ANSWERS: 47
  • I am very sorry to hear of your loss, and I think you should know that you should not feel that you have to answer such a question 'politely'. Many people have different interpretations of the pregnancy process. There are those, such as myself, who feel that life begins at conception. There are others who do not think life truly begins until the baby is removed from the womb, and there are others that think that life only starts at the third trimester...all types of different interpretations. Reading your question, I am assuming that, like me, you feel that even though the pregnancy was not far along, you were still carrying a life inside you. For anyone to say 'you didn't really lose a child' is unbeleivable. It is terribly rude and callous. Obviously that person has never experienced having and/or losing a child of their own. You should not feel like you have to have a 'polite' way to respond to a question like that...the other person obviously doesn't know how strongly you feel about the situation. Of course there is also no reason to blow up, but your feelings on the subject are your own. You truly feel as though you lost a child, and no one has the right to tell you that you 'didn't really lose a child.' that is basically someone forcing their own opinion on you, which they have no right to do. If they try to argue that point, it is best to simply ignore them and leave...it is their opinion, not yours. However if you feel that you should have some sort of way of responding politely to something like that, a simple 'Excuse me but I don't feel that way' will suffice, or 'That's your opinion, thank you'. I honestly cannot think of any way to respond politely in a situation like that...just from your question alone, it irks me to think of someone saying something like that. All I know is that if that should ever happen to my wife one day when I get married, and then someone has the audacity to say 'you didn't really lose a child', that person would probably wind up in the hospital, and I would be spending the night in jail. Your feelings on the subject, as I stated earlier, seem to reflect my own. In time you may see things differently. You will learn to cope with your loss and you will probably move on, but don't let anyone tell you that you didn't really lose a child, and don't feel like you have to have a conciliatory response to a statement like that. I hope that everything works out for the best in your future.
  • When my two-month-old daughter died of SIDS, the first thing my mother said to me was, "If you'd had her longer, it would have hurt worse." I couldn't imagine *anything hurting worse. I have often wondered which would be more painful: losing a child to miscarriage, losing an infant, or losing an older child. I've come to the conclusion that they are all rotten, and that pain cannot be measured in degrees. It is my opinion that you did in fact lose a child, and I can't understand why anyone would tell you differently. Maybe they have the same "good intentions" that people have who would say to me that Jessica's death was "for the best." What to say to them? Maybe a flat, "Thank you for your sympathy," sarcastic though it may be. It's possible they may even take the hint.
  • We, parents who have lost children, belong to a very special "club." The only membership fee is the unfortunate event of losing a beloved child. Others cannot belong. It is not that others are unloving or uncaring. There is just no way a person can completely understand without having had the experience. I have lost two children. In two separate events. No, it's not fair ... but What I have learned: 1. EVERYONE handles death differently. And there are no predictors of "how" one responds to the death of someone dear, let alone a child. 2. Death is very personal. There cannot be any "comparisons" EVER! 3. No one wishes this horrid event to happen, even to their worst enemy. 4. Most people are terrified of death and/or dying. Because of this fear, many people will offer what seems to them to be "kind" words and/or advice. They simply "mean well." I suggest you see their fear for what it is and accept their intention. Best words: Thank You. (No matter what they said!!!) You have to live with you. 5. No one actually heals from losing a child. This is a myth. What you CAN DO is: On their [expected or actual] birthday, create a literal ritual for celebrating the fact that they were with you for however short or long. Remember the good feelings that "they" gave you. These feelings are living gifts. Yes, this is a day I take pictures out. Put them away at the end of the day. Light a candle. On the anniversary of their death, create a literal ritual for "remembering." This one is much harder, of course. I had one of my children cremated and her ashes were scattered at sea. On the anniversary of her death, I go swim IN the ocean and pretend she is holding me up ... talking to me ... and giving me permission to FEEL whatever it is I am feeling THAT year. Some years are silly. Some horrid crying spells. There is no guilt allowed! (Sometimes I find a treasure on the shore and pretend to think that she left it there: a heart shaped rock ... a bit of colored glass.) 6. Let death bring you LIFE! Perhaps the most important lession I've learned is that we all must be PRESENT in the moment, for we never know what will happen or when. Death taught me the importance of loving and respecting each and every individual -- friends, family ... and even strangers. EACH person is a beautiful treasure and gift. People don't wear flags that let you in on what they are dealing with. I remember thinking (during one of the deaths) how people sounded when they were fretting over things that weren't actually important. Not really. Death brought me a much deeper understanding of our human dilemma and allowed me not to "tolerrate" differences, but actually "celebrate" them. (Unkind people, and even angry people are just much more afraid than you and I. Perhaps they are the ones that need MORE love.) 7. There is an on-line organization called WHISPERS OF THE HEART. It is a site FOR parents/family members/friends who have lost a child: www.whispersoftheheart.com. There is another wonderful organization called THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS. These kind folks are on-line at www.compassionatefriends.org Both organizations are unique but have our in-common dilemma of learning to LIVE (again) and COPE with the realities of the death(s) of a child. 8. It is important to reach out to the people who can help you most. For each person that might mean something different. Over the years I have found information, comfort, challenges and support through counseling, bereavement groups, other parents who have lost a child/children, mentors, teachers, and religious figures. If you want to "talk" to me personally, respond to this site. Peace go with you sister.
  • Let me tell you something you did lose a child that baby became a child as soon as it started growing inside of you, I was 3 1/2 months when I lost my baby, I still think that it was a child and a lost it. Don't listen to anyone that tells you different if they have not had to gone through something so tramadic then they wouldn't understand and don't really have buisness making comments about something they don't know about. Everyone has the right to their own opinion but they should know when to keep it to thereselves. Hang in there sweetie and I'm sorry for your loss.
  • Sorry to hear about your loss,You keep responding how you want,a lot of people has negative remarks when it should be positive.
  • Same thing happened to me, but no one said that. Most people won't say anything because they simply don't know what to say. But to say something like "you really didn't lose a child" is plain ignorant. It had a heartbeat, it was real. I would respond to them by saying thats your opinion but I feel I have a baby angel in heaven looking over me.
  • I had a miscarriage at 3 months into it, and I was devastated by it, and still probably haven't completely recovered from this even about 2 years after it. If someone told me that I would probably not be very nice about it, because even after 3 months I felt very strongly attached to who I was supposed to of been with after they were born. I would say to them, and what makes you think it wasn't a child? Because they weren't living on the outside yet? Studies have shown that twins being carried in the womb play with each other, and isn't that what children do?
  • I struggle with this on a routine basis. After my friend's son died during birth, I was always by her side and felt that I could never understand what she was going through. My husband and I were trying and I tried not to talk with her about the details too much. She was happy for us when we became pregnant and was supportive. When I lost my baby at 13 weeks, I felt that I had no right to go crying to her. Afterall, I lost the idea of a child. She lost a son and held his limp body in her arms. However, she helped me get over this feeling and has really helped me to work through my feelings. There have been times when I have felt jealous that my own baby didn't die at birth so that I could have known him/her in some way. Then I feel awful and horribly guilty for thinking that. It is a rollercoaster of emotion. Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss are in a category of their own and require special care. Every person (mother or father, or other) confronts their loss differently and their feelings should be respected, if not understood. There is a great book out there. It helped me a lot. It covers all types of this loss. http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Cradle-Broken-Heart-Surviving/dp/1555913024/ref=pd_sim_b_1/105-1544265-0726003
  • You have a few good answers here, just wanted to share a few things. http://www.ISpokeWithMyChild.com
  • The best way to handle it is to simply thank them for their good wishes and quickly change the subject. It is a very awkward subject for a lot of folks and if they have not been through it themselves it is hard for them to know what to say or how to respond so they say what they think will help. They are well-intentioned, they want you NOT to hurt, remember that. Grieve as you see fit and on your terms and try not to judge these well-meaning bumblers. It will hurt them a great deal if you lash out at them for not understanding.
  • I was pregnant with twins and lost one at 3 1/2 months into my pregnancy...every time I see twins my heart aches, but I am so thankful for the one I have...I have also had a few people make that type of comment to me about "not really losing a child" and simply respond, "you can't begin to imagine the hurt unless you have been there."
  • Who ever would say that to you doesn't desrve a polite response! Or they had an abortion once and resent having to think of the fetus as a child because it brings up too much pain for them.
  • I personally have never lost a child, so I cannot tell you what I did. I have however, have family and friends who have. I will only give you my opinion on how you can handle such arrogant people. First, I want to start by saying, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your baby. I have no idea how much pain your family must be in, and I am so empathetic to your situation. When someone says that you didn't really lose a child, they are being extremely insensitive. They are thinking that you never got to hold this child and therefore it was never real. That is extremely unfortunate, as many who have been pregnant have already considered it a child they have, picking out names, what types of things they might do with this child, clothes they think are cute when baby gets a certain age... they are already thinking of the life this child might have. When someone says something like that, they aren't taking those things into consideration. You DID lose a child. And I'm very sorry to hear that someone would be so insensitive, and could easily write it off. Just because you couldn't see the child, doesn't mean it didn't didn't exist. As for how to respond, just tell them "We'll just have to agree to disagree." and then give them the look that says, don't push it any farther. Good luck to you, and again, I'm very sorry for your loss.
  • I don't have an answer for you but i wanted you to know that even though we are strangers i am sorry that the sadness of losing a child has touched your life.
  • Don't dignify them with a response.
  • i lost my baby at two months and no matter what anyone says it was a baby and it was real. i hate people who think they know how we feel. i have been lucky that no one has said such a calous thing to me, but its been a year today and ive had some people say how dare i greive over my loss, how am i ment to feel its the day i new i list my baby, the baby i started thinking what it would be like. the baby i new was inside me. so if some one says that again tell them where to go or better walk away from them.
  • Edit:just saw the "polite" anyway, new answer. "I do believe I lost a child, and no matter what you may think I don't believe it's your business"
  • Tell them to go what you've went through and then tell them to come back and give their opinion.
  • People who are of the belief that a fetus isn't a child are deluding themselves. These are mostly people who think it will make them feel better about having an abortion. A fetus is a child from the moment it's created. Of course you lost a child! You also lost all your hopes and dreams for that child's future. I'm so sorry about your loss, and I hope you're able to come to some terms with it. I also hope the heartless fools who tell you you didn't really lose a child get to experience what it's like to "not really lose a child" themselves.
  • I'd suggest being straight-up and simple: "Yes, actually, I did lose a child."
  • I submit to those of you at AB, answering with a kind of just-give-em-hell- response to this question: The only way to prevent and hopefully correct, obviously inappropriate behavior -- in the long run -- is to never respond to these unfortunates with anything other than the very love we would wish they, themselves, could understand and extend. It is not enough for we intelligent and hopefully empathic individuals to say 'If only...!' THEY would get it!' (If 'they' had, we would not have to discuss not only the repercussions of their miserable behaviors, but wouldn't have to ask ethical questions of our own!) Giving ANY 'power' to these only lessens the reality of personal experience. Indeed, offering sarcasm or 'anger-in-return' or 'in defense'-- even if thought to be justified -- only encourages, unfortunately, not only the knowledge that we have not held ourselves to higher standards by lowering ourselves to theirs, but in its own behavioral myopic way, contributes to global discomfort. There is no real 'justice given' nor perceived when we, ourselves, do not each conduct ourselves with humane, empathic standards toward everyone, no matter how misguided or rude they may be! Yes, this IS difficult ... sometimes even more than difficult. But if we are to advance and encourage intelligent, caring ideals toward coexistence we must first be willing to give it! No exceptions!! = No one is 'above' the need for better, humane conduct, understanding or improved cooperation toward all.
  • Excuse my language, but you politely tell them to kiss your ass. Anyone who would tell you that you have not experienced a loss of a child, is someone who A. Has no heart. B. Has no idea what its like to carry life inside of you, and C. Deserves no polite response. I am very sorry for your loss and know what you are going through to some degree, I have had 3 miscarriages and no matter how far along in the pregnancy it is never an easy thing to deal with. Good luck in your recovery and remember to talk about it as much as possible and grieve in your own way and time. K~
  • I don't think you need to be all that polite to anyone who asks such an insensitive question. Just say "I really DID lose a child...why on earth could you say that?".
  • A polite slap across the face would suffice.
  • i can't believe people say that to you. it's heartless. if you feel that you lost a child that is the only thing you should ever have to say. they are not politely responding to your loss at all so i don't think it really warrants a polite answer, but i guess you could respond by saying "well, i don't feel that way and it would be nice if you could be a little more understanding of what i am going through." on another similar note. i know it doesn't help much and it's not a great answer, but genetically our bodies terminate a pregnancy when their is something wrong with the child such as a chromosome imbalance or another serious birth defect. it is natures way of bringing forth the healthiest of our species to help our species survive. i know it's not a comforting thought, but nature has a plan. things happen for a reason sometimes and even though it's hard to see what those reasons are at times, they are still there for us when we need guidance. many well wishes to you in your future endeavors toward having a child.
  • You owe no-one a response, they should be apologising to you. I am really sorry for your loss.
  • Well i um went through the same thing except i was probably longer than 2 months. i know the feeling and it sucks especially when you already had plans and everything. The best way to reply to those people is just by not talking about it to them and letting them know that you don't want to discuss that. The feeling will not go away i know but i mean it's part of life. sorry for your loss. :(
  • WTF? Who ARE these people? and what manner of pond scum did they de-evolve from? Hit them. Hard. They deserve it. Open handed, right across the face.
  • Carry a baseball bat around with you, and use it judiciously.
  • "But you know what, it doesn't FEEL any different. Thanks for your kind thoughts." even though these thoughts are anything but kind. Do NOT continue the conversation. So sorry to hear of your loss.
  • I can empathize with you. I went through the same thing, twice. Although it hurts to hear such things, I just chalk it up to someone not having had experienced it and I try to believe that person is doing their best to make me feel better (in some incredibly awkward way) and just let it go. It doesn't really matter to me what others think, I know how I and my husband felt and thankfully we have each other for support.
  • Do you really need to justify that with a response. Someone that has never experienced a miscarriage naturally would not be able to relate to how that made you feel. A miscarriage is difficult for many reasons and not just because a child was lost. That pregnancy represented a life that will never be, you prepared for your life to change, you felt that happiness and all was taken away. I had two miscarriages and I grieved for a million reasons and I still think about it 8 years later. Personally the only thing that filled that emptiness was my three children that came after. Honey, Take one day at a time! Find that support group that can relate to how you are feeling. Every pregnancy is important no matter the out come.
  • That is one of the most callous remarks I have heard. I have had 2 miscarriages so I know how you are feeling. Why worry about being polite? Anyone who is inconsiderate enough to say something like that deserves exactly what they get. Maybe, next time they will think before they open their mouth.
  • thats a jackass thing to say. i dont think you should be expected to respond politly to that. thats like when my bf told me "well thats not really rape" i went off on him like a bomb i think i said something about having some guy stick it in his mouth and see how he likes it and then broke up with him and left. didnt answer his calls for days until he caught me in person and cornered me to apologize. i didnt accept because thats just a rude and insesative thing to say i imagine i would react similarly if someone told me i "didnt really lose a child" theyd have asked for it.
  • I'm missing the need for you to respond politely, because that is a horrible, rude, and discompassionate thing for them to tell you. Really. I guess you can simply tell them that you were pregnant, and had all the hopes, dreams, and love of your child already nurturing inside you along with your fetus. When you lost your fetus, you lost all of those hopes and dreams, as well.
  • Andy, im so sorry to hear this honey, i lost two children the very same way, and dont EVER let anyone tell you that you didnt lose a child. You may find that the people who say that have never experienced a miscarriage, so dont know what the hell they are talking about. Yes you did lose your child, and you should feel pain and grieve for that child, why should you not?? Dont even bother to respond politely, they are the ones who should be being polite in the first place, and respecting the fact that you feel upset, i cannot stand people who tell others what they should/should not be feeling. You will also meet the ones who will say 'Oh you are young and theres plenty more time for you to have children' tell them all to F..k off!! Im sure you are about as upset as i was when it happened to me, which is bloody upset! I couldnt face anyone for days and felt as if my world had caved in. You carry on grieving for your baby.. because that is exactly what it was YOUR BABY. Ignore the ignorant honey, and if you want to chat about it, email me, the addy is on my profile. ((((hugs)))))
  • I am so sorry to hear that. It is a child from the point of conception. You were expecting to have a child, and now you arent having one. I can not believe the ignorance of some people. My sis-in-law, lost two babies in her 8th month, the second one we were both pregnant at the same time, she lost hers, and I had to go to the funeral, at eight months pregnant, she had a boy, so did I , she would come to my house almost every day to see my son, and hold him, it was her replacement for the child she lost, it tore me up, to see the pain she was going though, so I let her be with my son any time she wanted to. She finally found a doctor, because she was now considered a high risk person, that helped to have 5 kids, she got what she had always dreamed of, a big family, she wanted to try again for the sixth kid, but we all put our foot dowwn, LOL.. I guess I would say, "You arent in my shoes, and do not know how I feel. I posted a question yesterday about an child missing and people actually got offende, I couldnt believe it, what the hell would they do if there child was missing, Arrrg, made me mad. So cold sometimes. I hope you keep trying, if that is what you really want. Big hugs to you.
  • i am sorry for your loss even though i have lever been through this myself my best friend has, and if somebody had said that i would have slapped them, i hate violence myself but thats just plain spitefull! weather you lost a child while in the womb or at 30 years old, you did lose a child! and i know nothing anybody says will make you feel better but nothing should be said to hurt them even more - now i am over the shock a little and ive thought about it the politest thing to say would be if you have nothing nice to say dont say anything! but im sure thats not what you think of when its said but that is a polite answer not that they deserve 1! take care
  • forgive them as they know not what they say
  • I'm interpreting your question in two different ways, so I'll try to answer for both: If these people who say this are saying that what you lost wasn't really a child, just a fetus, then you owe no politeness to them at all. I've never been pregnant, but I do have a gift/curse of being highly empathic and though I can only imagine the pain of losing your child, just the thought of having to hear these people say that you haven't really lost anything at all fills me with pain. These people are not worth a polite response. The other way I read this question was that the people saying this are trying to make you feel better in the sense of implying that the baby will always be with you in one way or another. If this is the case, then try to remember that while they may not understand what you've gone through, they are trying to help. Tell them thank you for their kind thoughts and leave it at that. Your feelings are your own and no one else is going to truly understand them, but take comfort in knowing that people care enough about you to try and help. I am very sorry for your lost baby, and I wish you all the luck in the world in your next pregnancy.
  • HAVING LOST A 6 MONTH OLD AND HAVING 2 MISCARRIAGES I 100% AGREE WITH (M.MOON)
  • I am sorry to hear that some people respond in such an unsympathetic way. It is obvouisly something that only an "insider" can fully understand. Luckily there are some lovely people on AB who DO know the right things to say.
  • You don't owe them a polite response. Sorry to be so direct about it, but someone who makes such a callous statement to you in your grief does not deserve civility. My wife had a miscarriage, 9 weeks into pregnancy. We still mourn that loss, almost 5 years later. We lost a child two years ago, at the age of 2, and that loss does hurt more in a lot of respects. But don't let anyone tell you you didn't really lose a child. My condolences on your loss. Oh, if you still feel the need to respond politely, then you could say, "It's my loss, and I know how it has affected my life. Thank you, though, for your attempt to somehow lessen or minimize my grief."
  • "The obstetrician said it was a baby not a mongoose." If they feel embarrassed so be it. Deepest condolences.
  • You didn't. But the foetus was a part of you and your mother instincts and psychology have taken a large hit. Maybe try some counselling if you're finding it difficult to cope.
  • just tell them you dont want to talk about it

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