Misconceptions of Miscarriage

Print Friendly

I asked some of my fellow stillbirthday mothers to help me out with some misconceptions of miscarriage.  This is our list, of misconceptions the people around us had – and said to us – in our darkest days of grief.

I’d like to build a misconceptions list of all pregnancy and infant loss experiences, so if you’d like, you can leave a comment with yours.  Alternately, you can visit our article on bullying the bereaved, and use the special email address there.

 

In our heartbreak, we felt:

  • Like a murderer.
  • Like a bad mother.
  • Like I couldn’t even protect my baby…from myself.
  • Like a failure.
  • Like my husband must blame me.
  • Like my husband should blame me.
  • Like my husband wouldn’t want to make love to me again.
  • Shame at my body’s desire to want intimacy again – feeling foolish for desiring sexual intimacy from my husband.
  • Wondering if my husband is thinking about the loss during intimacy with me.
  • Foolish to want to conceive again.
  • Foolish to think I can conceive again.
  • Foolish that my “womanhood” is so “incorrect” or “malfunctioned”.
  • Deep despair at the loss of effort it took to conceive – wasted time, money, effort.
  • Self loathing – vengeance for my child’s death, even if directed at self.
  • Tempted to search for blame onto others, including my spouse, others, or God.
  • Frustrated that even the platitudes were directed at my baby (“in a better place”) or rushing me into some future projection of happiness (“you can try again”) instead of focusing on my needs and the magnitude of the moment.
  • Unable to perceive anything other than the current darkness, and so these platitudes about the future seemed like a foreign language.
  • Pressure to move on, as if my body wasn’t actually in a postpartum transition.
  • Rejected.
  • Weird.

 

In our heartbreak, we heard:

 

  • It’s over.
  • You can forget.
  • You should forget.
  • You didn’t love your baby, that’s why you lost ‘it’.
  • Your life is easier with one less child to care for.
  • It was God’s will.
  • You should consider yourself lucky.
  • Your loss is easier than someone else’s loss (loss of spouse, etc.)
  • ‘It’ wasn’t a real child.
  • You shouldn’t hurt mentally.
  • You shouldn’t hurt emotionally.
  • You shouldn’t hurt spiritually.
  • You ‘only’ lost the idea of a baby.
  • It’s not real labor and childbirth.
  • It’s just a period.
  • ‘It’s’ just debris.
  • ‘It’s’ just products of conception.
  • You are not a mother.
  • God didn’t approve of this baby.
  • You didn’t deserve to be pregnant.
  • You should be thankful that you have your living children.
  • You can just get pregnant again.
  • You are lucky God changed His mind.
  • You are lucky to not have a special needs child, that you were spared from this.
  • This was God’s will.
  • It’s your fault (your weight, your job, your stress, etc.)
  • Adoption is an easy approach to parenthood.
  • Silence.

 

Stillbirthday mothers, this is a very hurtful list.  Just reading this hurts my heart.  If in reading this list, you get stuck in pain, please, I ask you this.  Please, get out a piece of paper and a pencil.  Please go through every single one of these comments above, and read it in the OPPOSITE.  Then, write down these OPPOSITE responses.  It would look like this:

  • I don’t have to forget.
  • God did not change His mind.
  • I love my baby.
  • Every loss is difficult – mine, and anyone else’s.

 

Giving birth to our miscarried baby(ies) has taught us many things.  It has stretched us to learn more about ourselves, about our feelings, about our values, about our patience, our forgiveness of others, and about our love.

I asked some stillbirthday mothers to expand on this with me.  This is our list.

  • It is good for me to honor my feelings.
  • It is good for me to validate each of my children and speak about them as I choose to.
  • It is good for me to include all of my children in conversations, in celebrations and in my family as I choose to.
  • My experience is worthy of me defining how I choose to.
  • I have the right to consider myself the mother to a miscarried child, for the rest of my life, and determine for myself how this role is an important one.
  • My heart can hold love for people I have never seen.
  • I am here, and I have a place, even when I feel lost.
  • It is good for me to cry.
  • It is good for me to laugh.
  • Happy can remind me of sad.  Sad can remind me of happy.
  • I treasure today because tomorrow is unknown.
  • I treasure my living children and other living loved ones, not because I was told to, but because I choose to.
  • I want to grow and to improve areas of myself in honor of my child(ren).
  • We all grieve differently.
  • I am not grieving wrong.

 

 

 

Share Your Story Share Your Story Become a Doula before during after

Comments

  1. I never believed you were pregnant in the first place.

    • Heidi Faith says:

      Yes, that is another one. That is so very, very hurtful, and I am so very sorry for any mother who heard that. Thank you for sharing that.

  2. Everyone tried to convince me that the other twin would not have been healthy or strong enough to “live” and it was the BEST thing to happen. Making it sound like one deserved to live and the other didn’t.That was tough to deal with. I am grateful for both babies alive and deceased.

    • Lisa, This is just the saddest thing. I feel for you. Praising your for loving both of your babies! ♥♥

    • I have heard the same thing. Only we lost both of our twins. They were momo twins (very highrisk) and later on in the pregnancy there could have been some big complications. People will tell me God took them because maybe something was going to happen to them, or they wouldn’t have a happy life. This is something I don’t believe…

  3. You have your 6 month old to take care of! Think about HIM!

  4. You should be greatful for the four beautiful healthy daughters you have, you need to be strong for them. We lost our twin boys at 19weeks….I had to explain to four little girls that we had our babies, they were boys and their names were Antton David and Rayland Joseph, and they were born and went to heaven right away. After my first miscarriage all I got was “you didn’t even know you were pregnant” I was 12 weeks when I lost the baby….then miscarried at 18weeks. I had no signs of being pregnant. It still hurt just the same.

  5. This is a beautiful article. Our sweet amazing son was originally a twin in vitro, and we still mourned the loss we only so briefly knew about. Now that I’ve felt it, when I hear of someone else with the loss of an unborn child, I know something to say that isn’t stupid or ignorant or silent. I know to say that there isn’t anything I can say, that they will feel their pain and move through it in their own way, and nothing anyone says can or should try to change that.

  6. I also had people make inappropriate jokes like “At least you don’t have to worry about a baby keeping you up all night” (of course I was still up crying about losing my son all night) and someone even made a joke about how at least my vagina wasn’t all out of shape from delivery!!! I was in so much shock I couldn’t even respond! Another mother who lost her baby after being pregnant at a young age told me someone said to her “I bet that will teach you to keep your legs closed”

    I was also angered by people saying “God took your baby for a reason” or “God don’t make no mistakes!” Perhaps theologically true but to me it sounded like
    “God killed your baby ” Another parent told me they hated hearing that their baby was in a better place. She said she pointed at the persons three children and asked “Which of them would you want in a better place?”

    • Reading about the insensitive comments people has said to mothers who have miscarried, reminded me of one my own sister told me. After one of my miscarriages, she stated, “I never believed you were pregnant in the first place”. I was so shocked, I could not even respond.

  7. I would blame God if my child was miscarried.

  8. MummaMeAre says:

    I had serious, well documented escalating medical problems leading (after lots of medical intervention) to doctor attended, in hospital still-births and also miscarriages. I was subsequently accused of allowing multiple babies to die at home! After all of that loss, and medical gymnastics in hopes of a live birth, we were suspected of having achieved what the best specialist could not do (live-births), and then having allowed multiple babies to die. This, all together, is Anguish and Utter Disbelief. We endured a public shaming and a long investigation which is now ended, but no retraction or apology. Fortunately we have many, many wonderful reasons to be happy and we practice that together daily.