I was 16 weeks pregnant when I went in for my first ultrasound. I hadn’t been to the OB in two months thanks to a move back home right before my husband’s deployment. We’d changed insurance plans and I had to wait for the approval of my OB choice. After this was settled, I went in for my appointment only to find that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat and hadn’t made it past 8 weeks. For whatever reason my body continued to progress as if my baby was still growing inside of me. Needless to say, I was devastated. I was scheduled for an emergency D&C that following week and soon after would begin a physical and spiritual healing. So many people came to offer encouraging words and I’m sorry to say some of their encouragement hurt more than it healed, however there were family members and friends who knew exactly what to say and their kind words and prayers are what helped me through a most difficult time in my life. If you find yourself face to face with a dear friend who’s lost their baby, here are 5 things to say to express your love and support during their time of pain.
- I’m sorry for your loss.
Whether a woman has lost a baby at 2 weeks or 9 months, a loss is a loss and she wants everyone to understand this more than anything. Don’t minimize her pain, acknowledge it and walk with her through it all.
- How can I pray for you?
There are times when we know specifically what to pray for and other times when we pray what we think we should pray. In this instance, ask. She may want you to pray for something broad or something very specific, either way let her take the lead on this one.
- I’ve been there before, I know how you feel.
What makes us most relatable as human beings is the human experience. If you’ve known the pain and heartache associated with a miscarriage, share your story but most importantly share the comfort you received when you experienced your loss. Encourage her by letting her know how you overcame your grief. She may find hope in the outcome of your experience.
- This is not your fault.
It’s common for a mother who’s lost a baby to try and pinpoint a reason for her baby’s death, especially if her OB had no answers. It’s even worse when she thinks it’s somehow her own fault. Reassure her that she’s not to blame and avoid giving her other reasons why it may have happened.
- Say Nothing.
Sometimes a good cry is all she will need for the moment or even just sitting in the company of a good friend. If you don’t know what to say then don’t say anything. Offer your support through just being there. Actions always speak louder than words.