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Miscarriage Advice for Support People

“[Send] a care package with homemade chocolate chip cookies, [a supportive note or book on coping with loss,] and a package of paper plates…. I don’t know about you, but my grief doesn’t like to do dishes, so have a fucking paper plate!”

“You can’t just have another baby, you have this baby and you lost this baby.”

“Offer hope without diminishing the experience or the loss. Don’t say things like [‘I never got over it, you’ll never get over it’] or ‘Oh, you can try again and it’ll work.’ Because it’s not that easy…. Make yourself available to talk about it. And give permission, both explicitly and implicitly for the person or people or couple who’s going through this to talk with you, and that it’s ok that they talk about it.”

“[I always appreciate] those who say comforting words, who are sorry that we’ve experienced this, and knowing how painful it is or having an idea, or imagining that it’s painful for us, and validating that and the loss. And recognizing the uncertainty of how we feel around being able to have a child, because of our age it’s not like we have unlimited tries.”

“Remember that this is a big deal for both parents, not just the person who was pregnant. And this is not the time to try to learn about how exactly the pregnancy happened (sperm donors, etc.)—focus instead on how sad the people are. Remember that this was clearly a very wanted baby and it was hard to get pregnant. Even if this is something you see all the time, be sympathetic.”

“Don’t forget about the nonbio mom. Feed both of them and care for both of them, and I would encourage support people who are close to the parent who is not carrying to find some place and time to speak to them individually because they’re going through their own grief process. They need space to be able to voice what they’re going through independently from their partner.”

“Treat them with the same respect that you would give a straight couple but understand that the emotional toll could possibly be doubled due to the amount of time, money, energy that usually goes into LGBT pregnancies and also that sometimes both partners (especially women) may react and feel the same way.”

“Send flowers with a small simple card of support. Please, do not ask if we’re going to “try again.” Share stories of people you know who experienced similar loss, especially from the perspective of the nonbiological parent because we feel so isolated. Better yet, offer to put them in touch. Hug (gently) and be willing to listen or distract as needed. Bring/send food but respect the fact that the couple probably just wants to be alone.”

“If you can’t say anything, just say ‘I’m sorry.’ Not saying I’m sorry in the sense that you’ve done anything, but just like, ‘I’m here if you want to talk.” But you don’t have to fix anything. Just don’t be silent.”

“The French Creole people deal with grief differently. It might look like somebody is not grieving, but you never know what’s going on inside. Never compare your outsides to their insides. Just because it looks like that. [Be] open and willing to talk about it. Because [loss and grief] makes a lot of people uncomfortable. It makes a lot of people uncomfortable. If you can be open enough to talk about it and just listen [that] makes a massive difference.”

“People might have really conflicting feelings [sometimes]. There can be a feeling of loss and also a feeling of relief simultaneously, for instance. Be able to support both.”

“((Channeling Bette Davis)) Fasten your seatbelt. (laughter) It’s just [gonna be] a bumpy ride.”

“I think helping people not feel isolated and not feel…boxed in. Like ‘Oh you’re the more masculine one in the relationship so we’re going to try and figure out how a dad would respond and that’s how we’ll treat you.’ That makes no sense! Especially if you’re the one who carried! There’s nothing out there for me.”

“As far as emotional support, people have said, ‘well, at least you already have [your other two children]” and you know it’s like [please remember:] I don’t appreciate my children any less because I had a miscarriage. They aren’t a replacement for other people, or other potential people.”

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