WHAT TO SAY WHEN SOMEONE MISCARRIES
Actor James Van Der Beek recently spoke about the three miscarriages his wife endured before the birth of their daughter Gwendolyn. Emma explains how to help when someone suffers the same
I have two gorgeous I boys thanks to fertility treatment, but I always wanted a big family, and there isn’t a day where I don’t think about the five babies I didn’t carry to full term. I found all my miscarriages utterly isolating, because as soon as you drop the “M” bomb, conversation becomes awkward – or ends.
CUDDLES AND CUPPAS
Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek has opened up about the three miscarriages he and his wife Kimberly experienced before having three-month-old Gwendolyn. He concurs that if you really want to support a woman, or couple, dealing with loss, you need to offer them an outlet for their feelings, and words of hope. When I miscarried at twelve weeks, people said “nature knows best”. They told me that my babies were probably genetically deformed. This was intended to comfort me, to make the miscarriage acceptable, but what I needed was a strong pair of arms to hold me as I sobbed, and strong cups of tea to help me get through the deeply distressing initial days.
If someone you know miscarries, avoid muttering the statistics that so many people think “normalise” baby loss. A pregnant mother is not a mathematician, she is an emotional being who is losing a life that she’s already invested and in love with. I had planned my babies’ lives within five minutes of my positive test, and having that ripped away is heartbreaking. Don’t avoid difficult conversations because you don’t know what to say, you’re not expected to. Saying nothing makes miscarriage feel taboo and having your mates avoid discussing the most important issue you are facing adds to the agony. Pick up the phone, go round for a coffee, and keep in regular contact.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Finally, equip yourself with helpful information. Channel Mum (www.channelmum.com) has an area dedicated to baby loss awareness. This is a perfect place to gain knowledge so you can support a loved one. There is always hope, but before you tell them that they’ll get pregnant again, allow them the very real grief and pain that comes with baby loss.