View Full Version : Ack! How do I support my friend? (Pregnancy related - sad).
11-27-2003, 04:51 PM
My friend, who tried very hard to get pregnant, had her amnio today and it revealed a major problem with the fetus. She and her husband have chosen to terminate the pregnancy - of course she's very upset about it.
I'm not sure how to be a supportive, good friend here. In the past, friends that have opted for abortions have been relieved - this is obviously not the case here, and I'm flying blind.
Can anyone who's had a similar experience (either themselves, or comforting someone) offer some suggestions? I want to be helpful, and I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing as I have no experience with a situation like this.
NB - this is a very good friend of mine, as opposed to a nameless, faceless, theoretical woman - anyone who feels the need to comment of the ethics of abortion is invited to start their own thread to do so. Thanks.
11-27-2003, 05:55 PM
I am so sorry for your friend's plight. What a heartbreaking thing to go through.
There is an organization that provides emotional support to women experiencing complicated pregnancies and losses called sidelines. Below is a link for their loss resources page and a second link to a message board specific to your friend's decision to terminate.
Hope they help.
11-27-2003, 05:58 PM
Thanks Squirrel - I'll read up on that stuff.
I'm really heartbroken for her.
11-27-2003, 06:48 PM
You're very welcome. I volunteer as a peer counselor for them and they are a truly wonderful organization.
Also, when she is ready to jump back on the infertility rollercoaster, there is a wonderfully supportive group of women that post on this message board in the infertility forum.
My advice would be to be as non-judgemental and supportive as possible. This is a huge loss to her, despite the fact that it is her choice. She needs the same support that any grieving mother would. This is likely something she will never fully recover from. No woman every truly recovers from the loss of a child. And to her, this is a child. Not an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy like those you refer to in your post. Especially following her battle to conceive in the first place. Poor thing. . . .
11-27-2003, 06:52 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your friends situation. Just remind her that you are there for her in her time of grief. Sometimes that's all you can do. She will come to you if she's ready.
11-27-2003, 07:39 PM
Oh Alice, how heartbreaking for her :(
Rabid Squirrel's advice and links are excellent. The one thing I would stress is that this is her baby she is losing and a pregnancy full of meaning for her. Anything which can help build memories and acknowledge the reality of this baby will help her in the long run.
But how terribly awfully painful this experience is for her and those around her. I think this is the worst form of pregnancy loss there possibly could be and they all suck.
I wrote an article recently about creating memories in miscarriage. I'm not sure if it is in print or if it is online but I don't want to link to it from here in any case. I'm happy to send it to you as a Word attachment.
11-28-2003, 06:52 AM
So sorry Alice.
That's terribly sad.
Just listening, plenty of hugs, and not dodging the isssue will probably mean more than anything.
She's grieving for the perfect baby she could have had, as well as the baby she's lost, and that makes it a doubly hard blow.
I'm sure you'll do and say all the right things.
11-28-2003, 02:02 PM
Friend is doing better than yesterday, which is good.
She has to wait until next Wednesday to terminate, which is bad. It's sort of drawing things out for her which sucks. We just talked for a long time and I think she's ok. She is an exceptionally strong person, so I guess she's equiped to deal with things.
She clarified the fetus' condition today, and it really is totally hopeless, so that makes the decision a bit easier for her.
11-28-2003, 02:46 PM
If she names the baby you could get her something with the baby's name on it, if you think she'd like something like that.
Most women who have miscarried that I know (personally) named their babies and wanted them to be remembered. They said they wished other people would talk about the baby instead of tiptoeing around the issue.
11-28-2003, 03:30 PM
Actually SnoopyFan, we were talking about that a little. They had offered her mementos at the office (foot prints and whatnot) - she said it totally creeped her out. Actually, I find it kind of creepy too. Obviously, everyone had different coping mechanisms - that just seems like an odd one to me (although I know it brings a lot of comfort to some women.)
11-28-2003, 05:05 PM
One of the hard things about this kind of loss is the lack of memories. You're grieving someone who you never got to meet. For most parents creating memories is very important. Naming the baby, footprints and handprints, cards, locks of hair are a way of making the loss more tangible. When in a year's time you look back in disbelief feeling like it was a bad dream it can really help to have the photos and the prints. It shows that the baby did exist.
I'd strongly encourage your friend to have the prints done and to take photos. Even if she takes them home and never looks at them again, she's still got a choice if in 6 months time she feels the need. There's little enough which is concrete in this kind of loss and it can really help to have this stuff.
Before I lost my son, I would have felt the same about it being very vaguely creepy but now I am so glad to have my box of memories such as they are.
11-28-2003, 05:12 PM
alice, if it helps, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I won't go into details, but I'm saying more than a few prayers for you.
E-mail me if you want to vent. :)
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