precious thing you do.

Actually please if you can sew or knit well please consider making clothes for you local maternity unit xxxx

Just listen to her, dry her tears and keep being her friend.

StupidFlanders Sat 06-Jul-13 04:51:30

I preferred the texts/cards as it was ages before I wanted to discuss it.

Butterflywgs Sat 06-Jul-13 03:52:54

She now has a gorgeous 1 year old dd. Which doesn't make the tragic loss of her first daughter any easier.

Butterflywgs Sat 06-Jul-13 03:43:36

Hugs to you bluesheep, and your friend. It's OK to say 'I don't know what to say'. I did when my friend's baby died at 6mo old of an incredibly rare disease :-(((((((

FirstStopCafe Sat 06-Jul-13 03:29:32

Listen to her, cry with her, let her know you are there and that she can talk about her precious babies with you if she wishes. Do the same for her husband.

You are a good friend

Weegiemum Sat 06-Jul-13 01:35:59

Ask about her babies. Does she want to talk about them, their names, how she imagined them.

Send a card - when friends of ours lost their first ds during labour, we sent a tasteful, low key new baby card - and inside said we were so glad to hear about him but so sorry they had lost him (dh is a doc, had done a grief course, it wasn't our idea) and they did say it was one of the best cards they got - they had still become parents, even in such sad, sad circumstances, and deserved to have that acknowledged.

If you can't cook (and if you do, cook something and package it so it can be frozen if they just can't eat right now) then a nice tesco/ocado etc order of some nice ready meals and some treat foods like nice biscuits goes down well (I was very ill in hospital 18 months ago and his was one of the best helps we got).

And looking forward, don't forget. Send a card next year, and the year after, and beyond, on the day they found out, or on their babies' birthday. Talk about them, use their names, don't forget. I very sadly have 3 friends who've suffered stillbirth and have had a 2nd trimester loss myself. It's the people who keep on remembering who are special friends.

mirry2 Sat 06-Jul-13 01:20:35

Dayshiftdoris, have I missed something? Why on earth would she do that? That would be really inappropriate imo.

dayshiftdoris Sat 06-Jul-13 01:00:09

Can you sew or knit?

What about making some tiny clothes? Ask her first though as very personal xxx

quoteunquote Sat 06-Jul-13 00:58:00

Please don't forget her husband, I loss count of the amount of people who would bouncy up to DH, and ask how quoteunquote was coping, then carry on telling him to pass on message of support,

Very few people grasps that his sons had died, for some reason it was considered much worse for me.

At the baby loss support group I help at, men always mention how often this happens, it has a huge effect on them, when people behave as if they are somehow immune to what has happened.

it is incredibly hard to stay together after your child has died, how ever close you are, it would really help, if fathers were supported as much as mums.

there a hell of a lot of processing to get through, and when people respond in way that makes a father feel he should suppress his feeling, it really does not help long term,

a lot of frustration happens between couples as each of the parents will process, grieve, at different stages, it's relentless, so people get very worn, numb and exhausted.

bluesheep Sat 06-Jul-13 00:41:20

Ok, going to call tomorrow offering food (that I'll offer to leave on the doorstep if she's not up for visitors) then picking up the dishes later. She knows my phone is always on, so she knows she can ring me just to cry down the phone if that's what she needs.

Thanks everyone, although you have all made me cry again!

K8Middleton Sat 06-Jul-13 00:31:49

X-posted

K8Middleton Sat 06-Jul-13 00:30:55

Give food. Don't ask, just give.

If you're very close, stick on a load of washing when you go round and give the kitchen and bathroom the once over. She will need time to grieve and normal life will be in disarray.

If she goes into distraction mode with cleaning and cooking (dh worries if the cake tin is full and i've hoovered) perhaps just take her out for a walk?

Take your cues from her. Except for food because that is always needed.

aldiwhore Sat 06-Jul-13 00:29:22

YANBU.

YABabrilliantfriend.

If it didn't affect you, I'd worry.

I guess my only advice is to do as you're doing, and try and keep your own heartbreak within reasonable boundaries... not sure if that sounds right. It's OKAY to cry with her, and for her, but your pain has to be secondary to hers when you're with her, when you're not with her, acknowledge your own pain as it's perfectly valid.

I think sometimes you have to lead (bring round a casserole eg., very Neighbours I know) sometimes you have to follow (if she asks something, be prepared to do it)... it's hard to gauge, but I think in my experience of 'being friend' the way is to strike the balance.

I know it's easy to type "thinking of you" and I'm not sure it always means much, but I am thinking of you both, I am sorry for your mate and her loss and I am sorry that you are having to witness it/feel it too. If the wording is wrong please forgive. That's a point, don't worry about wording in the moment, you know your friend, bad wording is better than none. [genuine] x

QueenoftheVerse Sat 06-Jul-13 00:26:44

I've lost 2 babies too, I really feel for your friend. it's fantastic that you're asking how to react, it really shows how much you care smile . definitely DO NOT say "you can always try again" or "it'll be ok". she will want to talk about it eventually, it'll probably just take some time. one of my best friends came round with wine a few weeks later and just gave me a cuddle and let me cry and then listened to what I wanted to say. that was invaluable, honestly. on a more immediate AMD practical note, she probably won't want to think about food for a while but she'll need to eat properly. maybe batch cook her some meals so she doesn't need to think about it, just heat them up. then call to check she has actually eaten. it's a tough time and it will change her so your friendship may have to adjust to that. she may also lash out at her nearest and dearest so be prepared for that too.

bluesheep Sat 06-Jul-13 00:26:41

To be honest she's a total domestic goddess, puts me to shame. Cooking and cleaning are pretty redundant as she's very particular about these and her house is spotless. I wish there were something practical I could do, to be honest I'm more comfortable doing something to help. I can be there though, as much as she needs/wants. While the babies were poorly I just used to sit there and let her talk, about anything at all. I guess I just do the same, but try and not fall apart while she does.

I work with her husband, I can't begin to imagine what he's going through either.

SpooMoo Sat 06-Jul-13 00:22:48

GiveItYourBestShot - as someone who has had a miscarriage I'd like to express that I hate that phrase, it's used as a generic automatic statement blurted by HCPs (clearly they get told to say this in training).

OwlinaTree Sat 06-Jul-13 00:21:12

It's ok to cry with her when you are with her. It's a sad time, crying with her is empathy not weakness.

There is good advice here. Make contact, and re contact every so many days, maybe by text so she knows you are available when she is ready.

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