To do and not to do

In light of yesterday’s post, I was pleased to see Still Standing Magazine’s article for today: “The Complete List of Do’s and Don’ts When Supporting the Bereaved.” I agree with pretty much everything, except that “encourage and give them hope” is considered a “Do.” While the author supports her other Do’s with examples, this one doesn’t have an example, which makes me think that it actually belongs as a Don’t – since the examples sure seem to be there!

When I was in the depths of my grief – and still, honestly – one of the worst things someone said to me or could say to me was “don’t worry! You’re young! You’ll have more children and the next time you’ll have the perfect pregnancy! You’ll see! After all, the odds are in your favor!”

Isn’t this someone trying to encourage me, give me hope? And yet isn’t what this women said full of all the absolute wrong things to say to a babyloss mom? Of course I’m worried. I didn’t think my pregnancy was going to go wrong, but it did. I have every right to worry. Yes, I’m young. Sort of, if you are looking at my lifespan as a whole. But mid-30s isn’t exactly spring chicken for childbearing, at least not medically. Three, you have no way of knowing if I’ll have more children, or that I’ll have a perfect pregnancy. How could you possibly presume to know? This isn’t giving me hope, it’s just being ignorant. And the odds in my favor? Technically, I guess, that’s true –  my odds of having an abruption again are 25%. But last time they were less than 1%. So, thanks, but the odds mean nothing to me anymore.

What do you think? Do the Do’s and Don’ts ring true with you?

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4 Responses to To do and not to do

  1. TryTryAgain says:

    This is a really tricky one. I’ve had three miscarriages and have no other children, and at 33 I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I’ll be fine with the next one etc etc. As difficult as it is to hear it, I know that if I hadn’t been through all of this, that’s probably what I would say to someone in my position. I’d go with statistics and stories I’ve heard about other people and looking on the bright side and tell them that next time it will be fine. I really think that people who haven’t been through this just can’t understand how painful and raw this all is, and how all-consuming it is too. Even though they mean well, they just can’t comprehend it. I always try and remember this when people say things which upset me, as I know that they just don’t understand.

    Ultimately, a cuddle and a cup of tea go a long way I think!!! Xx

    • babylossmama says:

      I agree – the person who said this to me had two beautiful young boys – she just couldn’t comprehend, either the babyloss or that anything, even, could go wrong in a pregnancy. But it still minimizes the person’s pain and experience… you know, now that I think about it more, I can’t even count the number of preemie NICU success stories I heard when my son was in the NICU. I think some people are just hardwired to think positively and optimistically, especially if in their experience, everything has always worked out for the best. I guess they really just can’t fathom an alternative. Or don’t want to.

      • TryTryAgain says:

        Yep, that’s exactly it. I always thought positively before we lost our three babies, and now I try and get that feeling back but it’s bloody difficult!! Xx

  2. typhaine says:

    I have many issues about positive thinking as a cure to all issues (as I feel it is presented by many). I has upset me a lot with regards to the experience of both my parents “losing their battle” against cancer — because what I hear is that if they had been more optimistic and confident in being cured eventually, then they wouldn’t have died.
    Although I do not share your experience with prematurity, I think the narratives of babies having the will to survive through NICU and people “beating” cancer share similarities — and I resent both.

    (That said, in some cases, I also appreciate some positive thoughts and talks, but just not the certainty that some people seem to put into their reassuring words…)

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