The Power of Acknowledgment

Pregnancy loss sucks. There really is no other way to describe it. I have experienced two miscarriages and a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The emotional and physical recovery from each of them was challenging and often lonely.

Immediately after these losses, I received support from family and friends that ranged from flower deliveries to my parents helping chase after my then three-year-old and doing my laundry. But some of the best support I got from those around me was a simple message saying, “I’m so sorry this happened to you” or “I’ve been through it and know how hard it is.” Just acknowledging the loss made me feel much less alone and gave me the courage to open up and talk through some of pain I was feeling.

This type of loss can feel very isolating. I hadn’t let many people know about the pregnancies prior to the losses, so many people in my life were unaware. There were also those who knew but likely felt that they didn’t know the “right” thing to say, so they didn’t say anything at all. I understood this, but it was still painful. It was also hard (and unhelpful) to hear things like “At least it was early in the pregnancy” or “You can try again.”

Pregnancy loss is like any other permanent loss in that it’s final. There is no fix. But it’s also a type of loss that many people are still uncomfortable talking about, so finding or providing support can be difficult. But for me, the best support I received also seemed to be the simplest— a loved one’s kind words and assurance that I, too, would eventually be OK.

By Alaina Donnelon

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