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What we wish friends and family knew about pregnancy loss

February 28, 2017

What we wish you knew about pregnancy loss:
A letter from women to their friends and family
by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer

I assert no copyright for the material. Please use it as you see fit to help women who have endured this terrible grief. Thank you.

Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.

This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss. While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss.

When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners: don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children. No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope.

-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible.

-Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.

-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.

-Don't say, "Be grateful for the children you have." If your mother died in a terrible wreck and you grieved, would that make you less grateful to have your father?

-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.

-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.

-Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you." I didn't want her to be my angel. I wanted her to bury me in my old age.

-Don't say, "I understand how you feel." Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel. And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently.

-Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse. The last thing I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby. These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair. Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me.

-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.

- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.

-Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway." I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford. I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant. I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby. Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die - I never would have chosen for this to happen.

-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.

-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.

-Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby." Do send flowers or a kind note - every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved. Don't resent it if I don't respond. Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call. If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either. Help me by not needing anything from me for a while. If you're my boss or my co-worker:

-Do recognize that I have suffered a death in my family - not a medical condition.

-Do recognize that in addition to the physical aftereffects I may experience, I'm going to be grieving for quite some time. Please treat me as you would any person who has endured the tragic death of a loved one - I need time and space.

DO understand if I do not attend baby showers/christening/birthday parties etc. And DON'T ask why I can't come.

Please don't bring your baby or toddler into the workplace. If your niece is pregnant, or your daughter just had a baby, please don't share that with me right now. It's not that I can't be happy for anyone else, it's that every smiling, cooing baby, every glowing new mother makes me ache so deep in my heart I can barely stand it. I may look okay to you, but there's a good chance that I'm still crying every day. It may be weeks before I can go a whole hour without thinking about it. You'll know when I'm ready - I'll be the one to say, "Did your daughter have her baby?" or, "How is that precious little boy of yours? I haven't seen him around the office in a while."

Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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Engraving Information

All of our personalized and engraved jewelry is crafted right in our own studio by a skilled engraving professional. Each piece is individually configured to ensure that your specific inscription is produced in the best way possible.

Engraving Information:
Please take note of the number of allowable characters (which includes spaces and punctuation) that can be engraved listed in the product description. In some cases we can compress the letters if the wording is a couple of characters over the specified limit.
We reserve the right to change the font and the layout you selected for the best possible fit on the piece.

Engraving Fonts Available:

   Outlined Block-Capitals Engraving Font    Single Line Block-Capitals Font
Machine Engraved Block font in all capital letters. On larger pieces, it will be a filled double line block (first picture). On smaller pieces, it will be a single line block (second picture). The first letter in the word will be larger than the rest of the letters in the word (second picture), unless you type your personalization request in all capital letters (first picture).

Cursive Single Line Engraving Font
Machine Engraved Single Line Cursive font in capital and lower case letters.

Roman Filled Engraving Font
Machine Engraved Filled Roman font in capital and lower case letters.

Script Single Line Engraving Font
Machine Engraved Single Line Script font in capital and lower case letters.

Hand Stamped Engraving Font
Hand Stamped lettering in all capital letters, for a handcrafted artisan look. This style is only available on select items. Please note that the hand stamped lettering is not intended to look "perfect". Variations in letter placement, spacing, and depth of the letters are to be expected. This engraving is done with small steel alphabet tools and are hammered deeply into the silver, which is atop a steel block. The opposite side of the piece may have marr marks from the engraving process. Extra polishing is done to reduce the visibility of the marks.

Monograms:
Monograms are the classic way to personalize items. The initial of the first name is on the left, the initial of the last name is in the center in a larger size, and initial of the middle name is on the right. If you are doing a monogram of married couple, the initial of the husband's first name is on the left, the initial of the couple's last name is in the center in a larger size, and the initial of the wife's first name is on the right. We offer four beautiful Monogram styles: Interlocking Script, Roman, Circle Block, and Fancy Script.

We have several Monogram jewelry pieces. However If you wish to have a monogram on a jewelry piece that does not have the Monogram option (ex. on the back of a custom handprint-footprint pendant), please contact us with your request prior to placing your order. Monograms take up a large area of space on the piece, and may not be available on all our items. 

Monogram Styles: Interlocking Script, Roman, Circle Block, Fancy Script

 

Special Engraving:
~If you would like a HEART shaped icon, please use a pound symbol # in the engraving field, example: Always In My #
~If you would like a STAR shaped icon, please use an asterisk symbol * in the engraving field, example: My Little *
~Please note that the star and heart symbols will take up 2 character spaces when they are engraved. Please allow for this when entering your desired inscription as you place your order.

~We can engrave in other languages!

Please input the exact way the engraving should read in your online order and also in a separate email to confirm your special personalization. 

*There is a $10 labor charge per item for engraving in these languages, your credit card will be charged the difference after your order is placed.
*These languages are only available on our machine engraved pieces. Not available in hand stamped font or on the Posh Mommy Jewelry.

Engraving Policy:
Items that are personalized/engraved for you are not returnable or refundable, unless there is an error on our part. Engraved pieces are generally not able to be fixed and must be completely remade, which requires new material and labor. Please double check all spelling and dates prior to submitting your order. You will also receive an email with your order confirmation. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy of the personalization and details of your order. If you realize that there is an error, please contact us ASAP to see if we are able to halt production and correct the error. If you had submitted incorrect information for your order, and we had already engraved your item, you will be required to pay a charge for the reworking of the piece, plus the return postage back to you. Please email us for a price quote.

About our Engravables:
Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal which scratches easily during normal wear. Please note that sterling silver WILL scratch if it rubs against harder materials such as crystals, keys, stone and metal surfaces. This is normal and to be expected.

Each of our engraved items is polished a minimum of 4 different ways to reduce surface scratches. Some items may appear to have scratches or dings. These cannot be polished out, as they are part of the metal itself and enhance the character of the individual handcrafted piece. Sterling silver will take on a patina of it's own, developing numerous small scratches, with normal wear. Each of our engraved pieces is protectively wrapped to avoid damage during shipping.

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Sterling Silver Engravable Pendant Shapes and Sizes

14K Gold Engravable Charms & Pendant Shapes and Sizes