So sad, death of a 40 week baby in utero

Tara - posted on 07/21/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )




A friend just lost her 6th baby. She was due on Tuesday next week. Not sure what happened, but she had to be induced because of the death of the baby, ended up having a very difficult delivery and was put under for the remainder of it. She delivered naturally, albeit asleep and was able to hold her baby for a while before he was taken for autopsy.

I have not spoken to her, no one has except her best friend.
Her oldest daughter is my oldest daughters friend and has decided to make her friend and her family a card, I will send a card and a potted plant and an offer of any assistance she might need.
Any one lived through this, yourself or someone close to you? What if any is the best way to talk to her when she does start coming back to playgroup etc. I know enough to be sensitive and not ask questions, but other than that I"m clueless. Not really a debate but certainly a question about protocol in this situation.


[deleted account]

My cousin lost her second baby at 40 weeks. She went in for a routine check and there was no heartbeat. Her delivery was much like your friend's delivery.

There is not much you can say--when you see her, give her a hug, tell her you love her, and leave it at that. The best thing to do is just listen. If she tries to open up, do not tell her that she will get over it with time, or to be thankful for her other kids, that will only belittle her pain and make her feel worse. Try to acknowledge her feelings, tell her it is okay to hurt, thank her for talking to you, but try not tell her you can imagine what she is going through, because unless you have been through it, you can't really.

I think your daughter's idea of a hand-made card is absolutely wonderful.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the potted plant, maybe I'm looking to far into it, but she would have to care for it, and if it dies, she'll be reminded of her little one too much. I love them as a memorial for older people who have died, but something about it bothers me for infants. Instead, maybe bake a meal casserole for her family so she doesn't have to cook? You can deliver it when you take your daughter to deliver her card. If you are not up for a visit, maybe send a gift certificate to a restaurant that delivers?

Joanna - posted on 07/21/2011




I had a friend lose her baby at 34 weeks. It was tough, because I was pregnant at the time, our kids would've been 2 months apart. So I never knew what to say, and still don't. But just being there, lending an eat and a shoulder, that's always a good start.

As for the plant... If I'd just lost a baby, the last thing I'd want is something else to take care of (when I should be taking care of a baby). Just my 2 cents. Maybe you can offer to watch her other kids so she can be alone for a couple hours?

Charlie - posted on 07/22/2011




I actually love the idea of a potted plant BECAUSE they live , buy one that is sturdy and doesnt need much care , having plants doesnt have to be hard or a lot of work and they are known to reduce stress levels and help take your mind off things , they bring a certain peace .

Christina - posted on 07/21/2011




I bought my friend a necklace with her son's birthstone in it. That way she could wear it and not have questions asked.

Amie - posted on 07/21/2011




I have nothing to add about how to go about it. The ladies have given you some great advice.

The plant aspect though, it depends on her. Is she a person who loves plants, likes to garden, etc? If she is, she'd probably like the plant.

It's hard to say without knowing the person though. I'd be happy to receive a plant, be it indoor or outdoor. I also love plants and love to garden. =)


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[deleted account]

A friend of mine -- she is an only child. Her mother lost 9 babies late in pregnancy. It's unimaginable to me. :(

ME - posted on 07/21/2011




I have had several friends and a sister lose babies late in pregnancy, two of them in the last month alone (36 and 32 weeks) is devastating. I offered to watch the other child of the friend who lives nearby, and I offered prayers and support to all of them. My sister lost her son at 26 weeks...she was given a peace lily, which I thought was a lovely idea, until the lily also died, and she went through some trauma over that...Until the last few years, I never knew how many women/families went through this sort of's so very sad...

Rosie - posted on 07/21/2011




i had a friend who lost her first baby at 21 weeks. she had to be induced to have the baby.
i just let her know that if she ever wanted to talk that i would be there to listen, whatever she wanted. expressed my sympathy for her loss and never asked any questions.
how sad :(

Firebird - posted on 07/21/2011




I think the plant idea is great. Could just be because I really like plants. Just make sure to get her one that's easy to take care of.

[deleted account]

I nearly lost my second daughter at 40 weeks 3 days.I can tell you i can't even imagine how they all must feel.I feel so grateful i could walk out with my daughter.My heart hurts for them.

I agree with the card and home-made food.Then give space and time will tell from there..So sad.God love there little baby too.

Tara - posted on 07/21/2011




Thanks Ladies, I had already planned to cook a vegetarian lasagna for them, and the potted plant is an awful idea, thanks for helping me see it in that light.
Thanks again, it's hard to know what to do.

[deleted account]

Kelly pretty much said what I was going to say. Let her know you are available and just listen. I was also going to suggest cooking for the family. That's one less thing she'll have to worry about during the grieving process.

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