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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > How to plan scheduled induction/no heartbeat

I’m back again. It’s been a while. I don’t know if anyone remembers my long saga.
I have 2 older living healthy kids, lost a baby at 26 weeks (abruption, live birth and died before I was up from
Anesthesia), and have a 1 year old with cancer.
I got pregnant again, all was well, but at my 16 week ultrasound appointment yesterday my baby had no heartbeat. We are so devastated it’s beyond words. We are getting scheduled to come in this week for me to go to the hospital get induced and deliver this tiny baby.
It’s awful, but I do want to see and hold this tiny little one. Has anyone else done this? It sounds so strange but I am wondering if I should bring in anything or plan something. For us, this is a baby not a miscarriage or fetus. Even though we have dealt with having a baby die in the hospital we never went in thinking it would happen. I also realize not all nurses and medical people look at a 16 week old baby the same way (with respect and that this is my child) the same way they would with a viable yet fragile 26 week old. (And obviously this baby has already died.)
I just can’t believe this nightmare is real. To me this child I’m carrying is stillborn, not a miscarriage if that helps explain my perception.
If you went through this, what did you do that was good and healing for you and your family? Is there anything you wish you could have done been offered in retrospect? My 10 and 6 year olds are devastated and I want them to find the closure they need. When my 10 year old was 6 and my 26 week baby died it felt right and was good for her to see that brother and say goodbyes. My 6 year old (he was 2 at the time)resents
that we didn’t let him do that too and include him in pictures with his brother. I just don’t know what to do in this situation, it seems like 16 weeks may be too small/overwhelming but I don’t want to cheat my kids, especially son, from seeing another baby brother in person. I am also overwhelmed about what to do with this baby’s remains. We buried and had a funeral for our 26 week old, wouldn’t it be unfair/unbalanced not to do that for this one? But do people really do that when babies are this tiny? I’m just so overwhelmed and confused. Please help.
July 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterApril
I am so sorry for your loss and that you now are dealing with the stress of having to prepare for all of this, I am not the best person to offer advice as our situations are different but I wanted to offer some thoughts for whatever they are worth.
First off, what do you want? You are this baby's mother and you have grown and carried this child and now must deliver this baby, so what makes you most comfortable is paramount,
Also, It seems imperative that you explain to hospital staff ahead of time that this baby is a member of your family, a little person you will grieve, and so you want to spend some time with this baby. If you feel the sight of one so small might be hard on your children, maybe have them wait and see how you feel after the baby is born. You can decide after you have some time with the baby yourself.
Also, of course, have a funeral if you want to.
Sometimes I have wished I spent more time with our son's body and that we had had a funeral.
Sending you Love.
July 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEm
Oh April—I have no experience with this but just wanted to send a hug and love to you and your family. I hope you’re able to do whatever feels right/works/is meaningful and helps your family amid all that you’re going through. Sending you all, and especially your one year old and you mama lots of healthy thoughts.
July 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAB
I just delivered my 17 week baby last month on the 28th who was also found with no heart beat after frantically making an appt. because of lack of movement. I have 2 living children and lost my first born at 38w+4d went into labor and couldn't find the heartbeat when we arrived at the hospital. I will share a little about our experience for what it may be worth.
We treated the birth of my 17 week baby just the same as my full term birth in all the ways possible. Took lots of time to spend with the baby and took lots of photos. She was born just after midnight so family didn't get to come and say goodbye but otherwise we would have given them the opportunity to do so. The only thing that took me a bit by surprise is that the skin of my baby was so delicate that it peeled away very easily. So the sooner you take photos, and if you decide to let your older children visit, the better condition the baby will be in.
I was also very nervous not knowing what exactly to expect when it came to what my baby would look like at this early gestation. But she had all her features and looked so much like a baby, just very tiny. She was far enough developed that we were able to find out the gender, we wait until birth to find this out with all of our babies. So it made it that much more special to find out that we had added another little girl to our family.My kids are age 2 and 4. We didn't bring them to the hospital, but we have shown my 4yr old photos and are very honest and open with her when it comes to both of her sisters who have passed.
For our first born we did have a funeral and burial, and with my little girl we decided to cremate and she will be buried with my husband or I depending on whoever passes first. It did cross my mind that it wasn't fair that we didn't do the same for both babies, but now I do feel like I made the right decision.
I hope you have a smooth delivery. I will be thinking of you in the magical moment when you will get to meet your baby and in the most painful time when you have to say goodbye.
July 29, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
Thank you to all who replied. Your kind words and thoughts help a lot. I hate that you all understand but am
So thankful you understand.

As much as we hoped it would go smoothly, it didn’t. My doctor said the whole process should wrap up by 24 hours. But not for us. We went in Sunday night, and it was torturous. More pain than I could fathom. Things were so slow to progress my body just fought everything. My body was just not ready to let this baby go. Finally, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning he came. Aside from sobbing, it was silent. He was perfect, tiny, and easily a baby boy. Since it took a few days he didn’t look as fresh and beautiful as he had been, he was a like a beautiful flower after a few days of wilt. We held him and said our hellos and goodbyes. He was just so cold. His tiny string thread cord had been twisted into knots, and the doctor said that was what ended his short life. We named him, held him, took pictures, and gave him back.

My placenta was slow to come, but I just kept bleeding. I so didn’t want to have surgery so after two hours of begging and grace, a few more attempts to get it out, and a lot more bleeding they finally took me to the OR. I didn’t even get to avoid that. I was completely out, and woke up with no energy, no strength to move. Breathing was hard. But I eventually stood, showered and dressed. Doctors and midwives came and said the same things again and again. Things hat sound nice but mean nothing. It’s time to go. My kids at home need us back, I need them. Doctors finally gave discharge orders but the nurses all thought I ought to stay, that I had my right to stay at least another day. No, no more torture, we need to leave this place behind.

But walking out-empty-no car seat or bundle or sweet baby smell. Just frumpy maternity clothes bought a week before out of excitement. The band rolls down but I know my normal jeans won’t fit. Feeling that nagging feeling I am forgetting something. It’s him. It’s my son I’ve left. I can’t keep him yet. I wait for the next dreadful appointment I need to make- to choose an urn.

I’m too dizzy, lost too much blood. Praying for medications to work because I’m too exhausted to keep sitting. I’m weary about milk coming in so as I sit, I sit drinking this bitter tea as if I love it. As if my hope of it suppressing my body’s next cruel trick.

Oh my two babies in heaven, cling tightly to each other, love each other. Your siblings and parents here are clinging to each other and
Missing you so much. We wish you were here so badly.

Your momma
August 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterApril
I am so sorry for your loss, April. I wish there was something more I could do or say to offer some comfort or help to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story here. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Sending Love,
August 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEm