Michelle Duggar is struggling with something that many parents have had to go through — telling your other children that you have miscarried. Sadly, Duggar had a miscarriage in her second trimester, and her loss has brought up a difficult topic: What is the best way to talk to your kids about miscarriage?
Michelle Duggar was ecstatic to be pregnant with her 20th child. However, she experienced disappointment and sadness when doctors were unable to find the baby’s heartbeat at a routine appointment. She had suffered a miscarriage.
“After the appointment, we came back home and told the children,” Duggar, 45, told People. “We had just been talking about baby names last night and they were getting excited about naming a boy or a girl. It has been a real sad disappointment.”
Duggar miscarried in her second trimester of pregnancy and said that telling her children was difficult. “I feel like my heart broke telling my children,” she said. “They have all been so excited about this baby and looking forward to April coming around and having a new little one in our arms. That was the most difficult. The Lord is the giver of life and he can choose when that life is ready to go on and be with Him.”
The Duggars do plan on having a funeral service and naming their child after they find out what the sex would have been.
Talking to kids about miscarriage
Brothers and sisters are often affected by the miscarriage and will go through their own grieving process. “It is important to explain to children on their level about the miscarriage in honest, appropriate terms they can understand,” says the American Pregnancy Association. “Children process grief differently than adults and may ask questions, express fears, and act out in various ways to get attention. Young children may be more clingy, easily upset and distressed. Older children may be aggressive, disruptive or unusually quiet.”
Reassure your kids that you will be fine and nothing could have been done to prevent the miscarriage. Dr. Michael D. Kaplan of The Family Groove recommends saying something like this to younger children: “Babies start out by growing in mommy’s tummy. Most babies keep growing and then come out as they get born. Sometimes the baby doesn’t grow as it should and doesn’t make it all the way to being born.”
Still at a loss for words? We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead by Pat Schwiebert is a great book that explains miscarriage in a way that kids will understand.
Also check out coping after miscarriage or stillbirth >>>
Image courtesy Scott Enlow/TLC