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?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 11:22:18

What Ilovedaintynuts said.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Does your friend have other children? I do think that might have a bearing.

weegiemum Wed 12-Sep-12 11:22:59

Lira I'm so sorry that Ethan died. No-one should ever go through that.

I've had 3 m/c at 8, 10 and 12 weeks (as well as having 3 living dc). Also 2 friends have lost children to stillbirth. I can't imagine there is anything to compare. I grieved as is right, but I don't regard myself as a mm of 6, whereas both of them would add their stillborn baby into the number of children they have.

No one can truly understand your pain, whatever the greatest loss you have suffered, you imagine it as the worst. Clearly your friend is still mourning her loss. I suppose it's a bit like the (ex)friend of mine who said I should be glad I'd had a mc cos at least it meant I could get pregnant!!

I hope you have a gentle and loving day tomorrow with people who love you all, and that you can remember Ethan with a smile as well as with sadness.

Xx

amyboo Wed 12-Sep-12 11:23:59

So sorry for your loss. I had a mmc at 13 weeks before my DS1, and then just had my DS2 stillborn at 36 weeks into my pregnancy on 22 April. At the time when I had my mmc, I thought it was the end of the world. I was the first of my friends to get pregnant, it was my first pregnancy and I hadn't really thought anything would go wrong.

However, now I've been through the agony of a stillbirth, and found comfort in the words of so many others who have had to go through the same, I know that the two don't even come close to being the same. I think about my DS2 every day and I miss him every day.

Since losing DS2, I have done a kind of re-evaluation of some of my friendships. Some of my "friends" hardly supported me at all, others have been there for me throughout it all, although some clearly find it hard to talk about (mostly because I don't think they know how/what to say). The most supportive person has been another RL friend I have made since losing DS2 who also lost a child at nearly full term.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that it may be that your friends do think that their mc was truly awful (it is, when you go through it), that they don't know how/what to say to you every year about your son, that they think that remembering him is not helpful to you (until you go through stillbirth I don't think you really understand that it is actually losing a proper child). I would continue to remember your beautiful little boy Ethan, but maybe just do it with you and your DH, so that you can talk about your buy and your feelings without having to worry about how others view it. Personally, I would also reassess your friendships with some of these people. I found it quite cathartic when I realised that I actually didn't care if I never saw/heard from x person again.

Oh love, I'm really sorry for your loss.

You must do the right thing for you and your family.

I will be saying a prayer for you and your beautiful boy

Whilst I don't think this topic should be hidden away I do also wonder if AIBU is the right place as I don't want you to end up getting shouted at it won't take more than a few comments to turn this into a bun fight - maybe chat would be a better place?

Unfortunately you will allways have people who don't understand.

I had a mc at 20 weeks. We held him, named him, took photos. I gave birth not knowing if he would die before he was born or after. We had a funeral.

Still some people think it's not the same as a later loss as it's just a mc and that we should just get on with it and shouldn't be grieving still.

dinkystinky Wed 12-Sep-12 11:25:00

Frasersmummy - I was trying to be nice to the OP: she's clearly hurting and in a bad place and AIBU is not the best place for someone who is vulnerable to be as it can be abit harsh! Sorry you thought that my trying to be helpful and kind to someone was offensive.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 11:27:34

sorry Dinky I misunderstood your post ... smile

Proudnscary Wed 12-Sep-12 11:27:50

I'm so so sorry for what you have been through. Losing Ethan must have been absolutely devastating for you. You should be able to grieve exactly as you wish.

However I think it's wrong of you to post this in AIBU with this thread name - it will be so upsetting for women who have suffered a miscarriage (as I have done - and agree that a stillborn birth is much worse). You of all people should understand how it would feel to see this thread title if you had just gone through a mc sad.

dinkystinky Wed 12-Sep-12 11:28:25

No worries Frasersmummy smile And I'm sorry for your loss too.

Thelobsterswife Wed 12-Sep-12 11:30:18

OP I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. I have skimmed over some of the replies as I have found them upsetting. No one on this thread should be telling you that you are unreasonable or that you should change how you remember your son, and no-one in rl should be telling you to move on. I have a friend who lost her little boy. I would feel honoured if she asked me to help her remember her son. She is not able to at the moment and is shutting me out which I totally understand. I will do whatever she needs me to to be a friend for her. I will be thinking of you and lighting a candle for your son.

diddl Wed 12-Sep-12 11:30:31

What a horrible situation.

I think letting it go is a decision for you to make if you ever want to.

However, if your friends no longer wish to do this with you, then that is up to them.

Although they should have just said this imo.

I cannot imagine how badly you must both be hurting for what could have been.

ethelb Wed 12-Sep-12 11:32:52

"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 sorry for the loss but some peole may feel it is a bit odd to have to mourne the death of their friend's baby to this degree this long afterwards. It is something you should do with your partner. And maybe family. But they really aren't obliged to behave in the way you want them to I am afraid.

its hard though grin

igsisgreenngold Wed 12-Sep-12 11:33:00

Lira - why are you only focussing on the friend who had the mc? You said none of the group want to go. As you will still want to remember your wee one in 20 years, I think a way of remembering yourself would be better than a meeting with friends who will never feel the loss as you do.

gordyslovesheep Wed 12-Sep-12 11:33:53

I am sorry for your loss

I kind of agree with you - while there is not rule on grief and grieving I have had 5 mc between 6-10 weeks and would never compare them to the still births sadly experienced by friends x

I lost the idea of a child - they lost a child

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 11:39:23

ethelb I really hate your grin at the end of your post. It is hard. Really hard.

Lira I'm so sorry for the loss of your son Ethan.
Your friend at least did call and say something which was quite brave.

JodieHarsh Wed 12-Sep-12 11:40:06

I have had an early mc.

My cousin delivered a stillborn baby, alone in a hospital lavatory, while her panicked and helpless husband pelted up the empty corridors looking for help.

I know which one of we two suffered the most.

But that is my experience, and hers. I can compare our experiences because I know my mind and I know my cousin.

It's never helpful to compare grief. It can never end well. Women have a tendecy to try and size up who is where on the status-ladder, when it comes to sadness. It's a understandable thing, but it is very damaging.

I am terribly sorry for your loss, and hope that you can continue to mark it, and remember your son, in the way that helps you most. thanks

ethelb Wed 12-Sep-12 11:41:03

apols, I put in the wrong emoticon, was supposed to be sad. please ignore.

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 11:42:49

Jodie, how awful. Poor people. It's bad enough without that.

labtest Wed 12-Sep-12 11:44:31

My daughter was stillborn at 42 weeks 7 years ago. Months later I suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks. The stillbirth was a million times worse. My only child, my 5 year old daughter, was diagnosed with leukaemia 15 months ago and I was as devestated by this as by the full term loss of my first child.

iwantsomepeachcookies Wed 12-Sep-12 11:47:01

I agree with you, having had a miscarriage at 7 weeks. It was devastating and I still well up when I think about it - but I agree it cannot compare to holding your little baby in your arms who sadly is no longer alive, I am so sorry for the loss of baby Ethan. Your friend is very insensitive.xxx

OuEstCoco Wed 12-Sep-12 11:47:48

Lira I'm so sorry for your awful loss. Of course you can't "let it go". Ethan was your beloved baby, he was fully formed child not a potential child. How can anyone seriously expect you not to be haunted by his death and the lack of him in your life, for ever?

I personally do agree that while an early miscarriage is heartbreaking, this early loss can surely not compare to a later loss or to stillbirth. For what it's worth, I've had a miscarriage at 8 weeks and a termination for medical reasons at 13 weeks. The 8 week miscarriage was a shock and DH and I were very upset about it but the 13 week termination had been a horrific, utterly devastating experience. I remember when I had the miscarriage that I felt almost lucky (although that's not the right word) to have had a later, more painful loss to help put my feelings of sadness into perspective.

By the way, I'm not suggesting that a 13 week loss is in any way comparable to the horror of a stillbirth. That is a completely unimaginable level of pain and grief and I'm amazed at your friend's insensitivity in comparing her own sadness and disappointment at the loss of her potential child to your actual, fully developed little boy.

Softlysoftly Wed 12-Sep-12 11:48:39

I've lost a nephew at full term and had a mmc at 12 weeks although horrific especially as it was medically horrendous not straightforward there is no comparison.

We remember my nephew every year, I could never trivialise my sisters grief or expect her to "get over it", she has moved her life on as is normal but remembrance of him is a part of that life iyswim.

Remember with your partner and family, don't include friends who can't be there for you but do review what she said and maybe speak to her? She may not have meant it as it sounded its possible in such a sensitive situation that you misinterpreted? If not feel free to tell her to go fuck herself. One example of misunderstanding is my sister told me she was hurt mum didn't mention him but then realised the flowers on his grave every now and then were mums and she has an ornament and some toys she always seemed "precious" over turns out they to her we're "his".

Also ensure that in your justified reaction you still respect her loss, although not the same I am still shaped by the trauma of my loss, still look at children the same age and think "what if?", I can never enjoy pg thinking th worst at every scan.

I don't know if you believe but churches often hold in memorium days where you can ask for Ethan to be remembered?

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

I'm going to hid the thread now as it's going to turn into one that minimises the impact of having miscarriges in order to sympathise with the OP.
I've had multiple mc and no, I don't think that is close to the pain of a stillbirth. Still bloody painful though, and I think about them every single day.

Tee2072 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:50:17

I'm sorry for your loss and all of the loss on this thread.

I have reported it to MNHQ to have it moved to a more appropriate topic.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Sep-12 11:52:17

What your friend said was crass and insensitive in my opinion. I haven't suffered a miscarriage but I think in no way at all can it be compared with having a still born baby. I send you my sympathy for what must be a very difficult and sad time for you.

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