It's been seven years since my first miscarriage, and it still hurts today as badly as it did then. At the time, I remember struggling to put into words what I was experiencing. I remember not knowing how to ask for what I wanted and needed. I didn't want to make anyone sad for me, but I needed to talk about the fact that I'd lost my baby and that it'd torn me apart. I remember every time I tried to talk about what happened, people made me feel like my baby wasn't "old enough" for me to miss it. Often, the words people used to comfort me didn't offer any comfort at all. I know the language used to talk about miscarriages and stillbirths can be hard to navigate, but there are so many things moms wish people knew about miscarriages and stillbirth deliveries. I don't think it's possible to know all the "right" things to say to someone who's mourning the loss of a child, mainly because there's no "right" way to comfort a parent experiencing this. But when a parent comes to you to talk about the child they no longer have in their arms, or inside of them, there are plenty of things you can do.
I had another miscarriage this past spring, which came as a surprise since I was on birth control and also on the fence about having another baby. When I realized what was happening, my memory flooded with the awful memories of what I'd gone through seven years earlier. I stayed in my bed, curled up, devastated over the pregnancy I'd lost. And I wished, once again, that I had the support of my friends and my community.
Even though pregnancy loss is common — 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic, and according to the March of Dimes, one in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth — talking about the loss of a baby is still very much taboo. But why? Below, nine moms share the things they wish people knew about the losses of their children.
Ashley G., 30
Ashley is mom to Reyse, 5 years old; Rome, 3 years old; Aurora "Rory," 1 year old in Heaven; and Reign, 4 months old.
I wish people knew that my baby was real to me.
Riley S., 34
Riley has two kids: Bean, 12 years old, and Bug, 9 years old.
Carolyn S., 36
Carolyn has a son, Martin, who's 1 year old.
Alexandra B., 28
Alexandra has two children: Loreli, 7 years old, and Benjamin, 3 years old.
I wish people knew that my anger is OK; [that] I don't need to be fixed.
Astacia C., 39
Astacia has four children: Khaida, 20 years old; Arrow, 7 years old; Cove, 20 months old; and Maizy, also 20 months old.
Kerri Lynn T, 35
I wish people knew that it's OK to ask me about my babies, that I am still a mother. A lot of people tried to take that from me.
Keyanna M., 31
Sometimes I worry I bum people out when I talk about him. But I need to. And sometimes there are tears. But we're all smiling at the end of it. I make sure of that.