Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Things People Say

I had a post about this early on my grief journey.  Things people said that hurt, whether it was intentional or not, or just  not thought about before they said it.

Today I was at my dentist appointment where I had dental surgery last November getting a routine checkup.  The hygienist was super sweet, very kind and very gentle (if that's even possible in a dentist office).  We had the typical surface-type conversations, with most of it being on her end as I could not really speak if I wanted to.  She finished with the painful part--ultrasonic yuck--and polished and then flossed.  As she was flossing and talking about the surgery I had had done, she commented that she has, in fact, heard from some female patients that dental surgery was worse than labor.  I nodded my head in agreement and then she said, "at least at the end of labor you get this beautiful baby to hold in your arms and on top of that an endorphin-high feeling!  You don't get that after dental surgery!"

The words cut straight through my soul.  I knew she meant well.  But in reality, she didn't know what the hell she  meant.  Or said.  Obviously she had never experienced or known anyone that has experienced loss.  I thought about correcting her and then thought twice.  I figured informing her about the pain of infant loss wasn't worth making her feel terribly rotten for what she said.  But then again, maybe I could have enlightened her.  Opened her eyes to a new world, if anything, of what NOT to say to a patient, even though you never thought it could be that way.  Babies.  It's all happiness. Bliss. Pure.  Bright.  That's what some people think, anyway.

I probably would have said those words at one point in my life.  Maybe I have even, I don't know.  But the thing is nothing's guaranteed. Nothing.  No matter how hard it is when you are going through it, no matter how hard you work at it, no matter how "worth-it" it's supposed to be.  Sometimes it just doesn't go that way.  So, no, labor can sometimes be just like dental surgery.  A lot of pain, maybe even traumatic, and you walk out of the office with nothing to show for what you went through.

ETA:   I wasn't angry with her.  I'm used to this.  There are a LOT of things that people say AND that I don't say anymore, that take on a new meaning (or the original meaning in the literal sense) when you've lost a child.  Like I said, she was a very sweet woman.  But it doesn't mean the words still didn't make my heart ache.  It's life as we know it on this journey.  Just something I wanted to blog about because it was on my mind a lot.


  1. I'm sorry. So sorry. People often say weird things because they have no idea that life could be that bad. That unfair. I remember being angry when people used to say stuff like that. Hurt that they didn't have an understanding of what my life was like. But now, I can see that they truly have no idea. They are blissfully ignorant and I just try and extend them grace along with a careful nudge about how not everyone is that lucky. I guess that shows how far I've come in the past 4 years.

    Hugs to you sweet Mama. Been thinking about you lots lately :)


  2. She's trying to be real about dental pain and labor pain - a safe thing to do for the majority of women who have not suffered loss. She didn't know. Forgive her, dear lady, she simply doesn't know her audience . . . and I'm so sorry for that stab of pain. Been there, done that, and offer an obnoxiously big virtual hug!