Don’t Offer Me Your Kid

People can say a lot of stupid things, especially when they’re uncomfortable. Fertility struggles, grief, real life makes people uncomfortable, I get it. Here’s some common “I don’t know what to do with my hands” word vomit that you should really avoid saying. This post is marinated in some very pungent snark, so mind your toes.

“You’ll get pregnant again.”

And? My child died. There is no replacement. I hope and pray every single day we will get our rainbow, but I’m still mourning all of my babies. Years and years from now, regardless of how many living children we go on to have, I will always be mourning the ones who are gone.

What to say instead: “How are you doing?” Open up room for them to talk. They, we, may want to be hopeful and think about the future, about next time. Don’t be surprised if we’re not. Go ahead, talk about the baby. Let us know you remember them too.

“God needed another angel/has a plan/etc.”

Are you God? No? Didn’t think so. If you really have to say this one, I will accept a signed statement that you’re allowed to speak on His behalf.

What to say instead: “Is there anything I can do for you?” The danger in this one comes from the consequences of assumption. Hey, you know what happens when you assume, right? I know what you’re going for, and I really have let this one slide many times. Thank you, for the attempt. Try to remember not everyone, not even most people believe exactly the same thing you do, even if you share the same religion.

“Why don’t you just take one of mine!”

Yes, please rub it in my face that you have children to spare.  I will show up at your house with a lawyer and adoption papers. Don’t try me.

What to say instead: Nothing. Seriously. Unlike the previous things, there’s no replacement for this. There’s no good meaning behind it, no offering of anything that resembles an attempt at empathy. I know you’re exhausted and your kids are acting like heathens, and your shirt is covered in God only knows what, but you’re talking to someone who would chew their own arm off for that. Don’t talk about your blessing like it’s a burden

.dont talk about your blessing like its a burden instagram

We need to really stress how important the talk of what to say and how to help those going through this is. To a bereaved parent, one conversation can be the making or breaking point of a day. If you’re ever at a loss for words and can’t remember anything else, just offer a sincere, “I’m here for you, do you need anything?” 

15 thoughts on “Don’t Offer Me Your Kid

  1. I lost two babies in a row. No one understands this kind of loss unless they have been through it themselves. This is such an important post for people who genuinely don’t know what to say. Have a great week!

  2. So good! So true! I have experienced three miscarriages. Two in a row and I have to say it felt like the loneliest of times apart from having to deal with all the crap that people, you love most times, come up with. After reading this I was wondering if you would like to write a few words on your experience. Even what you said in this post would be suffice. I am trying to put together a blog post on miscarriages and what we, who have experienced this type of loss, have to say about it. Let me know what you think. Thank you.

  3. I’ve heard people make these statements and I cringe. I, thankfully, haven’t experienced a miscarriage but I did have a scare and I remember very well how that felt and the almost ‘throwaway’ mentality people/doctors had. Anyone with kids SHOULD know better!

    jane

    1. Unfortunately, they do. I’ve encountered all of these at least once, which is what prompted me to write this post. So many times people don’t realize how their words can be received.

  4. I was told at a very young age I would never have children, I was ok with it until I met the perfect husband and boom we were pregnant. We were shocked but so happy, we had discussed it but knew it wasn’t really a possibility. Once our son got older, we decided to try again but not to tell anyone as we knew it was very high risk. We got pregnant but, unfortunately, suffered a miscarriage. It was terrible timing because we were on pre-deployment leave at his parents house at the time. His parents response “well, it was an accident right?” I just could not believe it. We found out at a very early stage and the baby never developed a heart beat and then they made the comment that we shouldn’t be upset because “she was never really pregnant to begin with.” They went on to insinuate that I had made it all up for attention and was never really pregnant at all. Now, I am a VERY private person so I didn’t share this with anyone but my husband. He choose to tell his family because we were there and it isn’t something you can really hide when you are in the same house, but still somehow they got to me making it up? Its been 2 years and we still get furious when I see them, luckily they live hours away so it isn’t often. Makes me so incredibly thankful that he is one apple fell FAR FAR FAR from the tree.

    1. I am so sorry you had that experience! It can be so hurtful. We encountered some of the “you weren’t REALLY pregnant” sentiments with our loss at just under 4 weeks. It really made us learn how to lean on each other for love and support.

  5. I had a miscarriage so I can relate to this! People can be so rude without even thinking about it. Think before you speak. I have been told that it is my fault. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. I was in a medical terminology class and had shared a little about my infertility struggle and on the day of the final exam the instructor pipes off with ” everyone give Geneva your first born on the way out when you’re done with the exam. She was trying to be funny I suppose.

    1. That’s horrible, and so unprofessional! I hate that you were treated like that after sharing your struggle. Best wishes for wherever you are in your journey now!

  7. You know, I’ve seen these things posted and I honestly always thought “people aren’t THAT ridiculous are they?” And then we lost our pregnancy and fertility all in one emergency surgery and I’m sad to say I’ve heard all of those things. All of them. I’d also like to add that people also shouldn’t say “Why don’t you just adopt?” I want to scream – why don’t you??? Don’t get me wrong, I think adoption is an absolutely beautiful way to create a family, but it’s apples and oranges. Adoption doesn’t cure fertility, it doesn’t cure loss, it doesn’t cure grief.

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