How do you say goodbye to a child you have lost at birth?

Doris - posted on 06/07/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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I lost my daughter 2 weeks to due date, still birth. I am still struggling with the pain almost 2 years later and having an 8 months old son. I didn't see or bury her (I don't know why) and the regret, guilt, blame is killing me. What do I do? I feel like a bad mom.

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[deleted account]

Doris, I am so very sorry for your loss. If yo ulike, I can put you in touch with a dear frined of mine who tragically suffered through 2 stillbirths-a son and a daughter. To this day, she has no living children. But, she is very active in a Mothers of Stillborn support group, practically the group's founder/leader, and she handmakes stunningly gorgeous momentos to honor the baby. If you are interested in getting in touch with her, please let me know.

Lisa - posted on 06/07/2011

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you'll stop greiving when you're ready, don;t let anyone tell you otherwise! and it's ok for your son to know that you're sad sometimes, if you're comfortab;e with it you can tell him why when he's a bit older, it will probably help him to cope with loss himslef when he is older

Linnea - posted on 06/15/2011

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Lord, I lift Doris up to you today, thanking you in advance that there will be a day when she will see her beautiful daughter in heaven. We believe You and YOU alone can heal our heart when pain, distress and despair becomes almost unbearable. Thus, we petition Your involvement in her4 life...may she find hope in your hand; hunger for Your presence and Wholeness in your peace. Father, for whatever reason You permitted this trial to occur, may it be out of Your abundant and all-sufficient Wisdom-that you allow Doris to move forward as time goes on. Lord, let her see the blessing that you have given her with her 8 months old, allow her have complete healing, deepen her love for you and allow her to give praise in all circumstances! In Jesus name I pray, amen
Love to you, Linnea

Mary - posted on 06/15/2011

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Doris, I am very sorry for your loss. My son passed away unexpectedly 23 days after a completely uneventful pregnancy. I think the important things you should now are these. One, you are not a bad mom. It wasn't your fault. Two, saying goodbye isn't what you should feel like you need to do. Your child is always with you. You can talk to them and they have their ways of showing they are still around. I do agree that you may need to speak to someone but in the meantime if you'd like you can friend me. I have a blog that helped me so much with the support of some amazing women I made it to hear. And I still have my moments even with my daughter who is only 4 months. It's normal. You don't get over it. You make it through.

Erinn - posted on 06/09/2011

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I am so sorry for your loss. I suffered a miscarriage at 8wks before going on to have 3 kids. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child full term. I still had a hard time after & got help. Grief is a process & you must go thru each step. Most people won't understand, but with some of the joy of new baby comes sadness of all the things you will miss out w/ your first child. That's understandable. The pain will lessen in time, and what you will be left with always is the love you felt for your daughter. Good luck to you.

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Tania - posted on 06/17/2011

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I am so sorry for your loss and I know this pain only all too well. I can only tell you what works for me. I lost my daughter at 33 weeks (stillborn too) in 2006. She would've been turning 5 this November. She was born on the 13th November and my due date was January 1st. So each year we put up the Christmas tree on her birthday and take it down on her due date. This period of time has become a comforting thing for us to do and watching the Christmas lights each night makes me remember her with a smile. We take turns each year to choose a special decoration to place on the tree, each one with her age on the back. My two year old daughter will be choosing the decoration this year. I also go to her grave and place a tiny bunch of miniature roses wrapped in pink ribbons on it. I sit and talk to her for awhile and tell her how much I miss her. Even though you didn't see or bury her (and believe me, I understand that decision) you can still say goodbye in any way you choose. You are not a bad mother and you should not feel guilty. Sometimes the pain is just too much too bare and we wish we had done things differently. I thank my husband so much for taking so many photos of our daughter, as I had told him not to take any. He knew that was my anger talking. I think you could choose a piece of clothing or a blanket and have her name embroidered on it. This would give you something physical to have. I want you to know that the pain will ease, but you will always have that love for your daughter. That makes you a perfect mom in every way! Take care xxx

Doris - posted on 06/16/2011

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I can't say thank you enough for all your comments. I am so relieved to have mothers who understand me completely. The people around me think i should be over it already and its so hard. I dont even know if I will have full support if i do a small ceremony to say goodbye by planting a tree. I pray I will because i wont be able to do it on my own. You know sometimes I believe there is abit of Emma in my son because people always confuse him to be a girl! Is it possible? Just that thought calms me a little bit. Thank you all so very much for your advice's and encouragement. It makes me feel so much lighter. Lots of Love.

Debbie - posted on 06/16/2011

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Don't feel that way. I lost one of my twins very early during pregnancy and had very mixed feelings about the child that survived. The only way I could even help myself a little was to think/believe that the one I lost was better off because she may have had disabilities or worse had she made it. I also believe that the spirit of my lost baby is in her twin. Sounds nuts, I know but maybe that's why he's sooooooo much of a handful. I hope this helps.

Christina - posted on 06/16/2011

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Doris,
You cannot place blame when sometimes hospitals do not even think to give you an option on whether or not to see your stillborn child or where the child is buried or if it is to be buried. You never completely let go of a child you almost carried to term. The pregnancy was there, things just didn't work out. All you can do is take things one day at a time, being grateful you were able to have another child and feeling blessed for what you have as opposed to fretting about what was lost. I have two children living and one deceased who lived for only 45 minutes. It may take a long time to come to this perspective, so if you aren't where you think you should be, you just need to remind yourself that grief is an individual experience. You will have good days and bad days of coping with the loss. I have a hard time for a couple of weeks around the death date now (and it has been 10 years since I lost the child). In my city, there are churches that have a memorial service every year around All Saints Day (AKA Halloween) to remember the lost children. There may also be groups you can attend to talk about the loss of your child in your area if that is your thing. Sometimes just remembering that you have people who care about what you are going through and what you have been through can help. Look at your son and love him and hug him and kiss him and don't feel guilty because you are blessed to have a chance to love and be loved in return.

Yvonne - posted on 06/16/2011

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I am a 59 year old. I too lost my first baby due to still birth. I never saw her and very nearly didn't bury her. Had her on a friday so no action could be taken by hospital until monday,change of heart and could make arrangements. 13months later had a son not stillborn but extremely ill. Died 3 hours later and no I didn't see him either. Buried him with his sister. Don't feel like a bad mum. The way I dealt with it was by not seeing my first two children I could not compare them to future babies. I have not regretted that decision. I then went on to have a miscarriage but also two boys. now aged 32 and 28 and would not change my decision as both my sons were individuals in their own right. Enjoy your beautiful son. Never feel guilty,blame yourself or most of all feel guilty. Just carry on what you obviously do best be a great mum to your son. By the way although it happened 35 & 34 years ago I still think about my two little babies. XXXX

Alison - posted on 06/16/2011

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Further to yesterdays post. When we cremated my little boy my best friend wrote "A child too special for this world" I've read alot of posts in the last day or so about mummies who have lost angels and the above statement is for all of those babies, no matter how big or small, young or older. Your baby is your baby and an angel too precious for this world. Sending another hug. XXXX

Kay - posted on 06/16/2011

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what's important now is that you dwell on the present and the future for the sake of your son and cherish the fact you have him. I lost my first son at birth 13 years ago but have been v lucky to go on and have 3 other healthy little boys. It took me 3 years to see what a blessing Oliver was - he turned me from a workaholic business woman to a mother who wanted to stay home with a family. I know the pain is aweful but it does slowly get better, you will never fogoet and i always tell people i've had my 4 boys. My eldest knows he had a big brtoher, albeit he never lived to be a child.So yes i still shed a tear occassionally over him if i am low but i can talk about him easily now - that helped me lots.There are so many people like us sadly, but at lest we have been blessed with another child.
I cremated my son but now live ont he other side of the world to him anyhow. What matters is that she was v loved and is missed beyond belief - she wasnt meant to be an earth baby but came for a different reason.
Take care x

Kumud - posted on 06/15/2011

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I can very well understand how difficult it is to face the reality when it is so harsh. But dear, why are you feeling bad and for what are you blaming yourself? You did not do anything wrong. It was just a natural reaction. Anyone would understand how difficult it is for a mom to see her own baby in that state. I totally believe that whatever you did was just right. Moreover, if you would have seen your daughter in that state, it would have been much more harder for you to overcome the fact. Please do not have any regret or guilt. Don't live with any burden on your mind and let it not affect your son in any way. And one more thing- MOMs are the best, they can never be bad. Take Care & God Bless.

Latisha - posted on 06/15/2011

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I'm so very sorry for your lost, I have been through the same thing and it never gets easy to deal with, and I seen my baby and buried him. It just never gets easy,what I can tell you is that you did what was right for you at that time don't blame yourself God knows how much you can deal with, and at that time it was to much for you, your not a bad mom your baby is your angel baby!!! it should be joy in that, knowing that you have one baby in heaven. That is what brings me joy, knowing my baby had no sins, no pain. Do something special on your baby's birthday that can also make you feel better release some ballons. just don't blame yourself. God is love and I pray that can help you some.

[deleted account]

I had 2 miscarriages but none so close to term. it didn't really hit me until much later. I would suggest you find a grief group in your area. Some specialize in the loss of a child. Going through the process with others helps a lot more. If youcan't find one, a Stephen minister at a local church or a counselor could also help. Go through it now so it doesn't block the joy you need for your new child.

Amie - posted on 06/15/2011

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I gave birth to my 3rd child, a boy - healthy, had him for 40 days, and then he passed away out of nowhere from SIDS. We got to hold him in the hospital, but how I miss that little body! That body is a part of you, and is very natural to want part of her back. I still regret not clipping my son's hair to put in his scrapbook, but the emotions get so clouded that it is just too hard to think clearly. We have a Great Comfortor who is on our side! And wow - do we need HIM to get us through. Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 gave me much comfort!! There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. This season of grief will pass and a refreshing new season will come - when you are ready. Letting go and hanging on is a nearly impossible concept when you feel like you should be moving on - it means letting go. But don't rush it, lean into your grief - and your son will give you so many "sunshine moments" that will make it easy to praise God in this storm. I will be praying for you.

Becky - posted on 06/15/2011

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I heard about a book that may help you with your healing. Frances Hodgson Burnett's book "The Secret Garden".

Lori - posted on 06/15/2011

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Do you have fingerprints of you baby? If so, you can get a charm made of it and would have something tangible to hold and see every day.....just a thought.

Deana - posted on 06/15/2011

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Doris. Let me start by saying Im sorry for your loss. The loss of a child is one of the most devestating and saddest moments a person can experience. Lean on God and he can help ease the pain. I kno w it has been 2 years but you can still say good bye and remember her. What I did to remember my sweet little daughter Sidney that God home was to plant a memorial flower garden for her here at home. There is a wonderful book written called Safe in the Arms of God and it is amazing. It helped me so very much. God bless.

Christina - posted on 06/15/2011

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hello i'm christina i'm so sorry 2 here about daughter its a horrible thing 2 deal with i lost my little girl when she was 5 weeks old she was born with cancer in her spine that cumminup 2 7 years ago then 2 years after that i had a misscarrige all i felt guilty all the time after i lost my little girl why did it happen was it my falt was there anythin i could of done when i was pregnat that corsed it but in time all that fades away the pain never gos away but it gets a little easyer i found talkin 2 her helped i talked 2 her all the time told her about my day what we were planning everythin that her sister was doing. Every year we still get her somthing 4 christmas and birthdays we found just becouse she was.nt here we should stillcelerbrate on her birthday so we go up 2 the cemetry give her a present and we take her sisters out 4 the day my oldest daughter was only 2 when we lost her but dose remeber her so wh get her a little fairy every year on her birthday an her big sister promisted 2 look after them 4 her just try anythin that mite make it a little bit easyer an try an remeber her in a good way becouse she was still a blessing

Darilyn - posted on 06/15/2011

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I too lost a baby late in the pregnancy. All of the above ideas are very helpful. Someone gave me a figurine of an angel holding a baby and I have that in a special place in my bedroom. I also was given a book called Empty Arms by Pam Vredvelt that really helped me. http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Arms-Emotion...
Praying that God will heal your broken heart.

Debi - posted on 06/15/2011

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A qualified Hypnotherapist can assist you in relieving yourself of any ill feelings about the situation and help you through the grieving process to have closure. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. It just happened and now is the time to put it in your past and be there for your 8 month old. Sending healing vibes on the wings of angels to you.

Chrissy - posted on 06/15/2011

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Doris, I too lost children. In 1991 my son Anthony was born at 28 weeks and lived only 17 minutes. Later that year I became pregnant again and it happened again at 21 weeks. I'm so sorry for your loss and I understand completely. As Jodi Picoult says in her book.. "The fact that you worry about being a good mom means you already are one." Your daughter lives through your son. Many blessed years with him! -Chrissy from Mass

Alison - posted on 06/15/2011

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Oh sweetheart you are not a bad mum. You have love in your heart for ALL your children whether they are on this earth or not. I lost my son at 16 weeks of pregnancy, had major surgery to remove an ovary and got pregnant again with my daughter all in one year. I can only empathise with how you are feeling as on person can never truly know how another is feeling. It will get better in time and you will learn to live with the loss. I don't believe you ever get over the loss of a loved one no matter what their position in the family. You have to grieve in your own way and don't let anyone tell you what is right for you. Only you know that. When my Aunt lost her little boy at 8 months gestation she stood in the middle of a field and screamed, believe it or not it helped. The point is she dealt with things in her own way and gradually learned to live with it. She still talks about him to this day and he would have been in his twenties by now. Your little angel will be with you forever and she is part of your family. My daughter is 4 next month but she knows she has a big brother in heaven with my mum. I have even taken her to where their ashes are buried so she knows where they are. Don't hide your daughters existence from your son. He has big sister with the angels. Sending you a huge hug and much love. XXXXXXXXXX

Beverly - posted on 06/15/2011

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I have a freind who recently list her second baby , beleive me it is not a reflection on you but please get some professional assistance for yourself maybe you have a but of postpartum also bless you

Doris - posted on 06/15/2011

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You are nearly there with the comforting truth. Yes babies and children who die before they're 8 year old are saved in Heaven. I learn this in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They do not need to go through life and being tested like us. We can see our children again if we do our part to be worthy to live in Heaven with them. See lds.org for the Church and informations there.

Merry - posted on 06/09/2011

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Oh and you are NOT a bad mom, trust me I know the feeling, I felt like a bad mom just recently as I just had a baby and felt so stressed and tired and emotional I felt I didn't love my baby, I thought I was a bad mom too. But trust me, bad moms don't spend so much time thinking they are bad, they just don't care. You care, I cared, we are both good moms, just hurting moms.

Merry - posted on 06/09/2011

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I can't imagine how much you are hurting, but I know the pain of loosing someone, my mom died when I was 15, now idk if you believe in heaven but I do and the thing that helps me cope is knowing I will see her again one day and she is happy and more alive then ever before. Before she died she taed to a c,ode friend who had lost 10 babies, yes 10 she lost two, then had a live birth, then lost three more then another live baby then lost 5 more before tying her tubes and adopting. My mom told her she was going to go to heaven and care for her lost babies. It ment alot to our friend to imagine my mom in heaven caring for her lost babies.
Just know that, if heaven is real, my mom and millions like her are loving your baby too.

Erin - posted on 06/09/2011

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Doris, I am so sorry for your loss. Have you had any grief counselling? Perhaps that would help you come to terms with not seeing your baby, and give you some strategies to move through your grief. But this does not make you a bad mum. Not even close.

Tresha - posted on 06/09/2011

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You are not a bad mom! I felt all these things from a miscarriage. Eventually I planted a tree with my family and named it. With that I buried that child.

Asiling - posted on 06/08/2011

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hi Doris , so many of what every one has said is true ,i myself lost 2 babies one still born and one premature birth i buried my first daughter myself and the 2nd little girl i did not as was too ill and i have to say it was so painful i felt the only way to let her go and say goodbye was to find where she was buried and visit her to say my goodbyes it was not easy but it helps i also wrote both my daughters letters telling them that i had and would love them always this also helps to get the emotions out i feel that maybe you are being too brave for everyone which in its self is not a bad thing so writting to your baby is a private thing between you both .....you will get stronger but it like losing a mom or a sister the pain lessens in time and is easier to cope with , its been 19 yrs and 13 yrs since i lostr my little angels but i celabrate their bdays every yr just me and them our day xx hope some of this helps you cope Doris x

Stifler's - posted on 06/08/2011

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It's not your fault she died and you are not a bad mum! I agree with the others you could plant a tree or get a plaque.

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2011

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I planted a rose bush for my baby , stop feeling like a bad mum , you are NOT a bad mum , you cannot go back and change things but you can move forward , remember them , honour them however you feel best and find peace , it is what your child would want .

Maybe write a message on some helium balloons and release them .

[deleted account]

Have you contacted the hospital, sometimes they take photos just in case you want to see them in the future.

Jane - posted on 06/08/2011

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I was going to suggest planting a tree in her honor but I see Lisa has already addressed that.

You are NOT a bad mom. You are still in mourning. It wasn't your fault that your baby was stillborn. It happens sometimes for different reasons, but rarely because the mom did or did not do something.

I do think you need to do something concrete in your daughter's memory to give you a focus for your grief. Other friends have also planted trees for babies they lost and find that sitting in the shade of those trees are a good place to honor the memories, as well as enjoy their second child.

Doris - posted on 06/08/2011

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Thanks Sharon. Please put me intouch with you friend. God knows i need all the help i can get to get through the loss.

Doris - posted on 06/07/2011

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I never knew that its ok to be sad infront of my son. I just started counselling a week ago and i pray it will help!

Doris - posted on 06/07/2011

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Thanks Lisa. I just feel so lousy for not insisting to atleast see her. I keep asking myself why why why? My son is my everything and i love him so much. I'm torn between trying to stop grieving for Emma and him not picking up on my pain!

Lisa - posted on 06/07/2011

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i feel so heart sorry for you, and you're not a bad mum, my first pregnancy ended very early on, so I can't possibly imagine how you're feeling, but for us, doing something to keep our baby in our hearts and memory helped us. It took a while to acept, but when I felt ready, we planted a little tree in our garden, dedicated to our little angel that never made it, with a little winnie the pooh statue staked in front to watch over it. It takes a long time to get over losing someone so precious, mine was 8 years ago and I still have bad days, but you have a beautiful little boy to keep you busy. My best advice would be to treasure him, don't try to forget your daughter, but don't obsess over her either. I hope that helps

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