Monday 15 December 2008


That's how I was left after bumping into an acquaintance today who told me she had lost a baby a few years ago and then asked how far along I'd been with George. She then said that of course my loss wasn't as bad as hers because she carried her baby longer than me and her baby was officially stillborn and it'll be easier for me to get over it. Yes, she really did say "officially" and "get over it". I've heard some insensitive remarks since George was lost and born but this one quite entirely takes the biscuit and indeed, the biscuit tin. I wonder if she feels better about her loss by negating mine? Didn't she realise that she was also negating George's sweet short loved life? How dare she.

And excuse me but I didn't realise there was a grief competition? Please tell me there isn't; that this person was terribly misguided or ignorant or just plain stupid.

Tell me there aren't grades of grief dependent on fetal age or weeks in the womb or breaths after birth? Tell me there isn't a scale of loss? Tell me there isn't more merit to your grief because your baby was older than mine? Tell me there isn't more merit to my grief because my baby was older than the baby of another? Because if any of this is true then I fear for our humanity.

If you don't mind I'd like to tell you what I think: The loss of any wanted, loved and longed for baby, and even if it is just the loss of the hope of the dream of a baby, is utterly devastating. Utterly. For example, If you've been hoping for years for a baby and your infertility treatment fails yet again then isn't that great loss worth marking? If your baby never breathes or lives for a few minutes or thrives for a few months, or lives for 5 years, does that make one grief greater than another? It's certainly going to be different I'll agree to that, but somehow better or bigger or harder or worse or more worthy of sympathy? I honestly don't think so. Tell me if I'm wrong.

I find that I am slowly becoming a stronger person because of losing George and because of this all-new-me this woman's remarks haven't dug in too deep. Oh they've scratched the surface alright but this anger won't last longer than it takes to type this post. It isn't worth my time or effort: I'm too busy healing. If I'd have met her sooner after George's birth I don't know how I would have reacted but I know what I have lost and I know that my grief is a relevant as the grief that anyone with a lost baby is feeling.

Unfortunately at the time I was left utterly speechless ('aint that just the way?!) and didn't get the chance to respond, but to this woman with the coldest most selfish heart I have ever had the misfortune to encounter I would have liked to have said, "I am so sorry for your loss" but also, (and forgive me for using such language but sometimes it's absolutely appropriate) "fuck you."

And now I'm going to take a nice relaxing warm bath and wash this day off and be done with it.


  1. Oh Barbara, that is un-fucking-believable. The biscuit & biscuit tin indeed (i like that phrasing, not one i'm familiar with). I'm so sorry you had this run in with this woman. Sounds like she is in such an un-healthy place. Love & hugs to you...George will be remembered ALWAYS.

  2. Wow. Now I'M pissed!!!! She is totally, horribly wrong. And I have research to back this up- study after study shows that grief after a pregnancy loss is absolutely not correlated with how many weeks pregnant you are when you lose the baby. But all science aside, of course she's wrong. Your grief is real. Your loss is real. Your son is real. It's not a contest. I'm with you- I'm sorry for her loss, but fuck her for daring to question yours.

    Hugs and warm soothing thoughts for you. Hope tomorrow is better.

  3. You're right. She's wrong. :( It's bad enough when friends & family spout (or imply) this kind of cr@p, but I would expect better from someone who's had a loss themselves. (((hugs))) Don't let her get to you.

  4. F--- her. I feel for her loss, but man, we're supposed to be in this together. George is remembered and loved by us.

  5. What the f&*k? I can not believe she actually said that.

    You know, I think there are other people out there (not here, not us, not our community) but out 'there' who think this. But what I can't belive is that this person that said it to you had actually lost a baby. Of all people, you think she would understand.

    We have all lost our babies. Full Stop.

    And we will remember George and his little friends forever.

    Its not a contest. Its not anything other really fucking awful.

  6. Barbara - this is maddening!! Thank goodness you are a strong woman or her remarks may have knocked you back to 1982! IF you ever see her again you can point her to just about ANY blog of a DBM for clarification.

    This is what is posted at the top of mine!

    "My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another."

    How sad- a loss mother who doesn't get it. (sigh)

  7. Oh Barbara,

    I know it might be hard to shake that one off, but try to. Some people have said some things like that to me too. Our little boys may not have been full term, what does that matter?!

    I guess she just wanted to validate her child's life, but why in such an insensitive way! She is probably very bitter still. I am so sorry that your wore the brunt of her bitterness. You and George deserve so much better than that.

    Hope your bath was just lovely. Try and have a good sleep. Sending you much love and missing our boys together.

    Carly x

  8. Oh My God!
    Did you get to slap or pinch her?

    Did you get to really kick the shiny stars out of her?

    She is so insensitive even after experiencing that kind of loss?

  9. The cruelty of this woman's comment is beneath contempt. It literally took my breath away.
    She needs to be Bi+chslapped like we say on the West Coast.
    I'm so, so sorry, Barbara.
    I pity this woman, she has no compassion.

  10. I am reading this post and have only read the first paragraph. I am speechless. She didn't say that? I expect more from mama's who have been there.

    No, you can't measure grief by gestation. Not long ago I was thinking about this and really the thought is absurd. "You can be this sad at 19 weeks but at 20 weeks you are this much more sad". Nope, doesn't even make sense.

    All you get that weeks is Legal and validation. That is simply it. A simple legality. And it really isn't fair.

    Wow! Just Wow.

    I am so sorry she said that. She is wrong.

  11. Speechless. But I think you nailed it - this is clearly someone who needs to validate her own loss by negating yours.

    How very sad for her. And how strong of YOU to recognize that she is full of sh*t and is, as hope's mama so eloquently puts it, a fucking twat.

    (Not only are expletives useful here. They FEEEEL good.)

  12. Yes- I have to say that, though I don't laugh much these days, I read Sally's comment and burst out laughing. Sometimes no other expression will do.

  13. Yay for laughter!

    And yay for Sally telling it like it is!



Related Posts with Thumbnails