Having gone through the heartbreaking experience of three miscarriages (15 weeks and 9 weeks and 9 weeks), I wanted to create something for other women experiencing this type of grief and loss. The words “Miscarriage” and “Pregnancy Loss” do not equate to the trauma experienced. At any stage of pregnancy, we have already become parents. We have fallen deeply in love with our unborn child. We have experienced hopes and dreams and ideas about what this baby will be like, how our lives will change, and the future we see for ourselves as a family. It is a loss that stings so deeply and it is a grief that some may never find peace with. It is a loss that many people do not talk about, but so many experience.
While first trimester miscarriage is common, there are those that have lost their baby during the second trimester. There are those trying to pull their lives back together after a stillbirth. I simply can’t imagine a pain so deep that would accompany these tragic losses. But those going through this heartache need love, support and acknowledgement of their grief and their baby who’s life was so terribly short.
But what do you say to someone who has experienced the loss of their pregnancy? The loss of their baby? For those of us who have had this experience, we are left with a loss that has nothing tangible to hold on to. We rely on the memory of the feeling of pregnancy and the bond and love that so quickly developed. There may be ultrasound images that we can save but are now so hard to look at. If you have not been through this type of loss, you may not know what to say or how to help. But here are some do’s and don’ts that I have found helpful and that I hear repeated in the community of women that have experienced miscarriage:
- Please acknowledge our loss. Don’t pretend like it didn’t happen.
- We are grieving deeply. There is no quick recovery.
- If I’ve named my baby, it feels good to me to hear his name. To recognize that his life was real, that he is my son, and that I became a mother.
- It’s ok to acknowledge our loss on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to let us know you are thinking of us and know that we are heartbroken that our baby is not here.
- Know that important dates are traumatic: the planned due date, the anniversary of the loss, the date we found out we were pregnant.
- Be aware that for those dealing with infertility and experiencing the miracle of pregnancy through medical intervention, the loss is terrifying. We are not sure if we can ever get pregnant again.
- Don’t say things like, “It was God’s Will”, or “It was not meant to be”.
- Do not assume there must have been something wrong with the baby. (All three of my angel babies were genetically normal).
- Do not insinuate that the mother and/or father did something wrong or that it was their fault.
- Recognize that the person grieving may not be able to attend baby showers, or visit a friend or family member who recently had a baby. Give space without pressure or expectations in these situations.
In order to help those witnessing a loved one who is experiencing grief after the loss of their baby, I’ve created a gift that can be given to the woman or the parents of the unborn child. If you do not know what to say, this gift will provide the acknowledgement of the loss while also providing something for them to hold on to. I have created a hand made Angel Baby Keepsake gift box and card.
The outside of the gift box includes an ivory satin ribbon and silver angel charm. Inside the box, is a card decorated to hold their baby in memory and love. Included is a poem and pewter heart. The box can be further customized by the parents to add items such as an ultrasound image or to write notes to the baby or to add little items in memory of him or her.
To order: Visit my Etsy shop