+
More

7 empathy cards for someone who's lost a pregnancy. Because it's hard to know what to say.

Up to 20% of pregnancies end in loss. And yet, we still have a hard time talking about it.

We'll get to why that is in a minute. But first, let that number sink in: 20%. What does our discomfort or silence mean for those whose pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth?


It can make them feel alone — isolated, hurting, and sometimes even ashamed.

What if we acknowledged the loss of a pregnancy the way we addressed any significant loss?

What if we talked about it and expressed our sincerest condolences instead of awkwardly fumbling for the right words — or not even talking about it at all?

What if we said things like this?

"I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I'm here. Always."

Dr. Jessica Zucker shared these empathy cards with me and gave me permission to share with you! It's available here.

When we're short on words, a card is usually a safe bet. But when it comes to condolence cards for the loss of a pregnancy or a stillbirth, let's just be honest: the pickings are slim.

That's why Dr. Jessica Zucker, a clinical psychologist who specializes in women's reproductive and maternal mental health — and someone who experienced a traumatic miscarriage herself — introduced these pitch-perfect pregnancy loss empathy cards.

She wants women to be able to talk about and have their grief acknowledged.

"My aim," Zucker explained to me in a phone conversation, "is to help shift the cultural conversation — and lack of it — around miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth."

And culturally, we often reach out with cards, which is why it feels like a pretty amazing thing — to create cards for this kind of loss.

Whether it's with cards that share heartfelt affirmations...

"The last thing you probably want to hear right now is 'I know exactly how you feel,' 'This happens for a reason,' 'Be grateful for what you have.' Pop in earplugs, drown out the noise, be surrounded by loving support — people who get it. I may not always know the right thing to say, but I'm going to try. I love you like crazy." Available here.


"Grief knows no timeline. Take all the time you need. If you wan to rest, do. If you want to scream, do. If you want to distract yourself, do. If you want to cry, do. If you want to stuff your face, do. If you want to hibernate, do. If you want to go on an adventure, do. If you want to call me morning, noon and night, do. Be gentle with yourself. Do." Available here.

...or with cards that own our discomfort with something we've inadvertently been taught to be uncomfortable with...

"I'm sorry I've been MIA. I didn't know what to say. I'll do better. I am here." Available here.

...these empathy cards say what needs to be said. They acknowledge that sometimes, we need to call it like it is.


"Fuck: 'This is God's plan.' Fuck: 'Everything happens for a reason.' Fuck: 'Time erases pain.' #FuckLoss. Fuck: 'At least you know you can get pregnant.' Fuck: 'It wasn't meant to be.' Fuck Heartbreak." Available here.

"I imagine you feel like shit right now. But I just had to remind you how wonderful I think you are." Available here.

Oh, and how about a card that acknowledges that even though the loss might be common, every woman's experience is utterly unique?

"#IHadAMiscarriage. Everyone has a different experience. I understand." Available here.

The cards each say something different, but the bigger message behind them is the same: Mourning the loss of a pregnancy is difficult. And it's only made more difficult when we suffer or respond with silence.

There's a reason we have an especially hard time discussing this kind of loss. As Zucker explains, out-of-order losses are difficult to process. "It's one thing to talk about an elderly person, a grandparent, passing away," she says. "We know the rights and rituals that take place around that kind of loss."

But when it's about the loss of a wanted pregnancy or a stillbirth, people don't know how to react. Unlike the parents, others haven't formed a relationship with the fetus. What do we say? How do we behave?

She also points out that we're just not looking at pregnancy loss as normative in our culture — but we should. "If twenty-some percent of pregnancies end in loss, this isn't going anywhere," she told me. "It's not like this is a disease and we're not looking for some sort of cure. This is molecular biology, and this is what happens when we endeavor to create life. We risk being vulnerable to losing life. We risk not being in control."

So what if we could we could get more comfortable with this kind of loss and be a source of support for grieving would-be parents?

Zucker says she knows these are "just cards," but she hopes it's a good beginning.

These cards are an antidote to "I didn't know what to say." And we should say something! "We can't have a miscarriage by talking about miscarriage," Zucker says. "You cannot experience a pregnancy loss just by talking about pregnancy loss."

But we can provide support and condolences to our friends and family members who are grieving. And at the end of the day, isn't that what being human is all about?

Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tater Tots, fresh out of the oven.

It’s hard to imagine growing up in America without Tater Tots. They are one of the most popular kiddie foods, right up there with chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. The funny thing is the only reason Tater Tots exist is that their creators needed something to do with leftover food waste.

The Tater Tot is the brainchild of two Mormon brothers, F. Nephi and Golden Grigg, who started a factory on the Oregon-Idaho border that they appropriately named Ore-Ida. The brothers started the factory in 1951 after being convinced that frozen foods were the next big thing.

According to Eater, between 1945 and 1946, Americans bought 800 million pounds of frozen food.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Developmental scientist shared her 'anti-parenting advice' and parents are relieved

In a viral Twitter thread, Dorsa Amir addresses the "extreme pressure put on parents in the West."

Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash, @DorsaAmir/Twitter

Parents, maybe give yourselves a break

For every grain of sand on all the world’s beaches, for every star in the known universe…there is a piece well intentioned, but possibly stress-inducing parenting advice.

Whether it’s the astounding amount of hidden dangers that parents might be unwittingly exposing their child to, or the myriad ways they might be missing on maximizing every moment of interaction, the internet is teeming with so much information that it can be impossible for parents to feel like they’re doing enough to protect and nurture their kids.

However, developmental scientist and mom Dorsa Amir has a bit of “anti-parenting advice” that help parents worry a little less about how they’re measuring up.

First and foremost—not everything has to be a learning opportunity. Honestly, this wisdom also applies to adults who feel the need to be consistently productive…raises hand while doing taxes and listening to a podcast on personal development
Keep ReadingShow less

A guy with road rage screaming out of his car.

A psychologist who’s an expert in narcissism has released a telling video that reveals one of the red flags of the disorder, being an erratic driver.

"Most people, when they tell the story backwards of a narcissistic relationship, are able to see the red flags very clearly,” Dr. Ramani said in her video. “However, seeing them forwards isn't hard. But if you see them too late, it means you've already been through the narcissistic relationship, you're devastated and have likely wasted a lot of time."

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, Professor Emerita of Psychology at California State University and author of several books, including “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist.”

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less