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?


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.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 11:10:28

Sorry for your loss.

Is she usually a good friend?

While I agree that its a callous thing to say to you, is it possible that she feels that she isn't allowed to grieve for her lost baby in the way that you understandably are and is struggling with that?

Lots of people view early miscarriage as something one should just 'get over' and yes its different to losing a child at term but loss is loss.

Im not excusing her at all but grief is complex and despite what she said maybe she is still grieving for her loss too?

I have experienced early miscarriage and a later one too, In discussions ive got the impression from some people that my early ones didnt 'count' and I found it a bit hurtful [not suggesting you are implying that BTW]

I am sorry for your loss.

I mean this is the nicest possible way, but bearing in mind that your friend has also lost a baby, or a pregnancy as some would say, I dont think you can be competitive about whose loss was worse. Maybe your friend thought you were a little insensitive to try rope her in for a celebration of your babys short life, bearing in mind that she never got to hold hers, she might not feel up to celebrating what in her mind might be death rather than life.

I think you should apologize to your friend and let her deal with her loss in her own way, and find a way to mourn your own baby more privately.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 11:11:49

But at full term you hold your baby, you name them, you know their sex, you dress them and take photo's, you bury them sad you've carried them and felt them move.

It is different imo.

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.

Then that person was already had serious mental health problems. A late period and the death of a living child cannot be compared in the same sentence. Aaaaah.

WhatYouLookingAt Wed 12-Sep-12 11:13:01

Your friend is a moron.

But there isn't a level. Everyone feels differently and none of us can say whats worse and whats worth more. It's not fair.

Treats Wed 12-Sep-12 11:13:29

I understand you. I lost my full-term son at six hours old last year and am now pregnant again. I am very anxious about this pregnancy and it actually gets worse as I go on. I keep saying to DH - "If I'm going to lose this one, I want to lose it soon, so I don't have to go all the way to the end again". For me, an early miscarriage would definitely be 'better' than a stillbirth or another neonatal death.

OTOH your friend must also have felt very raw about her miscarriage - it would be unkind to downplay what she went through just because your experience was 'worse'. I'm not sure that she means to equate your experiences, but perhaps she feels that because she's been able to put it behind her and move on, that perhaps you should too? Even though it's more to move on from ifyswim?

I completely get you that you want to celebrate and commemorate your little boy, but perhaps that doesn't need to involve your friends. My DH and I will mark our DS's first birthday in a few months, but it will just be something private between the two of us.

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 11:13:39

Good gracious, your friend was awful.

My DTD1 was stillborn 3 years ago and it still really hurts. It is very important to me that none of my friends brush it under the carpet. Horrific as miscarriage is, it is nothing like stillbirth. Stillbirth has more in common with neonatal death. If your lovely little boy had lived for a while, do you think your 'friend' would feel the same? I doubt it.

Put quite simply, your friend is a knob. If it were me, I'd tell her, but you may feel differently. Be reassured that many other people aren't like that, and would gladly help you remember your precious child.

BeeBee12 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:14:06

I have had 2 miscarriages and dont think it would be 10% of what losing a full term baby would be.

SomersetONeil Wed 12-Sep-12 11:14:52

Lira - I really don't think you need to apologise to your friend for wanting to commemorate your son. I hope that suggestion didn't upset you too much.

Nancy66 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:15:14

OP - so sorry to hear about Ethan.

I totally agree with you. I think your friend was very insensitive and i say that as someone who has suffered three miscarriages

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 11:16:08

I agree Somerset definately no need to apologise.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 11:16:53

Lira my 1st little boy was stillborn 8.5 years ago.. there's not a day goes past that I dont still think of him and ofr course I mark his birthday ..he's part of the family

but other people really dont get it.. they dont understand what it feels like to have a child that you held once and never again
And to be honest I am glad they dont understand because I wouldnt want them to feel the same pain as I do

I understand you are hurt by your friends attitudes I would be too but for them its an event that causes you pain and sorrow and they dont want to keep helping you relive the pain
Its really really hard and makes you feel really alone doesnt it
I dont think you are being unreasonable but then your friends arent either .. they dont want you to be sad(of course how could you not be )
I am afraid its just another step along the life long road of being a bereaved parent

dinky .. why should the thread be moved??? I am fed up with this ..everytime a bereaved mum strays off the the bereaved topic its like we are told to get back where we belong

DuelingFanjo Wed 12-Sep-12 11:16:57

everyone is different. Personally I wouldn't be expecting my friends to mark the anniversaries but I do think she's wrong to expect you to just let it go.
I am sorry for your loss.

Your friend was wrong to say what she did.

She could have just been honest and stated that they were not comfortable with carrying on marking the day that you gave birth to Ethan.

As others have said, it isn't worth dwelling on her words and doubting that you are wrong in any way to mark your loss in a more personal way, from now on.

They might find meeting up with you is sparking a mourning/sadness or fear that they don't want to think about and that is their right, it just could have been expressed in a kinder way.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Wed 12-Sep-12 11:17:40

I had an early miscarriage, I don't think it is the same as losing a full term baby either - although I imagine I might feel differently if I hadn't then gone on to have subsequent successful pregnancies. I don't really think of my miscarriage as the loss of a child, simply a pregnancy that wasn't meant to be.

I can't imagine how awful it must be to lose a baby though, you have my sympathy and a big hug.

Do mark the day, but maybe with your partner / family rather than friends. They do have the right to choose whether they want to participate - although your friend was clearly insensitive.

exexpat Wed 12-Sep-12 11:17:42

I have had a first-trimester miscarriage, and I have friends who have had stillborn babies, and I agree that for me personally, the loss is in no way comparable. But I know that everyone's experience is different, so some people may be devastated by an early miscarriage.

I think the problem is expecting your friends to feel the same as you and commemorate the date with you. I think perhaps it is something more to do with your partner and family, rather than friends?

I lost my husband six years ago, and would only expect close family members (and perhaps a few close friends who also knew him - none of your friends can be said to have 'known' your baby) to remember the date in any way.

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 11:17:48

But, maybe it is time for a change.

3 years ago, I had a 1YO and a newborn. Now I have two children in school. Times change.

My DH should have 5 children. He doesn't. He has 4. One of his children died at 4months. That was around 15 years ago now and it's never mentioned. Obviously, DH still remembers, visits the grave, but it's not actively mentioned.

Maybe you could change what you do / how you remember? Could you volunteer for a chaity? Could you sponsor a disadvantaged child?

I am absolutely NOT trying to diminish your feelings of loss, but perhaps it's time to mark your amazing child in another way?

I'm about tomorrow if you want to chat on here? x

SomersetONeil Wed 12-Sep-12 11:18:25

I think dinky just means that AIBU can be a bit forthright and harsh, and she doesn't want Lira to get a hard time. I think she was being nice.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Sep-12 11:19:47

Im so sorry you lost your baby Ethan Lira. I hope you can celebrate his life in the way you want to.

You need to focus on the way you are feeling about your bereavement, and do your best not to compare it to other peoples pain. No, the two things aren't the same, but emotional pain is not measurable and someone else's 8 week loss can easily be just as painful. When you love your baby you love your baby, that doesn't matter if they are 8weeks into gestation or 8 weeks old. I suspect that there are parents who would be so overcome with grief at an 8 week miscarriage that they're our actually feel jealousy for someone who was able to hold and see thei baby, no matter how briefly. Grief isn't rational.

You can't really compare how much something hurts you to how much something else has hurt other people, it just doesn't work like that.

Of course you are not being silly celebrating Ethans brith! It was special, and every bit as important as every other birth. Your baby is worth celebrating, and no matter how much you move on, you will obviously never forget him. Let other people deal with their grief in their own way. I suspect your friends words were more about how she is feeling than about how she feels about you, or your baby, or the way you are dealing with things.

Actually quintessential shadows that's a really good point. Maybe the friend with the miscarriage felt she did not have permission to grieve because her friend had it so much worse?

Interesting. I didn't pick this up at first <strokes beard intelligently>

Maybe your friend feels her miscarriage at 8 weeks was just glossed over because you had obviously been through something much worse and now feels a bit resentful?

Rhubarb78 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:20:30

Sorry for your loss op. I have had the misfortune of a miscarriage and a stillbirth and they are worlds apart. However, the pain an individual feels can't be compared or said to be worse or not as bad as. I think that what your friend said was very insensitive and shows a lack of compassion and understanding though. It's a shame that they are unwilling to carry on supporting you in this for as long as you need to, I would be there for my friends if they wanted support for however long they need it. I agree with the others when they say to try and find a new way of remembering him without your friends but it is perfectly understandable for you to feel upset at having to do that. I bake a cake for my little boy with the right amount of candles on and have that with a cuppa before going to the cathedral and lighting a candle and then releasing a balloon from our garden. We also have an apple tree for him and the apples are ready the month he was born, one day we hope to have apple pie from this tree. Thinking of you op, anniversaries are hard x

janey1234 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:20:57

I'm so sorry for your loss.
I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks last year and it was horrendous, and I felt very alone and that I was constantly on the verge of 'not coping'. But I have a friend who had a stillborn, my ex's sister's baby was born 6 weeks early and died after two days, and another friend whose baby died after a week due to heart complications, and I know that no matter how awful what I went through was, it cannot compare to what they suffered.
You must do what's right for you, and your friends should understand.
Big hugs.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 11:21:29

once I find your post a bit hurtful if I'm honest.

Why should the OP change? She wants to remember her baby with her friends like she has done previously.

She's never not going to want to do that fgs.

Badvoc Wed 12-Sep-12 11:21:33

I have had early mc.
And as awful as they were I agree with you.
I cannot comprehend how awful a stillbirth or neonatal death would be.
Your friends obv are not comfortable with your feelings of loss and grief.
That's sad but you can't change that.
Perhaps mark the day with your dh?
I will light a candle for Ethan at church on sunday x

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

I don't like your 'ranking' system of grief tbh. According to your system my daughters death isn't as sad as my sons.

I am sorry your friends aren't being more supportive, to look at it from her pov though she may feel you are lucky to have got to see and hold your little boy, she will never have that with the child she lost, just as I was lucky that I got to meet my children before they died albeit for a short time and I know a lot of people would have loved that too.

Angelversaries are just shit, I dread them every year, I will light an extra candle for wee Ethan tomorrow, I hope the day is as gentle on you as it can be, whatever you decide to do xx

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.


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.

Tamisara Wed 12-Sep-12 11:53:59

I think it is abhorrent for anyone to suggest you "let go".

You are much further on than me OP, it is DD2's first birthday next month - she was stillborn at 37 weeks. I don't know quite how I'm going to 'celebrate' it yet, but I will, and I will make damn sure that everyone knows it's her birthday.

I know that friends won't celebrate with me... I just don't have those kind of friends - and the ones I could ask - well one is in a psychiatric hospital at the moment, and one is 4 months pregnant... not one of my family have visited Tamsin's grave - not one sad

I too have had the ridiculous comments from someone who had early miscarriages - one telling me "at least you got to see your baby" - ffs I can't believe anyone could think such a stupid thing, let alone acutally say it to me (when I was crying, soon after Tamsin had died).

OP - don't concentrate on what your friend said, her loss is probably still raw, and maybe she is jealous that your loss is more acknowledged - I would probably try to distance myself from her though, she is going to hurt you with comments like this, and she is probably trying to relate how she feels - to your loss. It was stupid, insensitive & incomparable, but she is hurting too, and just doesn't have a clue.

I also agree with everything everlong has said - (is that you everlong?)

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 11:54:19

Tee why should it be moved? Lira asked an AIBU question. If she wants it moved she can ask herself.

Thumbwitch Wed 12-Sep-12 11:54:24

labtest - I hope your DD is on the road to recovery, I really do. That is so hard.

I don't think anyone is minimising the impact of MCs, especially more than one - grief is grief and loss of potential is loss of potential - but everyone reacts differently.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 11:55:20

I dont think the thread should be moved....there is a lot of sympathy and support on the thread

why does it need to be moved... its good that a thread like this is in a high traffic area.. there is not enough talk of stillbirths and what we can do to prevent them in this country

lira so sorry to hear about your little Ethan. Of course, you will never forget him. I think it is very natural that you would want to mark his birthday too, and agree that it must be very hurtful to have had that conversation with your friend. I don't think you should feel ashamed or embarrassed about your love for Ethan though, and perhaps she should be made aware of that. It is one day of the calendar, a few hours of her time, and it's not as if you are not 'getting on with your life' the rest of the year.

So may I suggest a couple of ideas for you? Basically, you only want to remember Ethan with those who really care about you, and him. Still have your lunch with your other friends and family who feel differently, and who would be willing give you the time to honour your little boy.

And / or, perhaps you could speak with your friend and talk about a way in which you both could remember your lost children, if that is something she might like to do. It would probably be another day, not Ethan's birthday, but a way to help you both acknowledge the hole in your lives.

There are many people in society who have lost a child, far too many - whether it is before birth, at birth, or some later stage. Some of us are on this thread. Yet death, especially the death of a child, is still a very taboo subject which makes people feel very awkward in a society which still does not particularly welcome extreme emotion. But it happens. It happens every day. Parents lose beloved children. It is important to be allowed to talk about our children, to love them, to remember them, to acknowledge their existence, lest we want to continue this attitude. It might be awkward and a little upsetting, but hey, we have to deal with this loss every day of our lives.

karron Wed 12-Sep-12 11:56:46

Sorry to hear of your loss. While what your friend said was thoughtless could it be possible she is "covering" for someone else in the group who is pregnant or has recently miscarried? It's the only thing I can think of for this group of friends for all being a bit evasive this year.

Tee2072 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:56:51

Because this is not an AIBU question.

Of course she's not being U. Anyone who thinks she is should be banned from MN forever.

So let's get it moved where she'll get even more support and sympathy.

Will people stop trying to get this thread moved!

Why? The more we hide baby loss the more people like the OP suffer out of ignorance and fear.

Let it stay here (or in chat) if the OP wants.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 11:58:31

Lovely and insightful post as always miasmummy

((tami)) yes it's me, everlong

CJ2010 Wed 12-Sep-12 12:00:32

Grief is not a competition. OP- mark the date privately with your family and respect your friends decision.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:00:46

there are plenty of threads in abiu where the the poster is clearly not being unreasonable ... and they dont get moved..

llook at the support and sympathy already on here.. hiding it away in bereavment isnt going to help at the moment

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 12:01:18

I really agree Mia's mummy.

Flojo1979 Wed 12-Sep-12 12:03:52

I've had several mc's and they were awful, but once I had my dc's I got some perspective.
I'm guessing your friend hasn't got dc's else she'd realise u can't compare the 2, then again u cat compare anyone's grief.
I think your friends ABU not to want to help u cope in whatever way u deem best. If its your way of remembering him then they should support u fully. I don't get why they r being so horrible. Forget them and remember him with ppl who do support u.

Frasersmummy, the op is not on a crusade to inform about baby loss, the suggestions to move the thread out of aibu are meant kindly, to prevent a hurting op from being hurt further in a fragile state. And you starting to argue on the thread, could also be perceived as upsetting.

pigletmania Wed 12-Sep-12 12:05:43

Oh big hugs Lira. Mabey they are not the right people to be with at that time, and not what you need. How about marking it with your dp/dh if you have one or just light a candle at home for Ethan.

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 12:05:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pigletmania Wed 12-Sep-12 12:06:54

I had 2 early mc, and to me loosing a baby past te first trimester would be more devastating.

CJ2010 Wed 12-Sep-12 12:07:33

I think the title of this thread is very insensitive OP.

I hope you didn't say this to your friend who had the mc.

EverybodysDoeEyed Wed 12-Sep-12 12:08:07

I'm really sorry for your loss

The first thing that came to mind when I read your post was that one of your friends may be pregnant /just suffered a miscarriage and the one who called was seen as the most empathetic (I'm not saying she was because i don't think she handled it well at all). I think it would be natural to not want to tell you about a pregnancy/miscarriage so close to the anniversary of Ethan's birth.

I agree that you can't compare grief - your friend obviously made the first step in that but I think you need to step away from her comment. Could she have meant you need to let go of the annual lunches rather than your grief?

Do you have family that you could have a remembrance service with?

QuangleWangleQuee Wed 12-Sep-12 12:10:22

I've had three early mcs (one at 8 weeks) and i am shocked by what your friend said. Of course delivering a full term still born baby is far worse than having an early mc. Your friend should be ashamed of what she said. She has no idea.

amyboo Wed 12-Sep-12 12:12:48

ffs, stop talking about moving the thread. I'm guessing the OP knew what she was doing when she posted it on AIBU. And in fairness, it would be quite nice to put a bit more about stillbirth out there. As the fantastic miasmummy rightly points out, death of children happens every day and we should be able to talk about our lost children openly. Far too many people want to try and "hush" these kind of conversations up - you've had your funeral and therefore should move on. But it doesn't work like that. The death of a child stays with you forever.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Through my work I have recently heard of this organisation, who are organising services for bereaved families in 4 venues around the country. The first one is this weekend. I really hope you don't mind me posting this link, I just wonder if it might be something to help you OP, and others who might like to go (I am not connected in any way with the organisation)


amyboo Wed 12-Sep-12 12:14:54

Huh, I see it's been moved. Way to go about silencing a discussion MNHQ.

Oh, not sure re that link, the organisation is called 'Saying Goodbye'

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 12:15:54

Very disappointed it's been moved unless Lira requested it.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:16:08

Here we go again! You should shove off to the bereavement section. Just like that last one who told the story of her crash csection and losing her child at 9 days.

'I think you should apologize to your friend and let her deal with her loss in her own way, and find a way to mourn your own baby more privately.'

Yes, because your grief over losing your child something to apologise for and hide it away! hmm

FWIW, any 'friend' who told me to 'let go ' of my dead child would not be a friend anymore.

YANBU and this thread should stay right where it is.

I'm sorry for the loss of your son Ethan.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:16:50

Yep, moved away! Nice one, HQ!

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 12:17:00

Oh OP I am sat crying thinking of you and your loss. Of course you should not just let it go you nurtured him through your pregnancy and he was born and on this earth albeit briefly. I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks and I still think of that baby 15 years later and 4 children later so emotions can be raw whatever stage of preganacy. However cannot imagine your pain. Do something by yourself and I will be with you in spirit x

Those of you who want to discuss still birth in general, and crusade for more openness about it, can perhaps start another thread in Aibu, and leave this thread for supporting the OP?

mummyonvalium Wed 12-Sep-12 12:17:59

Lira - so sorry for your loss. It must be the hardest thing.

I agree your friend was completely insensitive. Nothing can compare to losing a child who has been born. Does you talk about it with your DH? If not I think it is time that you both did. He is really the only person who can understand fully what you went through.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:18:50

Why does there need to be another thread? So that one can be moved as well?

Yep, go private, Lira. People don't like to see anything about child loss, unless it's stick knives into the McCanns, on here.

Well Said QuintessntialShadows.

Lira, you're in my prayers

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:19:51

But surely that is the point of the thread quint?

lira doesn't feel she is able to talk openly about her son Ethan who was stillborn.

It does need bringing out in the open.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:20:22

mnhq thats a shocking decision .... poor op posts in area which is sure to get lots of responses and therefore lots of support and because someone might be upset by the subject it gets moved

poor op also got arguments, did she not, hence Aibu was not the right place?

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 12:21:30

Lira is being shut up in RL which is why she posted on AIBU. And now Shadows you want to shut her up again.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 12:22:22

Hmm unless the OP requested it be removed its sort of proving her point no?

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:22:37

This is crazy.

Op if you're still there and want to chat come and talk xx

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 12:23:05

OP, did you ask for this to be moved?

I am surprised that anyone thinks it's OK to demand that someone grieve for their dead child in private. Mostly people are lovely, kind and thoughtful, but even on MN there are some utter twats.

OP, did you challenge your friend who said this?

Lira - have you decided if there is any kind of memorial you would like instead of the lunch? Have any of the suggestions on here helped?

<trying to bring this back on track tis supposed to be supportive and an opportunity for Lira to talk after all, maybe would be helpful if we remembered that>

I dont want to shut anybody up. I have not requested the thread moved. I have just pointed out that arguing on this thread whether the thread should be moved or not, is perhaps not supporting the op.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:24:31

Lira I am sorry if I hijacked this thread with that post ...

I just feel when you have been through the tragedy of a stillbirth you dont want to have to hide it.. you want people to acknowledge your child as part of your family

Ethan will always be your child and you will always have time and space in your heart for him

i think that was the point of your original post and I think mnhq having moved it have underlined your point beautifully.. people in general dont like talking about stillbirths ....

Its the last great taboo of our society...

its a heartbreaking reality of having a stillborn child.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:25:09

Well it's been moved now so let's all shut up and give lira some support.

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 12:25:13

Has she asked for support? Perhaps she wants a debate. This is AIBU after all.

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 12:25:22

There is a difference, though, Expat between forgetting and moving on.

My DH hasn't forgotten his little boy (none of us have, and I never even met him) but life has moved on and he's remembered in different ways now.

I do believe there has to come a time where you can celebrate what there WAS rather than grieve for what there was NOT. Does that make sense?

It's not healthy to expect your friends to mourn. It is acceptable to have them mark the occasion in some other way. Raise a glass, charitable donation etc., I'm not saying don't talk about it.

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 12:25:37

Oh, no it isn't blush any more

thecatsminion Wed 12-Sep-12 12:25:43

Sorry for your loss, OP.

I think your friend is being U for starting the comparison, but I don't think it's helpful to continue it either. I've had two early losses after IVF and, while a stillbirth would have been worse, it wasn't easy either.

This is really tricky to say without seeming overly harsh. But I guess that, usually after bereavements, people rally round at the first year or so, they tend to expect the bereaved person to manage with a little less support? Obviously no-one would expect you to forget and the people closest will get in touch. I try and do something special for someone the first Christmas or birthday after a bereavement - a special present, organising an event, raising money. But I couldn't keep going with this for all the people I know every year, as, sadly, most of us get more friends who have experienced losses, or experience them ourselves, as we get older.

I think what I'm trying to say is if your friends have already done two anniversary lunches and were there for you at the time of Ethan's death, that maybe you could have a smaller lunch with just your family, without writing them off as bad friends? I think your friend was really tactless and I don't think they've handled it very well. I also don't think they've forgotten, or will expect you to have, or will let the anniversary go by without sending a card or a text. But, maybe it's best for everyone if you do something a bit different than lunch with friends.

My suggestion would be to do some sort of fundraiser or volunteering, and that way you're channeling your grief into something that helps others. Depending on what charity you picked, it also might help you meet others who have a better understanding of what you've been through.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:26:26

She didn't come here for support, Quint, she started a thread in AIBU and I'm sure she, being an intelligent person, understands what that means.

But let's shut her up and shunt her off to Bereavement, she needs to be more private about her son, apologise to her 'friend', change herself as one person put it, etc etc.


AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 12:27:28

I have just pointed out that arguing on this thread whether the thread should be moved or not, is perhaps not supporting the op

Is that what she posted in AIBU for though?

I didnt get the impression that it was purely support the OP was after although of course I would expect replies to be as kind as possible to someone in OPs position.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:27:41

Every year in November my friends rally round me. They buy me cards and flowers, they drag me to the pub, they text me and phone me.

They remember Oliver.

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 12:27:57

Who the fuck told her to apologise? angry

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:32:06

'My DH hasn't forgotten his little boy (none of us have, and I never even met him) but life has moved on and he's remembered in different ways now.

I do believe there has to come a time where you can celebrate what there WAS rather than grieve for what there was NOT. Does that make sense?

It's not healthy to expect your friends to mourn. It is acceptable to have them mark the occasion in some other way. Raise a glass, charitable donation etc., I'm not saying don't talk about it. '

Life moves on. Yes, that's definite because no one can freeze time. How is she expecting them to mourn? She wanted to celebrate his birthday!

Let's see, once, if that were your child you lost, would you be saying the same thing? I hope you never find out.

Yes, Lira, just stick to family and keep it private. There's a deadline on it all, you see. When you have to 'move on', apparently.

Better yet, why not find friends who get it?

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:33:40

Your friends remember your less because they care about you.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:34:03

loss not less

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:34:25

Lovely friends, Everlong! smile

I still send my friend Marion a birthday card on her son's birthday. He died 11 years ago when he was 32. She's been amazing when my own child fell ill and then died.

hellymelly Wed 12-Sep-12 12:36:58

I am very sorry that you lost your baby boy. I do agree with you that a first trimester miscarriage is very distressing but not as traumatic as losing a full term baby. Maybe in part because until the second trimester most women are holding their breath slightly and hoping that the pregnancy will continue, but know that it might not. Growing a baby to term and seeing that baby is a different thing to go through. For the former it is often that hopes for the baby and for the future are crushed, but with the latter you have a visible little person to mourn which is harder I'm sure. (I've had an early miscarriage, but not a stillbirth).
I do think though, that friends will find it very hard to understand your ongoing grief unless they have been through the same thing, so perhaps now is the time to do something private with your DH, mark the time in some way -something to do with the number 3 perhaps, planting three trees, or releasing three lit lanterns into the sky.

frasersmummy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:37:57

and the more we talk about these things the more people will realise what support they can give to friends who have these terrrible tragedies

as long as its hidden away and not spoken about people wont know what to do..

see how its got quieter on here since the thread was moved... i rest my case...

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 12:38:42

No, Expat - I don't know how it would feel. And, I agree, I hope I never find out. I know enough to know you do know how it feels.

But, this summer, I did Lands End to John O'Groats with my two (then) preschoolers to raise money for Claire house, where a friend's little girl died. Her dad wanted to do something positive so set about raising funds.

I have also recently met a lovely lady who is trying to ban glass bottles from nightclubs etc,. after her husband was fatally stabbed.

What I am saying is: At some point, you say: I was blessed with this amazing person in my life. It wasn't long eough and I'm determined to make a legacy they personally didn't have time here on earth to achieve.

Look, I'm really not that articulate. What I am saying is (from someone who doesn't have first hand experience, so I can never really know what to say / how it feels etc) no one is expecting to forget, but perhaps there is a better way to remember.

Expat - I have so much respect for you so I do hope I haven't offended.

Oh Lira I'm so sorry for the loss of your little Ethan. 3 years really is no time at all. I am really sad for you that your friends couldn't put their own feelings aside for one day to have lunch with you and allow you to talk about Ethan. I have just been through the first anniversary of my daughters death - it's unimaginably hard.

Those saying she should grieve more privately now - how dare you angry When you have lunch with your friends do you never discuss things that happened years ago, good and bad? Lira wasn't asking them to go to the cemetery/attend a rememberence service she was asking them to go for lunch they should have been able to do this for her no matter what their own personal history.

As for mnhq moving a thread about baby loss to bereavement again Shame on you. Why is it death can be talked about in every other topic except if it's the loss of a baby. FFS. I see threads in chat/relationships/Aibu about parents, grandparents, partners, friends dying, never a suggestion that the thread get moved. Even the death of an older child seems more acceptable. But stillbirth seems to be quickly shunted to bereavement every sodding time.

Sorry Lira rant over. I hope you can spend tomorrow honouring Ethan the way you would like to xx

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 12:40:49

What a shame that this thread was moved. I couldn't agree with you more, frasersmummy.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 12:41:39

Your friend was nasty. Just plain nasty and I'm so sorry she was so awful to you.

People talk such bollocks about how "we just want to help" and "I support my friends" but when it comes to it a lot of people just want to look after themselves and don't want the hassle of helping others.

You lost a child, only three years ago. A very short time ago you suffered the worst loss a person can experience. And your shits of friends are comparing it to a miscarriage (which is horrible, but nowhere near the same scale) and telling you you should be over it. I am actually furious on your behalf.

You are actually being a very good friend to them by telling them exactly what you need. You need them to be there for you for one meagre day out of their lives. And they've said no. So now you know where you stand. You've asked for a very simple easy bit of help and they're not interested. In fact they believe you have no right to feel the way you feel.

In your shoes I would have to wash my hands of these "friends". Devastating, but there is no way I could look them in the face again without wanting to punch them.

I am so sorry for your loss and I hope you find at least one true friend to mark Ethan's birthday with you.

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 12:42:03

I agree with Frasersmummy too.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:43:06

'I do think though, that friends will find it very hard to understand your ongoing grief unless they have been through the same thing, so perhaps now is the time to do something private with your DH, mark the time in some way -something to do with the number 3 perhaps, planting three trees, or releasing three lit lanterns into the sky.'

Good grief (no pun intended). She wanted to celebrate with people she thought were friends. And if they are, they'd get that, not label it 'ongoing grief' or tell her to shove off do something private, light lanterns and give to charity. She might already be doing that. She wanted to have lunch, since obviously she can't give him a birthday party which she'd have invited them to.

Mrscog Wed 12-Sep-12 12:43:40

Op - of course you should commemorate the day however you like, and I think your friends have been very insensitive. I am suprised to be honest, as I think there is always an awkwardness around people who have had a terrible berevement, and I personally would welcome a friend being so open about how they would like support.

I hope you find some more supportive friends/family to mark the occasion with. xx

Thelobsterswife Wed 12-Sep-12 12:45:40

Onceortwice I really think you need to read your posts back and try and put yourself in the position of someone who has had a stillborn baby to reconsider whether you should be telling them what to do and whether what you are saying is hurtful. I think it is.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 12:45:43

Onceortwice - what do you think is wrong with having a lunch with friends to commemorate a lost child? Is it not "worthy" enough, or something? Does the OP have to be raising funds or campaigning for something in order for her grief to be more acceptable to others?

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:45:47

'What I am saying is: At some point, you say: I was blessed with this amazing person in my life. It wasn't long eough and I'm determined to make a legacy they personally didn't have time here on earth to achieve.'

Maybe she already is. She wanted to have lunch to celebrate.

Gees, glad I have friends in real life who enjoy remembering our child and don't put a time limit on that.

Sorry to hear of your loss sad Your friend was insensitive, it is up to you whether you move on or not and how you do that (I'm not condoning her comments at all but I wondered if they have they been trying a long time or something. It sounds like she might be struggling.)
I hope you find your own way of celebrating your baby's short life.

LolaThePregnantFlyola Wed 12-Sep-12 12:47:15

I am truly Sorry for your loss OP

But i think in this situation, it is quite possible that your friend or friends no longer feel comfortable meeting up for this, probably because it is not 'theirs' anymore, fact is that many people say they will ''never forget'' or they will be there for you, but without you reminding them it would be another day in the week and not marked on the calendar.

I think your friend was insensitive in what she said, but, and this is a guess.
maybe they feel they don't know him as a child, you say you talk about him when you go out, but i'm guessing they think 'but we have already done that', because they didn't notice the tiny freckle on his cheek or the way his birthmark was or how adorable his hairline was, or the way his nose was perfect and he had a little indent on his chin.
In the way people would get bored if i spoke about my son (who is here) in the same way, they don't see why it matters because they aren't his mum.

Start doing something with those who wish to be involved i bet you find it more enjoyable, because chances are if they want to be there 3 years on then they really care

If they no longer wish to go then you shouldn't make them feel guilty, but you really don't have to let it go, and to ask you to do so is wrong.

But stop comparing, it's pointless for you and everyone both are horrid one may be more painful but be careful to stop minimizing other peoples experiences, it's not nice and the thread title is horrible, you shouldn't be so insensitive whilst posting about someone being insensitive however emotive for you, it is not fair.

sorry, i have tried to be as nice as possible, but your thread title has upset me and i am sure others

Salbertina Wed 12-Sep-12 12:51:09

Lira- am so sorry for your ongoing loss of baby Ethan and your crap friends sad
As someone who's had a m/c but not a stillbirth, I completely agree with you, who wouldn't?
Sadly in some v stupid way she may think she's helping you?? People tend to shy way from grief or loss wren they feel it's no longer appropriate/timely whatever.. We're all so fed the positive thinking, live for the moment line..makes people callous and rather reductive at times IMHO.
How do you want to mark it now? Special lunch w Dh rather than them??

Lougle Wed 12-Sep-12 12:54:02

I'm sorry that you are even having to think about these things, Lira, instead of thinking of how to celebrate your DS being 3.


"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."

I'm wondering if you have seen this as 'like we do every year' whilst your friend has seen it as 'we did that last two years, as Lira had such a hard time.'

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 12:54:11

But, the trouble is, I CAN'T put myself in that position. By GOD, I know how lucky I am to utter those words. I do. But I still can't ever understand how it feels. Saying how I think it might feel is (to me) even worse, because I can't know. ANd even trying to say I could is (again, to me) trivialising how totally devastating it must be.

ALl I can do is offer my opinion in that I would find it much more fitting if I were asked to do something positive to mark a friend's baby. I would find it rather difficult to be expected to have lunch and talk about what happened three years ago (that's not to say I wouldn't be more than happy to go to lunch to LISTEN, but I would find it hard to talk about the child. Sorry I would)

Again, I would like to reiterate that (i) I am not trying to piss anyone off (ii) I have no first hand experience of child loss but hopefully I can at least explain why people don't really like to talk about it.

I haven't ever lost a child. I hope to God I never had to change that statement. ANd, I guess, sometimes you don't want to admit just how fragile life is.

Thelobsterswife Wed 12-Sep-12 12:55:01

Why would it not be marked on her friends' calendars? I remember all my friends' children's birthdays?

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 12:55:12

Yes, Lira, special lunch in private with your husband and family. You're reached the time bar on your loss, apparently.

Find some new friends who don't see celebrating your child as something that has a statute of limitations.

lira perhaps you could share this beautiful piece of writing with your friend, and see if it resonates with her as well.


The time of concern is over. No longer are we asked how we're doing. Never are the names of our children mentioned to us. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. Life's slip from frequent recall. There are exceptions: close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. Still look. Still ask. Still listen. Thank God for them. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent.

But for us the play will never end. The effects on us are timeless. What can be said, you ask? Please say their names to us. Love does not die. Their names are written on our lives. You may feel that they are dead. We feel that they are of the dead and still they live. They ghost-walk our souls, beckoning in future welcome. You say, "They were our children"; we say "They are". Please say their names to us and say their names again. It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stays within us always. They were of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. Please understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could.

We know that you cannot know, yesterday we were like you. Understand that we dwell in both flesh and spirit. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk it with them in the flesh, looking not to spirit worlds beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost, you cannot feel. What we have gained you may not see. Please say " their names" for they are alive. We will meet them again, although in many ways we've never parted. Their spirits play light songs, appear in sunrises and sunsets. They are real and shadow, they were and they are.

Please say their names to us and say their names again.
They are our children and we love them as we always did.
More each day.

IceBergJam Wed 12-Sep-12 12:56:18

OP, did not read all the thread , because I don't want to read some of the responses. I think your friend was being slightly cruel. Death is a natural part of life, and I think its natural for people who were not directly impacted to forget how painfully it can be, but that is no excuse for a total lack of compassion . Marking the birthday or day of loss of a lost child or any other loved one is part of the healing process , but is also a way of keeping them close . It doesn't do any damage.

Do you have another friend or family you can remember him with ? Is there a place you would have liked to have taken him, that you can go to ?

For what its worth , I had a MC at 9 weeks. It was devastating. But I feel ok about it now . My daughter although healthy now , was nearly lost at birth . That moment when the gas mask was hovering over my face , so that they could knock me out , and I though I'd wake up into a nightmare was the most terrifying and sadest moment of my life . I still feel the shock today. The earlier MC did not compare . You are right , a stillbirth and an early MC are totally different .

BartiiMus Wed 12-Sep-12 12:56:55

I am very sorry for the losses of everyone on this thread.

Over the years on Mumsnet I have been given glimpses of the pain caused by a child's death. MNers who have shared their stories have allowed me to reflect on how I could support my friends and family if they should find themselves in similar situations.

I think it is a subject which shouldn't be taboo and shouldn't be hidden away.

I think a lot of people are afraid of causing more grief to someone who has lost a child, they don't know what to say and so don't say anything.

I remember once reading a post which said "people don't say anything because they're afraid of reminding me. But they won't remind me because I never forget. And I'd prefer to know that other people don't forget either"

(not exact words, can't remember them but the idea stayed with me).

I'm sorry if my wording has caused anyone any offence, I've tried my best not to.

Brambule Wed 12-Sep-12 12:57:34

Gosh, whilst loss is indeed a very subjective thing I can't believe someone - especially a friend - could say such a thing. The two things are incomparable. I m/c at 10 weeks, it was a very bleak time but goodness me I cannot begin to even imagine what it is like to lose a child. Any true friend would be by your side however you chose to acknowledge your son and the anniversary. I'm just so sorry that such a difficult time of year has been compounded my your friend's insensitivity.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 12:58:12

As you admit you have no idea how it feels, why dictate what is suitable for others onceortwice? Wouldn't it be better to say "Well I have no idea how it feels so whatever you think helps you is the right thing," instead of making a judgement on how you think people should be feeling/behaving from your privileged position of never having experienced it?

You would find it "much more fitting" if you were asked to do something positive. Fair enough, but that's not relevant is it? Surely all that matters is how the grieving person feels?

missymoomoomee Wed 12-Sep-12 13:02:26

Beautiful post bartiimus.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 13:03:49

What's negative about celebrating his birthday?

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 13:04:13

Well, that depends Cailin .... Actually, no, it wouldn't. If a friend wanted to have lunch with me for whatever reason, and I was free, then yes, I would go.

But, I would find it quite uncomfortable if all they did was relive a situation which occurred 3 years ago. Maybe that makes me a shallow person. Maybe it makes me an insecure one. I don't know. ANd I do have a lot of sympathy with the OP's title (as in, is one worse than the other)

I phoned a friend a few months ago, to tell her my DS had autism. She said 'well, best you know. My cat is very ill' and then proceeded to talk and talk and talk about her fucking cat.

I'm just trying to offer a perspective. It may not be a good one.

Thelobsterswife Wed 12-Sep-12 13:05:44

CallinDana you have written exactly what I want to say, but far more eloquently. OP, as far as I can see, has not asked for other ideas to help her celebrate her son's life. She has asked if she is being unreasonable. In my view she is not.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 13:05:53


Its not reliving a situation though is it?

Its marking his birthday.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 13:06:41

Do you call celebrating your live childs birthday every year 'reliving' their birth?

Or are you just celebrating it?

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 13:08:50

Maybe this thread will make people stop and think.

It doesn't matter if it was 50 years ago or today, it doesn't matter if they were an unborn baby or a strapping man or woman.

A child that dies is always important. Always loved, always talked about and always wanted back with us.

It doesn't go away.

Those of you who haven't lost a child please just think about this.

LolaThePregnantFlyola Wed 12-Sep-12 13:10:14

many people say they will ''never forget'' or they will be there for you, but without you reminding them it would be another day in the week and not marked on the calendar

that;s my point, thelobsterswife , her friend is not celebrating it as a birthday is she?, she doesn't want to do it anymore.
That's why i said people not friends.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 13:10:41

Ok, onceortwice, it would make you feel uncomfortable, that's fine, that's not a negative reflection on you. Your discomfort wouldn't be a patch on how your grieving friend feels though, don't you agree? And I think most genuine friends would be happy to put up with a bit of discomfort if they thought it could help someone they care about through horrendous pain just a little tiny bit. Being a true friend means sometimes doing things you don't necessarily want to do (within reason of course) in order to help your friend.

You admit yourself you know how it feels. You wanted your friend to show concern about something that is a very big deal to you - your DS's diagnosis. But your friend didn't bother, she just banged on about her cat and that pissed you off. So you know what it's like for people not to consider your feelings. What if you complained about your friend and someone else said "Well, she has a point I mean it would be ok if you asked her to campaign for autism but you were just complaining, it must have made her feel uncomfortable." It doesn't take a huge leap from that to imagine what it would be like if friends openly refused to support you on the death of a child.

I'm not saying your perspective is a bad one, I'm just saying that it is worth having a think about how your attitudes could really really hurt someone who is already going through something unimaginably hard.

JuliaScurr Wed 12-Sep-12 13:11:20

thinking of you op

Zoonose Wed 12-Sep-12 13:11:32

I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby son.

I think if there is not a good reason that you don't know about for your friends to evade the occasion (and I cannot really think of one - even if one of them had suffered a late mc as suggested, surely the others could go?) then they are being hugely insensitive. At the best they genuinely think they are trying to help you re-build your life. You do not 'get over' bereavements of any sort. I don't think they ever become OK, do they? - you just get closer to accepting them. I think your friends should always be there for you to give you what you need to live with your loss. Why can't they just respect what you want to do, and give you that time freely without judgement? Can they really not bring themselves to do that small thing? How dare they set a time limit for you to stop celebrating his life? Sorry, I am a bit angry on your behalf.

My friend's wife died suddenly 3 years ago. I still talk to him about her and ask him how he feels about her, how he is doing, when it's their wedding anniversary/her birthday I ask him what he's doing. Because she will always be part of their lives. I would be reconsidering these friendships in your situation.

I think a lot of people just dont listen and dont take time to reflect on anybody's position than their own.

Maybe your friend just had a knee jerk reaction, felt put on the spot, as you wanting to celebrate Ethan, meant she was reminded of her loss, and her loss was one that could not be expressed. As you yourself said hers was only a miscarriage, she may have felt that you had little sympathy for her own loss.

She would not have know the depth of yours, but you cant be competitive.

What do you want to do with your friend going forward? Talk to her about how you feel? Ask her how she feels? Neither of you should feel "shut up" and isolated.

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 13:13:29

Amber but at some point, you don't 'relive' the birth anymore, do you? You celebrate the child, where they are now.

GOd, I used to hate it when my mum said 'ohh... I was PUSHING now' GOd, I hated that.

I'm not saying don't remember, but that the remembrance has to be a bit appropriate too.

I tihnk I will leave this now. It is no longer AIBU, so I am not at all sure I should be expressing opinions like this.

I hope I haven't upset anyone. I just was putting a PoV, mine. x

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 13:13:45

Well said, Cailin!

GladbagsGold Wed 12-Sep-12 13:13:56

Lira I am so sorry for your loss, and I am sorry your friends aren't celebrating Ethan's birthday with you. I think they are being unreasonable. FFS you NEVER have to 'let go' - you lost Ethan and you will always live with that sad loss.

I am sorry for all the people on this thread who've also lost children, you have my sympathy, my empathy and my respect.

Thelobsterswife Wed 12-Sep-12 13:14:17

Sorry Lola. I misunderstood your point. Getting too emotional reading this thread, thinking about what my friend has been going through, so didn't read it properly.

Rosebud05 Wed 12-Sep-12 13:16:04

Unfortunately, I don't think this is an uncommon response over time for friends or even family. My first daughter was stillborn and I too experienced people comparing my loss to their miscarriage and telling me I needed to 'move on' within a few weeks of her birth.

People genuinely don't realise how distressing it is. I think what people are saying is that THEY need to move on - they still feel sad but for them it is in the past and they want to think about happier things. Your son's death isn't for you - it's with you all the time.

My dd was stillborn nearly 7 years ago and we'll mark her birthday just within our immediate family as we have for the past 5 years. Friends were supportive for the first year anniversary, then there was definitely a change.

I hope that your son's birthday passes peacefully.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 13:17:21

When you lose a child, you do move on and let go and sometimes that means letting go of people who feel there's a time bar and constraints on how your child is and should be remembered. You find out who your real friends are, tbh.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Sep-12 13:17:43

Amber but at some point, you don't 'relive' the birth anymore, do you? You celebrate the child, where they are now

Yes and very lucky you are to be able to do that each year watching your child grow.

It is not wrong or inappropriate to celebrate a dead childs birthday.

That child existed.

moajab Wed 12-Sep-12 13:19:53

OP, I am so sorry for the loss of little Ethan. I agree with others to say that there is no time limit on grief. But it seems to me that what your friends are trying to do is worse, than just encouraging you not to grieve. They seem to want you to forget and pretend it never happened. And they can go on living in their little bubble where child mortality doesn't exist. It sounds to me like they're not true friends. You have to live with your loss every day - they should be able to face the reality of this loss for just one lunch time a year. It's not a huge ask of true friends. And I think it was particularly insensitive of them to dump this on you the day before, if previously they have been willing to be there for you.
I have been fortunate not to have suffered a pregnancy loss. But I did have a scare with one of my DC at about 9 weeks and before I knew that it would be ok I heard that a friend had been through a still birth. And I knew then that even if I did loose my baby, that my loss would be nothing compared to theirs.
You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Why should you be embarrassed about remembering your son? I hope you will continue to mark your son's life in whatever way seems right to you. But sadly I think you do need to find some better friends to share this special day with. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. x

LolaThePregnantFlyola Wed 12-Sep-12 13:19:55

Thats ok lobster , i think this is a difficult thread for anyone with any heart to read at all.

cailin that post was spot on Wed 12-Sep-12 13:10:41

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 13:20:05

Don't you mark your children's birthdays onceortwice?

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 13:20:47

Absolutely expat you do find out who your friends are.

There may not be many left but those that are are usually diamonds.

5madthings Wed 12-Sep-12 13:21:47

i am so sorry for your loss op and i hope you have a special day remembering Ethans birthday.

fwiw if one of my friends was having lunch for this reason i would make sure i went.

i dont think its worth comparing grief, its such a personal thing, am also annoyed this thread has been moved and no explanation from mnhq! if op requested it was moved that is fine. if not then shame on you mnhq!

i agree with expats posts and miasmummy

much love to all who have suffered the loss of a child xxx

Kewcumber Wed 12-Sep-12 13:22:29

"But, maybe it is time for a change.

3 years ago, I had a 1YO and a newborn. Now I have two children in school. Times change. "

Dear Lord, that has to be one of the most insensitive comments I've ever seen in response to the loss of a child shock

The thing is, there is a hierarchy of grief. Some losses are way more traumatic, life changing and harder to deal with than others. The difficulty is that everyone's hierarchy is different and you sometimes can't predict what yours is until some shit things have happened to you.

I found not getting pregnant painful, IVF failing more painful and the final round of IVF failing totally surreal in its other-worldliness. My life changed in one sentence and because I didn't even have any embryos transferred that time, I felt totally unable to share with anyone. It isn't a loss that many people would be comfortable discussing and its not like you can buy sympathy cards for "Sorry your IVF failed and you are totally barren"! In my case my mother was diagnosed with (they thought) terminal cancer the day after, so the family's focus was (understandably) on her crisis. So I can identify totally with your feelings of isolation which took me a long time to deal with.

The problem is that you can't make your friends empathetic. The best you can do is to explain to one of them privately how you feel and how you had a real child which you are still grieving and how lonely you feel.

If that isn't going to work then I would suggest finding and talking (online or in real life) others who have suffered a similar loss. There are sadly many others who suffer in the same way who may also be able to help you confront others in your life in a way that helps.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby - if you are anywhere near me I would happily celebrate with you.

My niece lost her cousin a few years ago. (Daughter of her fathers twin brother had an Epileptic fit in the night)

She was asked to say a few words at the funeral. She said "People ask me how many cousins I have and I say 5, but one is living with the angels looking after us all. I cannot say I have 4 cousins but had 5, because this is not true, I still have 5 cousins, Alice exists, in my mind, in my heart and in my memories, I will have her for ever". I thought this was very beautiful and perceptive of a young girl.

Of course you should celebrate your childs birthday. I am not taking your friends side in this, just trying to explain how she might feel, and why she might have reacted like this. It reminded her of her own loss, and she needs to move on, I suspect.

Kewcumber Wed 12-Sep-12 13:25:14

My uncle died of whooping cough he was 2. I know his name, where he was buried, when he died because my grandmother still talks about him occasionally. She's 97.

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 13:28:31

Since losing Oliver I've found I have far more empathy for people who've lost a child.

Yes his death was totally traumatic and even now I can still start shaking out of the blue but I can absolutely break my heart when I hear or read about another mother losing her child.

It isn't a competition and nor should it be.

libelulle Wed 12-Sep-12 13:30:24

I do struggle with the idea that there are no hierarchies of grief and that it is no 'competition'. Because isn't that denying the reality? Most people do have a hierarchy of grief in their minds. Say that I tell you that I lost my friend Bertie 10 years ago. I'm still inconsolable. Bertie was a snail in my garden. Is that ridiculous? Of course it is. If I truly am inconsolable, that is probably because I am emotionally not very stable.

On a different scale, I don't think it's fair to tell someone who has suffered a stillbirth that it is the same emotionally devastating experience as suffering a miscarriage at 4 or 6 or 8 weeks, and that thinking otherwise is somehow engaging in competitive grief. The fact is that most people will never get over a stillbirth, which on the whole is not the case for miscarriage - and that as far as I am concerned is the right way around. I had an extremely traumatic ectopic pregnancy a while back, but would I compare it to a stillbirth? Not in a million years.

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 13:33:49

I feel as if lots of people expect you after a decent amount of time, say 6 months, to be more or less reconciled and moving on. They would like it if you became their wise, compassionate, ocasionally wistful but never discomforting friend.

QuangleWangleQuee Wed 12-Sep-12 13:35:38

I agree libelulle. I've had 3 early mcs and went on to have two children. The mcs were upsetting at the time, but had i suffered a full-term stillborn. Well I can hardly imagine how devastating that would be.

hellymelly Wed 12-Sep-12 13:38:57

whatevertheweather, I think I may have upset you with my post and if so I am very very sorry. (I was someone who suggested a more private thing to mark the day). The reason I said that is not because I don't think the op's or anyone else's ongoing grief at losing a child is valid, I do, very much so. If she was my friend I would be marking the day myself. But as the op's friends are pulling away and seem to be offering her less support and to be less keen to mark the birthday, I thought that for that reason perhaps something with just close family or her dH might be more of a proper birthday marker. I can't imagine it would be helpful for the op to have friends there who are half hearted about it or don't really want to be there. I should have clarified that in my post, I didn't express myself very well, the last thing I intended was to hurt anyone who has lost a baby. Im my experience though there are many people who are very uncomfortable dealing with death and who do want the bereaved to "move on" because they find it all too uncomfortable. I don't think that is right, but it happens and we can't always change that attitude, or may not want to drop the friendships.
OP can you talk to your friends about this?

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 13:39:55

Anyway, Lira I'm so sorry your friend hurt you. She's obviously a good one as she so upset you so I hope you two can work this out.

In the meantime Ethan is in my thoughts.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 13:48:06

When I was 8 weeks pregnant with my dd, I suddenly started bleeding copiously and passed a massive clot (sorry for tmi)
I phoned the hospital, the doctor told me that it didn't sound too hopeful and to come in for a scan the next day.

So I thought I'd lost the baby. I really did. I thought you couldn't lose that much blood and still be pregnant. It was dreadful. I felt awful, robbed. devastated.

But it turned out, she was still in there heart beating away. Later my obs found a second empty sac so it seemed I had lost her twin.

Then I had her at 28 weeks and then she died unexpectedly 7 weeks later. I should have still been pregnant had the pregnancy gone to plan.

There is NO comparison! Yes, they are both a loss. But if you get pregnant, you know at the back of your mind that a lot of pregnancies end in early miscarriage. So you know you're not "there" till you have the 12 week scan and the baby looks viable.

With stillbirth, you lose a fully formed baby. You felt him kick, you bought stuff for him. You can hold him/her in your arms and cuddle them until you have to give them back. They are a child. You have a funeral, a coffin. And most of the time, it is totally unexpected.

I lost Sylvie-Rose to SIDS, not stillbirth. But some of the ladies on the bereaved mums' threads who lost their babies to stillbirth lost babies who had actually been on the earth longer. Some of them were bigger, heavier babies than she was. They were babies. And even the ones who were smaller, earlier, nothing in any of the conversations I have ever had with those ladies would ever make me think their loss was less than mine because their babies never cried or saw the world.

When you lose a child you never, ever get over it. There is no moving on. Time marches on and other people may forget but we don't. It's not like losing a parent which is bad enough in itself, because your parents are supposed to die before you. When you lose a child, you are always thinking "He/she should be <<insert age>> now, should be walking/talking/going to school, should be getting on with the business of growing up.

I will celebrate my daughter's birthday every year. As it happens, I don't have friends who come over for the occasion but I would be very, very hurt if anyone who had been involved to start with, decided to opt out.

Lira I am so sorry. Losing a child is one of those situations in life where you find out who your friends are. I have been so disappointed in friends I thought would always be there and surprised too at some of the people who came up trumps.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 14:06:16

onceortwice "Amber but at some point, you don't 'relive' the birth anymore, do you? You celebrate the child, where they are now"

Dear God, I would love to know for sure where my child is now! But I can assure you, last August 16th, when we sang Happy Birthday and cut a chocolate cake and released a "1" balloon into the sky, I was not at that point thinking "This time last year I was lying in a hospital bed, doped to the gills having had 10 units of blood and not so much as a photo of the tiny girl who was in an incubator upstairs"
I was celebrating the birth and existence of that little girl, however short-lived it was.
And hoping that somehow, she was still there in spirit watching us all and knowing she was remembered.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 12-Sep-12 14:07:28

I've had an 8 week miscarriage and I had a 20 week live birth. They were totally different events, I was heartbroken by the miscarriage but it's totally different to going through labour to push out your lifeless baby, to hold them whilst they die and to cling onto their dead body wishing you could change something to bring them back.

There's a reason most people don't talk about being pregnant until 12 weeks, because you know pregnancy is vulnerable that early on. When I was pregnant with my angel-baby I got to 8 weeks and felt a little more relaxed, got to 12 weeks and thought I was invincible. When I started to get a lot of pain at 19 weeks I was happy to believe it was a UTI like the doctor said and I'd be OK. Until the moment she was born no one had ever said I was in labour and I didn't believe it, I thought it would stop and everything would be OK babies just aren't born at that stage.

Yes someone might be heartbroken and devastated by an early miscarriage but they wouldn't be less so for a stillbirth or early death, I don't know anyone who has been through both who has said that the two were equal.

diddl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:09:45

"I will celebrate my daughter's birthday every year. As it happens, I don't have friends who come over for the occasion but I would be very, very hurt if anyone who had been involved to start with, decided to opt out."


Why can´t they stop at some point?

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 14:10:58

diddl, losing a child is incredibly intense. It seems that you don't want to understand - just be belligerent.

diddl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:12:02

I do want to understand-which is why I´m asking.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 14:13:11

Of course they can stop, diddl! They can do what they want. But I would be hurt if they wanted to drop out.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 14:14:48

Diddl - I think it would depend on why they stopped participating. If it was because they had lost touch with you, or were going through a lot of shit themselves, or some other reason like that then you would just have to let it go. But if they were quite happy to ask you for favours and see you for other reasons but then just suddenly said "I think you should move on so I'm not helping to celebrate your child's birthday," then I think it would be normal to be very very hurt and to reevaluate the friendship.

Don't you agree?

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 14:15:16

Because, diddl, your child does not stop being your child, even if they die. And if my friends love me, they will want to remember my child.
Friends we rarely see, sent a card for dd's birthday. Not a big "Hey, you're One! party time!!" type of card but a lovely card to show they cared. That's what friends do.

diddl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:16:28

Sorry, you already put thatblush

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 14:16:47

Kewcumber the "time for a change" lines you quote from another poster; I was utterly gobsmacked by them when I read them in their orginal post. WHAT do they mean? Are they as absurd and callous as I think they are?

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 14:17:51

I would do anything for my friends as they would me.

That's the whole point of having and being a friend.

I don't get why anybody would say it's time to move on or let go. Awful.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 12-Sep-12 14:19:23

Oh and on my daughter's birthday we buy chinese lanterns (bamboo and cotton, no wires) for everyone who is there and we each write a message on one. Then we release them and my eldest shouts bye to them.

minceorotherwise Wed 12-Sep-12 14:21:22

It's not a book club.
The OP presumably thought long and hard over the people she wanted to share the memory of her son with
It's not something that is ever going away, it's their birthday, it's the one day that will be there year after year, never changing
'opting out' , suggesting it's finished, that she move on, is just awful, insensitive and derisory. Of course she has got on with her life, we all do, remembering our children doesn't preclude that

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 14:21:23

Sorry, I didn't mean to shout "what" blush

WTAF more like.

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 14:23:06

After rereading Lira's OP I regret saying that the friend must be a dear one if she has so upset her. Maybe she was, but it seems that for whatever reason she's stopped being so because it was a shitty thing to say. I would have been devestated.

diddl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:26:27

Yes I do agree Cailin

And I do think that the friend is out of order for what she said.

I think that too many people just don´t know how to be in such situations.

And of course should be lead by what the person who has lost the child wants to do.

I have never lost a baby, but i cannot see how the two compare. Giving birth to a baby and watching him or her die must be absolutely heartbreakingsad

Imo your friends sound very heartless and unconsiderate of your grief.
If you were my friend, i would be there for you no matter how many years have passed. My mum has lost a child, my brother and you never get over losing a child ever.
I don't understand the reasoning behind your friends wishes for you "to get over it" this was your baby they are talking about.
So you should remember him every year, im going to light a candle for your baby boy sad

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 14:51:42

Very well said, chipmonkey.

'Im my experience though there are many people who are very uncomfortable dealing with death and who do want the bereaved to "move on" because they find it all too uncomfortable. I don't think that is right, but it happens and we can't always change that attitude'

Then 'move on' yourself and find some different friends. Because tbh, I don't want to be friends with people who are so uncomfortable with what is an inevitability for us all that they can't put aside their discomfort to be a friend, because I would for them, most definitely. That's what it's about.

travellingwilbury Wed 12-Sep-12 15:10:10

This is the second thread I have read today which talks about the right and wrong way in which a bereaved mum should behave .

Why does it matter so much to people what we do or how the buggery we do it ?

The op was asking her friends to go out to lunch with her for a couple of hours to mark the fact that her child was real . Are some of you serious when you say you wouldn't do that ? She should "move on" whatever the hell that means . Or she should grieve in private and not let others see that it still hurst .

Why ? My child died over 10 yrs ago , it still hurts ! I cope , I live a life , but it is a very different life to the one I imagined I would have . It is very different to the life I should have .

The op is carrying this awful grief around with her 24/7 and has asked her "friends" to eat food and chat for a couple of hours in the whole yr and they don't want to ?? They are the ones that should be ashamed and be apologising .

WhatYouLookingAt Wed 12-Sep-12 15:12:48

I just don't understand the need for hierarchies of grief, in a my loss is worse than yours way. Everyone can grieve in their own way, and should be respected, not told when to move on, and not told that their loss is any less important than anyone elses.

ethelb Wed 12-Sep-12 15:15:07

I do feel a bit sorry for OP's friend after reading all of this. Yes she was a dick but you have only heard one side of the story.

It must be pretty crap to have a miscarriage when one of your closest friends has lost a child, meaning you can never complain as "it's not quite the same as delivering a full-term stillborn". It is selfish of the friend but maybe she is jealous as she feels she didn't get the support she needed from her group of friends as the grief of another one "trumped" her needs.

Its a pretty rubbish situation for everyone.

travellingwilbury Wed 12-Sep-12 15:19:55

But the friend had her miscarriage "a few yrs ago" so presumably before the op had Ethan so how would that have trumped her ? fwiw I don't really want to get into levels of grief and pain , I would be interested to hear if the other friends are as loath to get together as well .

Just seems a strange way for friends to behave to me .

Kewcumber Wed 12-Sep-12 15:21:43

"Kewcumber the "time for a change" lines you quote from another poster; I was utterly gobsmacked by them when I read them in their orginal post. WHAT do they mean? Are they as absurd and callous as I think they are?"

Jenai - so glad it wasn't just me that read that post with my mouth open (also thinking WTAF!)

I'm hoping that it was a (very) poorly thought through comment but does go to show what crap reactions bereaved people have to deal with even if they have kindly intentions.

ethelb Wed 12-Sep-12 15:22:51

I read it as there was a possibility that they were pregnant around the same time. OP would have been pregnant nearly four years ago. Friends had miscarriage "a few years ago".

Which does put the friend's reaction in a different perspective. If she might have had a child the same age for example. I'm not saying its ok, fair, nice or rational.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 15:33:48

I had someone, a friend of a friend, ring me after my child's funeral and tell me she couldn't face the cemetary as she had a child the same age. Um, okay, thanks for that.

I hadn't even noticed who was there, too busy thinking, 'We are lowering our own child into the ground forever.'

Really, you do find out who your friends are and 'let it go' would be my cue to take a big step back, as would people who start to step back.

By contrast, Everlong's mates organise something and drag her along. I've done this for friends, too, who have lost their children and will continue to until they tell me to stop. 11 years on, she's still not stopping me! This mother says she can't even mention her son's name anymore without people shifting around uncomfortably or telling her to 'move on' and 'it was a long time ago'. He was her son int his life for 32 years, ffs! Even Kevin Wells, writing about his murdered daughter, Holly, has had people say stuff like that to him, 'It's been ten years.' Yep, and it's been two seconds too long I hung around someone who would say that to the father of a murdered child. Buh-bye.

But then, even before we lost our child, I couldn't for the life of me understand people who are 'uncomfortable' with death. Always seemed stupid of them, since, well, we are all going to die.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 15:35:14

ethel, I think you're probably on to something, with the never being able to complain (or at least, giving OP's friend the benefit of the doubt, I hope you are).

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 15:35:22

If the friend had said that she was struggling with her own grief at the moment so didn't feel she could support her, it would be one thing. But she told Lira she needed to 'let it go'. Which means she thinks the OP should be over her grief. Which reads to me as if the friends think the OP is dragging it out/making a fuss/going on about it etc.

WhatYouLookingAt Wed 12-Sep-12 15:36:13

thats exactly why they are uncomfortable. They look at you and think "that could be me, losing my child" and its too much. Easier to ignore the whole thing and pretend such things never happen, because then they can't happen to you. Subconciously, but its a powerful and somewhat understandable fear.
The trick however is to overcome it and be better than that.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 12-Sep-12 15:42:05

Indeed Look, the "let it go" comment is baffling.

SilverSixpence Wed 12-Sep-12 15:43:48

OP, you have the right to grieve for your baby and no-one should tell you to 'let it go'. Perhaps if your friends feel uncomfortable about it you can mark the occasion with your DH/other family members who will share your grief instead.

CaptainHoratioWragge Wed 12-Sep-12 15:50:41

I'm so sorry for your loss OP.

I think your friend was insensitive in how she spoke to you.

I've lost three now (well ERPC tomorrow for the third one, but the baby has already died )...one of them was a full on labour and delivery of our perfect baby boy, the other two were first trimester losses (7 weeks and 11 weeks this time)

My experience is that labour and delivery of a dead child is emotionally and physically much harder than a first trimester loss.

That isn't to say I don't love my other two, I do, and it was incredibly upsetting, but losing our son tore a hole in me that i'm not sure will ever mend.

I think your friend has no idea what that is like. I do, and i'm horribly sorry you have been through it.

ethelb Wed 12-Sep-12 15:50:44

But what if the friend had sucked it up at the time of the death thinking that she only had to be brave for her friend for a little bit and is now feeling a bit resentful as she has realised that the situaiton isn't going to change for her friend any time soon if ever? That is an arseholey way to behave, I agree.

But I do think that a friend who has been supportive for 3 years and never mentioned her own very painful loss before deserves a bit more slack tbh.

As I said, for all we know the friends' child's 3rd birthday could be around now and she may have had enough going through this painful ritual and THINKS she is being kind by suggesting her friend moves on.

The friend may have had the miscarriage followng years of IVF and now has to face the fact that she will never have children and hasn't discussed it with her friend as "it isn't quite the same as delivering a full-term stillborn". MAYBE this was a tactless way of dealing with that.

We don't know as we are only hearing one side of the story.

Lira Wed 12-Sep-12 15:54:10

Hello again

i was unable to find this thread to post again looks like it has been moved for some reason. i assume it is because it upset people. i'm really sorry for that. i just wanted to know if i was being unreasonable.

thank you for all your lovely replies. i am only on the second page but will read them all just now. i can't begin to explain how much it means to hear you all talk about him so openly. it is all very hush hush in my family and friends. no one likes to discuss him or look at photos.

i realise now that perhaps marking his birthday so openly could be seen as odd but he was my son. i have a daughter and i celebrate her birthday every year so why not ethan's?

You are all so lovely. bless you for your kind words. i think from now on me and my daughter will mark the day alone so as not to make others uncomfortable. This saddens me though as i want to celebrate him and talk about him just as any parent would on their child's birthday.

Sorry i am rambling now. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts, prayers and stories. i am also sorry for all your losses xxxxx

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 16:00:01

Lira I completely understand. I am desperate at times to hear my son's name.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 16:00:09

Lira, please do feel free to join us on the bereaved Mums thread. It's currently called, "You light the skies up above me, a light so bright you blind me" in honour of Poppy Barlow.

onceortwice Wed 12-Sep-12 16:05:34

Lira - No One wanted your thread moved because it upset anyone. Not for a second. I think the people who asked for it to be moved asked for that out of the very best wishes for you to have the advice and support you need / want / would like.

I am sorry that my advice isn't better. But I wanted you to know that no one was offended by your post. I wanted to help, just as everyone else did. I just think there are people who can help more than I can.


twinklesunshine Wed 12-Sep-12 16:08:04

Lira I am so sorry to hear about Ethan.

Have read all the replies as this is something that is close to my heart, my little 3 year old son died 6 months ago.

'What I am saying is: At some point, you say: I was blessed with this amazing person in my life. It wasn't long eough and I'm determined to make a legacy they personally didn't have time here on earth to achieve. '

Onceortwice, I just have to say, that I do disagree with this comment in the context of a child. My mum died 6 years ago, and as a legacy to her I trained to become a bereavement counsellor to help people through the kind of awful grief that I had experienced. I have a totally different response to it my little boy died. I think the grief for my child is off the scale - and I certainly cannot see that I was blessed with this person at the moment, all I see is that other people are blessed with their children, why am I not? My mum lived a full and happy life until she was 55, and had a lot of a life. My son didnt even get to have his lunch at preschool, it doesnt compare to me.

Within the context of whose grief is worse, I think it is always down to the person who is grieving, the loss that that person is experiencing is probably the worst loss of their lives, and they have nothing to compare it too. I must admit to have struggled when people have said to me that they know how I feel because they had an early miscarriage, I do find it hard to relate it to my situation, but that is their worst situation ever, and I have to acknowledge that.

I would too feel hurt as you do Lira if my friends didnt acknowledge his death. I don't think I would necessarily expect to do something with them, because at the moment, I cant even bare to see many people, but I would want to know that the support was there at least. As to be moving on after 3 years, again in the context of loosing a child there is no way that this is going to happen. To those with all their children, 3 years is a lifetime, but imagine for us, that is 3 years of missing, longing, crying, hurting. It doesn't get less over time, I am told you are just able to handle it better. To me, I can imagine I will feel as bad that he died 3 years later as I did the day after it happened, I will just be able to cope with it better. I think there is a perception that once an acceptable mourning period is over, we only think of these children on their special occasions, and that is so far from the truth, we think about them every day - but its hard to always express that, I already feel like a bore and its only 6 months, so birthdays are the perfect time to be able to express, and Lira should not feel bad about that.

Peoples reactions are hard to bare, it really is a case of not being able to comprehend until its happened I think. I am so sorry for you.


zeeboo Wed 12-Sep-12 16:10:32

I've had 4 mcs and one, at 12 weeks hugely devastated me and I needed time off work and counselling but I still dont think it was anything like having a baby born sleeping and i think your 'friend' is hugely rude and clearly has little empathy.
For me that would be the end of any friendship between us. I have friends who lost term babies and I make sure I contact them on the baby's bday and light a candle for them etc. I don't even do that for my own mc'd babies even though I still carry the pain and loss with me. To me they simply aren't comparable losses.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 16:12:23

Well said, twinkle.

My aunt lost two of her children. After Sylvie-Rose died, she wrote me a letter. She wrote "You never get over it but it does get easier to bear"
And it is thirty years since she lost one child and I think twenty-five years since she lost the other.

Lira Wed 12-Sep-12 16:25:24

Thank you again.

Please don't think tomorrow i will be grieving. i have come to terms with his death but i still want to celebrate his birth each year. Tomorrow wasn't about sitting around and feeling sad. It was just to meet up with friends and talk about ethan for a while in a positive light. But they obviously think this is an odd thing to do.

CailinDana Wed 12-Sep-12 16:26:04

How are you feeling about your friends Lira?

MyOrangeDogShitsGoldMoney Wed 12-Sep-12 16:26:05

OP I am so sorry for your loss, and sorry for all the bereaved mothers here.

I never forget how easily it could have been me. I spent all day desperate to feel a movement. I lay in the delivery room and watched as the heart monitor slowed to nothing. I listened to the deafening silence as DS was born.

I am grateful every day to the consultant who took over the delivery and basically just pulled him out of me and to doctors who resuscitated him. That day was the longest day of my life.

I felt his loss for a few short minutes and it was indescribable. I can't even imagine your pain, I would feel honored to celebrate him with you in whatever way you choose.

Grief is such a personal thing, the loss of a child even more so as it's simply not natural, no parent should ever out-live their child, ever. No one gets to tell you to "let it go". Just reading that phrase has made me angry.

The very fact that you still get up every day and put one foot in front of the other takes courage no one can understand. I will be thinking of you and Ethan tomorrow.

(To the poster who mentioned that you stop "reliving the birth" at some point, I hope you realise how flippant that sounds. On DS's 1st birthday last month it dominated my thoughts all day even though I am blessed to still have my child.)

I would suggest to anyone who, like myself, is unable to imagine a bereaved parent's grief that they don't make helpful suggestions and stick to giving support and empathy in whichever way it is wanted.

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 12-Sep-12 16:31:53

I don't want to derail this thread but thought I should let you know that I have started this thread asking why it was moved.

The previous case was the birth story of a baby who died a few days after birth. The OP was distressed that it was moved without her request and against her wishes, as she rightly wanted to talk about the birth itself, not her grief.

Sorry if this is unhelpful here, but it is something that has really annoyed me about MN and I think many bereaved parents feel pushed into the bereavement section when they want discussion in an open forum.

MyOrangeDogShitsGoldMoney Wed 12-Sep-12 16:39:36

X-Post OP.

Please don't hide to avoid "making people uncomfortable". Ethan is your son, you are his mother, you should mark his birthday in whatever way you want to.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 17:10:01

I'm peeved this was moved without your consent or request as well as hellofred's thread about her child's birth and subsequent death.

ipswichwitch Wed 12-Sep-12 19:36:49

I'm so sorry lira for your loss (Ethan is a wonderful name)
We lost one of our twin boys last year at 34 weeks and needed cs as we didn't know if we would lose his brother (thankfully we didn't). The comments and response from some friends and family have appalled me, such as "well at least you have N" (our son is not a consolation prize), and "just need to take your mind off it". Frankly it's that kind of shit and the never ending "youve got to keep it together for N" that's led me to have a breakdown.
I've never properly grieved for him, and resent the suggestion that somehow I should put him out of my mind and just carry on like he was never here. I think of him every day, and counselling has gone some way to helping me to learn to cope and be functional again. At the end of the day, he's my son just as much as his brother and I will be celebrating their 1st birthday for both of them in a few weeks. But it's going to be bloody hard, and any friend/family that can't cope with being supportive on that day can sod off

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 20:50:36

And this thread is still here, in Bereavement, despite the fact that the OP did not request its move.

I'm one of the people who suggested this should be moved. I have started and seen threads on AIBU which have turned bunfighty from apparently innocuous starts and I had (mistakenly apparently) worried this might go that way and I'm afraid I was concerned for Lira. Bunfighty threads when you feel vulnerable are scary and very unpleasant

I suggested chat, not because I think it should be hidden away but I thought a more reasonable debate could potentially happen on chat.

Sorry if this is de-railing, but I don't like that people's genuine concerns for the OP are being treated so angrily, if those of us who haven't been there get it wrong for those of you who have, help us to understand but don't be cross with us for 'not knowing' we are perhaps trying to understand something that is incomprehensible for us.

I really hope I haven't offended anyone (further) we've all seen those threads go hideously wrong on AIBU though and I certainly reacted to that. My apologies if anyone has been offended by any of my clumsy wording.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 20:55:25

She did not request the move. IMO, it should be her call. She is not a new poster, I'm sure she's well aware what AIBU can be like.

Crumblingslowly Wed 12-Sep-12 20:56:41

I am so sorry for your loss Lira,it's very painful to be marginalised like that.
Big hugs for you for tomorrow....I shall be one of many on MN who shall think of you & Ethan tomorrow.People expect you to "move on" within 6 months in my experience.
I went through similar experiences to you in that most people can't cope with what you are going through....they just want you "back to normal".
When they see that it isn't just going to go away they sort of subtley withdraw....or come out with some pretty ignorant things like that misguided friend of yours.
I also think that some people are just down-right insensitive & dare I say a bit self-orientated.
Ipswich I went thru vv similar to you & received the same pearls of wisdom,you just can't believe that people can come out with such crap.
I eventually used to try to explain it like this:"If both your parents were in a car crash (heaven forbid) would you be content if yor father lived but you lost your mother?".....it was the closest analogy that people can relate to.
I was told when I lost my twin that I must be grateful that one survived.confused

minceorotherwise Wed 12-Sep-12 20:58:55

I guess as a long standing poster she is aware of the pitfalls of AIBU, however, I do think the people who suggested a move, did it with only the best of intentions at the time

EverlongYouAreGoldAndOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 20:59:26

I respect what you are saying Liza and I believe that you had the Ops' best interest at heart.

But it wasn't really for anybody else to say move this thread, anybody including bereaved mothers. It was up to the OP.

Well, to be fair, I've been around a wee while too and am well aware of what AIBU is like and yet, in a high stress once I posted something very emotive in there that exploded on me and led to me being harassed on the thread and via PM it completely changed the way I post and use mumsnet.

I have to say normally when you report a thread/post (or have one reported) there is some discussion with HQ but I've not had any emails from them about this.

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Sep-12 21:18:58

Oh my darling. 15 years ago our ds2 was born at 27 weeks and died a little while later in my arms. I have come to terms with it but I have never ever got over it. I wish Mnet had been around 15 years ago because actually no one could cope or help me beyond the odd platitude and as soon as dd was born (51 weeks later) the entire birth, death, funeral, son was brushed under the carpet. I still light a candle for him and go to the cemetary on anniversaries and when I feel I need to. In all of the last 15 years, mnet is the only place I can really talk about it; everyone else, including dh, expects me to have got over it and regard it as something that's in the past. There is another part of me that looks at dd and can look upon it as serenedipity and if it hadn't happened then I wouldn't have the most wonderful girl in the entire universe. (sorry not meant as a brag).

On the other hand, dd was my 5th pg (possible 7th or 8th if I count the early losses). I miscarried my other babies (boys) at 17 weeks and 11 weeks. The first at 17 weeks; I didn't allow myself to grieve for but stoically got on with it and it wasn't until ds1 was born that I realised what I had lost and then (for other reasons too) careered into six months of pnd; the next at 11 weeks I was heartbroken over and felt a complete failure.

I think it is one of the last taboos and although things are immeasurably more supportive nowadays I don't think many people understand the impact of any miscarriage or stillbirth and women are expected to deal with it with far too stiff an upper lip.

My ds2 was the real baby who had a funeral but it doesn't make my first or third pgs any less heartbreaking and I still think of the teenagers those boys might now be.

Mnet is the only place I can really talk about it and I think that's why I'm here really.

birdofthenorth Wed 12-Sep-12 21:20:56

I'm sorry for your loss. And I'm sorry that your friends won't be there for You in the way that you'd like.

I've had mcs at 12 weeks and 8 weeks and been devastated by both. But I would never compare it to a still birth or the death of a living child. My friend has lost two pregnancies after 20 weeks (three babies - twins and a son) and I would never dream of equating my earlier losses with hers, even though I was heartbroken (and suffered depression). I can't imagine going through a still birth and I have the utmost respect for you for wanting to preserve, honour and celebrate your son with those who care about you. You shouldn't be expected to stop thinking of him or to sweep it under the carpet. Hugs.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 12-Sep-12 21:27:37

I'm so sorry for your loss Lira sad

And sorry to hear that your friends were not better friends and more able to show some empathy.

If they'd been more mature they'd have all got back to you and all respectfully explained their own feelings about getting together for the anniversary (which might be different to each others) not just have one person speak to you and be pretty insensitive.

Agree with another poster that it's not about working out some hierarchy of tragedy or grief.
Everyone is different.

The only way forward is through respect and empathy all round.

I hope tomorrow brings some opportunities to remember Ethan in the good ways you hoped, and that you will have some good company in doing so, even if it is only us x

confuddledDOTcom Wed 12-Sep-12 21:28:03

I decided to go through the thread after posting and ended up with a busy day, so sorry for delayed responses.


But, maybe it is time for a change.

3 years ago, I had a 1YO and a newborn. Now I have two children in school. Times change.

Seven years ago I was pregnant with my first baby, excited... Then two weeks-ish from now I went into labour. My baby was just too early to survive, despite that she survived birth and I held her for three hours whilst I watched her die. She should have started Y2 last week, but unlike your children, she isn't in school. She's in a hole in the ground. Appreciate your children, appreciate them growing up because we never will get to appreciate that. Our last memories of our precious children are of their cold dead bodies, of their funerals. When you walk your children down the aisle, remember we already did that, that it was the last thing we saw of our children and it wasn't the happy experience it should have been.

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Sep-12 21:31:16

Lira I just read that back and also need to say that in spite of the hell that was losing a baby in the third trimester, life has been good. DS is nearly 18 and I have an adorable dd who is 14. They are both the lights of my life and I do look back sometimes and think that if what happened hadn't happened, then I wouldn't have exactly them. I cannot imagine a life without the children I was dealt - it would be better if there hadn't been the heartbreak but without it I wouldn't have the same children and the thought that is almost as painful as the grief we went through.

Life will get kinder and eventually all will feel well. I think your friends have been unkind but I don't think they don't know any better. 20th/21st century labour, birth, parenting has done little to prepare quite a few generations now to deal with the tragedy of losing a baby or an infant.

Good luck OP. Enjoy and cherish your dd and look forward to your dreams of easier times. Your next baby with never replace Ethan but you will truly cherish him or her.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 12-Sep-12 21:39:13

So sorry for all here who have lost loved ones sad

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 12-Sep-12 21:43:42

Are you going to the September shindig meet-up marriedinwhite ?
I hope I might see you there if I've got that right ?
Your posts are both sad and wise I think. So sorry for your losses sad

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 21:50:14

Thank you all so much, all you brave mothers, for sharing your stories and memories of your precious angel babies.

I had two missed m/c's and while they were indeed heartbreaking they were not so much so as the death of our little girl.

It's not a heirarchy, but losing an angel baby or child is so devestating.

Confused put it so well.

Married, you are very courageous to share your story of your son with us. Thank you for that and he has people now, real people, who will remember him along with their own children.

Lira, death is taboo for many, again, I always found it rather silly because a) it's not contagious and b) it will happen to all of us.

We had some preparation because there is still also a huge taboo surrounding cancer in childhood, hence, paediatric hospitals with no signposting for the onco units because 'people might find it upsetting'.

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Sep-12 21:51:09

Yep - am going - I'll be in crepey corner grin. I'll be the bright smiley one.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 12-Sep-12 22:06:11

Is that the corner for eating crepes < yum >

or for making paper hats out of crepe paper ? grin

or for something else ? confused

In any case, I'll see you there !

< waves to expat - PM me your email details to pass on to the Glasgow MP about the playroom if you'd like me to ? >

fioled Wed 12-Sep-12 22:14:43

Great post confuddled

Watching my husband walk our daughter up the aisle in her tiny pink coffin, instead of a big white dress like he was supposed to do one day will haunt me forever. My burly big rugged DH has never looked so crumpled and broken as he did in that moment.

Lira I'm so sorry that your friends are being so unkind. sad 3 years is no time at all. It is 2 years and almost 3 months since my baby Belle was born sleeping, I can't imagine I'll be ready to 'move on' or 'get over it' in another 9 months. Or ever for that matter. Always as much my daughter yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever. What an insensitive and stupid thing to have said to you.

Is it really too much to ask of our friends to remember all our children on their birthdays? I'm sure they'll happily come along to the birthday celebrations of our living children, so why is it too much to ask that our friends join us on our angel babies birthdays too? To me it would be like someone saying to me 'ah I came to your DS 1st and 2nd birthday, can't be arsed with his 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc etc, time to forget about his birthdays now he's had two.'

Lira in the worst time of our lives, and for a bereaved parent we know that is ongoing, and ongoing and ongoing, you really do find out who is real, true friends.

LookBehindYou Wed 12-Sep-12 22:16:57

The 'times change' thing is beyond belief. So flippant.

MinnieBar Wed 12-Sep-12 22:21:50

Lira where do you live (roughly?). Maybe there are some MNers who would happily meet you for lunch and celebrate Ethan's birthday with you.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 22:30:02

'Is it really too much to ask of our friends to remember all our children on their birthdays?'

No. I could do it even before I even had children. It just seemed the thing to do.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 12-Sep-12 22:36:45

Some people are rubbish at remembering any birthdays, but if you're asked by your friend to help remember and celebrate their birth then of course there's really no excuse.

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Sep-12 23:01:48

Are you bearing up *Expat*? I don't think I will ever forget your dd or all of our prayers for her and for you.

chipmonkey Wed 12-Sep-12 23:08:17

My colleague remembered Sylvie-Rose's birthday. I had stupidly decided to work that day (Never again!) and she came in and gave me a hug.
And that's how colleagues become friends xx

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Sep-12 23:20:21

Am going to bed now. Hope tomorrow is OK *Lira*. I will be thinking of you and Ethan. With love and prayers x. You too Expat - Ailidh touched so many hearts. Having a little cry now. xx

confuddledDOTcom Wed 12-Sep-12 23:30:07

What I am saying is: At some point, you say: I was blessed with this amazing person in my life. It wasn't long eough and I'm determined to make a legacy they personally didn't have time here on earth to achieve.

Just because we remember their birthdays doesn't mean we don't remember them in other ways too.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Sep-12 23:52:00

married, thanks for asking. Have good days and bad days, as will probably always.

But women like you, sharing their stories and their memories of their beautiful children, you have no idead how supportive I find it.

Mothers of angel babies have given birth. They have to register both their birth and their death, and I know both those experiences. They have to make arrangements, for the body/shell of their child. They cannot walk away, it is a legal requirement of them.

And just now in Aillidh's unit, last Saturday was the funeral of a beautiful baby girl, born 22 April 2011, taken by the same disease that claimed Aillidh. She died before she made it to 16 months. I remember seeing her lovely mother, after they were told their child had failed to remit after all the drugs known to treat AML, and how she cried about how she would never walk (she was 10 months when she diagnosed and ill after that), never say 'Mum', and how she wanted shopping, spa days, period pains, relationship troubles and whinging for driving lessons. All I could do was hold her and cry, my child was in PICU already then.

I saw her again, the night A died, in the onco unit. She asked how things were going, despite already knowing her own child was probably terminal. I told her that A was likely to die, I was just down for a much-needed shower a few minutes. And her great blue eyes filled with tears and she came to cuddle me and she whispered, 'I know I will be in your place, in 5 or 6 weeks.'

I hoped and prayed against hope, that wouldn't be true. But it was. Her child died.

And, following A's death, the death of Naomi Sharp, age 15. Same disease as both those girls. One year post successful bone marrow transplant, she relapsed. She chose to go for more chemo. It killed her in less than 6 weeks. With AML's who require stem cell transplants, it is only successful at cure about 50% of the time. In those who relapse within 2 years, well, let's put it this way, the odds are so poor, they give you the option, assuming your child is even found medically fit to possibly withstand it (and a significant percentage are not), to not do anything more.

And I think, how we went to a memorial service for those who have died in A's unit in the past 5 years on 19 August, they were not so few for 2012, and now there are three more and, sadly, I know the parents of some of the children whose names are to come when we go back next year. sad

expatinscotland Thu 13-Sep-12 00:23:44

Even though my daughter was 9 when she died, I'm so, so sorry for those who have lost their children through stillbirth. And I wish to end the taboo surrounding stillbirth, neonatal death and death in childhood.

You cannot catch it, it is not contagious and talking about it will not make it happen to you.

Ignorance might, particulary as there were two threads here trying to raise awareness of possibilities of complications from ECV and herpes simplex virus that resulted in neonatal death for two babies, but hopefully won't for you.

Lira - DS, DH and I just said a prayer for Ethan and wished him a Happy Birthday.

We also lifted in prayer the other families who understand better than we do what you're going through and prayed for clear, bright and happy memories of your precious loved ones to bring you comfort.

I hope the day is gentle on you.

Just wanted to come on a wish your darling Ethan happy 3rd birthday. Hope you get to spend the day as you want to Lira xx

minceorotherwise Thu 13-Sep-12 07:42:12

Sharing your happiness and sadness today

Thinking of you and Ethan today, Lira. I hope you can fill your day with love and light.

missymoomoomee Thu 13-Sep-12 08:06:23

Thinking of you and Ethan today. I hope the day is as gentle on you xx

marriedinwhite Thu 13-Sep-12 08:14:02

With love.

Badvoc Thu 13-Sep-12 08:17:58

Thinking of you today.
And you expat. Your posts are so humbling.
Thank you for sharing x

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Sep-12 08:20:35

Happy birthday to Ethan today. Hope you managed to find a way to celebrate his birthday with people who care. xx

Thelobsterswife Thu 13-Sep-12 09:03:19

Happy Birthday Ethan. Take care Lira.
For all the parents on this thread who have lost a child, I am so sorry for your losses.

5madthings Thu 13-Sep-12 09:03:31

thinking of you today lira and wishing your precious boy a happy birthday, i hope you have a special day with your family, much love to you all xx

love to who had lost, expat your posts last night have brought me to tears sad so many precious children, its just so infair. losing a child is an injustice no-one should have to suffer and i agree the taboos surrounding death, esp the death of babies/children need to be broken. The parents of those who have lost their children have the right to talk about them and if they want we should join them, say their names and remember them.

Aillidh, Sylvie-Rose, Belle, Angel, Merryn, Erin, Mia, Ethan, Billie we do remember you and many more. i am sorry i cant remember other names right now, but actually i shall endevour to do so and i will light a candle this evening, much much love xxx

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 13-Sep-12 09:12:41

Thinking of you Lira, and Ethan, today. I wish we had a ballons emoticon. Here are some happy thanks and a smile in their place.

And thank you for starting this thread.

Mechavivzilla Thu 13-Sep-12 09:23:35

Happy Birthday Ethan! He is real, he is yours and you love him.

Thinking about you today with love.

Thinking of you and Ethan today Lira. I lost my own beloved first son through stillbirth 7 years ago and although I have some lovely friends through SANDS, it breaks my heart every year that I have to remind people and nobody else really wants to remember him :-(
Hope you can remember him today. Your friends can be so hurtful when they disregard your child whether they are still here or not.

Bluefrogs Thu 13-Sep-12 09:42:07

Thinking of you today Lira,hope you are able to celebrate Ethans birthday in a fitting way.
Hope that it gives you some comfort today to know that actually there are lots of people who really do want to share your day and celebrate with you!
I'm looking outside and it looks like a beautiful day xx

janey1234 Thu 13-Sep-12 09:44:10

Happy birthday Ethan.
Thinking of you lira and all you others who have tragically lost children. You've moved me to tears on several occasions on this thread, sending much love and strength to you all xx

frasersmummy Thu 13-Sep-12 10:11:27

happy birthday ethan...hope the day passes peacefully for you today Lira

I hope you can take some crumb of comfort from all the people on here thinking of you and your family today

bluefrogs .. send some sunshine north of the border please

Saltycopporn Thu 13-Sep-12 10:38:04

Wishing you all the best for today Lira. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful son Eithan.

onceortwice Thu 13-Sep-12 10:51:22

Happy birthday Ethan. x

Happy Birthday Ethanbear xx

dinkystinky Thu 13-Sep-12 11:41:19

Happy birthday Ethan - sending love to you, your mum and sister

AmberLeaf Thu 13-Sep-12 11:43:01

Happy birthday Ethan x


JugglingWithPossibilities Thu 13-Sep-12 12:50:55

Some beautiful early autumn sunshine here today for Ethan's birthday.

As mince said - sharing your happiness and sadness today Lira

Hope you have been able to share a gentle day with those who care, and that the sun has come out where you are too x

QuickLookBusy Thu 13-Sep-12 16:12:20

Special wishes for Ethan's Birthday and love to you and your family Lira.

Lots of mumsnetters are thinking of your special boy today.x

GladbagsGold Thu 13-Sep-12 17:43:01

Happy Birthday Ethan - love to you Lira x

Special Love for Ethan on his birthday, much love to Lira and your family today. xx

Lira Thu 13-Sep-12 18:44:17

Thank you all so so so much. It's wonderful to know that Ethan was in other people's thoughts today, not just mine. I've had a lovely quiet and relaxing day on my own. I had a little cry earlier but feel much better about it. I think i was crying more about my friends/family not acknowledging today more than the fact Ethan is gone if you see what i mean?

I picked my daughter up from school at 3pm and we went to the park and then went for an ice cream.

My friend text earlier to say sorry for hurting my feelings and she hopes i'm okay. So not quite as heartless as i thought.

Again, thank you so much. Ethan hasn't gotten much more respect from this thread than he ever did in RL. Love and blessings to you all and your angel children. xxxxxx

Lira Thu 13-Sep-12 18:49:02

*has gotten

Crumblingslowly Thu 13-Sep-12 18:50:02

Was thinking about you and your precious Ethan today Lira.
he has not been forgotten xx

QuickLookBusy Thu 13-Sep-12 19:03:08

I'm glad you had a gentle day Lira and that your friend texted you.

MyOrangeDogShitsGoldMoney Thu 13-Sep-12 20:32:01

I've been thinking of you today Lira, couldn't post as been in work. (Stupid rl getting in the way!)

Happy Birthday Ethan x

JugglingWithPossibilities Thu 13-Sep-12 20:53:34

Glad to hear you got out to the park with dd after school, that sounds nice x

ipswichwitch Thu 13-Sep-12 22:42:23

Lira, you and Ethan have been in my thoughts today. I'm glad you had a relaxing day and did something nice with dd. Sending lots of love for your special little boy on his birthday, and to you and the rest of your family lira x

onedev Thu 13-Sep-12 22:44:23

Happy birthday Ethan. Glad you've had a nice day & thinking of you & your precious boy.

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Sep-12 22:51:22

I'm glad your friend texted you but oh I wish she'd thought of that before she said her piece before!
Glad you had a peaceful day. xx

chipmonkey Fri 14-Sep-12 00:50:58

Lira, I was in work all day today but I did think of you and little Ethan xx
Glad the day passed peacefully.

porcamiseria Fri 14-Sep-12 23:37:09

may he rest in peace xxxx

I am so sorry about your friends and family. I am sure they love you to bits. they just dont understand, and they dont grieve as hard as you. he was your precious love

But I winced reading what your friends said, really

you know, I am a good friend but I am not sure if I would always remember years later sad .

I am not excusing them, I just dont want you to think on top of your grief that they dont care about you

porcamiseria Sat 15-Sep-12 10:06:08

I was thinking about you OP

rest assured everyone on this thread have you and your boy ethan in their thoughts

I hope you can take some comfort from that

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