8week miscarriage isn't quite the same as delivering a full-term stillborn?

(299 Posts)
Lira Wed 12-Sep-12 10:53:23

I'm really sorry for the upsetting nature of this post but i am heartbroken. Tomorrow is the third anniversary/birthday of my stillborn son who was born full term. I have phoned round my friends to ask if they are free to mark the occassion like we do every year. We go for lunch or something. We talk about him.

My friends have been quite evasive about it this year and finally one called this morning saying she thinks i should let it go. I can't keep letting this haunt me forever. She had a miscarriage at eight weeks a few years ago and i don't see her organising anniversary lunches etc. Her words.

I'm so sorry if this sounds cruel, but to me - yes, they are two horrible situations but not quite the same. Delivering a full term baby, and holding him, getting a photo of him etc is not on the same level as a eight week miscarriage. Just as i think someone losing a child - for example a baby to cot death - is again far worse than delivering a still born.

I understand that everyone has different emotional boundaries. So for some people, a miscarriage at 4 weeks could feel the same as someone losing a child to cot death.

Basically, i jusst feel quite embarrassed now and isolated. I want to celebrate Ethan's life no matter how short it was. But i've been made to feel it's insignificant. Am i being unreasonable thinking both of our children's deaths are terrible, but not quite on the same level?

Lira Wed 12-Sep-12 10:54:40

Ps - i am again very sorry for upsetting nature of this post. I just feel very lonely about this and want opinions on whether or not i'm being silly celebrating his birth or if i should try and forget about him like my friend's trying to do with her miscarriage,

dinkystinky Wed 12-Sep-12 10:56:58

OP - didnt want to read and not post. I'd suggest you get this moved to the bereavement threads as AIBU isnt the best place for this thread, or you, to be. I understand you are grieving still for your darling boy - have you got a special place you have chosen that commemorates him (a tree, a bench or somewhere else his ashes have been scattered)? I'd suggest you go there with a close loving family member who is supportive and understands what you are going through and remember your beloved boy there.

GobblersKnob Wed 12-Sep-12 10:58:15

I understand that everyone has different emotional boundaries. So for some people, a miscarriage at 4 weeks could feel the same as someone losing a child to cot death.

What you said there, a child lost is a child lost.

I am so sorry for what you have been through, but if your friends no longer feel comfortable with this is it not something you can share with your partner or do alone privately?

I completely understand you wanting to mark the occassion and think you are quite right to do so, but maybe it is time for what you do to change, it will not make it any less.

Redknickerswillstoptrains Wed 12-Sep-12 10:58:33

I have never lost a baby but of course you want to remember your baby,I will light a candle for your son and send you a hug.

Beamur Wed 12-Sep-12 10:58:45

So sorry for your loss.
I've had a mc at a similar time as your friend, and I'm inclined to agree with you - it was a horrible experience, but I don't think it is the same. The thing that is the same though is the loss of those hopes and dreams for that child.
If it helps you to mark his life and to meet with friends, or like minded people to talk about your son, then keep doing so - but maybe this particular friend doesn't want to be included with that.

nananaps Wed 12-Sep-12 10:59:16

Oh love, im so sorry that you lost your boy. Words are just not there.

But with respect, you acknowledge that grief cannot be compared. Its so very personal.

Similarly, you are trivilising your friends miscarriage in the way that you feel she is doing to you with Ethan.

There are NO levels, really there are none.

It does sound like these friends are uncomfortable with this anniversary, but there is no nice way of telling you.

I honestly don't know what to say to you sad

I think the important thing is that your friends have not been very kind or sensitive - I don't think it matters about the difference in actual circumstance.

Perhaps they're saying that they don't want to do it anymore, it has become less significant to them (not you) - are they really saying you have to move on? Maybe you could respect their wishes to distance themselves from the sadness and just celebrate his life with your partner - make it more private now?

{{{hugs}}}

I've had a miscarriage, at 11 weeks. And it was awful, the worst thing I've had to go through.

But I cannot imagine the heartbreak of delivering a stillborn, full term baby. I can't comment on whether you should let it go or not, I can't put myself in that position. But you have to do whatever the hell helps you. And if that's to mark his birthday with a gathering then you do exactly that and no one has the right to comment.

I can't quite see how your friend can compare the two confused Did she have other children?

hermioneweasley Wed 12-Sep-12 11:00:35

Lira, I am so sorry for your loss. I don't think this is about a hierarchy of loss, but about you grieving and remembering and honouring Ethan in the way you need to for you.

If you want to celebrate his birthday (and I completely understand why) then you don't need to justify it. I guess over time it is likely that this will be about family rather than a broader group of friends.

RedHelenB Wed 12-Sep-12 11:01:58

It must have been hard for your friend to talk to you BUT I think it's best that they state how they feel. Do you have family to share it with? Or maybe just one of your best friends?

SomersetONeil Wed 12-Sep-12 11:02:09

I agree with dinky. This isn't the best place.

YANBU to want to mark the occassion, and YANBU to say your loss was greater than your friend's - and I say this is someone who had two 6-week losses in a row.

But maybe... just maybe it is time to commemorate this in your own way with your partner and not your friends. I mean this in the nicest, most kindly way.

I had a miscarriage at about 9 weeks & whilst it was horrible, in my opinion it was nothing as bad as having a still birth near term. I convinced myself that I didn't lose a baby, it was a cluster of cells (my way of dealing with it) but you can't do that with a more developed baby.

We all have different ways of dealing with losses & I, for one, would NEVER tell anyone the way they were grieving was wrong.

greenhill Wed 12-Sep-12 11:03:09

OP I think you should ask for this to be moved to Bereavement. AIBU threads tend to get abrasive.

I am so sorry for the loss of baby Ethan.

I think your friends are very insensitive and not very good friends at all. However they feel about it if they were good friends they would support you in what you choose to do.

I hope you have someone else you are close too who can support you.

I'm sorry for your loss

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 11:04:20

Please don't be sorry ((( hug))) I can see how upset you are.

You are right as sad as a miscarriage is it can't be described as the same as losing a full term baby. It isn't the same.

I'm sorry your friends have behaved like this. Sadly in my experience this is what happens, people move on and expect you too also.

But Ethan was your baby, you are always going to love him and remember him, he matters a lot.

Can you arrange to do something to remember Ethan with someone else, family maybe?

Thumbwitch Wed 12-Sep-12 11:05:48

So very sorry for your loss, Lira, and I think it is highly insensitive of your friends to tell you to "let it go now" because you can never do that, not really.

However, levels of grief are personal - and for some, an 8w MC can be just as much of a devastating loss of potential for them as your loss of your beautiful boy was for you.

I've had 3 early MCs and I would personally agree with you - but I don't speak for everyone and I have a friend who was utterly devastated at each of her 3 MCs - she probably wouldn't agree with you.

I hope this thread is moved to Bereavement and I hope that you can find a way to remember Ethan without your friends. xx

RedHelenB Wed 12-Sep-12 11:06:43

Also, sometimes hospitals have balloon releases, remembrance days for stillbirths.

Just to go back to your friends, both miscarriage & stillbirth is grieving for a life that wasn't lived as opposed to remembering events in a child's life so I can see how it could be difficult for them to share with you as time goes on.

I had a missed m/c & for the first couple of years we marked it as a family but now it is something I do by myself.

Saltycopporn Wed 12-Sep-12 11:07:04

Empathy is a wonderful trait to possess but even so I'm sure no one who hasn't lost a child can fully appreciate the absolute heartbreak you are clearly still feeling. I'm sure your friend would be mortified if they knew so try not to feel too much anger. Instead try to focus your energy on remembering your beautiful boy in which ever way you feel is appropriate.
 
If it helps I'll be thinking of Ethan today and tomorrow xx take care

EugenesAxe Wed 12-Sep-12 11:07:06

Umm - I think YAB a bit U with that last line. A friend of mine miscarried after 8 weeks but the foetus died around that age and she was distraught, to the extent she's not sure if she will be able to try for another child again.

I know what you are saying, though. I feel more that YANBU to want to deal with this the way you choose - what your friend said about not arranging anniversary lunches for her miscarried foetus has nothing to do with you and how you want to manage your loss, and was unkind I think. I kind of feel that had she had a stillborn she wouldn't be arranging anniversary lunches either - that's just how she is. People are different.

So in summary as I have waffled dreadfully:

YABU to try and 'rank' any experience of child death.

YANBU to be allowed to deal with your experience the way you want, and not have your friends berate you because your way of coping differs to theirs.

degutastic Wed 12-Sep-12 11:07:34

I couldn't really comment on the relative loss of different situations, as you say it's very personal, however I don't think that your friends are being very considerate or tactful. Just because your friend copes with her miscarriage differently doesn't make her right and you wrong for wanting to cope in a different manner.

I hope you have someone, a family member perhaps, who can support you in finding a way to mark the day however you wish to do it.

I just wanted to send my condolences and thoughts to you and your family.

I absolutely agree with you. I have had a m/c at 12 weeks and have friends who have had babies stillborn. I will NEVER be persuaded that my loss was anything but a drop in the ocean of the grief that they went through.

But, I think your error is expecting everyone else to continue marking Ethan's day. In ANY bereavement, people relatively unaffected move on, often leaving the grieving feeling lost and lonely.

Ethan is YOUR loss, not theirs and they clearly feel that they don't want to celebrate/mourn any more. That is their right.

I'm so sorry for you, I really am. You must feel so hurt.
Please believe that MOST sane people do NOT think a miscarriage at 8 weeks is comparable to losing a full-term baby even if taking in to account different peoples feelings blah blah.

Do something special yourself to mark his day. Lots of love to you X

Psammead Wed 12-Sep-12 11:08:56

I had a MC early on, and it surprised me how emotionally painful it was. I remember feeling guilty about feeling so sad as it wasn't even a proper 'real' baby, so I do see where you arecoming from. However, loss is loss, and while your loss must have devestated you, hers may have too. It was an insensitive thing to say, though.

I am very sorry for your loss, OP. Would it help you to tell us all about him?

EugenesAxe Wed 12-Sep-12 11:09:49

And I apologise for not saying I am very sorry for your loss, which I am.

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