What to Do When Your Friend Miscarries and You Don’t
There’s nothing more exciting than when you and a friend are pregnant at the same time. In the early weeks you might imagine bonding over your growing bellies, preparing for birth together, spending your maternity leaves cooing over each other’s brand-new babies, and then watching your little ones grow up and grow into friends themselves. While this is sometimes what happens when two friends are pregnant at the same time, things don’t always turn out how we hope.
Almost 1/3 of pregnancies in in miscarriage and, when a friend miscarries, but you don’t, you might wonder how to move forward in a way that’s sensitive to the loss they’re experiencing. While there’s no one right way to do things and every woman is different, there are some things you might want to keep in mind as you navigate your relationship with your friend whose had a miscarriage.
Check out the suggestions below to help you be as kind, sensitive, and caring as possible.
Acknowledge their loss
When a friend loses their baby, it’s important to find a way to sincerely acknowledge their loss. You might send flowers, write a heartfelt card, or simply tell them in person how sorry you are. These sorts of conversations are very hard but, when you don’t acknowledge a loss it can feel to the parent that you don’t recognize their grief – or their loss – as important.
Cool it with the pregnancy talk
Even if your friend was your go-to to discuss morning sickness or shop for stretchy pants with, you should likely cool it with the pregnancy talk. Cooling it doesn’t mean that you never discuss your pregnancy, but it does mean that you bring it up only when she asks about it and that you’re sensitive to when enough is enough.
Be there to listen
Cooling it with pregnancy talk does not mean that you cool your whole relationship with your friend. Don’t disappear because you feel awkward or don’t want to remind her of her loss. Instead, make offers to hang out and take her cues. She might be anxious to talk and share her feelings or might need a little more time to process her feelings independently before she spends time with you Take her cues though and do your best not to create another loss for her by stepping away when she wants or needs you there.
Respect it if they need space
While your friend might be anxious to hang and talk, she also might not. If this is the case do your best not to take it personally and, instead, recognize what a hard space she’s in right now. Continue to invite your friend as you would have in the past but don’t hesitate to include a disclaimer that let’s her know that it’s okay to say no if she needs a little more time.
Don’t forget about their loss as time passes
Just because your friend’s miscarriage happened a few weeks or a few months ago doesn’t mean she’s “over it.” As your pregnancy progresses and hers does not, know that she’s likely missing every milestone in a new and painful way. She won’t feel those kicks or have that baby shower or make that birth plan and she’s likely mourning each of these missed milestones as they pass. Consider reaching out to acknowledge her baby’s due date with a card or a phone call and let her know that you’ll be there for her as she continues to move forward.