I can’t count how many times my jaw dropped as I read the scores of comments and stories that flowed in over the weekend in reaction to Friday’s post, 10 Things Not To Say To The Parents of Preemies. A few times, I said “incredible” out loud, with an expletive between the “in” and the “credible.”
I also learned a great deal. For example, if a friend were pregnant with twins and one died, I’m not sure it would occur to me to say “At least you still have one,” but now I know that would definitely be the wrong comment. And I think one one of the briefest comments was also one of the most useful:
4 words, and then keep your mouth shut: “Your baby is beautiful.”
The flip side: Two reports of nurses who joked that babies looked like E.T. Wrong, wrong, wrong. They need to be sent for re-education.
Several commenters suggested that preemie parents should cut some slack for the people who say the wrong things; they’re trying, they just don’t know how to navigate the emotional minefield. Continue reading