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Thursday, October 15, 2015

a miscarriage story : tips for helping your friend

It's hard to know what to say or do when a loved one goes through a miscarriage. I know so many of our close friends and family said straight out to me that they had no idea what to even say, they were as shocked as we were about going through this experience. Everyone handles a miscarriage very differently. The circumstances around it make it easier or harder to handle also, depending on the mom's life and how far along she was, etc. Knowing what to do or say can be really challenging. I know a year ago when my friend had a miscarriage I had no idea what to do or say.

I hope this list of ideas helps you if you ever, unfortunately, find yourself in the position of needing to support a friend through a difficult time. Do your best.

My biggest advice though: don't do nothing because you are afraid to upset her. Do something. Say something. Even just "I don't know what to say to you, but I'm here." Too many women feel they can't talk about this topic. It's important. We need to open up to our closest friends.

Here are some ideas that may help a friend going through a miscarriage: 
  • Send flowers
  • Mail cards
  • Text often, there is no such thing as too much reaching out and offering of support. Especially remember a week or more later, the following month, etc. when others have forgotten or moved on. 
  • Make a meal, deliver take out, drop off ice cream. 
  • Offer to take the kids to play outside or for a walk.
  • Send the parents out for a dinner or movie to take their minds off of things and get away to talk to each other, while you watch the kids. 
  • Take her lead on talking about your life, pregnancy or children. She may not be ready at the beginning, it doesn't mean she doesn't love you or isn't happy for your joy, it just means she's sad she doesn't have that right now. Be patient. 
  • Hug her. 
  • Be honest, tell her if you have no idea what to say or can't imagine what she's going through. You don't have to say anything if you aren't sure what to say. 
  • Offer to go to the doctor's follow-up visit with her. 
  • Run an errand for her - pick up the milk at the store, get the mail, drop the kids off at soccer, etc. 
  • Give her physical space, but let her know you're thinking of her. Sometimes women don't want to see anyone because it means they have to talk about it or it's more real. Be patient with seeing her if she's not ready. 
  • Accept a text from her versus her calling you with this big news. For me, I didn't want to talk on the phone. I didn't want to hear the person's response or questions just yet, when I was still processing it myself. Texting worked better for me. Everyone is different. 
  • A thoughtful gift like a bracelet with a charm or the color of the baby's due date in it, or a plant with garden stone. 
  • Some things that help to hear:
    • You're not alone. 
    • I'm here if you need anything. 
    • I love you.
    • You will be strong and get through this. 
    • Cry if you need to. 
    • Feel whatever you want to feel. It's OK, even if it doesn't make sense. 
    • You will be blessed. 
    • Everything happens for a reason. This helped me to hear, personally, but I know others who this doesn't help to hear. Everyone reacts differently. 
    • God has a plan. This helped me, but I know others who this would not help. 
    • It's OK to grieve, cry and feel this loss. 
    • Don't give up. You can try again. 
    • You are a mother. 
    • This is just a season. It will not last forever.
    • Thank you for sharing this with me… I'm here for you. 
My good friends told me:
You will completely come through this. 

The more we go through in life, we are so much more relatable to people, can have such a greater impact or help someone. 

My prayer for you: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

I thank God you are feeling better… It's awful but I feel like going through things like this is life's way of helping us to take a time out from life.

Have faith… you will be blessed again. 

My heart is with you. Your journey is unknown right now, but I do know you will be okay in time. I hope this time is gentle and smooth. I pray peace is soon to find you. You are strong and your vision is clear. While our understanding of things is foggy… 

  • Don't say the following, even if you mean well, these don't help to hear:
    • At least it was only __ weeks along. 
    • Don't worry, you'll get pregnant again soon. 

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