We would like to make a few suggestions/recommendations. First and foremost, pray to God for physical, emotional, and spiritual strength as you deliver your miscarried baby.
Make a birth plan for the hospital. The best, most informed choices help enhance a loving encounter with your baby. These special and meaningful moments help create lasting memories that bring comfort over time. The birth plan is not written in stone. You can always alter it, but you may forget your plans if you do not write them down.
Donna and Jim Murphy
- Take pictures of your baby. Bring a separate SD card so they do not show up unexpectedly in the future. Many people later regret not taking pictures of their baby. If your baby was 20 weeks or older, there are professional photographers who do this for free.
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- Spend time with your baby. You will never get this time back.
- Collect keepsakes you can put in a baby book or memory box such as little blankets, caps, hospital bracelets, footprints and handprints, clay imprints of feet.
- Let family members, especially siblings to the baby, say their goodbyes when you are up to it.
- Don’t be afraid to say what you want for the baby.
- Name your baby, and call him or her by name.
- Take your time making decisions. Discuss options with your spouse before finalizing any decision.
- Know that chromosomal testing can be performed from the placenta and umbilical cord, and may not require the baby itself.
- You can and should set boundaries. People may say the wrong thing. Forgive their ignorance, and tell them your boundaries.
- Know that grieving is hard work, and takes time. Don’t rush it.
- Journal your thoughts. By journaling, you can release some stress, create memories, and promote healing. Listen to music related to loss may help during this process
- Allow others to help. Accept meals, help around the house, and babysitting. It is hard enough just to make it through each day. Letting others help can lift burdens form you, and allows others to contribute when there is little else they can do.
- Find a support group in your area. You can check with SHARE or Faces of Loss/ Faces of Hope. Also, you can check with Family Loss Baby Advisor/ Loss Doulas International.
- Know that you will always miss your baby, but it will not hurt this badly forever. In time, you will find your new normal, and laugh and have fun again.
- Know that you are not alone. Pregnancy loss is not that unusual. One in four pregnancies is lost in the first trimester. One in thirty-three babies die in the second trimester. One in 160 babies die in the third trimester. There are people near you who understand how hard this kind of loss is. Try and connect with one of them. You can ask for a pregnancy loss peer, check with a support group, or ask for a loss doula in this time of sorrow.
The best, most informed choices help enhance a loving encounter with your baby. These special and meaningful moments help create lasting memories that bring comfort over time. A Heaven’s Gain Baby Loss Family Advisor is much like a parent advocate. She can be available via phone, email, or in person to offer services.