13 December, 2011

sometimes there is no happy ending

i recently had a friend endure a pretty traumatic birthing experience.

and i didn't know what to say to her.

so it got me thinking about all of the things people said to me along this road that just were not helpful at all.

when you were born via cesarean instead of at home like your dad and i had hoped, people said, "well at least the baby is here and healthy." "c-section babies are prettier with their nice, round heads." "why does it matter so much?""don;t be an octomom!" "just drink a bottle of wine and relax." "my friend decided to adopt and then she got pregnant."

when we were dealing with infertility, it was, "well can't you just adopt?" and now that we want a sibling for you, it's, "well at least you have one."

and when cooper died, there was a flurry of comments that made my blood boil, such as, "well now you have an angel in heaven to look over you" or "you can always have another one" or "at least you didn't know him" or "it was meant to be". there were plenty more and if you want to know what you should not say to someone who has lost a baby, no matter at what stage, just google it.

i know i probably said lots of things that were less than helpful prior to my loss. and probably now, too. most times now i just try to acknowledge and offer a hug.

our dear friend colleen said to me after we lost cooper that people in our world tend to look for happy endings...then she said that sometimes, there just is no happy ending.

yes, having a healthy baby is important, but we need to learn to be okay with losses and to acknowledge them so that the people who have lost know that their feelings are okay. we need to validate, rather than try to make the bad feelings go away.


  1. I wish I had thought of what she said.

    I hate when people say, "it was meant to be."

  2. Tiff, have you ever visited Unspoken Grief? The woman who owns that blog, Devan, is awesome. This post reminded me of her blog, so I thought I'd mention it.

    When Jackson was born via c-section, I heard all kinds of comments about how I should be grateful c-sections exist to save the lives of babies and moms, and so on and so on.... Those words were hard to hear because they made me feel guilty about my disappointment (on top of feeling guilt for the c-section itself & all the other related crazy emotions and trauma). I don't blame people for their dumb comments. I think they have good intentions. But I do with they'd read posts like this and remember them for next time. The best thing to do is the simplest thing to do: a touch or a hug and a bit of sympathy.