Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to share the exciting news that you're expecting with a friend who has just lost her baby 101:

Oh, I'm not expecting...I'm writing this from the other side - the recipient of that news over and over and over and over. :-) Great news? Absolutely. Difficult to hear after your baby has died? Absolutely. I've been blessed with considerate people around me, so the only reason I'm writing this is because I have many friends who are struggling with life after pregnancy loss or infertility without such considerate of whom was wading through the muck of it just last night after hearing the exciting announcement from two more of her close friends who are pregnant.

So, if you've just taken a pregnancy test and it's positive, and you're thrilled to share the news with your friends and family (which you totally should be), take a moment to think about those mamas in your life who might have a hard time expressing their excitement at the news because of personal life circumstances.

First, try to give your grieving friend a quiet heads-up. It was really helpful to me after Zachary died if my friends told me privately, through email or in conversation that they were pregnant. Now, that doesn't mean that as soon as your grieving friend has a moment alone she won't burst into tears, but it stings a little less than a grand announcement in a meeting or at church or in front of a large group of friends.

Second, don't be offended if your grieving friend doesn't jump up and down and offer to go to Babies'R'Us with you tomorrow. Is the response selfish and fueled by jealously? I'm sure it is, in part, but the root of the response is grief. And, even though we really are happy for you and it is great news, it still really hurts to hear. It brings up a whole new dimension of our loss in a way.

And, lastly, after you announce to your friend that you're pregnant, try (really hard) to think of topics of discussion besides your pregnancy. Your world now is the developing life inside you. Our world is still attempting to navigate through life without our baby. So, it's really helpful to have a conversation with a friend who is pregnant about...oh...the weather, marriage, cell biology, anything, really.

While this post has been specifically about being sensitive to those who have lost a baby, I've been challenged to look at other areas of life in which I could be more considerate, too. I've caught myself many times in the past month or so complaining about my husband in front of a friend who would love to share life with a spouse...grumbling about my job or finances in front of someone who is unemployed and worse off than we are...the list could go on and on. So, I'm trying harder to think before I speak and truly "rejoice with those who rejoice" and "mourn with those who mourn." (Rom. 12:15)


  1. Thank you for posting this. I never know what to say or how to say these types of things.

  2. Courtney thank you for writing this. Your blog is so encouraging to me. The way you have handled all the things that have come your way the past 8 months or so have been so remarkable to me. God is truly using you more then you know.

  3. Courtney, I find such strength and comfort in your words. Thank you once again for helping me navigate through this world (yes, I did read your post about navigating through the wilderness). I remember after my miscarriage how difficult it was for people to consol me, and yet I struggle with the same thing. I thank you for your guidance through the past 8 months. I pray for you daily, and I also thank God daily for bringing you and Shaun into my life.