An Open Apology

by Kathy on November 7, 2011 · 8 comments

in Bereavement, Family, Fear, Friends, Hope, Infertility, Loss, Love, NaBloPoMo

Dear family and friends,

I am not a doctor or nurse. I have no medical credentials, unless you loosely consider my knowledge of anatomy that I gained through studying to become a certified group fitness instructor. I have spent many years consulting with Dr. Google and other online “experts” about all things related to pregnancy, secondary infertility and loss. I get that through doing so I have learned a lot, more than most people will ever care or need to know about these topics. However, that still does not make me qualified to speak as if I am a trained medical professional.

So lately when I have talked with some of you, especially those who are dealing with issues and situations related to pregnancy, I know that I have at times crossed the line with my input and “advice.” I pride myself on trying not to give unsolicited advice, but after all I have experienced myself with pregnancy and loss, it can be difficult for me to keep my mouth shut when we are discussing your personal experiences with pregnancy and loss.

I know that you know I have good intentions. But just because I mean well doesn’t mean that I don’t have to be responsible for what I do and say.  I want the best for you and your loved ones. I worry about you, and your babies, because I know too much about what can happen with pregnancy at any stage of development. It is an occupational hazard of being a bereaved mom and having experienced pregnancy loss many times over.

I sometimes wish I could get back to that time and place when I was more innocent and naive about what can go wrong with a pregnancy. I wish that when you approach me to discuss what is happening in your lives that I didn’t feel so compelled to share my two cents with you. As I get that most of the things that I tell you will likely not significantly change the outcomes of your situations.

As you probably know, I do this because I care. But I also appreciate that sometimes you would rather be “in the dark” about what could happen and not have as much information as I offer you to consider, as you wait and wonder about the fate of your babies. I want to help you feel positive and optimistic that you will get to bring your babies home. I want you to want to talk with me about your hopes and fears. However, I don’t want our interactions to add to your fears and take away some of your hope.

So though I have already apologized to some of you in person, I imagine there may be others whom I have offended that I am not aware. For this reason, I wanted to share this “open apology,” to remind you how much I care and how desperately I wish, hope and pray that you get to have the family in your hopes and dreams.

Going forward I will continue to try to be more mindful of what I say to you when we talk. Its not that I think you are over sensitive, I just realize now that I don’t always have to share every thought that comes to mind as it relates to your pregnancies and situations, just because I may have had a similar experience or know someone who has.

I wish you the best on your journeys to build and expand your families. I feel blessed and lucky to know you and be a part of your lives. I am grateful that you trust me enough to share so openly and honestly with me about your hopes, dreams and fears and I hope that you will continue to come to me for the support, encouragement and unconditional love that I want to to give you.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you accept my apology.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deborah November 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

Well, if it helps, you have not offended me. I know I haven't known you very long, but so far you've only been supportive and helpful.

I hope the retreat was all you hoped, too.


2 JustHeather November 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

I’m sorry that some people have taken your words of advice and help in the wrong way. I’m also sorry that you feel the need to appologize, but I also hope that those who feel you have done something wrong will accept this.

I personally haven’t read anything on your blog that has upset me or makes me feel the need of an appology. Thank you for writing what you do.


3 T-Mommy November 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Still here, still reading.
I will never in a million years feel you have offended me in any way.
Thank you for sharing your life with us!


4 HereWeGoAJen November 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I think so many of us do this. Hugs to you.


5 bodegabliss November 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

I do this as well, and have tried to so hard to hold back all of my thoughts.

Thank you for commenting on my post. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am blown away by your strength and voice after all that you have been through. You are an inspiration.

(By the way, I was also a "Leisure Studies" major at my university. Except by the time I got into the program, they had changed it to Recreation Management. 😉 )


6 Kathy November 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

First off, thank you all so much for your kind words and support! xoxo

I should clarify, that I wrote this post more in regards to some of my offline relationships, as opposed to those I have made online. The conversations and interactions I was referring to happened mostly over the phone and it was after the fact that I realized I might have said too much/crossed the line with my "well meaning" advice.

Since then I have talked with the two people who I was most concerned about offending and both have assured me that I have nothing to worry about and accepted my apology. One of them didn't even think that I owed her one.

That said, I do know that sometimes I say too much and writing this post was as much to remind myself to be mindful before I speak, especially if I am considering giving someone advice, as it was to make amends with anyone in particular.

Deborah – Thank you! The retreat was awesome and exceeded my expectations (which doesn't happen very often in my life)! 🙂

Heather – Thank you for your validation and positive feedback! 🙂

T-Mommy – Sooooooooo wonderful to hear from you my old bloggy friend!!! xoxo How are you? Please send me an email and let me know, as the last time I tried to track your's down I couldn't find it. I miss you and want to know what's new! 🙂

Jen – Thank you for the hugs and the validation. xoxo

BB – Thank you also for your comment, support, very kind words and sharing that I am not the only one who has done/does this. So fun that you were a LS/Rec major too! My university has actually changed the name since I graduated as well! 🙂


7 Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome November 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I am constantly giving my opinion so I probably have a million apologies to dole out myself! But I've also been approached by so many mommies and mommies-to-be asking my advice. I say that if they've asked for it, no apologies necessary! *HUGS*


8 Kathy November 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Joy. I appreciate your perspective and the hugs! xoxo


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