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Sensitive advice re pregnancy loss

  • 06-05-2021 12:07pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Regular user but don't want to be identified.

    I had a miscarriage two months ago, I didn't know I was pregnant so it came as quite the shock. I took unwell at work and so everyone knows about it. I have children and have completed my family with no intention of having any other so I don't feel any sadness or loss over the miscarriage, if anything I feel relief.

    All I am getting is sympathy which I feel very uncomfortable about because I don't feel like I need it. I certainly don't want it. I've confided my feelings to my partner - who feels the same - and a friend who thinks I need to pretend to be upset so as not to upset anyone who might have lost a pregnancy but I don't feel that its right either.

    I work in an environment with young children and so everyone in the office is tip toeing round me to see if I'm being triggered which is coming from a place of kindness but its very irritating.

    I feel even guilty writing this cause I know it will annoy some people. How do I tell them I'm fine without seeming heartless or insane?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,353 ✭✭✭YellowLead


    It is a really difficult one OP because so many women do feel such a loss greatly and in general it’s not a topic which is discussed very much but yet it’s a regular occurrence. For some it can comes as a relief, for others devastation and for outsiders it can be tricky to navigate.

    Can I ask how come everybody knows about it? Generally when people take sick leave or what have you they don’t tell everybody why unless they want to. I am just wondering why you would have shared this information around the workplace as keeping it private surely would have meant that nobody would be tip-toeing? Not a criticism just curious!

    Finally I am sure if it’s a recent occurrence in time people will sort of forget and interactions should return to normal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I don't want to be graphic but it was obvious when I took ill that it was a woman's issue. There was some blood loss. I didn't tell anyone anything, my husband rang my manager later that evening and told her what had happened. I obviously would prefer if no one knew and I could just get on with things but I can't blame him either, his head wasn't in the right place.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    No, don't pretend to be upset. I'd probably skirt the issue by thanking them for their concern that you have processed what happened and you aren't grieving or in any way upset. Say you'd like to put it behind you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,516 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    You cannot win here.

    It's the same as when an abusive or sick parent dies: most people project their own feelings on to you, and don't even consider that you may see things differently.

    All you can really do is find a sympathetic friend outside of work to vent to.

    If you tell the truth at work you will be painted as a monster, possibly even as one who's unfit to work with children.


  • Registered Users Posts: 768 ✭✭✭afkasurfjunkie


    You cannot win here.

    It's the same as when an abusive or sick parent dies: most people project their own feelings on to you, and don't even consider that you may see things differently.

    All you can really do is find a sympathetic friend outside of work to vent to.

    If you tell the truth at work you will be painted as a monster, possibly even as one who's unfit to work with children.

    Hardly. That’s a very ott response.

    Just be honest. Say it was a surprise and a shock and that you have recovered fine physically and are doing well mentally thank you very much. They don’t need to the ins and outs or whether it was planned or unplanned.

    I find secrecy around miscarriage to be more damaging if I’m honest. Why can’t we tell people if it happens? I only found out some of my close friends had losses once I started talking about mine. Why should pregnancy be a secret up until 12 weeks?


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    Neyite wrote: »
    No, don't pretend to be upset. I'd probably skirt the issue by thanking them for their concern that you have processed what happened and you aren't grieving or in any way upset. Say you'd like to put it behind you.

    +1 to this.

    I remember a colleague from a few years ago, who had a miscarriage, when she returned to work, we all very much took our cue from her, in terms of what to say. She didn't want to dwell on it.

    Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. So what's helpful for one isn't for another.
    I agree, as Neyite suggested, say that you want to put it behind you, and then subtly change the subject.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,924 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain


    Hi Op.
    Your honesty is actually refreshing to hear, don't feel one bit guilty.
    This is a private issue as to how you feel/react etc, just between you and your partner. It's nobody's business.
    This "taboo" surrounding miscarriage, I think is possibly just people being private and I don't see what's wrong with people wanting to keep things private.
    So, just go about your business as normal. Nobody knows what's going on in your head nor should they unless you choose to share it.
    People will be none the wiser if you are torn up with grief or silently relieved and there's nothing wrong with that.
    Just be yourself OP, and keep your communication with your husband as good as it is, yer lucky to have each other.

    To thine own self be true



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,030 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    I think setimes some people want the obvious sadness/drama etc played out for all like they see in the soaps


    Iits no one's business whether you were upset by this or not. Just answer honestly that you are fine, dealing with things and trying to carry on with your life.

    Most will get tired of the subject and move on to the next thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,377 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Dont feel guilty, you shouldnt need to.

    That said I can understand why others would be concerned, especially as you had the miscarriage while in work. People may understandably think youre having a hard time dealing with what happened, the only way they will know how you really feel is if you tell them. Theres no shame in feeling the way you do.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    I find secrecy around miscarriage to be more damaging if I’m honest. Why can’t we tell people if it happens? I only found out some of my close friends had losses once I started talking about mine. Why should pregnancy be a secret up until 12 weeks?

    I was open about my losses as soon as they occurred and to be honest I regret it mainly because other people project what they think they would feel onto you.

    My mother spammed me with all sorts of links to both legit and well dodgy miscarriage/infertility articles and videos. She also told pretty much everyone loosely related to me - not out of concern for me, but just gossiping. My aunt told me that it was because I didn't do the right novena and I should go on a pilgrimage. A neighbour told me that it was my vaccinations and that only a raw food diet would fix me. People volunteered all sort of uneducated bullshít or armchair diagnosis I didn't bloody well ask for. Others tiptoed around me or didn't invite me places where their baby or someone else's baby would be for fear, or didn't tell me that someone was expecting in case I'd get triggered and fall apart or something.

    Work wise, I didn't tell anyone because at the time I had a boss who had tried to prevent me from returning to my job after maternity leave so had that person known I was trying for another baby, would have probably done everything to try to end my employment before I had the protections of maternity law.

    So all those got put on varying degrees of an information diet. The sound ones who took their cues from me, I kept around me.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I want to thank everyone for the advice. On reflection I think I have been overthinking it a bit. I'm going to be honest and tell people I'm fine and that I've moved on and would appreciate it if they would too.

    To the poster who suggested my lack of regret makes me a "monster" who shouldn't be around children well I'm quite taken aback by that to be honest. I have two children and I have been working in my current field for a number of years so I'm certainly not unsafe to be around :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,695 ✭✭✭December2012


    If its any use to you, my parent died in January and I was devastated. My friends, colleagues, etc were great, and as supportive as they could be.

    At this stage, if a friend would bring it up, or tiptoe around me, THAT would piss me off. Because I am trying to get on with things, and I dont need to be reminded of it, even though that person may have well intentions.

    I am saying this to you so that you might feel comfortable saying a simple "I dont want to talk about it, thanks" to anybody who brings it up. It would be a normal reaction to have even if you were having the "expected" feelings.

    And anybody who would say anything else after that, is a bit of a dck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,946 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    advicepls wrote: »
    I want to thank everyone for the advice. On reflection I think I have been overthinking it a bit. I'm going to be honest and tell people I'm fine and that I've moved on and would appreciate it if they would too.

    To the poster who suggested my lack of regret makes me a "monster" who shouldn't be around children well I'm quite taken aback by that to be honest. I have two children and I have been working in my current field for a number of years so I'm certainly not unsafe to be around :)

    I think you might have misread that comment, nobody called you a monster. The poster merely pointed out that some people might see you like that if they are very sensitive about the topic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 RebeccaK21


    Neyite wrote: »
    No, don't pretend to be upset. I'd probably skirt the issue by thanking them for their concern that you have processed what happened and you aren't grieving or in any way upset. Say you'd like to put it behind you.

    Seems like you've decided how to deal with this but the above is the best approach IMO. The being careful and tiptoeing around will stop as soon as people see that you're not triggered/upset at work. I think people will be happy to take your lead and see how you want to approach things.


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