I'm pregnant and a family member just lost baby. — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

I'm pregnant and a family member just lost baby.

I'm currently 16 weeks pregnant and my step mother-in-law was about 6 weeks ahead of me with her pregnancy.  She had a lot of complications throughout and gave birth last week to an underdeveloped baby and lost him.  My husband and I are devastated and want to be sensitive to their loss.  What should I do?  Every time we talk they ask about the baby and I don't want to rub in the loss, but I want to be there for them.  (We are long distance, phone conversations are our only contact)

Re: I'm pregnant and a family member just lost baby.

  • Ok....  If they are asking about the baby, maybe just give the info they are asking for... without going into great detail about the pregnancy and baby development.  I am not real sure of many Do's, but I can try to give you some Do Not's like, I wouldn't ever let her hear you complaining about the pregnancy or how uncomfortable you are, etc. That would probably be the biggest one to me.  It is a difficult situation.  Just be sensitive to the tone of the conversations you have with them.  You can usually tell if someone is asking abut things because they want to know, vs they think it is what they are suppose to do... Hope that helps...
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  • I am truly sorry for your step mother-in-law's loss.  Maybe ask the PGaL board.  A lot of woman on here are just suffering a loss themselves or still devestated from a recent loss and seeing you put on here that you are 16 weeks pregnant is very hard for us to see.  
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  • I agree to only talk about your pregnancy when they ask and don't say more than is necessary. When your baby is born do the same. This is a really rough situation to be in but always remember its so much harder for them.

    I would always make sure you remember their baby's birthday in the coming years as well as their due date. Send them cards letting them know you are still thinking of them on these special occasions. 

    I agree that you should never let her hear you complaining about any pregnancy symptom no matter how awful it has you feeling. But also don't tell her its wonderful either. Basically you just shouldn't talk about your pregnancy at all unless they ask. I know that sounds like they are being rude but trust me it will be so painful to hear about the things they have missed out on. 

    Call to check on them often, send texts, emails,etc (not every day unless you already were talking every day) but don't be upset if they don't want to talk. Call their baby by his name and even if she has no other living children make sure she is acknowledged as a mother,especially on days like Mothers Day. When and if she is up for talking about her baby and what happened just listen, don't offer advice or try to comfort her by telling her it was God's will or anything like that. Just listen and tell her how awful it is and that you are sorry. Nothing more than that is needed. No advice.

    I wish I had great advice. I think it is awesome that you are so thoughtful and I'm sure that will show through to them as well and in the end that will really make all the difference in keeping a good relationship. Just don't be upset if she doesn't want to be around you or your baby. It really is not anything personal. 

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  • I am currently getting some experience with the other side of this situation, unfortunately.  My younger sister found out she was pregnant two days before we had to terminate for medical reasons when I was 21 weeks.  It was my first pregnancy, and is also her first pregnancy.  Now she will be having the first grandchild, and I will be planning her baby shower, when she had already planned mine, which I don't get to have now.

    I agree with the other ladies to not talk about your pregnancy unless asked.  My sister has tried to be incredibly sensitive, and has asked if she should skip events where I'm going to be (of course I don't want her to, but it was nice that she asked).  She has made it very clear that she's upset about the timing, too (although of course not upset about being pregnant).  I think if it's obvious that you are going out of your way to be sensitive, that's what counts. 




    BFP #1 9/2010 (lost our baby at 21 weeks) BFP #2 8/2011 (ectopic pregnancy) BFP #3 10/2011 (chemical pregnancy) BFP #4 12/2011 (Abigail born 8/15/12) BFP #5 5/2013 (Griffin born 1/23/14 with heart defects, now repaired!)

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  • It's nice that you want to be sensitive to her loss, but what about the ladies on this board, many of whom are currently going through a loss. Posting here starting with "I'm pregnant" won't gain you any friends. We are fiercely protective of our own. That said, don't talk about your pregnancy to your step MIL and definitely never complain about it. Say you're so sorry for her loss and just listen. No words can make it better, but being able to vent helps. If she needs space from you, give it and don't be offended.
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