Post # 1
A couple who are close friends of ours recently announced their pregnancy at the beginning of June. Although we unofficially had already been told months prior, the announcement was still very exciting because they found out at 12 weeks through genetic testing that they were having a boy. Our inner circle of friends consists of about 5 couples (the guys all went to college together) and we all sat around dreaming of the future and thinking up names for the baby at the couple’s request.
Yesterday I heard from my FI that the couple found out that the baby wasn’t getting enough fluids and something appeared to be wrong with the pregnancy, so they were given a doctor’s appointment. Today we called in the afternoon to see how the appointment went, and were told that the baby is not going to survive. From what I was told he developed without kidneys.
We are both very impacted by the loss of this pregnancy and would like to know if there is anything appropriate to do for our friends to express our condolences. I’m not sure if this is really the type of occasion for flowers or a gift basket. Every time we see a baby we think of them, and we realize it must be extremely difficult to still be carrying a pregnancy that is destined to be terminated. Of course we will try to spend time with them, but expect that they will need time to themselves to mourn.
Please tell me something that we can do to ease their suffering.
Post # 3
@sablemuse: I am very sorry to hear of your friends terrible loss. My SIL has been n their situation twice and its very very painful and never easy. We went to visit her in the hospital and brought flowers. Later once they were home and had some time to be alone we brought over a dinner.
This is just an idea and she may not be into it, but i helped my SIL make shadow box frames with the babies foot/hand prints, their tiny little hats and a hospital blanket they were wrapped up in, they named the babies and so we put their names in the frames and now they are in their bedroom. I think it helped her grieve a little.
Nothing can take away the pain, its a horrible thing, the best advice i can give you is to not say “i understand” Well meaning friends / family will say: “oh i had a MC and it was the same thing…” once you’re so far along in the pregnancy its NOT the same thing, you have to deliver that baby and that was the thing my SIL found the most painful is people telling her they got it, when they had a MC in the early weeks. 🙁
Wishing your friend better days ahead.
Post # 4
I’m sorry, what a tough and sad situation. I just had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago (although it was earlier in my pregnancy – between 8 and 9 weeks) and I will share what my friends have done that has helped me.
It really is all that I could think about (that is just starting to change now) 24/7, but I felt like I couldn’t show that I was feeling in front of my friends since I didn’t want to be a “downer” or make anyone uncomfortable or depressed. My friends let me know that it’s ok to be sad, ok to back out on plans etc. with no problem at all…it was very helpful. I felt like I could show my authentic feelings.
I got flowers from one girlfriend (she had previously had a miscarriage as well) and it was really nice. Made me feel like it was a real loss, which I felt it was but sometimes others don’t really see it as that.
A couple of people mailed me cards and that was also really nice. It let me know that they were thinking of me and again with the legitimate loss thing…plus when you get a card you don’t have to react to the person right in front of you which can sometimes be nice.
It sounds like your friend might need some kind of procedure (like a D&C that I had, or even a more stressful experience like a birth) to fully terminate her pregnancy. Let me tell you that I majorly underestimated the medical process involved in miscarriage!! It is painful for quite some time (emotionally of course but also very physically painful) and even after the procedure (which is like an operation – they put you out, you have to recover) you still feel crappy for a good while. My family helped out tons doing things like taking my dog so I could rest, bringing me food, etc. Something like that might be nice to help your friend rest and recover.
Post # 5
Thanks, and I think you’re both right. My gut tells me to react the same way that I would if a born baby had died, because it is just as significant a loss. I believe that’s what you’re both getting at in your suggestions.
Post # 6
@sablemuse: Everyone is very different in how they grieve, but for me, I would have loved to get flowers or something and know that my babies were real and meant something to someone other then me. It made me feel so good to have some friends write on my facebook page on mother’s day and let me know that they remembered my losses and wanted to wish me a happy mothers day. I’ve absolutely adored the people who have said “I’m so sorry for your loss, I’m here for you for whatever you need.”
*hugs* I think you are a pretty amazing friend! Give her a hug from me please. Miscarriage is hard.
Post # 7
I’m so sorry for your friend.
Friends of mine went through something similar, she lost her twins around 21 weeks. She said the worst thing was the people she saw everyday ignoring the “elephant in the room”. Like the PP said, pretending it didn’t happen because the baby was never “born” is hurtful, but no one wants to talk about it all the time either.
Take your cues from her. The first time I saw them after their loss I wanted to say something, and was so glad I did. I didn’t mention it at first, but I wanted to make sure they were coping. And I just let her know I was there if she needed me.
Post # 8
DH’s cousins went through something similier. They delivered a baby boy prematurely, with physical problems which meant that it was likely he wouldn’t survive long. They’re a very private couple, so wanted to be left alone most of the time, but they still wanted people to acknowledge the birth of their son.
I think the other bees suggestions are very good, in helping out as much as possible, as she’s going to need a lot of help and support to recover both physically and emotionally after the delivery. Flowers, food, and helping with cleaning around the house are all great suggestions, and just being there for if and when she wants to talk / cry.
Post # 9
Some good friends of ours are grieving their recently-stillborn daughter, and a couple of things I’ve learned about that you might check into:
– There is a volunteer organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that provides photography services for parents suffering the loss of a baby. It depends on how far along she is and whether she is going to give birth to her baby or go through something like a D&C, but many parents find a tremendous amount of consolation in having photographs of their lost little one. You could put them in touch, or make them aware of the service, if that’s something they would want.
– In our area there is another volunteer organization, Mikayla’s Grace, that offers support for families who experience the loss of an infant by providing what they call “Angel Memory Boxes”: they contain blankets, clothes, hats and booties, a memory book, candles, kits to make plaster casts of the baby’s hands and feet, a container for a lock of hair, etc., so that the parents will have something for their baby and some keepsake items. You might see if something similar exists in your area, and put the parents in contact with them.
– If your friends do end up using the services of either organization, one nice thing you could do to commemorate their baby is to make a donation in his memory to one of them, to help other parents who will have to go through similar experiences.
Post # 10
@KCKnd2: That is so sweet. She is around 16 weeks so I doubt she would be delivering, and I’m not sure if a memory box would be welcomed however I’m so glad to know that that’s available. If she happens to mention that she would like some memento to help her grieve I will absolutely suggest this.
Thanks again everyone for your support. I think most peoples’ instinct is to put on a smile around the person and act as if nothing happened in an attempt to not pour salt on an open wound, however I know now that it’s definitely better to acknowledge that this baby was real to us.
Post # 11
You are a great friend to ask this question and want to do something for them. The most important thing that other PPs have mentioned is to acknowledge the loss and let your friends know that you are there for them (to talk about it or not talk about it as they wish). I also think the due date could be a particularly hard day for them in dealing with their loss and acknowledging that with flowers or something like this can be a very thoughtful thing as well.
Post # 12
Can anyone tell me if this seems like a good gift? The wife is known for her love of accessories, and I thought the meaning behind it is really sweet. I only hesitate because I’m not sure if she would want a constant reminder on her wrist..
Also, I was thinking of pairing it with a card like this:
Post # 13
I think that’s a very sweet gift idea. As far as having a constant reminder on her wrist, it will be up to her whether she prefers to wear it all the time and have that reminder, wear it occasionally when she wants to be reminded, or keep it in a safe place. Like any gift, it’s up to the giver to select it and up to the recipient what to do with it, whether and how to use it.
Post # 14
@sablemuse: I’m so very sorry to Hear that. It is such a hard thing to deal with and even harder to know what to say. I am getting tears in my eyes thinking about how hard this is or your friend. They are in my thoughts and prayers.
Last April we had a shower for my friend who was pregnant with a boy….the next weekend I was walking through Walmart and saw her. She started crying and she said they just found out they lost the baby that morning and she had to go get induced that night. She was three weeks away from her due date. They had photos taken by the foundation someone else mentioned called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and they have a moon shaped urn and a picture of him beside it on their dresser.
I can’t even imagine what she bad feeling but it was so hard for me as well. there’s not really anything that you can say to make everything okay again. Just be there for her, let her cry on your shoulder if need be, and let her work through the grief how she personally can.
Post # 15
I am so very sorry to hear about your friend’s baby. It is so sweet of you to want to be supportive while also understanding they may need some time alone to grieve. I think all of the ideas that have been mentioned are great ones. The main thing I think is to find out how your friend feels about all of them. I had a miscarriage a few months ago at 7.5 weeks and my DH bought me a necklace that I now wear every day in remembrance. For me, it was very important that my baby not be forgotten but I know others do not want a constant reminder. I am also a fairly private person and for a long time could not talk about the loss nor did I want others bringing it up. So DH told his family to let us have some time alone so I wasn’t constantly bombarded with well-meaning questions about how I was doing since my only truthful response was that I wasn’t doing very well. I will say though, I very much appreciate anyone who treats this as the loss of a child. I know some people, including my HR department, did not which I found very hurtful. Since your friend is further along, her recovery process will be more difficult. Not sure if it will entail surgery or labor but either way perhaps something to help her recover/relax would also be nice. I also think the idea of preserving footprints is great. If that had been an option for me I would have done it. I think anything you do will be appreciated and kudos for being such a wonderful caring friend.
Post # 16
Thanks everyone. I decided to purchase the bracelet and the seller actually offered to make me a card, which was sweet of her. FI is going to visit them today while I am at work and I am going to try to put together some type of dish for him to take. Any suggestions?
The husband is vegetarian and they both enjoy comfort foods like pasta dishes or rice.