Thanks, But No: Talking to a Mom Pregnant After Loss

Give InKind is honored to feature Lindsey Henke. This piece originally appeared on Pregnancy After Loss Support. It is posted here with permission.

What follows is a list of things that others have said to women pregnant again after a loss. We reprint them here in an effort to raise awareness about how these may sound to a PALS mom awaiting a new baby.

“You’re pregnant already?” – Why yes, I am! I’m not sure what you mean by this comment. However, my plans for building my family, how I choose to go about it, and when I choose to do it is really not something I need your feedback on or comments about. Thanks!

“See, Everything happens for a reason.” – Nope. Just don’t say this. Ever. Not everything happens for a reason, and you know, I’m okay with that. I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes things happen that are unfair and don’t make sense, like the death of a child. When you say this to me, you are not trying to comfort me, you are really trying to comfort yourself. Again, just don’t say this, ever.

“Are you worried that this baby might die too?” – What do you think? Of course I am. Wouldn’t you be? Silly question.

“Are you sure you want to risk it?” – Um, what? Are you implying that I did something wrong in my last pregnancy that caused my baby to die? What am I exactly risking? If you don’t know why my baby died, and you’re not my doctor, please don’t ask stupid questions. Then I won’t reply with curt answers.

“Don’t worry. It won’t happen again.” – Do you have crystal ball at home I don’t know about? The reality is we just don’t know what will happen. I didn’t think it would happen the first time. What makes you so sure it won’t happen now?

“Congrats! You can move on now.” – You don’t move on from losing a child. One child does not replace another. Saying this is just plain rude.

“Your family is now complete.” – Um, what? You don’t know what my thoughts are on what would make my family feel complete to me. Also, the sad truth about life after loss is that in some ways my family will never feel complete. There will always be someone missing.

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