“At least you know you can can get pregnant.”

Pregnancy loss survivors hear this all the time. All the FREAKING TIME. And it’s not helpful. Especially when you’re still bleeding from the loss (and I mean that both literally and metaphorically).

It’s not a helpful thing to hear because being able to get pregnant is not really all that important when your pregnancy has just ended and you know that your baby is dead. Knowing you can get pregnant is not helpful because getting pregnant and getting a baby are two very different things.

Getting pregnant and getting a baby are two very different things.

The first time I heard this consolation was from my doctor. I was in her office for the follow up appointment after my first miscarriage. We’d been trying to get pregnant for months and were immediately so excited for our baby when we saw those two pink lines. I’m pregnant! Yay! Finally! And then at six weeks, it was over. When my doctor said, “at least we know you can get pregnant,” I was grateful, because at that point in our journey to parenthood we didn’t know if we’d be able to get pregnant at all. So yes, in that one instance, from my doctor, it was an okay thing to hear. That one time.

And then nine more months passed before I got pregnant again. The phrase “at least you know you can get pregnant” was no longer a good thing to hear, because I wasn’t getting pregnant and I knew that even if I did get pregnant, there was no guarantee I’d get to keep that baby.

I knew that even if I did get pregnant, there was no guarantee I’d get to keep that baby.

The second time I was pregnant, I was pregnant for 25 weeks instead of just six.  We found out at an ultrasound that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. He was stillborn the next day. But at least I know I can get pregnant, right? (See how not helpful that phrase is in this situation?)

In the months after our son was stillborn, I heard this consolation again. “At least you know you can get pregnant.” It was like a knife being stabbed into my still-present post-pregnancy stomach pooch.

I did get pregnant again. My third pregnancy lasted for just under six weeks. That’s when I experienced my second miscarriage. Yup. That happened. Very few people know about it because that was a mere two months ago.

I had my second miscarriage, my third pregnancy loss, at Christmas — the Christmas that was supposed to be Baby’s First Christmas for BOTH of my previous pregnancies. Our first baby would have been just shy of one year, our second baby would have been just over two months old. To say Christmas 2018 was a difficult time for my husband and I would be a massive understatement. But, “at least I know I can get pregnant.” (Are you hearing how this phrase sounds yet?) “At least you know you can get pregnant” disregards the fact that I’ve been pregnant three times but have never had a living child.

“At least you know you can get pregnant” disregards the fact that I’ve been pregnant three times but have never had a living child.

So friends, what I’m trying to say here, is please please please remove the phrase “at least you know you can get pregnant” from your vocabulary.

It might seem like a kind thing to say when you don’t know what to say, but it’s not. Try “I’m so sorry,” or “I’m praying for you,” or “I’m sending good thoughts your way,” or “Can I drop off a meal for you?” instead.

It might seem like a kind thing to say when you don’t know what to say, but it’s not. Try “I’m so sorry,” or “I’m praying for you,” or “I’m sending good thoughts your way,” or “Can I drop off a meal for you?” instead.

I know that those who say this are trying to be kind, trying to find a glimmer of good in a horrid situation. But unless you’re a medical doctor who knows the background of a particular mother’s case, saying “at least you know you can get pregnant” disregards the fact that the pregnancy that has just ended wasn’t simply a physical state, but that the pregnancy that has ended is a baby that has died and these are parents who are not grieving a pregnancy, they’re grieving a child who they will never get to see grow up. Getting pregnant and getting a baby are two very different things. Getting pregnant is not the end goal. The goal is staying pregnant and delivering a living child.

Getting pregnant is not the end goal. The goal is staying pregnant and delivering a living child.

 

Related post: “Are you pregnant?” And Other Questions You Need to Stop Asking

Related post: 5 Questions You Need to Stop Asking Pregnant Women 

Why saying "at least you know you can get pregnant" is actually hurtful | Pregnancy Loss | on trishajennreads.com

  1. So true, I hate this phrase! When I miscarried I got told the same thing, and I don’t understand why people feel like that’s an appropriate thing to say. My best friend has just had the worst time – 6 mc, 1 ectopic, 1 molar and she had a baby with anencephaly (this is over a 2 year period), and people STILL say this to her! It’s ridiculous 😪

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