About this blog

The intent of this blog is to form an interactive community where parents of dead babies can come together and swap information, stories, tears, memories and encouragement. This is designed to be a neutral place. We are not religious nor are we anti-religious. Come as you are. You can sign the guest book, add your baby(ies) to the baby name memory list, review books on infant death, add warnings about movies and books that contain a dead baby, add your blog to our directory or a number of other things. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to see something added to this blog. Rule One: be kind to each other. We're all in this together. We all suffer and miss our babies madly.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Baby Died, What Now?

My baby died, what now? Those are the words I kept hearing in my head the first week after my son Logan was stillborn. What do I do now? What do I do with the memories, the tears, the broken heart, the hopes and dreams and the stuff! I still don't know everything about what to do when ones baby dies, but having been there I do know what I did, what I wish I'd have done and that I want to know what others did or would have done. Below you will find some suggestions that I have com across, and please feel free to add your own (using the comment section at the bottom). The end of this article has a few links to articles on other sites that might be worth checking out.

In the back of the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" there is a section titled "When Something Goes Wrong". Morbid to say the least. I didn't read this section with my first child, to afraid of what could go wrong. But with my second child I did brave the murky waters and read this section. Two weeks later something did go wrong, very wrong. I remembered most of what I had read. Horrible things like that stick with you I guess. Here is a list of things they say you should do to help you cope. However; everyone is different and though this is what the book recommends, it may not necessarily be what is right for you. You should never feel pressured to do anything you do not want to do. Doing so, in the end, may do more harm than good. Some people feel more traumatized by holding their dead child, other's find peace and closure in it. You will know what is right for you. And remember not to push your spouse to do anything they don't feel comfortable with as this may just cause resentment later on. You have enough to deal with, with out adding to it. Retyping this entire section would be daunting to say the least, so this is just an overview. If you would like to read the entire section it is under the title "Coping With Pregnancy Loss"
  1. See and hold your baby (if it's possible).
  2. Name your baby.
  3. Get an Autopsy, and discuss the findings with your doctor.
  4. Ask not to be sedated (if possible).
  5. Take photos (or ask the nurses too) and save bracelets, a lock of hair, foot & hand prints, crib tags and/or any other tangible memento.
  6. Focus on the positive attributes of your child (big eyes, long lashes, lots of hair, Daddy's nose).
  7. Cry
  8. Expect a difficult time, depression, intense sadness, sleeplessness, etc.
  9. Recognize that daddy is grieving too, but may appear shorter and/or less intense.
  10. Don't face the world alone. Have a friend fieled the difficult questions about your baby.
  11. Expect that friends and family may not know what to say and may withdraw for a while.
  12. Expect your pain to lessen over time. The grieving process is often not fully completed for as long as two years, but the worst is usually over within 6 months. Be aware that the pain may never go away entirely.
  13. Seek support. Either through online friends (like other mommies in blog land), support groups or therapy.
  14. Limit the use of sedatives (pills, booze, whatever).
  15. Turn to religion if you find it comforting.
  16. Don't expect that having another baby will resolve any grief.
  17. Recognize that quilt can compound grief.

Other dead baby parents and experts say this:

  1. Blog. Blog your heart out. Some like to do this anonymously.
  2. Read other blogs from parents who've lost a baby.
  3. Make a cast or mold of your child, their face, hands, feet...anything.
  4. Take pictures of you holding your child
  5. Take pictures of each body part, naked (since the staff may not know what you'll want to remember).
  6. Remember you probably have a camera on your cell phone.
  7. Tell people via email instead of in person.
  8. Baptize your baby, or have them blessed.
  9. Take time off of work (Daddies too!)
  10. Scrapbook
  11. Keep a journal.
  12. Write your baby letters.
  13. Write poetry, music or create art in memory of your baby.
  14. Plant a Tree or Garden in Memory of your baby.
  15. Get a piece of jewelery with your child's name or birthstone.
  16. Get your child's name written in the sand or a name print or similar.
  17. Name a Star after your baby.
  18. Have a memorial service or funeral.
  19. Get an urn or special box for your child's ashes.
  20. Postpone major decisions (like moving, getting rid of a pet, getting a pet, switching jobs)
  21. Talk to your partner, and then talk some more. No one "gets it" like they do.
  22. Get a lot of sleep, eat right and exercise (nothing burns of anger like cardio).
  23. Join a support group
  24. Get a new hobby or obsession (like blogging, scrapbooking, golf, creating memory boxes or afghans to donate to a hospital for other baby loss families)
  25. Be prepared for ignorant and insensitive comments and then dismiss them.
  26. Don't be afraid to tell people you're the parent of a dead baby.
  27. Don't feel obligated to explain or offer details.
  28. Attend a memorial event often offered by the hospital or local organization.
  29. Celebrate your child's birthday
  30. Create a special place in your home for your child's memories

Websites with similar articles


Emmy said...

That's one comprehensive list, Heather. :)

I had no idea What To Expect had a Loss section. When we came home from the hospital, one of the first things I did was move everything (including all baby books) into an empty spare bedroom and close the door. I've been in the room very few times since. So I'm going to trust your thoroughness on this and leave the book in there and the door closed for now.

I wanted to tell you how much I agree with the blogging end of this. You guys deserve so much credit for getting me through this - second only to God. I have been blessed with my bloggy buddies! That's why I think this DBB is such a great idea...it will get people who are going through this connected faster, and offer support sooner.

My OB nurse that delivered Leila has become a FB buddy. And she emailed me to tell me that she had a mommy deliver a 20-week baby a few nights ago (it's a small hospital, probably their first preterm delivery since Leila), and she was thinking of us. I sincerely hope that mommy finds her way here.....

Anonymous said...

Very Awesome post!!! And I love the ideas on the list. Thank you!

Kay-lynn Human said...

My baby, Logan, just passed away and I have been looking for help, any help, this is like a God send

Anonymous said...

i waited the full nine months had a normal baby boy..he lived for one day and a half and just died from a reaction to the treatment of jaundice very rare case..these babies are nw in heaven with Allaah.Be brave and dont worry our babies are being looked after.

Anonymous said...

I delivered my son yesterday at 22 weeks, he lived for 2hours 19minutes before giving up. I am so lost I don't know what to do now, where do I go who do I talk to. I can't sleep eat, think focus or feel anything I need help

Unknown said...

i gave birth.(c-section) had a baby boy (Ahmed) he was so cute. he couldn't breath well. he lived for four days and then they said that tomorrow he will be ok and u will be hearing a very good news. then the hospital called at 8 oclock in the morning saying that my baby boy died.his lungs collapsed and he was bleeding through his mouth and nose. oh my baby boy i love u so much. it is so difficult to cope with this. he has been gone now for 5 months but it is not getting any easier. i must mention that i lost a baby before Ahmed when i was 4 months pregnant.thats why i have been waiting for this baby and i was so excited..hope i get over the pain soon but i will never ever forget my baby boy