Posted by: DD | November 1, 2006

no. 308 – Inservice

I am no longer preparing for tomorrow’s news. I already have accepted it and am prepared. I know that for you this may be difficult, but if you were me right now, you’d know. Please, no more wishful thoughts and fingers crossed for this cycle. OK? Promise me.

At this time I would like to thank the coworker who now has everyone in my department wondering if I’m pregnant. Nothing makes this whole fucked-up process easier than having another coworker ask me if I’m pregnant. Really. It’s great. Since you were the first to know, then I’m sure you will be the first to offer your sympathies when I return to my office on Friday.

And for all of us bloggers, I think now would be a good time to provide a little in-service. In your comments, please first share one of the worst things that was said to you when you suffered a miscarriage, and then share one of the best things that was said to you (or that you wish had been said to you). I know Leggy did something similar a few months back, but you can never review this enough, can you?

With that, there should be no excuse from anyone I know who might say, "gee, I just didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything", especially since now you can stop pretending you don’t know.

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Responses

  1. 3 weeks after my first loss at Christmas, the BIL and SIL who were there with their 6 week old baby, informed me that they had 3 miscarriages before they got this baby and “It was the BEST thing that we ever went through”. Needless to say my reply was “Are you f**king NUTS?!” And yes, they both are.

    Nicest thing came from one of my unmarried, never had a serious relationship, MALE coworkers, “I’m sorry” with a big hug.

    That hug was better then any flowers or cards that other sent out of a sense of obligation.

    So, I am so sorry for this whole situation and a big fat hug from Wisconsin to you.

  2. The only stupid comments I got was from my sonogram technician. Istead of nicley telling me I had three babies but they didn’t have heart beats she kept going on and on about how “interesting” it was for me to have spontanious triplets and that it was very “cool”. I swear.
    In front of my husband and my two babies who kept asking “do you have a baby in your belly mommy?”
    No sorry, no I wish I had better news, nothing.
    She is a whore and I hope she rots.

  3. DD — I have the beer on ice and nothing planned this weekend.

    Never had a miscarriage, so missed out on all the crappy things people say to you.

  4. I’ve never had a miscarriage, but my cousin had one about 2 years ago. We sent a card and when I saw her and her husband soon after that, I told them how sorry I was about the baby. She told me later that one of the best things about that was that I didn’t pretend that nothing had happened, like so many people in our family did.

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you. And I have frozen hard lemonade if you want.

  5. Worst was my mother after my second miscarriage when we were driving back from the Bad Ultrasound–she reminded me that she had once miscarried, and she had been a week further along than I was. “So if you think this is bad, imagine how I felt!” was the gist of her comment. Nice.

    The best was two of my mother’s friends from work who sent me a card (the only one I received) that said, simply, how sorry they were for my loss.

  6. Great proactive approach there with the sensitivity training. I hope it works. If I might ask, people who work near DD, please be good to her face-to-face. The rest of us wish so much we could be with her in person. Please help us do our jobs as friends and do right by her.

  7. Worst – Well at least it happened early so you didn’t have time to get attached to it. (this from a friend who had been infertile and now has twins)

    Best – from my husband – No matter what happens we will figure out a way to make this work

    Thinking of you D.

  8. Worst? My boss. As I lie in the hospital: “Maybe this is someone’s way of telling you something??”

    Best? Joe:while being gently folded into his arms, “I’m sorry. I love you so much”

  9. I’ve never miscarried, but had two asshat comments that stick out in my mind regarding infertility and adoption:

    One, from my best friend who was pregnant at the time – “Stiletto is lucky. She’s doing this the EASY way.”

    The other from a mother of two bio sons who is now adopting because she deserves to parent a girl child – “So can’t you have your OWN children?”

  10. Worst: A “good friend” of mine who told me that sometimes God does things like this for a reason and that maybe I should examine my life to see if there is any unconfessed sin.

    Best: My husband answering the phone while I was lying on the couch, crying. Same friend was on the phone and the way he chewed her out made me love him so much more.

    DD-What’s your drink of choice? Screwdrivers? Dirty Martini? Whatever it is, it’s on me.

  11. After my double ectopic, at the Christmas party, evil neighbor leans across me to pg neighbor and says, “Sorry (to me) but I have to ask, what’s it like to be pg? (to pg neighbor.) Cuz gosh I just wouldn’t know! What with having been pg 7 times at that point and with 3 kids! Silly me! I guess if you mc, you didn’t really experience pregnancy. Made my loss seem like nothing.

    Best thing…when people simply said how sorry they were and meant it.

  12. After my double ectopic, at the Christmas party, evil neighbor leans across me to pg neighbor and says, “Sorry (to me) but I have to ask, what’s it like to be pg? (to pg neighbor.) Cuz gosh I just wouldn’t know! What with having been pg 7 times at that point and with 3 kids! Silly me! I guess if you mc, you didn’t really experience pregnancy. Made my loss seem like nothing.

    Best thing…when people simply said how sorry they were and meant it.

  13. After my double ectopic, at the Christmas party, evil neighbor leans across me to pg neighbor and says, “Sorry (to me) but I have to ask, what’s it like to be pg? (to pg neighbor.) Cuz gosh I just wouldn’t know! What with having been pg 7 times at that point and with 3 kids! Silly me! I guess if you mc, you didn’t really experience pregnancy. Made my loss seem like nothing.

    Best thing…when people simply said how sorry they were and meant it.

  14. After my double ectopic, at the Christmas party, evil neighbor leans across me to pg neighbor and says, “Sorry (to me) but I have to ask, what’s it like to be pg? (to pg neighbor.) Cuz gosh I just wouldn’t know! What with having been pg 7 times at that point and with 3 kids! Silly me! I guess if you mc, you didn’t really experience pregnancy. Made my loss seem like nothing.

    Best thing…when people simply said how sorry they were and meant it.

  15. After my double ectopic, at the Christmas party, evil neighbor leans across me to pg neighbor and says, “Sorry (to me) but I have to ask, what’s it like to be pg? (to pg neighbor.) Cuz gosh I just wouldn’t know! What with having been pg 7 times at that point and with 3 kids! Silly me! I guess if you mc, you didn’t really experience pregnancy. Made my loss seem like nothing.

    Best thing…when people simply said how sorry they were and meant it.

  16. I’m sorry sweetie. My heart hurts for you.

    Worst thing (from a coworker) – “Don’t be sad. Now your babies are playing hide and seek with Jesus.”

    What the fuck? I’m not even religious.

    Best thing (from my shrink after I started worrying that I was being punished for not being religious) – “Shitty things happen to even the most wonderful people in the world. All religions, all backgrounds. No one is spared by “picking the right God”.

    Seond best thing from my OB/GYN: “When you come up against things like this that you have no control over you have to just trust that the universe is working on your behalf.”

    It’s weird…but it really helped me to let go of some of the regret and second-guessing.

  17. All I can say is I’m sorry.

  18. I’ve not yet been pregnant, but I thought I’d share my worst assvice/comment instead. I think the most head-shaking one I ever got was from a “friend” who knew a same sex couple who did DI and got pregnant . . . she said to me that “if two lesbians can get pg than surely you and your husband can manage it.” Hmmmm . . . not sure how that logic applies actually.

    Best comment: “I’m sorry you’re going through this, it must be so hard.”

    I’m sorry your coworkers are still snooping on your blog.

  19. Gah, I’m just NOW reading your hell. I’m so sorry. It just totally sucks.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten a rude comment after a miscarriage. I’m very good at cutting myself off when they happen. But, I do wish that close friends/family would have said, more. what that more is, I can’t answer.

    Again, entirely my fault, because I’m very shut off when stuff like this happens.

  20. I’m still hoping for you.

    Worst thing: Brett’s born again, letting God decide family size, then on her third (or fourth?) pregnancy in as many years (she’ll have her seventh baby this February) said, “Well, maybe *I’ll* have enough kids to make up for you!” (giggle)

    Best thing: Just the friends who listened sympathetically. And the friend who would call to check in after someone else in the playgroup would announce a pregnancy. She was just really really really there for me — which is amazing because she had an only child by choice and NEVER EVER EVER wanted to have another baby but she totally got it.

  21. Worst thing: At least now you know you can get pregnant.
    And, from a colleague with one child
    I know how you feel, we had a miscarriage.

    I know that second one isn’t really bad, but I felt like saying – no, after two IVFs you really don’t know how I feel.

    Best thing: I think it has to be the many people who said: I’m so sorry for your loss. And my sister in law, who didn’t say much but sent me a voucher for a manicure.

  22. I have never had a m/c but I just wanted to pop in and send a big hug your way.

  23. Worst: One of Dh’s coworkers said “and you guys think that was a baby!” in the most condescending voice you could ever imagine. Dh of course was shocked and devestated which caused him to come home and tell me immediately. I’ve hardly spoke to the man since.

    Best: The best were a simple, “I’m sorry.” I could tell in peoples eyes that they were genuine and it meant more than any lengthy condolences we received.

    Take care of yoursef DD!

  24. Thank you for letting us know what you want/don’t want in terms of sympathies and best wishes- sometimes its hard to know whether to be brutally honest or to sugar coat things. So I appreciate you telling us what you want.
    I’m not even sure I know where to start re: worst things people have said to me. Mine was broader re: grief in general. I guess specific to miscarriages its:
    Worst thing: The number of people who just said nothing. Who just pretended a week later that it had never happened and that all should be fine now, including my own family.
    Best thing: Just a simple “I’m sorry” and taking time to check in with me periodically.

  25. Worst: friend who told me about a friend of hers who had an abortion (because she’s not quite divorced and too lazy to consistently use birth control) and said the bleeding “wasn’t that bad.”

    Best – my mom didn’t say anything she just hugged me and cried, weird but it felt like someone was sharing my pain and made mine a tiny bit less.

  26. “Something was wrong with ‘it’. And now you know you can get pregnant (wide, fake smile)” Worst, of course.

    And best said, nothing. How could it be possible for someone to put words together that would ease the awful ache in my heart.

    The thing that made me feel the best after my 8 losses was for no one to pretend it did not happen. For the baby to be acknowledged. For me as being acknowledge as a MOTHER of the baby. And for people to feel sad with me throughout the years when I feel sad again, instead of writing it off as ‘nothing’ and behaving as if I should be over it.

  27. I have never had a loss myself, but was standing next to a good friend after hers when someone asked her “Are you sure you were really pregnant? I thought I was having a m/c once but it was just a really bad period. ” The sheer stupidity actually rendered me speechless for a moment( a rare occurence) but later I told that person that they might want to work on their sensitivity, ie, keep your f-ing trap shut if you can’t think of something more appropriate.

    Sending hugs your way, DD, and hoping that you will hear only nice things. Take care, Leslie

  28. DD, I’m so sorry.

    I haven’t had a miscarriage, but remember a comment I heard long before I even realized we had inferility problems. A close co-worker was missing from a meeting and our supervisor commented, “Well. I’m sure she’ll be here tomorrow. It’s just a miscarriage.” Luckily another co-worker quickly piped up and gave our supervisor a nice long explanation about the emotional and physical toll a miscarriage has on a person.

    I know of so many wrong things to say. In my own insignificant opinion, I just wish people would recognize a miscarriage for what it really is – the loss of a child who although had not been met quite yet was still loved and cherished and will never be forgotten.

    DD – My heart hurts thinking of the pain you are feeling right now. I’m just so terribly sorry.

  29. My first miscarriage took place days before Christmas. Though I was still in the process of miscarrying, my husband and I chose to “ride it out” at his family’s for the holiday, as previously planned, letting his mom know what was happening. For Christmas dinner I baked some homemade buttermilk biscuits that I had brought from home. As we all sat down for dinner, my MIL said to me, “Casey, do you still have something in the oven? (Pause) No pun intended.” And giggled uncomfortably.

    WHATTHEFUCK?

    During that same visit, my husband’s sister and brother-in-law gave us both big teary hugs when we arrived and told us how sorry they were. It didn’t ease the pain, but it placed it in a context that I could deal with.

    I have almost forgiven my MIL.

  30. Dear DD, I’ll be thinking of you so hard tomorrow, and sending you all my love.

    Worst thing, from my mother (I’ll let you pick):

    — Don’t think that you’ve lost a child. You haven’t lost a child.

    — It wasn’t a girl. It was a potential girl.

    (When I said bitterly that I had now been pregnant as often as her — 3 times): — Yes, but not as long.

    The best thing: I’m so sorry and FUCK (this from all of you).

  31. Worst: From lots of people- Well now that you’ve been pregnant once it will be easy to get pregnant again (this comment gave me so much false hope).
    OR
    You are better off, my kids drive me crazy

    Best: From a male co-worker who knew about my fertility problems and how much the loss killed me: Nothing I say can make it better, but I’m here if you need me.

    I’ll be thinking of you these next few days.

  32. Worst: A toss up between “Well, at least it really wasn’t a baby” (after I told this person that I had an anembryonic pregnancy) and “Now, you get to do the fun part again and have lots of sex.”

    Best: My SIL who had twins through IVF telling me that the night after I told her about my miscarriage, she had a dream that she lost her kids. She told me how it made her realize how difficult and painful what I was going through must be. It meant so much to me because, until then, no one else who knew, really got it.

  33. Worst (From my mother): “Well, there was obviously something wrong with it, so nature just took it’s course since it obviously wasn’t meant to be.”

    What I *WISH* would have been said – “Honey, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m here if you need to talk.” (And left it at that. Or maybe a hug.)

  34. DD – I keep coming back here to have my say and I just can’t do it. I can’t be part of a wake yet. I am NOT, *NOT* going to hold out any kind of hope – you’re smart enough to know what’s up.
    Can I at least tell you that I know you are kick-ass strong (oh no with the language thing again). And part of that strength is knowing when you need help – Mr. DD has to be able to help you through this without it becoming some sort of test for what you may or may not want to do in the future. I would volunteer to come down and ‘convince’ him of this but he looks bigger then I am.
    DinoD

  35. Nothing to add for the in-service. But for the rest – I’m so sorry.

  36. I totally get where you are today DD. Before my second m/c I had to get my head in the same place. My husband was still holding out hope but I just couldn’t. I knew after the first u/s. I am still hoping for you…but I’ll keep it to myself. I’m sorry you’ve had such a horrible few weeks.

    Worst? People telling me “at least it happened early” or “we can’t understand God’s plan” or “it was for the best, there must have been something wrong with the baby”

    Best? The best were the people who just said they were sorry. The best were people who just let me cry on their shoulder. The best was my husband who repeatedly told me it wasn’t my fault and he didn’t blame me.

  37. Worst? MIL who tells me “You know… it’s not all about YOU. You lost my grandchild.” (This from the woman who already has two grandchildren that she never attempts to see or maintain a relationship with. Nice, eh?)

    Best? BIL who’s a big burly hunk of a guy with a bald head and tatoos (think biker dude) who says with tears in his eyes “I’m not good at this girly stuff but I love you and I’m sorry.” Funny that such a bitch raised such amazing boys of her own.

  38. Worst: Inlaws who went hiking when their son called to tell them I was in surgery with a ruptured ectopic. They told him they’d check in with him later because it couldn’t be very serious. Then they said ‘well, you’re over your problem, right?”

    Best: Friends who sent funny dvds, crazy books, flowers but told the delivery man to just leave them and not bother us, tiaras with brownies, expensive bottles of gin and tonic with nice limes, and said we love you and are thinking of you and are so very sorry.

    I’m thinking of you so hard and hoping you have some folks to do the best things.

  39. Worst: my mother, who said “well, it’s better than having a really damaged baby!”

    Best: my mother, who was the only person to send flowers or a card for the second confirmed miscarriage – the card said “I know you won’t give up hope, sweetie”.

  40. Sigh. DD, good luck today. I’m sorry.

    I don’t have a worst story, thankfully …

    Best was my dad, who said, as I was sobbing and snorgling all over his shirt, “I know, it’s how we all feel.”

    Thinking of you

  41. Worst – My MIL: “How are you doing? Guess who’s pregnant?” (worst couple imaginable in the family… told hubby and he too wanted to leave right then and there)

    Best- Hubby – “We will get through this, I love you and this is not our fault… it’s xyz’s (someone in his family that I dislike).”

    This well blows… Know I’m here listening/reading/have the kleenex handy.

  42. Worst: Everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was just the wrong time. Apparently, you’re better off.
    And I have no best, but I do have a batch of buttered rum hot toddy’s. And LOTS of left over candy.
    I am truly deeply soooo sorry.

  43. Worst: Combo of “at least this shows you CAN get pregnant” (no, it shows I can miscarry) and “at least it was early so you weren’t too attached” (yeah, I didn’t love that tiny thing from the minute I found out I was pregnant).

    Best: My best friend who wrote to say she loves me and sent flowers because she lives out of town. All the card said was she loved me and to call if I needed anything. Nothing sweeter could have been said.

  44. DD, I’ve just caught up on everything all at once. I am so sorry and am thinking of you.

  45. Worst: Everything happens for a reason. I HATE THAT!!!! So the reason must be that we should all have to suffer and I am evil and somehow my FATE is to suffer from infertility then have a miscarriage???

    Best thing done: My MIL bought me an ivy plant that was really nice. I finally just through it away becasue I was ready to “let go” of my miscarriage after 2 years.


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