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-   -   Friend lost her baby at 37 weeks (x-posted from Grief and Loss) (http://www.mothering.com/forum/22-pregnancy-birth-loss/1322378-friend-lost-her-baby-37-weeks-x-posted-grief-loss.html)

stephbrownthinks 07-20-2011 04:26 PM

I'm just devastated for their loss. It was their first baby and they were SOO excited and couldn't wait to meet the baby. We've known each other literally our whole lives but aren't super close. Around about 35 weeks pregnant she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and had to start taking blood pressure meds and going to the hospital once or twice a week for NSTs. Everything was going fine then a few days ago (she was 37 weeks at this point, so full term) all sorts of people started posting stuff on her FB page like "You guys are in our thoughts and prayers." "I'm so sorry" stuff like that. So I emailed her asking what was up and she said the baby didn't make it. His heart stopped beating on Friday and she had him Saturday morning. She told me the height and weight, the name they chose, and that they were having him cremated. I feel so aweful for her. I can't even imagine. Is there anything I can do? I told her to let me know if she or her family needs anything, and she told me she appreciated it but I'd really like to DO or send something. Any ideas?


Milk8shake 07-20-2011 05:16 PM

What tragedy for your friend and her family.   I know that people from this board all react very differently at a time like this... It's incredibly personal.  If I were you, I would send a card - use the baby's name!  A meal wouldn't go astray, either home cooked, or a dinner voucher.

It might be preferable to pack a meal into an esky and leave it at the front door, so they don't have to deal with people - or if you know other family members, perhaps they can help you get it to them. 

 

Don't take this the wrong way, but people usually say "if there's anything that I can do, let me know".  You can rest assured that if they do want or need anything, they certainly won't have the energy to call you up and ask, so if there is anything you can do - just do it. 

Pick up groceries, for example... Maybe hire some movies for them.... Depends on the couple really. 

 

One of the biggest things to remember, is to keep them in your thoughts.  In a couple of weeks time, people will start to get back to their own lives, but that couple will still be feeling the devastation.  Call or email in a couple of weeks to say that you are thinking of them, but don't be offended if they don't reply, or don't want to talk.  Try again, and again, and again.  Another meal in a month's time will be just as appreciated. 

Remember the bubs @ Christmas, and Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc, and send a little note. 

 

Good on you for being a great friend.

 


stephbrownthinks 07-20-2011 05:24 PM

Thank you, that's great advice! Exactly what I was looking for.


KristaDJ 07-20-2011 06:35 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Milk8shake View Post


 

Don't take this the wrong way, but people usually say "if there's anything that I can do, let me know".  You can rest assured that if they do want or need anything, they certainly won't have the energy to call you up and ask, so if there is anything you can do - just do it. 


 


This. The single most important thing to remember when dealing with someone going through a loss. Even when it comes to just needing someone to talk to, picking up the phone can be the hardest thing in the world.

 


stephbrownthinks 07-20-2011 08:21 PM

They are having a service in a few weeks. I was thinking about getting her a charm necklace or bracelet that had the baby's name, date of birth, and weight on it. Do you think that would be a bad idea? I don't want to hurt her more but thought it might be a nice keepsake.


RoseRedHoofbeats 07-20-2011 08:49 PM

I think that is a lovely idea. Or perhaps a gift certificate to a website that makes such jewelry, so she can decide what she likes best? Or even an Amazon gift card- I really like the Willow Tree Angel series, I have two of those for my miscarriages.

 

I think the advice above is excellent. And just... don't be afraid to ask again when she says she's fine. It's such a programmed response. I was in church with tears streaming down my face and people would ask how I was doing, and I just couldn't bring myself to say anything but fine.

 

~Rose


claireb 07-20-2011 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephbrownthinks View Post

They are having a service in a few weeks. I was thinking about getting her a charm necklace or bracelet that had the baby's name, date of birth, and weight on it. Do you think that would be a bad idea? I don't want to hurt her more but thought it might be a nice keepsake.


First, you sound like just a wonderful, amazing friend. There are too few people like you in the world.

Secondly...it would be very difficult for you to "hurt her more" than she is already hurting. I think with grief, we (as loved ones) always worry about "making it worse" but the reality is, especially when it comes to losing a CHILD, there is *nothing and no one* who could conceivably make it worse because it's so unspeakably bad to begin with.

Not to depress you, but just to alleviate your fears that there is a "wrong" thing you could do from your heart for your friend. Yes, saying stupid things like "Don't worry, you can just have another soon" or "God works in mysterious ways" or "Everything happens for a reason", etc. would CERTAINLY make it worse...but any token gift of remembrance or gesture or anything like that would just be wonderful I'm sure.

If nothing else, your friend will appreciate that you are thinking of her and her baby and trying to be the best friend you can be.

I'd also like to reiterate EVERYTHING that Milk8shake said above...if it's in your heart, DO IT, don't wait for them to ask. Also...remember the baby, speak its name when you can, and just *keep* being there...because most others will disappear when the drama disappears. Sad, but true.

You are such a good friend!!

yellowbutterfly 07-21-2011 05:58 AM

When my son died after birth, one of my friends was really into scrapbooking, and she really encouraged me to put a little scrapbook together of any pictures at all that we had - like ultrasound pics from my pregnancy, pics from after he died of us holding him, and poems and the name bracelet from the hospital, and she really was there for me coming to my house every day helping me with it. I never would have thought of something like that on my own but it was very healing at the time. Also, my cousin was very creative and she surprised me several months after with something she had embroidered to put on my wall.It had a little yellow butterfly on it and I still have it on my wall 12 years later. So, what I'm saying is that if you're crafty in any way, just start making something for her - don't ask, just do it. It'll help her get through it all in the years to come, because she will still feel pain around the time he died many years later. Send her a card each year around this time also. My cousin did that for me for about 8 - 9 years after Aidan's death and that was also a tremendous help to know someone hadn't forgot my son even several years later. Remember - her grief will lessen over time but will never be completely gone. I hope that helps, and I'm so sorry for your friend's loss.


lollie2357 07-21-2011 06:31 AM

Here's a link to the "What to Say" Thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1307488/what-to-say-list

 

But it sounds like you've already got a good grip on the important things.  For me, the most important thing was to acknowledge the loss.  So many people avoid bringing it up, or avoid you all together, or they say something once, and then never again.  She'll be thinking about it for a long time, and it's okay to let her know you are, too.

 

I think the charm necklace sounds like a lovely idea.



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