You’re Lucky it was Early (i.e. a Miscarriage)

When I suffered a miscarriage, some well intentioned people gently told me I was “lucky it was early”: meaning it seemed better that my loss had occurred early in the pregnancy, as opposed to later.

But losing a baby at any stage (i.e. miscarriage, stillbirth or after the 40 weeks have passed) is never easy. And -- to be a little blunt just for a moment-- please consider
this: if you lost a baby, at any stage, would you feel ‘lucky’?

Okay: that’s it for being blunt! Please read on: the rest is of my article is very gentle!

One reason people often think we’re luckier to lose a baby early is because we may not yet have ‘looked pregnant’ (i.e. no ‘bump’ on the abdomen).

No ‘bump’, but I had that familiar ‘glow’ in my complexion, and I had morning sickness. So people soon figured it out anyway.

When we lost our baby, an outpouring of condolences were expressed. With good intentions, many told me I was “lucky it was early” – but I sure didn’t feel ‘lucky’ at the time.

And loss is loss at any stage. I know this because, sadly, I’d already lost two babies to stillbirth before. This new grief, after miscarriage, was no easier.

To help you relate, gentle reader, please consider this: it seems worse when a young adult / teen / child dies, compared with someone who has lived a long and full life. When it’s an elderly person, we often comfort ourselves by thinking it’s ‘better’ that they had not died in their prime. But nonetheless, we grieve. A dry eye is seldom seen at the funeral of an older person either: we loved them both, and now we miss the both. Regardless of their age, we grieve.

It’s the same with pregnancy and infant loss. The grief is just as intense, whether the baby was lost earlier in the pregnancy or not. My sorrow when I miscarried was no less than it was with my stillborn twins, and with Marcus whom we lost at full-term. I loved them all equally, so I missed them equally afterwards.

I hope this article has helped explain why it doesn’t help – in fact, it actually hurts – if you tell us we’re lucky to have lost the baby earlier on.

So what can you say? (You might be wondering). Please just tell us that you’re sorry to hear about our loss. This is always the best thing to say.

Thank you for being a caring family member or friend: it’s lovely you’ve come to this website to find out more. Come to think of it, it’s knowing people like you that makes us ‘lucky’!

Comments (4)

Said this on 13-02-10 At 08:01 am
Bridget, thank you for this article. I stumbled across it via Twitter and have related to it. While your experience has obviously been deeper and longer lasting than mine, I recently suffered an 'early miscarriage' and was told by one friendly, well-meaning person to 'brush myself off and start again'. Can it be that easy?

I've told my story on my blog:
Said this on 19-03-10 At 04:03 am
Similar to the person above, I was told just the other day that "at least you can try again, it's not like it's definitely your last baby" - for my born-two-weeks-ago, 32-week gestation, stillborn son, who just happens to have a name that is not "it." Needless to say, I was quite grumpy with said person and don't plan on speaking to them ever again.

I must admit, when I opened this article, I *did* have the fleeting thought that "of course my pain is greater than the pain of losing an early pregnancy" but as I read, I remembered how hard it hit my entire family when my mum had an early loss a few years ago, and a few since. It may even be worse, for the exact reasons put across in the article - at least I got to meet my son, feel him kick in the womb. I'm "allowed" to grieve for longer than the mother of a miscarried baby is "allowed" (although I know there are already a few people who think I should be "over it"!)
Said this on 30-12-12 At 04:06 pm

I have had 3 miscarriages and I am pregnant now! My advice to you is to get plenty of rest and try not to stress. A lot of doctors say that stress doesn't bring on a miscarriages but I personallly think that it does a little. WIth this pregnancy I am thinking happy thoughts and getting tons of rest and keeping a watchful eye on my physical well being. I know its not easy to not stress about it, but I think the best thing you can do is keep up your daily routine within reason and take time out for yourself and relax. Congrats!

Said this on 31-12-12 At 05:30 am

I wish someone could tell me! I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks on 30 Jan this year! If you just follow recommendations for pregnant women e.g. healthy diet, no smoking, no alcohol etc, then you are doing your best and doing all that you can. Most miscarriages have absolutely nothing to do with what you do or do not do. It's just due to an abnormality when the egg is fertilised, like a missing piece of information, which means the baby cannot grow properly. These worries are perfectly normal: I know I'm going to be worrying like mad when I get pregnant again! Good luck!

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