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Forum: Stillbirth

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  #1  
February 12th, 2010, 11:58 AM
*Jennifer*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hi ladies. Yesterday I asked my sis-in-law how her friend was doing and how the pregnancy was going. This friend was at my baby shower and even helped s-i-l set it up. I hadn't seen her around for a while so I was wondering about her. My s-i-l thought I knew that her friend's baby died at 19 weeks last month. I had no idea. Eventually, I am going to see her again. What do I say to her? Do I say anything at all? What words helped you? BTW, I would never ever ever say...well....you know the stupid things people say involving the words God and plan. Not only do I not believe in that, I would never say it to the mommy of an angel.
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  #2  
February 12th, 2010, 12:48 PM
lex1078's Avatar Waiting patiently....
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Tell her you heard and that you are very sorry and ask her how she is doing. Don't leave it in the dark. If she feels like talking about it, let her. If she doesn't, if she leaves a simple "I'm fine" as an answer and doesn't go into it, just let her know you are here for her whenever she needs someone and politely change the subject to something none baby related, i.e. TV shows, Bill Clinton, the Superbowl and if she shows no interest in talking, then excuse yourself. She MAY feel resentment towards you that you have a baby, I know I did in the beginning. I hated talking to women who were pregnant, who had newborns and baby's that were a few months old. So don't be upset if she acts weird towards you. She might still be grieving.
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  #3  
February 12th, 2010, 12:49 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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"I am sorry," works. "I can't imagine what you are going through," is an appropriate and accurate response. Anything that validates what the family is experiencing is acceptable. What doesn't work is the panoply of platitudes one hears so often. Avoid, "It was meant to be." "You're young, you can have another." "Your baby is in a better place." "It's not like you had time to love him." If in doubt, its best to say nothing and just be there for them. Sometimes just to hold another's hand speaks volumes. A hug is good too.

Pregnancy and Fertility - What You Can Say to Somebody Following a Miscarriage or Stillbirth

What Not To Say After Someone Experiences a Stillbirth | momaroo
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  #4  
February 12th, 2010, 01:48 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Great advice ladies. I've always said the people who simple awknowledged that I had a baby, that he was real, that they were sorry this happened... I love those people so much.

Also, I loved it when people used his name. Instead of saying, "the baby" or "it" they'd say, "I'm so sorry you lost Bryan Luke." That was importannt. So if you know the baby's name that might be a good idea too!
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  #5  
February 12th, 2010, 02:01 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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That's a great point Beth - I absolutely love hearing Ethan's name. I also appreciate the chance to tell his birth story. He wasn't born alive, but it was a beautiful and transformative experience, and since he is my first, I like feeling like a regular mom by talking about how many hours it took, and epidurals - all the stuff normal moms get to talk about.
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  #6  
February 12th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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Just acknowledge that it's a terrible situation and that you are very sorry for her, and you can let her lead the way if she want to talk about it any more than that.
Don't use the word "miscarriage". Most women that far along in their pregancy prefer that people recognize that they lost their baby not just the pregnancy. The worst thing for me was when people would pretend like nothing happened and say nothing at all...you should say something to her for sure.
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  #7  
February 12th, 2010, 03:04 PM
*Jennifer*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks for the advice ladies. I will definitely follow it. I am just so sad for her. Rebecca - I hate those "It was meant to be" sayings. I also hate "Everything happens for a reason." My DH got that when he lost his arm in an accident. Seriously...what was meant to be? It was meant to be that he would live in pain for the rest of his life? Gee...how wonderful.
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  #8  
February 12th, 2010, 04:29 PM
MeganMomof5's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I got that too "it happend for a reason" and I think it was the same day that I found out she was dead....Just what I needed to hear....When your around her, try not to avoid her and pretend like she doesn't exist....I've gotten that a lot and I know it's because people feel uncomfortable around me and don't know what to say....I like to talk about Ella, but it's not something that I HAVE to talk about all the time....Sometimes I just would like a normal conversation like I did before I had a baby that died.
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  #9  
February 12th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Brittanie's Avatar just me
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You know, even "I don't know what to say" is good. It shows that you know that the loss is enough to NOT have words. There are no words, and recognizing that validates what she's feeling.

That's really the best thing to remember. Anything that helps her feel like her baby is real and that it's okay for her to hurt, and accepting that that hurt is now a permanent part of her.

to her. Thanks for being a good friend. They are invaluable.
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  #10  
February 12th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Mom 2 Avery's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Also, tell her about this board. It's amazing to find you're not alone!!!
Hugs to you both...you're an awesome friend!!!
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  #11  
February 12th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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definitely what everyone already has said. I got a lot of "well, maybe something was wrong with him. It may have been for the best". Don't mention other children as some sort of consolation (not sure if she has existing children or not).

It shows a lot about you that you're asking and are concerned with your approach. I agree with speaking the babys name if you know it.
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  #12  
February 12th, 2010, 10:02 PM
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Everything that the ladies already mentioned. I also like when people talk about my Eric with me. They almost don't do it. Everyone is afraid to bring him up in the conversation, but I really like talking about him.
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  #13  
February 13th, 2010, 08:45 AM
Ben,Logan&Kaitlin'sMommy's Avatar Super Moderator
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all the ladies have given you incredible advice.

ask how she is doing and use the baby's name
also our board :-)

((HUGS))

also just be a shoulder if she wants to cry
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  #14  
February 15th, 2010, 08:52 AM
noworries
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After I lost Eli, people would come up and ask how I was doing. I got sick of that because I knew people were just being polite and didn't really want to know. But, I had one friend who asked me questions about Eli (who did he look like, how much did he weigh, etc.) and that was wonderful. It meant that she really did want to know and I got the chance to talk about him to someone that I knew cared.
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