The Miscarriage Association have recently launched a new campaign called Simply Say to help people understand what not to say or #dontsay and what to say or #dosay when it comes to supporting someone who has suffered a miscarriage.
Miscarriage is still a very taboo subject despite the fact that a large percentage of women will suffer one at some point in their lives. I have experienced miscarriage and recently found my lady balls and posted about it online in order to help break the stigma surrounding pregnancy loss.
While I appreciate that in the moment, it’s often difficult to know what to say in situations like this and the majority of people really don’t mean to offend anybody by saying the following but hopefully this will help explain why:
“It was just a ball of cells”
I actually had this said to me and guess what? Every living thing on this entire planet started out a “just a ball of cells”. YOU are a ball of cells. If I axed your entire family, would that be okay because they’re “just a ball of cells”? Obviously not.
“It was probably just a late period”
Now, I may be missing the point here but generally, to know you’ve had a miscarriage you’re going to have needed to know you were pregnant in the first place. A positive pregnancy test indicated pregnancy hormones which indicate a pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, it’s impossible to have a period at the same time. It’s insulting, insensitive and upsetting. Just don’t say it, okay?
“At least you know your womb/balls work”
Fucking fabulous but that doesn’t erase the fact I just lost a baby.
“Maybe you should have taken vitamins/done more exercise/not eaten ____ or eaten more _____”
Just don’t say any of that. Chances are we are already despising our bodies for failing us. Because that’s what it feels like at the time.
“It wasn’t meant to be…”
Now this one is my personal favourite, how is this an acceptable thing to even consider saying to somebody who has just lost a child. If your friends dad got hit by a car would this be an appropriate thing to say? “I know he got mowed down and everything but you know, it wasn’t meant to be” Yeh…no.
“Thing’s happen for a reason”
“At least you have *insert other kids names here*”
Yes I have other children but that does not in any way make the pain of losing a baby any less. Tell me, which of your kids would you be okay living without?
“You can always try again!”
Well yes, we obviously can but essentially telling us not to worry, we can replace our baby with a new one as a way to comfort us…Well….It’s just not going to work is it.
“At least it happened now before you got attached”
The second you see those 2 lines on the test you are attached both physically and emotionally. You will have thought about names, nursery ideas, and wondered who they are going to look like. A child lost is a child lost and everyone is entitled to grieve.
“You need to get over it”
Time heals but when you lose a child you never get over it completely. Having a miscarriage isn’t just about losing your baby, it’s about losing an entire future. You’re grieving for not only the child you have lost but also for an entire life. Their first smile, their first word, first day at school, graduation, Christmases, Birthdays, their marriage, their first child. You lose an entire life. While we may not speak about our angels every day doesn’t mean that the gaping hole left in our soul is any less apparent. If you ask a parent who has lost a child how old their baby would be know, they will always know.
Again, I genuinely don’t think people mean to upset someone further but please just take a moment to re think before accidentally saying something actually quite shitty. If you really can’t think of something, just say “I’m sorry for your loss” that’s literally it. Those 5 words <3