Need help to support a friend - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2011, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend and her husband just lost their baby at 17 weeks gestation. She started having contractions on Christmas day and quickly delivered her 1/2lb little girl. I want to reach out to her, but I am not sure how to go about it. I called her yesterday to check on her and I keep telling her that if she wants us (my husband who was her friend before I had even met him, me and my daughter) to stop by so our daughters can play and to keep her mind off of things, to just let me know, but she hasn't taken me up on the offer. 

 

I have a feeling that it wouldn't be good to spend too much time alone at this time in their life, but I don't want to intrude either. I know that they don't have any plans for NYE, so I offered to spend the evening together and keep it low key since they have no interest in celebrating and we have young children anyways, but same thing, she hasn't said yes or no. What should I do to be supportive? 

 

Also I want to make sure that I don't say anything by accident that would hurt her, so if anyone who has gone through this could tell me what to say and not to say (I obviously wouldn't tell her things like "Well at least you already have a daughter" or "You'll get pregnant again...") I would appreciate it.

 

Thank you in advance for your help. 

 

Stella

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Old 12-30-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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I am so sorry for your friends! That is terribly sad. I lost my little baby two weeks before Christmas and I'll tell you: Christmas is a bad time to lose a baby.

 

I think you're already being very supportive but I can understand wanting to help but not knowing how. Here's a link to something I posted about that. The links embedded in it may be more helpful than what I wrote, but at least it's a start. http://lostinnocentsorthodox.blogspot.com/p/for-family-and-friends.html


Wife to DH for 17 years, homeschooling mom to 3 girls (15, 13, 12), 2 boys (11, 7), and (13 wk mc 4/10/11), (13 week mc 12/12/11). baby girl 10/31/13. (11 wk mc 6/25/14). (6 wk mc 10/26/14)
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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So sorry for your friends loss.
I'm posting from my phone, but if you scroll down this pagr a bit to post titled 'looking for suggesyions', I think a lot of what I posted there will apply to this situation.

          Me & him and our beautiful fur boys Duke and Chopz
Forever missing our little ones lost
 
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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Unless you are extremely close she may very well want this time alone, or with her family. But, don't take no response as a "no" either because she will likely never reach out to anyone or directly take up an offer for help. Right now her husband probably has some off time (I sure hope :-/) and the things they could use most are meals and groceries. I would call and try to talk to her husband or just bring something by and leave it. Also, send a sympathy card or a care basket for the mama with calming teas and candles, maybe some lotion. After a couple of weeks she will probably start processing things and then she will really need to talk. The best thing you can do then is to call her a few times a week. Whatever you do don't assume that she needs to get her mind off of it; right now she needs to experience it. When you do make contact with her do not try to distract her or ask too many questions. If you show interest at all in the baby or her experience she will probably pour out her feelings, if she needs to, and the best thing you can do is listen (while you do her dishes or laundry or make her dinner)

Don't say: 
*anything that minimizes; never say "at least......" or "it's a good thing....." 
*don't bring any gods into it; no matter what her beliefs are she may have shockingly hateful feelings right now and that's a subject best left alone
*don't try to encourage her to look on the bright side, she will find that in her own time

Really there is so much NOT to say that it would be easier to tell you what TO say:
*I'm so sorry
*Did you name her? Did she have hair? Did you get to keep anything? (Don't ask this stuff in rapid succession, as she probably feels extremely guilty and will likely turn questions against herself. Just ask something to open up the floor for her to speak about her and keep looking at her to let her know that you are listening and interested) 
*I'm here, I've love to hear more about your baby
*Is there anything you need? (then list things you are willing to do) Really, if you need any of those things it's no trouble. (Then call a few days later to see if she needs any of them again if she only tells you no)
*Is there anyone to help you after DH goes back to work? (I sure hope she isn't returning to work soon. She needs at the very least a couple of weeks to recover physically and really this should be treated as any woman who has just given birth) 

You follow this and the worst thing you will do is get on her nerves and really that is not a problem. She is likely in so much pain she wouldn't care if you ran her over with your car so calling at an inconvenient time is nothing and will be entirely forgotten. 

I'm so sorry for your friend's loss and want to thank you so much for caring. Truly, most people do not do this; they avoid us like lepers as if dead babies are contagious. Anything you do for her will mean something because most women have next to no support at all.

 


Krista; blessed mother to four earthly beings and three non-physical. Basking in my beautiful rainbow. 
 
 

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses; I ended up making a meal for her family on NYE and leaving it at her door. She seemed really thankful. She texted and asked if she could come over with her daughter so I will see them on Friday!! 

 

Thank you again for your help!

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Old 01-05-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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I am so glad you just left something.

It is impossible to reach out and I felt guilting asking people to do things and had trouble taking them up on offers as I didn't know if they really meant they would help or if they were just being nice. Krista had lots of wonderful suggestions.

Everyone grieves differently so take her lead. I still feel a need to talk about it and it has been a year and a half. If her baby is buried visit the cemetary and leave a token (a note, a flower, a toy, etc.) I have friends who have had losses that say people do this for them. I haven't had that experience and it would mean so much to me if someone else visited my son.

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. You are so sweet to reach out to your friend. Please continue to do so for a loooooooong time. Things stay hard much longer than anyone could ever imagine.


nicole wild.gif,  mom to 3 boys here on earth jumpers.gif 9, 7 and 4.5 and 2 girl's fly-by-nursing2.gif2.5 and 10/16/11. Always remembering my babies in heaven:  Sam (9/7/05) at 12.5 wks  angel1.gif, Morgan (2/13/06) at 6 wks angel1.gif , Emeric angel2.gif (8/9/10 at 17 wks) and Pepper angel1.gif (11/26/10) at 8wks. 

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Old 01-06-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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I second what Nicole said. Leaving something at the cemetery means so much. She'll think about that for years to come. And do be supportive for longer than you would imagine necessary. So many times people are supportive at first and then fade away. It hurts to think you and your baby have been forgotten. You are a good friend.


Wife to DH for 17 years, homeschooling mom to 3 girls (15, 13, 12), 2 boys (11, 7), and (13 wk mc 4/10/11), (13 week mc 12/12/11). baby girl 10/31/13. (11 wk mc 6/25/14). (6 wk mc 10/26/14)
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