There must have been something wrong with the baby.

My GP said these well intentioned words when I lost my baby in the 11th week of pregnancy. He meant to be comforting, but these words did not help. Honestly, I would have loved an imperfect child as much as I love the three living children I have been blessed with. Knowing me (I’m such a softy!), I probably would have loved an imperfect child even more.

When I miscarried my first thoughts raced about, wondering if I had harmed my baby. My mind raced about the last 11 weeks: my workouts at the gym (eventhough I only did safe, prenatal exercises); that single glass of champagne at my sister’s wedding (eventhough my doctor assured me one glass was totally fine); the smoggy city I live in (eventhough people around me were having healthy babies, in the same city). And so on. These racing thoughts only made my grief that much harder.

As women, we tend to first blame ourselves for many things. I don’t know: I think it’s ‘the female condition’ to lay blame on ourselves.

So I went for a second opinion: I spoke with my obstetrician. And she said the identical thing!! I should ‘back up’ and explain that she ordered many blood and urine tests to try to determine if I had any medical condition that might have brought on the miscarriage. I had insisted on having them done, because I wanted to find out what happened. I also wanted to find out if I could prevent it from happening again.

Fortunately for me, I was given a clean bill of health. The best news – except that I still didn’t know why I had lost my baby! My ob/gyn explained it’s very hard to determine the cause of loss with miscarriage because the baby is so tiny. At best she could only eliminate other factors (by examining these test results). It was then that she said those same words: that there “must have been something wrong with the baby” and so the pregnancy was no longer viable.

I’m sure doctors mean well, but these words are not comforting. Like I said, I would have loved a child with disability as much as I love the other children I have. I’ve seen that very depth of love in the eyes of many parents who have children with disability: their love does not seem any less, than that which I have for my living children. Please just tell your patients that you are sorry for their loss. This is always the best thing to say.

Thank you for reading my article. I hope you found it helpful, and I’m glad that you’re visiting this site. You are the kind of person who is a credit to your profession.


Comments (1)

Jessica
Said this on 26-02-09 At 02:08 am
You are so right. I hate to hear the words "there must have been something wrong with the baby!" after having a baby pass from spina bifida and other birth defects. I loved her with all my heart and I realized that I was meant to care for disabled children. I do have one healthy living son, but I have had 3 miscarriages.
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