dignity of fetal remains - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just read this article and it's so frustrating to me:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/11/17/371222/michigan-republicans-push-fetal-remains-bill-that-traumatizes-women-who-miscarry/

 

The question of life in the womb has become unnecessarily polarized.  I thought this bill sounded like a good middle ground, but people are saying it traumatizes mothers to ask them what they want to do with the remains.  Personally, if this had been passed in my state it would have saved me the trauma of having to fight to bury my baby.

 

 

 

I don't want to argue about abortion here.  I'm just wondering if there isn't some political middle ground so that people can stop slamming those with different beliefs?  Maybe if we de-politicize this issue, I think we'll be more likely to find that common ground. 

 

 


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Old 12-14-2011, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I probably shouldn't read stuff like this - it just gives me someone new to be mad at.  :(


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Old 12-14-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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I don't like that.  I don't think that woman should be forced to "deal" with the remains if they do not want to.  When I had my miscarriage I was 12 weeks but baby was only about 6.  I did NOT want to see it, it may sound callous but I could not deal with that.  It just would not have been a baby at that point as it was "gone"for 6 weeks.....UGH


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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On the other hand, there are many, many women who never knew they even had the option of burying their babies. Then they're haunted for years and years later knowing they threw their babies away. Many women who do want to bury their babies have to fight, and lots of times lose, the battle to do so.


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The bill just means the women have to check a box, saying what they would like done with it.  They aren't forced to see it.  I mean, they are being given the right to choose, you might say. 


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Old 12-14-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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I think it's a good option. I wish people had that option in this state. I mean, they do, but they're not informed of it so for all practical purposes they don't have that option.


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Old 12-14-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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As long as its not mandatory. Not everyone feels the same way. It doesn't make anyone "bad" to feel any particular way about it.


I had a early miscarriage at home. Two plum sized blobs and so much blood that I was spooked that I might scare my little kids playing nearby... so I flushed. Yes, I'm a little sorry about that but I can't beat myself up for the rest of life.

I also had a full term stillbirth. That baby was cremated and his ashes are in an urn that rests on a shelf in my master bedroom. We'll scatter his ashes when someone scatters mine someday.

Both losses broke my heart. But somehow we live and love on.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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Do you mean that it shouldn't be offered or that it shouldn't be mandatory that parents take their babies home? This is just saying what Lollie said, that everyone would be given the choice.

 

ETA: I'm sorry, maybe I should just step back. I'm burying my second son this year tomorrow afternoon...


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Old 12-14-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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I read it wrong, I thought it meant that EVERY mother had to take the"remains", I think that it should be a choice that is offered.  a baby is a baby no matter how small


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Old 12-14-2011, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I feel upset because some people, in order to defend the pro-choice position, feel like they need to devalue my loss.  But it isn't necessary, just unkind. There is no blame in how we deal with the loss, but we should be able to deal as we choose.  I wish that I had done better.  

 

But yes, Manna, this isn't really the kind of thing needed here.  We're hurting enough as it is.  I'm sorry for posting it. 
 

 


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Old 12-14-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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No, it's ok. I just meant that I'm pretty emotional and hurting and unlikely to be able to be kind when responding. Especially when I had to really stick to my guns to be able to keep my son with me and bring him home.


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Old 12-15-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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I think that every woman should be given a choice. Both of my losses at 8 weeks were just thrown away. That haunts me and i think it always will ~


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Old 12-16-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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I guess what I don't understand is how is it additionally traumatizing for the question to be asked/a box needing to be ticked?  And how on earth has it gone so long that the choice isn't even given?  That would seem like a really obvious, rational, reasonable option to present, even if one takes a pro-choice position. 

 

The one situation where the remains were in any state to be visible, I was offered the option to see my baby, and to take the remains home.  I was not traumatized by the option.  I was grateful for it.  Nobody required me to look, nobody demanded I take it home.  It was simply and factually given as one option out of two, and I had the choice.

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Thank you, cappuccinosmom. Very reasonable response. I actually went back and read the original link and was horrified. What a hateful piece! So much anger and resentment and bitterness spilling all over. Where's the love? Where's the compassion?


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Old 12-18-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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It pisses me off that people would think that a mother would be more traumatized by signing a form than she already was by miscarrying her child.  To most mothers I know, the baby is a baby from at least the point of hearing a heartbeat, if not before.  Knowing that you had a choice with what was done with your baby, instead of finding out later that it was treated as "medical waste" is a huge leap in terms of making the medical profession more human.  Somehow we went too far down the road and people became "patients" and babies became "products of conception".  I think a bill like this recognizes that women who miscarry might just have feelings for the baby they lost and want that baby treated with the same respect given any other death.

 

I was fortunate that when I miscarried Owen in Michigan, the nurses were all very compassionate.  They took photos for me and gave me a memory box.  Owen was also returned to me, no questions asked.  In Indiana, I didn't even try to take Sophia home with me.  She was taken directly to the funeral home for cremation, which was what I had asked.  I'm not sure what would have happened if I would have asked to bring her home, but I was okay with how it all transpired.  I had to sign paperwork, and I wasn't any more traumatized by that then by losing my baby.


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Old 12-18-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing that Diana - I'm glad you had such a good experience (if that can be said). 


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Old 12-18-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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I, too, do not think that a check box is any more traumatic than anything a woman has gone through already with a miscarriage. I know that in our area, there are a few options. Prior to 20 weeks, the baby could be disposed of with medical waste, sent to a funeral home, or can be taken home by parents to be buried. There aren't any burial restrictions on the remains of babies under 20 weeks. Past 20 weeks, arrangements are usually made with local funeral homes and cemeteries that provide low or no cost services to bereaved parents. You legally can take the remains home, but there are laws regarding the interment or cremation of remains after a reasonable mourning period. I personally didn't have to worry about that, but from the volunteer work I did, I know that things are set up to be as compassionate as possible. I can't imagine being forced into any option, though. It is a shame that anything like this should have to be regulated and laws passed, but some states are still in the dark ages when it comes to patient rights and caring for bereaved parents.

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Wow... the comments on that article's page make me want to throw up.  I can't believe people think like that!  How is offering a woman who went to a healthcare provider because she is in the midst of a miscarriage a choice about the baby's remains equivalent to disposing of a tampon?  shake.gif


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