Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. You may not be aware, unless you are someone who is remembering. If that’s you, I want you to know how very sorry I am. I want you to know that your story, and your baby’s life matter. And I am praying for you.
In honor of this day, I asked my sister Kristen Ray, who is remembering, to share with us. She graciously agreed. So here are:
5 THINGS NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WHO MISCARRIES
I have two babies – in Heaven. I had a miscarriage in 2011 at 5 weeks and another in 2012 at 8 weeks. Mine was a five-year journey of heartbreak, loss, thousands of dollars in fertility treatments, and in the end – empty arms. But one of my favorite things about our God is that He never wastes a hurt, and He has given me the privilege of walking with women through difficult pregnancies and pregnancy loss.
I have cried with them, vacuumed their floors, run errands, and sat with them. The most important thing I did was pray for them – frequently – using scripture – and texted them scripture to encourage them. And
the best piece of advice I have given to those grieving is this – PEOPLE WILL SAY DUMB THINGS TO YOU. It is only because they don’t understand. They care, or they wouldn’t be saying anything.
I know most people don’t intend to be hurtful. So today, I share:
5 THINGS NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WHO MISCARRIES:
- You can have another baby. I heard this – even from my OBGYN. “You are young! There’s plenty of time!” That doesn’t change the fact that I lost a child. No one would ever say this to someone who lost a toddler. So don’t say it to someone who miscarries either. My babies were very real, and very real to me, even if I never held them.
- I went to a baby funeral… Don’t tell stories of your or someone else’s experience. A week after my first miscarriage, a prominent woman in our church made a beeline for me to tell me about a funeral she went to with a tiny casket. All I wanted to do was run away and cry. Why is this helpful in any way? I also don’t need to hear about your daughter’s botched D&C. Again, not helpful.
- There was obviously something wrong with the baby, so God was just taking care of it. Would you say this to someone who had a child with medical issues? We have a special needs person in our family who is a delight. And another family member born with a birth defect. In fact, I was born with a birth defect, although I didn’t know it until many years later. And I am certain that everyone in my family is glad that we are around!
- I didn’t invite you to my baby shower because I was afraid it would be painful for you. I know this person means well. Don’t make the decision about what is best for me. Please include me and let me choose – and be understanding of whatever I decide. The week of my first miscarriage, I was scheduled to co-host a baby shower. I bowed out of that. I knew I wasn’t ready to handle it as was evident when I bawled my way through the explanation to the parent-to-be. But I did go to a shower of a friend a few months later – our babies would have been about three weeks apart in age. It was hard and I cried all the way home. But it was important for me to be there.
- I am willing to be your surrogate or I have some fertility advice. An extended family member, in a letter, offered to be a surrogate for me after my second miscarriage. I think it was intended to be a sweet offer. But I was stunned. It was something I had never considered. And I was still grieving. Don’t offer things like this or even fertility advice unless asked – or unless you know the person is interested. They have probably seen doctors, specialists, done research – or they are going to.
What Should I Do on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?
I am sure now you are thinking, “What CAN I say?” So let me tell you. Just say, “I love you and I’m praying for you.” That’s it. It’s that simple. All they need to know is that you care. Don’t ask questions. They might be on the brink of tears. They might not feel like talking. But if they do, your declaration of concern will open the door, and they will talk.
And one more thing – don’t forget about the men. Most people check in on and focus on the women. But my husband grieved the loss of our babies, too. I say all this from my own experience. I know everyone is different and I don’t presume to speak for all women in this situation. But how can telling someone you love them and are praying for them be a bad thing?
Kristen Ray is the Director of Finance for Prestonwood Baptist Church is Plano, Texas. She is a gifted mentor, friend and beloved sister, daughter and wife. She is also my twin.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
Michele Morin encouraged me this week with How’s Your Hearing These Days? Can You Discern the Voice of God? So many people today are searching for God in their feelings or others’ teachings and beliefs. It’s more frightening to me than anything Halloween can throw at us. Michele’s call to get back to the Word of God to hear His voice is important, timely and refreshing.
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