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I (stupidly) told my 3 year old that our friend was having a baby very early on and now she has miscarried...

(15 Posts)
padboz Mon 01-Sep-08 13:47:48

how on earth do I broach this? we talked about it a lot and she is really excited. I'm thinking of telling her that my friend changed her mind - is that sensible?

savoycabbage Mon 01-Sep-08 13:50:08

I can see where you are coming from! I think I would say that. sad Three is very young so she will probably believe you.

AvenaLife Mon 01-Sep-08 13:50:28

No, don't say that, your little one will be afraid that babies can be made to go away. I'm not sure how to handle this, maybe tell your child that some babies only live for a little while so they can feel what it's like to be loved and wanted then they go back to heaven/whatever your belief.

frumpygrumpy Mon 01-Sep-08 13:51:01

I wouldn't say she changed her mind. You dd might think you could change your mind about her.

Personally, I'd tell her that sometimes the egg in the ladies tummy is broken and can't be fixed so that there won't be a baby this time, which is a bit sad. But that maybe she'll be able to grow another baby soon.

Keep it light.

laweaselmys Mon 01-Sep-08 13:51:31

I'm not sure that it is remotely sensible. But I've never been in this situation. It is probably best to say that there was a problem and now she isn't having a baby, adding the idea that the friend had a choice is obviously not true and could cause confusion and awkwardness.

Imagine if your DC gets angry with your friend for choosing not to have a baby, when she is in such an emotional state atm!

frumpygrumpy Mon 01-Sep-08 13:51:58

Always tell the truth just water it down appropriately.

savoycabbage Mon 01-Sep-08 13:52:41

Good point. I didn't think of that!

Frumpy's is good.

frumpygrumpy Mon 01-Sep-08 13:55:06

If you tell the truth your DD will grow up learning about how the world is. Sad things do happen and we can still be ok.

I was told my granda had gone away and wouldn't ever be coming back. He had died!!!! I was so confused age almost 6 that he would want to go away from us and that he wouldn't even kiss us before he left or say goodbye. Stunned!!!

I should have been told that he had a broken bit inside his heart and that it meant his body couldn't work anymore. That he didn't want to leave us. That we are all sad.

That would have made sense.

Anchovy Mon 01-Sep-08 13:59:28

I never told anyone I was pregnant with DCs until after 12 weeks. My DSis told all and sundry at a very early stage - including getting my DCs excited about it (they were 3 and 5 and I was faintly pissed off because they had no real concept of what "in 8 months time" meant and kept want to know when they could see the baby). She then miscarried, but "didn't want to be the one to have to tell people, including the children".

Now I know (i) it is entirely her prerogative as to when she tells people; (ii) there is no link between telling people early and miscarriage; and (iii) yes, it must have been extremely difficult for her and I quite understood what she meant, but I was somewhat pissed off that I had to deal with a squeakily excited 3 and 5 year old who I would never have told in the first place.

Anyway, I just told them that the baby starts off very small in your tummy and has to grow and grow until it is ready to be born, but that some babies never grow properly enough to be born, but they were still a real baby who everyone loved and who everyone was very sad about.

They were fine with this, and in fact one of DS's friends mother subsequently had a miscarriage and DS was quite "mature" about it, so best just to tell them straight I think.

padboz Mon 01-Sep-08 14:01:13

oh I know I've done something stupid anchovy. Lesson learned.

Anchovy Mon 01-Sep-08 14:03:25

Apologies - when I re-read that I thought it came across as critical of you when it was not meant to be. It was meant as an exasperation of my sister, nothing more. Sorry about that.

LittleMyDancing Mon 01-Sep-08 14:05:36

Not necessarily Padboz - you told her the news and now you need to explain what's happened, but it's a good learning experience for children to understand a little bit about what happens. After all, if your friend is sad for a while your DD might want to do something nice for her like a card or a drawing to cheer her up?

I'm in the position of deciding when to tell my DS we're expecting when we lost the last baby at 20 weeks - he wasn't yet 2 at the time so we didn't tell him much, but he's starting to cotton on that Mummy has been feeling ill and he's not allowed to bounce on her tummy again, and I'm petrified of telling him in case it all goes wrong again.

Going to have to do it though, as he's showing signs of being a bit upset already.

RedHead81 Mon 01-Sep-08 14:10:12

frumpygrumpy - that is a really good way of explaining it to a very young child, and not confusing either IMO. I agree about telling the truth in ways they can understand

ReallyTired Mon 01-Sep-08 17:09:45

Don't say that your friend changed her mind. Three year olds often repeat what was said to them. Just think how your friend would feel if your three year old asked her why she changed her mind.

Its better to be honest and say that the baby died and has gone to heaven. It will cause tears, but its better than lying.

eandz Mon 01-Sep-08 17:14:01

maybe tell her the baby chose a different mommy?

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