Saturday, August 18, 2012

Guest Post – Five more things not to say to people suffering from infertility or miscarriage and Five you should.

When C asked me to read through her top 10, I got to the end and said, “They’re great but you missed…”  It sounded like a great opportunity for my first guest post.  Here are five more things you should never say to people suffering from infertility or miscarriage and five you should. 
  1. Follow up questions to “Do you have kids” – This one is just good common sense for any person that ever answers “No” to the do you have kids questions, which by the way is pretty bad as far as ice breakers go.  You never know what their situation is.  Take a hint and leave it alone.  Things like, “Why not”, “Do you just not want kids”, and my favorite, “Oh, is there something wrong with one of you?” are just uncalled for.  See C’s earlier post for a good way to shut down these questions before they start.
  2. What caused the miscarriage? – This question is so far out of bounds for me, I can barely think about it.  It has many forms like, “Do you think x caused the miscarriage?” and “Did you do x, because I’ve heard that it could cause miscarriage?”  Do me a favor and try to envision any scenario where this question could help your friend through their pain.
  3. How are you holding up? – This question ranks from not so bad to terrible in my book depending on the situation.  If I’m in a one on one scenario where we are talking about the situation, sure it’s fine to ask.  If we’re standing in the middle of a crowded room, it just isn’t.  Best case I’m going to lie and say “ok” or “fine”, worst case I’m going to tell you what’s really going on which is never fun to do with people all around. 
  4. The head tilted frown of pity – Ok, so it’s not strictly a question but it is often accompanied with one of the questions on the list, usually “How are you holding up” especially in the crowded room scenario.  This one is all about context for me.  If we are sitting alone and I’m venting out all of my feelings, it is natural and completely appropriate.  If I’m in the middle of a conversation about sports with someone else and you walk up with the pity face, you have just sent me from holding up pretty well to the center of my pain, thanks for that.
  5. Do you know if it was a boy or girl? – Oh my God, why would you ask that?  No one asked me this; it was passed on from a friend that had suffered an early term miscarriage.  I can only imagine the pain on her face when she heard it.
Here are some better things to say, in my opinion at least.  Commenters, what do you think?
  1. “I don’t know why this is happening, but I do know that we will get you through it.” – A perfect replacement for C’s number one, “God has a plan.”
  2. “I know things are tough, is there a specific prayer I could be saying for you?” – This is a good all-around question that allows the person to go as specific or general as they fell comfortable.
  3. “How can I help you through this?” – Another good multi-situational question.
  4. “I have a friend that went through something similar; would you like me to introduce them to you?” – Much better than the friend’s, boyfriend’s, cousin’s horror story you were going to tell.
  5. “Can I come over and mow your yard so you don’t have to worry about it?” – Ok, that one is on here solely because I hate mowing the yard, but you get the picture.

2 comments:

  1. Chrissy, I know that you are such an inspiration to so many that are going thru this awful journey. You are in my prayers!!

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  2. Your post is truly sensational. I love that your blog is about your very difficult experiences and pain for you and G, but yet it is also full of HOPE and Scripture too. What a blessing this blog will be to others and cathartic for you to write it, share it.

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C