I did an Instagram story a couple of days about not being scared of a baby loss mummy and it really seemed to strike a cord with a lot of people. Not only with parents who had lost their babies but also with friends of families who had lost too. It seems a silly thing to say, why would you be scared of a lady who had lost a baby? But it is one of those subjects, one of those taboo subjects. We are getting better at talking about it. Story lines in TV programmes have helped and wonderful online campaigns too but it is still a tricky subject to talk about.
From personal experience I have had both ends of the spectrum. I have people in my life who are comfortable to talk about my baby but also I have experienced the awkwardness of the conversations about me losing a baby too. I guess you would expect me to say at this point that it made me sad that these people didn’t know what to say to me and in a way it did. However, I also do understand. Believe me, it isn’t something I bring up in daily conversations with people but sometimes I just have to say it. When I am asked about Little Lady’s prematurity and why she came at 29 weeks, the only thing I can say is the truth. There was no early labour or a similar story that most people would expect. The truth is is that her sister stopped moving and we had to get them out. Unfortunately if I’m not talking to someone that knows me well or hasn’t known me for long, up until the moment when I drop that bombshell they probably didn’t even know Little Lady was a twin.
If you are presented with this sort of conversation please do remember that the Mum or Dad telling you is probably feeling as awkward as you are. We don’t know how you are going to react. We don’t want to upset you or make you feel uncomfortable. It is totally okay to not know what to say to us. A sympathetic smile and a ‘I’m sorry’ is more than enough or even just saying ‘I don’t know what to say’. We don’t really know what to say either and we will probably smile through it and then change the subject. That’s okay too. But please make sure you keep talking to that person whether it is about their baby or not because they need that. They need the normality and they also need to hear their babys name. I don’t want to forget my baby girl and if I can I want to keep talking about her; it is why I write about her.
Being a parent of a lost baby is a very lonely road and you need people. You need the people who won’t ever bring it up and are completely normal with you. You need the people who will hold your hand through the dark times. You need the people who don’t know what to say and you need the people who do know what to say. The most important thing is you need people. There is no right or wrong way of talking about things like this; it isn’t supposed to happen but sadly it does.
I haven’t written this to make anyone feel bad about how they might have been when someone told them their baby loss story, more to reassure. Being a baby loss parent changes your whole life, it changes who you are but it doesn’t stop you being human and understanding that some subjects are hard to address in general chit chat. All I ask is that you don’t walk away from them because I have heard too many stories of baby loss mummy’s losing friends at a time they need them the most.