“It’s for the best. There must have been something wrong with that baby.”
“God only gives you what you can handle. You are strong. You will get through it.”
“You can get pregnant again and the next baby will be healthy.”
These are just some of the lines I heard from well meaning friends and family, when I suffered through my miscarriages. Now, I realize that a miscarriage can be a delicate situation and it’s hard to know what to say to someone going through something so difficult.
As a woman who went through multiple miscarriages and then went on to have a baby who surprised us on the day of her birth with a Down syndrome diagnosis, I can tell you that all those sentiments ran through my head for months after Sienna was born. Would people think I deserved Sienna’s diagnosis because I didn’t stop trying to get pregnant? Would people think I was too old and that it was my fault?
For the record, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35. I was 36 years old when Sienna was born. I was under the age of 35 during all of my miscarriages. So, statistics aren’t always the answer. Everybody has their own unique journey.
If you want to know what to do or how to help a woman going through a miscarriage, let me give you some advice. I needed my friends and family to acknowledge that it was okay for me to be sad. I had to hide my pain from the rest of the world. People were in such a rush to hit me up with a cliche, and divert the conversation to something else because it made them uncomfortable. Stop placating miscarriages with comments like this. Let her feel pain and tell her that she can share that pain with you. Just listen.
If you want to read about my miscarriage journey, please go here.
We have been celebrating Down syndrome Awareness month all of October, but October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. For all the moms out there whose sweet babies are now angels, I recognize your pain, your strength, and your loss. I am sorry.
“I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning.” – Sheryl Sandberg