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How to support my friend through her loss

(13 Posts)
addressbook Tue 31-May-11 22:46:26

My poor friend has had a pregnancy loss in her second trimester, I think she was around 15 weeks. It was her first pregnancy.

Her husband broke the news to my husband (long term friends) and I phoned her tonight as I couldn't not speak and express my sadness at her loss. I am worried I said all the wrong things. She sounded so vulnerable and on the verge of tears sad. Poor her, I can't stop thinking about it.

How can I be a good friend to her in this traumatic time? She had had the 12 week scan and everything had looked fine. It is totally shit and unfair

coulicalla Wed 01-Jun-11 00:35:18

sad Spend time with her. Let her know she can talk to you. If you don't know what to say it is ok to tell her that too. Just let her know you are there.

She may not be ready but she may already be thinking about trying again. Until pretty recently, women used to be advised to wait a set period (six months?) before trying to conceive again. Recent studies suggest there is no need to wait unless there are strong reasons to do so and you are often very fertile after a mc.

shakeyjake Wed 01-Jun-11 09:39:51

you have done the right thing in phoning her, i lost my baby at 20 weeks and it hurt that friends didnt call. she may not think it now as the loss is so raw but just letting her know you are thinking of her will help.

and even just to say you dont know what to say but to offer any help - even if its to do some shopping or even come round so she can talk about it . it is unfair that these things happen and no one will understand her pain unless they have gone through this loss.

hairylights Wed 01-Jun-11 19:25:52

Don't offer advice or consolation...don't make false platitudes like "I just know it'll be ok next time"(I have literally wanted to kill people for saying this, because they dont. don't say "it was probably for the best" or "you were born to be a mother". It's all shallow bs and doesn't help.

Just be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen and arms to hug if she needs. And be mindful that she might just want to be alone for a while.

addressbook Wed 01-Jun-11 19:37:48

I didn't say those things hairylights but I cringe at telling her I had two early miscarriges which isn't the same at all. I don't know why I told her. I told her to be kind to herself and I was willing to talk/listen anytime.

peanuthead Wed 01-Jun-11 19:53:18

AB - no early mcs aren't the same at all. I lost my last baby at 19 weeks. People walked across the road to avoid me. You rang her - that's brilliant. You could ask if she named the baby, gender etc. She will have given birth - not many people seem to realise that, they think the baby miraculously disappears. The best thing that people did for me was just listen. And don't expect her to get over it or be better any time soon, so ring every now and then to ask how she is. ALso remembering the baby at Xmas, the anniversary etc really touched me.

addressbook Wed 01-Jun-11 21:09:11

Yes I am sure the due date will be a painful day for her, so I have noted that. Bloody hell I am such an idiot mentioning my miscarriages sad

hairylights Wed 01-Jun-11 21:28:12

Sorry for your losses

I'm fairly sure you telling her about your losses is a positive thing. She now knows that you know what it's like to lose a wanted pregnancy (albeit that it was earlier ... Still emotionally painful IMHO).

Through my three losses I know I appreciated people sharing their own losses
With me ... It made me feel like they understood ina way people who haven't had losses don't.

It made me realise pregnancy loss is very very common, and that you do get out the other side.

Good luck - you sound very supportive.

addressbook Wed 01-Jun-11 21:53:14

Thanks hairylights. It was also good to be reminded that she will have given birth and may have named her baby. I am seeing her soon and will be sure to offer her every opportunity to talk about her baby if she wants. I may even tell her about this website, as there seem to be lots of lovely supportive ladies here who have suffered this heartbreak.

It reminds me of my MIL who had four children. She had a second trimester miscarriage between her second and third and to this day she talks of it and I can see it is still painful thirty years later. She remembers the due date sadly.

addressbook Wed 01-Jun-11 21:55:06

gosh just reread your post hairylights, so sorry for your losses also sad

peanuthead Wed 01-Jun-11 21:55:15

God sorry Ab - I didn't mean to make you feel crap for mentioning them to her. I just meant that it is quite different. Esp in terms of the physical process. And agree with what Hairy said - she knows that you know what it's like to lose a pregnancy. It's human nature to try to empathise and imagine what it's like. You sound like a very good person to have around. Oh there will probably be a funeral too - not sure how you can find that out tactfully. Although your'e obviously more tactful than me....

addressbook Wed 01-Jun-11 22:29:27

Oh no peanuthead - I was not offended, nor did I find that comment tactless. You were right, that it is not the same. I did cry and feel sad because I desperately wanted another baby. However physically the actual loss was more like a heavy period with clots and I hadn't had a scan, that magical moment when you actually see your baby. It wasn't as traumatic, I hadn't got as used to the idea - announced it to everyone. I suppose I was trying to empathise, but I did acknowledge to her that it wasn't the same.

Sometimes I suppose we worry so much about saying the wrong thing and that may be what leads people to saying nothing. But what is the wrong thing? Yes there are some really tactless remarks which should be avoided and I could never say nothing, but other than that nothing is going to bring her baby back, so I hope any support and kind words will help.

I really appreciate your words peanuthead. As I said I hadn't appreciated the giving birth and the possibility of names, funerals etc. These are things which people should be more aware of. You didn't make me feel crap, I am just having a week of worries and woes. But of course nothing like what my poor friend is going through. This pregnancy loss section is such a good idea, although obviously it is under sad circumstances that it is needed.

hairylights Wed 01-Jun-11 22:47:59

I think if you're worried about saying the wrong thing, then you're probably being genuinely sympathetic and supportive and that probably shines
through. I think we have a good instinct for knowing who
genuinely cares. And I personally think you sound like you do genuinely care for your friend and shell be glad of the support.

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