SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support Our baby ... Our Dream

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First trimester loss (miscarriage, ectopic)
A loss where parent does not see the baby
~~ At the time of loss and afterwards ~~

I went into the hospital
as an expectant mom
only to come out with no baby,
only memories of what it felt like
to be mom-to-be.

Options...from the very first...

During all the initial stages of our loss, there are some things that we can do to ease the intensity of our pain.

Hopefully, the hospital, doctor or the medical care people will be aware of these guidelines. Though some of these ideas may seem strange or unusual to you, they have been supported by many bereaved parents and their caregivers.

Permission to Grieve in order to heal...

  • Loss of Dreams for Living Child No matter when, during a pregnancy or right after birth, your baby dies - you have lost you dream - your hope for your future with this child.

  • Grief is a Process Learning about the Grief Process and ways to cope with our grief helps us survive this tragic experience.


    Options or Thoughts to Consider...

  • Making special memories Keep any tangible reminders. It is normal and healthy to want something to see and hold...

    Positive pregnancy test, doctor's appointment cards, ultrasound pictures, an early baby gift, "pregnancy pictures", etc., may become special keepsakes.

    Making or buying something in memory of your baby,as you are strong enough, can be very healing. Again, it is normal and healthy to want to have something you can see and hold that reminds you of your "special" child.

    SA's Coping Ideas - click on hearts


  • Naming your baby can be comforting and is important to consider doing.

    No matter how far along you were-this was your child-to-be.

    Naming your baby helps you later when you think or talk about your baby. If the baby's sex was unknown, maybe a unisex name would be appropriate. It is fine to name your baby at any time...even years later. You should feel free to do so.

    The Importance of Naming Your Baby-click on hearts


  • Observe any cultural or religious traditions.

    No manner how far along you were or the age of your baby when s/he died, honoring your baby's presence with a funeral, memorial or "remembering" service can be very healing.

    Often, the mother has a greater need, than the father, for recognizing her child in a more open matter. She may wish or need to have the time to plan exactly what she wants to do in memory of her child after she has had some time to heal. Mothers have shared, "It is the one thing I can do for my baby that will have a lasting place in my heart."

    A service can happen right away or years later. It depends on what you are comfortable with. Often, mom, due to post partum healing, needs to wait for a period of time. This can be a time frame of several weeks to several months. Some parents realize years after a loss, that they need to find closure and peace by remembering their baby with a service. This is fine as well.

    If the baby was cremated, the ashes can be kept in a pretty box or urn that mom or dad made or bought. Some take the ashes and scatter them at a meaningful place later along their journey. Some keep the ashes and plan to have them placed with them when they die many years later. Again, this is a very personal choice.

    Many hospitals now have a special place at a local cemetery where they place the ashes of babies from their hospital. They do not always share this important information with the parents. So, please ask your hospital if they have such a location. By asking, the caregivers will realize that this is an important part of your grief and healing process. If they don't have such a place, they may decide to at a later time.

    SA's Funerals, Memorial Service, Remembering Menu-click on hearts


  • Options are easier as time passes As you work through your grief, you may feel "safer" to do some (or all) of the above.

    It is never too late to grieve, to heal and to find more peace. Always leave open the option of doing something special in memory of your child.

    SA's Grief on hearts

    Relationships after a Loss...

  • Do, for yourself in memory of your baby, what you feel safe with. Others do not have to approve...

    Often they do not understand your need to recognize this child. Hopefully, you may open a window for them in the understanding of this kind of loss.

    "Be Truthful in Grief" brochure (How friends and family can aid the grieving parent, and still take care of themselves.) These can be ordered for your group.Email Lynne


  • Difficult Reactions such as seeing pregnant women and babies is usually extremely painful for the mother.

    These types of feelings are normal and may last for up to a year...or more.

    SA's Grief on hearts


  • Fathers Grief

    Father may feel overwhelmed by conflicting feelings of grief over the loss of the baby and a need to protect the mother from more emotional pain.

    These feelings are normal and may last for up to a year...or more.

    Fathers grieve "differently" than mothers. This is normal. Trying to make each other grieve the same is not wise. Learning about the differences is a positive coping method and one that can save a marriage.

    Fathers often express feelings of pain and sadness as friends and co-workers discuss their new babies.

    Father's Grief Menu


    Miscarriages...Parents Need Support

    The largest section from ten plus years of this website are the stories surrounding the loss of a baby through miscarriage. I believe that is true because woman/couples who have miscarriages are dismissed and they find a safe haven on this site.

    After a miscarriage, everyone around the mother believes that the loss was a fluke. Another baby surely will be conceived and carried to term - soon. While this is the hoped for situation, the March of Dimes statistics tell us that almost 50% if pregnancies are lost to miscarriage.

    I encourage parents to seek medical understanding and support right away. Two losses are too many. An infertility doctor can often find a reason for a miscarriage and offer support before and/or during the next pregnancy. Certainly after two and before the usual three losses, parents should seek care. The emotional toll on parents is underestimated and by seeking support, we let the medical world know that we do desire answers to why miscarriages happen. The March of Dimes, Dr. Beers Instititue in Chicago, and others are doing research that could open the doors to more prevention. We must expect answers for them to happen.

    The link below leads to medical support and to notes and information around the emotional support of parents - especially the moms- after a miscarriage. Marcia McGinnis 11.2007

    Miscarriages & Ectopic Pg. Loss Support

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