As a mommy who first struggled with infertility and now has a baby in Heaven there are things that I didn't want to hear before and that I don't want to hear now. I'm going to venture to say that other women in my situation will agree with me. Other people have done posts like this but this is my take on things.
1. Just relax and it will happen (don't you think we've tried that?)
2. Start adopting and then you'll get pregnant, it happened to ...... (that doesn't happen as often as you think and it doesn't help me for you to say that)
3. You can always adopt (true and maybe we will but it doesn't take away a woman's desire to carry a baby)
4. Have a drink and a little fun (also, doesn't always work that way)
5. Did you hear ...... Is pregnant? (somedays I don't want to hear that random people are pregnant, you may want to make sure I'm close to that person first. Also, if you are the friend of a woman going through infertility and you want to share your exciting news don't dismiss your friends pain. We are excited for you but sometimes it stings. Talk to her in private and say something like this "I wanted to be the one to let you know that we are expecting a baby. I know that you are waiting for that day and didn't want you to be surprised by our news.")
Moms who have lost babies:
1. God needed your baby in Heaven (if the mom says this it's fine, but don't say it for her. It doesn't make the pain go away)
2. You are so blessed by the other children you have. (This is true but this baby was also wanted and is deeply missed. Children aren't interchangeable or replaceable)
3. You can always have another baby (This one has so many wrongs. Maybe she can't have another baby, maybe her and her husband will choose not to for whatever reason, and another baby doesn't replace the one lost. Someone wrote somewhere that if I lost my mom can I get another one, no, so why is losing a baby seen differently. Each child is not replaceable.)
4. "preaching" to you about how God will make it "all better" or if you believed more this wouldn't have happened. (If we happen to beleive in God we know He will get us through but no where in the Bible does he promise health, wealth and prosperity. God promises to be with us while we suffer, not take away our suffering, look at Job. If they didn't believe in God before you just made it harder to believe.)
5. Passing judgement on decisions made. Until you are in that situation, the one when you choose when to deliver your baby because no matter when you choose the baby is going to die (also called medical termination) don't judge. It is the most gut wrenching decision of a persons life that no one should have to make and neither decision is always the right one. Some parents chose to deliver early because they don't want their child to suffer any more than necessary and some choose to carry because they will have a little more time with their baby. Every family is different and both decisions are ok. If a friend had to make this decision acknowledge how incredibly hard it was and support them.$
This is for both categories:
We don't want to hear you complaining about your children or how hard your life is because of them or how terrible you feel because you are pregnant. You chose to have children and knew it was going to change your life and be hard. I would give anything to be woken up every 2 hours to feed my son or be so uncomfortable because I'm due tomorrow. Instead of complaining about your lack of sleep with your newborn why don't you look to heaven and thank God during those 2am feedings. I know that raising children is hard, I'm raising 2 right now, but think before you speak. So ,any people would love to be in your shoes. It's ok to acknowledge how hard it is to be a parent, it's not all happy and perfect all the time, but don't complain or whine. Try to thank God instead for your strong willed toddler because he is healthy enough to be strong willed, or for your midnight feedings because your child is alive and you get to spend precious time with him.
I really hope this helps someone see it from our prospective. I know that in situations like this people dont know what to say so here are some suggestions.
1. I am here for you. (mean it, call or just show up to sit with them. If they don't want your company they won't answer the door or phone. Don't be offended and come back on a different day. If while you are there they get up and start cleaning or don't do anything but sit quietly with tears streaming down their face, that's ok, you are there and it brings more comfort than you could know)
2. I love you
3. I know you are hurting and I am so sorry
4. Bring a meal or two. Deciding what to make for dinner and then making it is almost impossible when you are in such pain
5. Don't ask what they need. Thinking of what you need is impossible. Just do something, a meal, a card, babysit their other children, clean their house, mow the yard, pick up some necessary groceries, sit and listen.
6. Speak their childs name. We want to know our child is remembered and hearing you talk about them is healing for us. We may cry but that is ok.
7. Remember the important dates are hard. If the child was born early or stillborn the remainder of the time she should have been pregnant is hard. Milestones like reaching the 3rd trimester, original due date, baby shower date, etc. holidays like Mothers day and Fathers day, birthday of the baby, Christmas, etc. Later when it should have been the first day of Kindergarten or playing Tball for the first time. Acknowledge that these days are special and difficult.
I hope this helps someone, somewhere.