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To wish people would stop telling me to be grateful for what I have got?

(29 Posts)
Catscatsandmorecats Thu 02-Feb-17 12:28:55

To start, I know these people are actually only trying to be kind, I just find this phrase particularly hard.

I have had 6 miscarriages now, one before DS (2) and 5 since. It has been a tough time and has really brought home how important family and close friends are to me, especially DS and DH. DH and I had lovely childhoods with siblings and would like DS to have the same, however that may not be, and we have accepted that.

I have become more and more aware that time with my little family is so important and I am so lucky to have them. I am changing job to allow more family time.

However, lots of people when they find out my situation tell me I should be so grateful for what I have. I AM grateful, possibly more so than I was before. I know so many people are struggling with so many things. However, It feels as if they think the losses don't matter, the hormonal, mental and physical impact of being pregnant then not pregnant over and again doesn't exist and I should just move on. I wish I could shout at them I AM GRATEFUL !!! And do you know what you can be sad and grateful at the same time.

I am making changes in my life to benefit our family and certainly not stopping us from living, we are very active and have a bloody lovely life smile So I don't think the odd times I do feel sad are making any impact on my family.

In fact the one thing that actually makes me feel really bad is when people say this, I know they mean well but AIBU to wish they wouldn't?

sonyaya Thu 02-Feb-17 12:30:40

YANBU. You can be grateful for your DS and mourn your losses at the same time. I think people's comments to you belittle the pain you must be feeling.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 02-Feb-17 12:39:44

YADNBU - I was in a similar position, 1 living child, 3 early miscarriages and lost twins later in pregnancy. I then had a very premature baby whose life hung in the balance for many months.

I knew I was lucky to have my living child, but it didn't stop the devastation I felt.

Generally people don't know what to say in response to miscarriage/stillbirth/death of a child - but in that case they should stfu.

Whatsername17 Thu 02-Feb-17 12:40:34

People who haven't been through mc do not understand. Ive only had one and it nearly destroyed me. I lost my baby in January of last year at 13 weeks. I got pregnant again in May and my beautiful 13 day old dd is currently napping next to me. I love her so much. I'm so grateful for her. There is no way I could have had both babies and my logical brain knows that. I still grieve for the baby I lost though. Even though I feel blessed and grateful for dd2. Everyone thought that once I was pregnant I would forget about the baby I lost and just be happy. I am happy but I still feel the loss. You have been through three loss 6 times. I'm impressed you are still standing. Dont be afraid to tell people to fuck off when they start. It's not fair at all.

JassyRadlett Thu 02-Feb-17 12:41:56

You're right, it's a shit thing to say. It totally minimises what you've been through.

I'm so sorry you've had such a rough time. It's unfair and rubbish. flowers

Bobochic Thu 02-Feb-17 12:44:31

Six miscarriages is a lot and enough to really bring you down. Of course you feel sad.

One can have a lovely life and be sad/bereft.

Autumntactics Thu 02-Feb-17 12:45:18

YANBU. People are responding to your emotional distress with logical thought. It operates at different places in our brains. Yes, there is evidence that gratitude helps to increase happiness but this is over time and not so much in response to painful events. I guess people are trying to be helpful, but when you're feeling strong emotions you need someone to connect with you on an emotional level to help to soothe you, not listen to a cognitive rationale. Sorry for your losses flowers

Lou654272 Thu 02-Feb-17 12:49:12

No yanbu, I'm sorry for what you have been through 🌻 I think people don't understand when they haven't been through it but feel the need to say something totally inappropriate although I do think they mean well. Just tell them the truth about how you really feel

SEsofty Thu 02-Feb-17 13:06:16

Yadnbu and people who have not been in the position don't understand.

Yes your adore and love your child.
But you would like another one.

And around you, because you do child centric activities, are lots of people having second and third or more children.

It is easier to avoid pregnant people before you have one child, therefore it's a constant reminder.

Astoria7974 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:48

Yanbu. People say the stupidest shit when they're trying to be 'helpful'. Just make it clear to them that you don't want to talk about it, if someone says something.

Snowflakes1122 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:14:44

I'm so sorry for all your losses. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks last year. It's such a traumatic thing to go through. I can't imagine how it's been for you sad

I think people say these kinds of things to try and make you feel better in a clumsy sort of way. I agree, it's really not helpful though.

I think it's hard for some people to fully understand how it feels. I certainly did t until it happened to me.
flowers

Lottapianos Thu 02-Feb-17 13:15:30

'People say the stupidest shit when they're trying to be 'helpful''

So true. I'm not sure its even trying to be 'helpful', so much as desperately hoping that you will stop talking to them about it. So many people are so uncomfortable with feelings (their own and everyone else's) and seem to only be able to cope by minimising.

I'm so very sorry for what you've been through OP. You're absolutely right - having more than one feeling at once is not just possible but entirely normal. Feelings are not something you can pick up and put down either - you can't just decide to feel something, it comes about naturally or it doesn't. Being told to 'just' feel a particular way can be soul-destroying

embo1 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:16:56

Of course you feel the loss from 6 miscarriages.
When you say 'when people find out' it must be people you don't know particularly well as they don't already know the situation. What would you prefer they say? It would be incredibly insensitive to say nothing but at the same time, they don't want to tell you want you already know - that it's a really shitty thing to have happened. I'd imagine it's hard to listen to your story (for want of a better word) without attempting to try to help you feel better, misdirected as it may be.
Sometimes the only way to get through something so terrible is to focus on the positives and not dwell on the negatives.
I'm sure they mean no harm by trying to find that little ray of sunshine for you. But I can see why that is not want you want to hear.
But it is the obvious thing that someone who doesn't know you so well and has little experience with such matters might say.

I think you are expecting too much from people who dont know how to handle the situation through lack of experience. Have you considered bereavement counselling?

If you are going to talk about it openly, and there's no reason why you shouldn't, then you are going to hear it again and again. I don't think there is any problem with telling people that you are grateful and sad though.

NavyandWhite Thu 02-Feb-17 13:19:46

It's similar to when people say to a bereaved parent " be thankful for your other children " of course we are still thankful for them but it doesn't take the pain away from what has been lost.
flowers

ItsSoUnfairSoItIs Thu 02-Feb-17 13:25:24

I would recommend trying to get an appointment with Prof Quenby. You can email her with details about your situation, she invited me for a first appointment on the NHS where lots of blood work was done and I agreed to take part in studies. I also got a dye test ouch on the NHS. But if you have DC's they'll write to you with the results, so for me it was blocked tube, high prolactin, high TSH, high something else. The NK antibody test is about £500, but if positive they usually do a protocol of steroids, progesterone & clexane, hopefully meaning the issues are solved. I really hope this works for you. The fact she's willing to start everything on NHS is super. Depending where you are in UK you might have a bit of a drive, but totally worth it.

YANBU. technically I have a good life, well I would have if I could be happy. But I'm not. My counsellor told me the worst thing I can think is that I should be grateful because there are a lot of people worse off than me. He said ultimately it leads to more guilt because you think you should be happier than you are an then it ends up making you feel even more shit about things.....actually makes a lot of sense I think.

SpookyPotato Thu 02-Feb-17 13:44:54

YANBU. People can be sad and grateful at the same time. A time I have felt this is losing my lovely dad... Someone said "don't be sad, at least you had a nice one" The two feelings are not mutually exclusive and don't cancel each other out. Sorry for your losses OP, it sounds really tough flowers

Catscatsandmorecats Thu 02-Feb-17 13:47:10

embo I am not expecting anything of people, my AIBU was am I unreasonable to wish they would stop? Because I find it hard, in the same way I don't think I'd be unreasonable to wish I had a swish car, I know it may not ever happen. In the same way I know they are only trying to be nice. You misinterpreted what I asked.

Generally its people at work who had to be let know and some extended family so some know me better than others. And mostly people simply say they are sorry, as you would to anyone who has had a bereavement. And that is enough.

As I said I have got amazing support, emotionally and mentally from various sources. I was careful to put that in place so I didn't end up with terrible mental health issues. I am pretty good with CBT and proven methods rather than simply trying to force myself to focus on the positive.

I would never dream of telling someone who is finding it hard with lots of kids they should focus on the positive and just be grateful for them. Parenting is bloody hard at times, their difficulties are just as valid as their joy.

ItsSoUnfair I'm under prof. Quenby, what a fantastic woman! I'm on one of the trials but can't say too much more or it'll out me. The support is incredible.

Thank you all for your replies, just sharing and getting a bit of support has totally cheered me up.

embo1 Fri 03-Feb-17 19:46:11

Why have you singled me out for misinterpreting you? No one has focused on the point that you can wish for whatever you like and others have discussed the intentions behind the comments you don't like to hear, but for some reason you haven't singled them out.
YANBU to wish people wouldn't react in a specific way.

LilacSpatula Fri 03-Feb-17 19:48:57

YANBU and I hope your dreams of a larger family come true flowers

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 03-Feb-17 19:51:50

Some of them might genuinely be jealous. MC aren't really talked about as nobody knows what to say. Some people that say "Be grateful for what you already have" might actually be just as desperate to conceive as you, and have suffered miscarriage/s also and still not have had that one lucky pregnancy that ended in a live baby.
The number of my friends, with and without children, i have found out recently have suffered multiple miscarriages and i never knew, was quite a shock. It really opened my eyes to just how many pregnancies do end in loss.

Rainydayspending Fri 03-Feb-17 19:53:58

I was under prof Quenby (i luff her shoes!) Too She is fab. flowers.
The comments that try to turn to the positive always seem to be a mishit with me too. I have so much, for which I am delighted and surprised. But the pain is a real thing I have to face - life is not a weighing scales and happinness is wonderful but it does not cancel out the hard aspects of life.

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 03-Feb-17 19:59:13

Obv my previous post i'm not justifying them saying it, just they may be so overwhelmed with jealousy and their own disappointment and frustration at their own lack of successful pregnancy, in their mind it might seem more unfair that they haven't had any successful pregnancies where the person they're saying it to has had at least one.
It's insensitive, but if you take a step back and generalise the situation rather than it being about a specific person, it is kind of understandable to see their point of "Well at least for all the miscarriages you've had you got to have a baby too, others (possibly themselves) might not have been so lucky and have just had the losses."
My deepest sympathies are with anyone who has ever lost a baby, be it one loss or multiple, at any stage of pregnancy. It's a pain i cannot imagine ever coping with.

SSYMONDS Fri 03-Feb-17 22:53:12

This thread is so helpful - thank you for making it clear to others how it is. I think if we haven't been through it, we just don't get it.

I have newish friend who has had a number of miscarriages, and has two great kids. She's having ivf and it's making her miserable. I was wondering about saying to her about just enjoying the family she has, but I now realise that would be unhelpful- it's much more complicated than that and would just seem like I don't understand. I'll keep my mouth shut and just be a friend. Thank you - and also I am truly sorry about your miscarriages.

Catscatsandmorecats Sat 04-Feb-17 07:02:00

Embo you just seemed to ask the most direct questions that was all, it wasn't meant to be a personal attack. Answers were intended for all.

Rainyday I haven't noticed her shoes, now I am going to have to look and will seem like a weirdo staring at her feet!

SSYMONDS Oh I am pleased this thread has been of help, MC and infertility and stillbirth are such relatively taboo subjects still that we don't talk about them as much as maybe we should. It does make it very difficult for people to know what to say. You sound like a lovely friend, even just being there is a brilliant support.

For anyone else wondering Tommy's have some really good advice on how to support friends and family who are going through tough times with anything to do with babies.

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