What Do You Say To Someone Whose Had A Miscarriage?

it's time to start talking about something that sadly happens in one in four pregnancies miscarriage I was ultimately diagnosed with something called a high level of natural killer cells where your body kills off the baby is a foreign object I almost think of them as like they're a little mythical person that didn't exist at least you can get pregnant and it's like well I've had five miscarriages now you know there's no consolation really why aren't we more aware of it how do you cope if it happens to you and what should you say or maybe not say to someone who's had a miscarriage let's talk about it alright so here we are difficult subjects today miscarriage probably not that many laws let's just get that out of the way first of all but let's just talk about let's just have a good old honest chat about it I suppose and so Aniki what's your experience of miscarriage been like well I think I sort of said that it unfortunately it feels a bit like a club where you don't want to be a member of it really so many women go through miscarriage and that was one of the things that once I've had four miscarriages but once I sort of started talking to people and writing about it I found out that there was so many women who had been through it and not really shared their experience with anyone so it still feels like a bit of a taboo and of course I think people just don't really know what to say and they don't I think in British culture anyway we don't feel very comfortable talking about talking about it but it's just good if women can feel that they can talk about what's happened to them yeah yeah I mean it's happened to you as well I've had five miscarriages so I win yeah I have I know this is awful but even when I was going through the miscarriages we did have a laugh with it I mean not obviously you know there's many very upsetting moments and I filmed it all and made it into a documentary for discovery and TLC but there aren't you've got to carry on living you know your life doesn't stop so it's almost like you've you know you do have to have the humor a little bit of humor gets you through it so I think sometimes so if we can have a laugh about it and if we need to as you say you've both sort of talked and written about it before but why do you think for some women they feel that it needs to be a secret I think it's this whole strange cult of silence that surrounds the first twelve week of pregnancy I think that really doesn't help because people don't talk about being pregnant so how can people then sort of sympathy or empathize when you have lost a baby before 12 weeks if people don't actually know you're pregnant and also not to take away from the pain of miscarriage because afraid of miscarriages or for both physically and emotionally but a few years ago of 20-30 years ago before we did pregnancy tests at home people wouldn't have known they were pregnant until they'd missed two maybe three periods they might guess but they wouldn't have actually known so that was probably less of an emotional impact so we know very early on that were pregnant and as soon as you you know you're pregnant with a wanted baby you know is whether you lose that a day afterwards or a few weeks afterwards or 12 weeks afterwards it's very very upsetting if you were emotionally connected with that baby what do you think about the whole not telling anyone about the pregnancy today beyond the 12 weeks thing I mean I do get a bit worried when I see I see so many women doing the sort of sharing the positive result on the tests the little smiley face and I don't think I shared early on but unfortunately you become a bit of a kind of wounded person as you go through because if you've had more than one you kind of learn the hard way that it's better not to tell anybody do you do you know why the miscarriages happened like did you have any information about that or is it just is it one of those things they could never really identify anything I think what they said is unfortunately I'm getting on a bit and the older you are the more likely you are to miscarry because your eggs are more likely to be damaged basically and I think women I think miscarriage rates are really high once you hit into your 40s and so that was probably a factor for me so after I had my third I sort of went headlong into research to try and find out why miscarriages happened and I guess more importantly could I prevent it from happening again and I think the thing is there's not any information out there from your GP from your standard sources but I found weirdly I found all my information on Mumsnet somewhere I never expected to find myself but on the forums like speaking to other women doing this what we're doing today and I was ultimately diagnosed with something called a high level of natural killer cell where your body kills off the baby is a foreign object which makes total sense really is a foreign object and I think it's a very carefully balanced immune system that goes on when you actually get pregnant and I took a lot of very hardcore drugs too with a specialist to actually have my children in the end so what about that grieving process thing because as you say it's perhaps different as it would be in other circumstances so how how do you kind of manage it how do you how do you get through it I suppose I'm asking well I am a big advocate of just staying in your dressing gown for about two weeks and not seeing people because I think actually certainly because of all of my mum friends were either pregnant or you know well on their way or had had a baby and I just I knew that I wasn't strong enough I know the American term is what triggers you they would say what strip but that would be a trigger to be around those people so I I stayed at home I watched loads of really escapist junk on telly I loved I think it was probably keeping up the Kardashians and Beverly Hills housewives the stupider the more inane it was the better because I didn't want to think I tried not to go on forums actually I almost wanted to just go into brain Escapist mode and then gradually I started going out and stuff I think one of the problems with it is is that there's not a clean into it so it's not like you sort of get to the end and you're like oh that was bad but I'm done like anything it can it can come up at different times and I think when anyone loses somebody you need a period of time of thinking how am I going to live my life without that person in my life and if it's a miscarried child they are a person because basically you've projected into the future and you know what their birthdates gonna be you might have thought of some names I almost think of them as like they're a little mythical person that didn't exist because as soon as you know you're pregnant you start planning is it a boy a girl what's the age difference what school might they go to what they what's their personality you gonna be like what buggy am I gonna get you know it's all that stuff some kicks in I did the opposite in grieving I just went out and got drunk I did yeah probably for weeks and weeks I mean cuz I hadn't been drinking not that drink all that so it's not the major thing in my life but you know for 12 weeks I have a you know three months as it was up to getting pregnant and I was kind of missing my old life a little bit as you do you know go through all these complex feelings when you're pregnant am i you know for the first time I'm gonna become a mom this is going to take away from my lifestyle in some way you know it's had those positive and negative feelings about the presidencies and after I miscarriage which is at 12 weeks it's a very very painful physical horrible experience had contractions proper contractions and everything and people don't talk about that I just I just needed to get drunk to listen to music to go out and see bands and to try and capture that life that I sort of thought I was leaving behind but I was incredibly miserable when doing it as well it didn't really help but you just do what you've gotta do to get through I think that's it I mean I would imagine it and that's you're gonna be miserable almost whatever you do so you might as well do the least uncomfortable thing whatever that is I mean dressing-gown or drinking or perhaps drinking your dressing gown why not bring them together when you're out in a pearl I did go back to work and at the time I worked in this really hardcore corporate environment and I was actually I was a managing partner so we were having a board meeting with three blokes and me and I thought I was okay and I just started crying because one of them said I'm sorry I heard what happened and I started crying and I realized actually that I couldn't be back in work I had to get back into the dressing gown and so I did I literally said I'm sorry and I left and I spent another week at home in my dressing gown it's not how they were understanding though because I've heard reports of people not telling their work and then you know they go and have the operation you know if you don't sort of miscarry on the loo or it doesn't come out naturally you have to have the the operation and then then go back to work you know like they've had some dental treatment I said imagine what it'd be like to be sitting at your desk after you've just got rid of your dead baby essentially and you know having to speak to people and pretend everything's normal actually everyone's different like some people might feel much better straight back to work pretend it never happened move on and that might work for them and that's suppose that's the thing is that it's it's horses for courses but just the challenges it will come and bite you in the butt one day like you will be listening to Radiohead on the tube or you'll see a pregnant woman or you will have a little think about the date that it is and how that relates this is the due date quite hard like you said you plan you know that the baby would be six months on your birthday you know you plan oh it's gonna be amazing gonna have a new baby at Christmas you know all these things that remind you it's not just the the the actual due date it's all those things that you've planned that are then sort of taken away from you and we've talked a bit about this but watch not what should people say but um sometimes it's difficult to know what to say I haven't had a miscarriage and obviously I know people who have because it's so common and I sometimes struggle with you know what is the best way to see to be sympathetic how do I show that I'm thinking of them without being patronizing or upsetting or you know I mean what what are we saying so I would just say is there anything I can do is there any way I can help and try and avoid I call it competitive kind of grief mongering where you get people going I don't know well I've my friends had 17 miscarried ISM and we joked about it at the front you know the beginning or you know this has happened to my other friend or don't try and compare just acknowledge that it's rubbish and do you need any help and that's it and and it's no more or less rubbish whether you've got a child already or yes your fourth or your first and try not to back it up with I think that's the problem that little qualifier where you go at least it's not null Allah because for that person in that situation it does feel and I've come to understand that whatever has happened to you we're all little islands and whatever happens to you it's the worst possible thing for you and that's the thing so you telling me that you know it could have been even worse doesn't make me feel any better so I think it's very subjective isn't that people will react in different ways and people say the most ridiculous horrible things that sounds ridiculous and horrible to us but that's the worst thing anyone said to you oh I can't remember really just like yeah you can try again it was at least it wasn't a real baby at least you can get pregnant and it's like well I've had five miscarriages now you know there's no consolation really but you know there's some truth in it as well you know people that do have infertility and miscarriage less likely you know the more times you've got pregnant the more likely you're gonna have one sticking so people say stupid things and I think it's just that they have a sense of awkwardness and they don't really know what to say you can blame yourself for what has happened and I think I found myself really hate it had implications for the way I felt about my body because I kind of felt that it was normal and natural to have a pregnancy to full-term and it wasn't to have a miscarriage it was abnormal and it was some it was somehow down to something I'd done and because I was in a stressful job at the time I kind of felt like maybe that was my fault and then and I think all of that blame can be internalized and so a big message for women when they're going through it is to think it's it's not my fault it's not something that I've done because actually then you've got another lave got the grief and then you've also got the kind of the guilt because you're kind of like was it the fact that I had a coffee I had an argument with a colleague I was really stressed out I didn't get a seat on the tube it's all of those things and hopefully discussions like this make people realize that it isn't unfortunately it's just a terrible terrible thing that happens and sometimes there is a medical reason but it's not your fault this happened I think that guilt is very very common and totally misplaced because there's nothing that you can do you know having it research this intensely there's nothing really that you can do to cause a miscarriage in that way and what about your partners then her I mean this must affect your relationship presumably he was feeling it too but I feel a lot of time the partner gets neglected because it's it is about us I'm sorry mostly it is about us because we're the ones that are going through it physically you know and that the hormones raging and your body changing and everything like that but you know they still go through it as well they still go through that emotional aspect of it if not the physical there probably are hopefully forums that men can go to because I think they kind of need to because I sort of felt like he was in the caretaker role and so he was just looking after me and I was pretty crazy you know I was crying at the drop of a hat I would cry into my dinner I would you know I would shout and scream at him you know it's a real like this kind of yeah it was unpredictable and he needed probably some support did you have your miscarriages before your daughter or after or a bit of bed well a bit of both did you find the difference between how you felt about the ones before you became a mom yeah before was definitely it's difficult to quantify me it was definitely worse I think I did become more jaded as it went along and so I held back so even though I knew I was pregnant last year I was probably and I knew even if you have had a child I think you do have a bit of a sense I hate it when people say well at least you've got one but it's a certain kind of true I think because I think if you cross that line between you never knowing if you're ever going to become a mum and having become a man so you have luckily across that line the other thing that happens is that you've got to go into parenting mode and that helps because you know the bad experience I had where I was just watching reality TV and screaming and in a bad sort of film that couldn't happen because I had a small I had a daughter at home who I couldn't really do the dressing-gown thing I still had to go and take it to things and pick her up and and that helped in a way actually so we asked the internet if for any tips on dealing with miscarriage here's one an internet came up with stopped to acknowledge the passing of your child that feels important yes I think that feels important for us and that's probably something we'd like from our friends as well but we don't want too much sympathy but we don't want to just sort of brush it off either you know if you can tell people what's happening hmm I chose one or two really close friends and that was it and that was fine that was good enough for me I told the world I was on loose women I was so women's hours I'm you know every single national paper but I also told my friends and you know random passing waiters I think it's like you said it's very personal and just do what helps you if it makes you feel better about yourself you're going through an awful thing anything that makes you feel better you know as long as it's not at the expense of other people's happiness do it I think well I think this I mean this ties in to so many things you know it's the same with pregnancy and births and every woman is different every family is different and so it is quite hard to give one-size-fits-all advice isn't it because yeah but let's press on so the internet says try not to let distance grow between you and your partner was that an issue for you I think probably it is good advice but it's just difficult in how you would do that maybe you know what it is it's think it's probably things like having a cuddle and sort of saying thank you if they're kind of looking after you rather than just screaming at them and being a nightmare so thank you very much for sharing your stories with us thank you ever so much for watching and do you please leave a comment if you want to talk about your experience of miscarriage you know we think it's good to talk about it I think we've all agreed on that today and so yes until next time bye-bye morning

12 Replies to “What Do You Say To Someone Whose Had A Miscarriage?”

  1. The worst thing someone said to me was my sister “you don’t have any children you can’t give me advice on mine”. I had a stillbirth at 28 weeks..

  2. So just to be clear, these women likely are "pro choice" but sad about miscarriages? Why? If it's only losing a cluster of cells, why do disappointed?

  3. I consider myself extreamly lucky to have 7 healthy kids now but when i lost 4 pregnancies in a row along the way (5 babies because one was twins) it was the absolute pit of despair.
    Allowing women and families to talk about their experience and what worked for and was right for them at the time gives them an outlet to their feelings and validates the child, hopes, dreams and expectaions that they have lost. Thankyou so much for touching on this difficult topic. Love and peace to all of you xoxo

  4. The older lady needs some coping skills! The other lady has a much healthier outlook and coping skills!

  5. I feel so sorry for them. I’ve had multiple miscarriages and was diagnosed with Factor II. It’s a clotting disorder that causes my body to form blood clots everywhere and not sustain a pregnancy.

  6. Third!
    Since everyone else is saying it lol.
    But I feel so bad for women who have miscarriages. It’s such a mentally damaging thing to go through and it’s sad how many women go through it… but whenever you do have a child it makes you that much more thankful for them. ❤️

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