So this is a really hard topic to discuss as I have been through this devastating experience a number of times prior to finally getting our wee Samuel nearly 6 years ago.
When I got pregnant with Georgia it happened very quickly and there were no real complications. Fast forward a few years I thought that I would get pregnant just as quickly, and sure enough I did.
The pregnancy I thought was going along great. I didn't have morning sickness like I did with Georgia however never in my wildest dreams did I think anything was wrong. My excited hubby and I went to the 12 week scan full of hope and dreams for our new family member.
When they started the scan, the guys face went a little puzzled, and he asked me how many weeks along I was. I told him I was 12 weeks pregnant. He then excused himself (never a good feeling when this happens!) and then another lady came in and scanned me before telling us the bad news.
They could see no heartbeat, and the baby had not developed past a few weeks. I remember feeling so numb, sick and in shock all at once. I just couldn't believe it could happen to us. Unfortunately it was the first of many I was to suffer before Samuel was born, including late miscarriages at 17 and 19 weeks.
I was really lucky that I had good friends and family to support me. However many people didn't know what to say or how to act around me. All I could see were pregnant woman around me, and all my friends were announcing their pregnancies. I was devastated, and to this day it still hurts when I think about the losses we have had.
What do you say to a friend or family member that has experienced the loss of a baby? Simply being there is one of the best ways of helping a friend after a miscarriage. It’s a time when emotions are raw, your friend is in shock and knowing what to say or do is difficult.
All the hopes and dreams your friend had for her baby are suddenly shattered and ripped away from her. Its very important that your words and actions support her and allow her to express her feelings.
5 Ways of Helping a Friend After a Miscarriage / Loss of Baby There are five important things you can do to help someone who has lost their baby.
- Be there for her – if you can be there in person, that is fabulous. An arm around her shoulder or simply sitting next to her is very helpful. If you can’t be there in person, call her or even chat on Skype. Even just being present without words is comforting enough especially when you are very close to the person.
- Support her grief – the loss is real.
- In the case of a miscarriage - Just because your friend did not get to meet or hold her baby, doesn’t mean she loved her baby any less. Reassure her that she is a Mum, her baby is loved and that whatever she is feeling is okay.
- If you cant think of anything to say - keep it simple 'I'm so sorry for your loss, please let me know if there is anything we can do to help.'
- Don’t be afraid to ask your friend if she wants to talk about her loss. She may say no, and that's fine, but you may just find she can open up, talk about her grief which can be a very healing process.
- Help around her house – putting the washing away or doing the dishes are little things you can do to support your friend. Cooking meals and bringing them to her to reheat when she feels hungry or needs to cook for her family are also nice ways of showing you care.
- Be there for the long haul – grief does not have a time frame. Just as it is important to be there for your friend immediately after her loss, it is also important to be there in the days, weeks and months to come. Simply a phone call, meeting for a cup of coffee or a walk around the block are ways to show you care and you haven’t forgotten.
There are lots of support networks out there which can help grieving parents and family. I have listed a couple which may help in your time of need.
Hugs Fiona xx