Stillbirth and Miscarriage are NOT the Same!
No matter how much miscarriage can and does impact women… Stillbirth and Miscarriage are NOT the same! It is painful when you refer to stillbirth as a “late-term miscarriage” and it is even worse when a woman who has experienced miscarriage responds to you opening up about your stillbirth by telling you “I had a miscarriage at… and it was the hardest thing ever” and says it as if they experienced the pain and trauma you as a Stillborn Mother had to experience.
“0.6% (LESS THAN ONE PERCENT) OF PREGNANCIES END IN STILLBIRTH VS. 50% OF PREGNANCIES ENDING IN MISCARRIAGE!”
Why is it insulting to refer to stillbirth as a miscarriage?
My son was VIABLE outside of my womb. If I would have went into pre-term labor, my son had a chance – a good one at that – at surviving and living a healthy, happy life. I will always wish I would have done something differently and I will always replay the days of my pregnancy in my head to try and figure out how my baby could end up stillborn. My son would be alive right now had he not died inside of me. Still don’t see the issue with referring to stillbirth as miscarriage? A stillborn baby had a good chance at life – they were old enough and developed enough to live outside of their mother. They could survive without their mother had they only been delivered prior to their demise. Their mother knows they were healthy and happy and thriving up until they passed away. A woman who goes through a miscarriage does technically lose their baby, but they do not lose a baby that could have survived outside of their womb. They don’t have to replay every moment of their entire pregnancy and wonder what they could have done differently. They weren’t passed the “danger zone” of 20 weeks. They still could have and likely did find out miscarriage can occur up to 20 weeks… they didn’t or most likely didn’t go through nesting or planning their delivery or seeing their baby on a 3D ultrasound because their baby was so developed the ultrasound was basically like putting a camera into their belly and seeing their baby. Their baby didn’t have the same individual features as a stillborn baby has. They didn’t have to go into labor and deliver their baby only to hear SILENCE. They didn’t have to tell people their baby didn’t have a heartbeat after having a heartbeat for well over 20 weeks and if they did, their news didn’t or wouldn’t have came as such shocking sad news as it does when your baby is stillborn.
Why should you realize the difference between stillbirth and miscarriage?
I don’t know if I could possibly explain the feelings I had when I finally opened up to people – very few at that – about the fact my son was stillborn. There was more than one occasion that when I did tell someone he was stillborn, they told me “I had a miscarriage at 18 weeks” or “I’m sorry for your miscarriage”. Am I supposed to feel bad for you when you tell me you had a miscarriage? I just told you my baby died at 33 weeks and you have the nerve to tell me your baby died when he or she wasn’t even able to survive outside of the womb? My baby was 3 POUNDS when I lost him. Your baby was probably not even ONE POUND when he or she passed. While it is sad regardless that you lost your baby, he or she had NO CHANCE outside of your womb. My baby and other stillborn babies had EVERY chance of survival outside of the womb. When you offer no true sympathy towards my loss and expect me to feel bad you lost your baby when he or she wasn’t even able to live outside of you, it irritates me and it hurts me – more than anyone could ever know. I’m sure other stillborn moms feel the same. It is devastating to be reminded of how close you were to holding your beautiful baby and hearing him or her cry only to find out you lost your baby. It is heartbreaking to hear someone tell you about their miscarriage as if it is anywhere near as painful as stillbirth. It makes you wish your baby would have been miscarried rather than stillborn because atleast for those of us who are realist and don’t like to get too optimistic about anything; we wouldn’t have had our hopes up too high to begin with.
Please don’t ever respond to a woman telling you her baby was stillborn with a story of someone you know having lost their baby at 10 weeks or even at 20 weeks. Please don’t refer to her stillbirth as a miscarriage as it will break her hurt because people don’t even comprehend how devastating stillbirth is.
To help people understand, consider this…
“According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end inmiscarriage — most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant.”
As many as ONE out of TWO pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage is EXTREMELY common and many women experience it! How many pregnancies end in stillbirth? ONE in ONE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY! What percent of pregnancies end in stillbirth compared to miscarriage? 0.6% (LESS THAN ONE PERCENT) OF PREGNANCIES END IN STILLBIRTH VS. 50% OF PREGNANCIES ENDING IN MISCARRIAGE!
If the numbers don’t give you a picture as to how much more rare stillbirth is and how different it is from miscarriage, don’t bother trying to offer condolences to any woman who opens up and tells you her baby was stillborn. Her heart is already broken, there is no need to break it any more assuming it could even be broken any more than it already is.
I hope you never have to go through stillbirth and I created this blog to save others from losing their babies and to support those mothers who have lost their babies. Sadly, there is not much awareness to Stillbirth or the pain and suffering it causes all who go through it and are affected by it. Once people become aware of stillbirth and the differences between stillbirth and miscarriage, hopefully this post will be unnecessary and people will show more compassion towards mothers and families out stillborn babies. Until then, I am leaving this here in hopes of other stillborn mommies never having to go through the comments or conversations I’ve been through that triggered so many thoughts each and every time.