Sensitive Issue (Newborn death mentioned) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I've been reading Laurie Morgan's book, and she talked in there about needing to think about what to do if your baby dies. And this is something I've believed for a long time; that regardless of where you give birth, that you need to consider death a real possibility and prepare yourself for the possibility of it happening. I hesitate to talk about this with other pregnant mothers, because I don't want to upset anyone, but I think especially in the UC community, it needs to get discussed. My mother's first child was a stillborn, and though she gave birth in a hospital, it was unmedicated. I've read the autopsy report, and it basically says, "We have no clue what happened". They did mention nuchal cord though. *Rolleyes* But they do say that they don't believe that was the cause of death. Anyway, I always thought that if my baby died, I would want them to take it away, and I would never want to see it again. (I can never look at funerals, dead bodies squick me out.) But then I got to thinking, this baby was a part of me for so long, and to just throw it out wouldn't be right. We're a family, and we take care of our own. But... I also have not the first clue as to how to handle something like that. I mean, I suppose you could just bury the child in the backyard and tell everyone you had a stillbirth. But, I don't think that's the way things are supposed to be handled. Who do you call? Don't you have to call someone to affirm time of death or whatnot? Would you just call the funeral home? And even though I'm probably having a midwife there, who will prolly know what to do, I feel personally responsible for every second of my birth and my child, and I don't want to leave it up to the midwife. So, I figured you UCers would be thinking of this and might know what to do.

Just for the record, I don't think this is a very likely possibility at my birth, I'm in good health, and the baby is too, but I do think we all need to be prepared for something like this to occur, so we aren't blindsided if it does happen.
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#2 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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Oh Persephone...this is a good topic to discuss because it is a very real thing. I think us Uc'ers take it into consideration as well. I have.
Should such a terrible thing occur, we are going to call 911. I honestly don't know if that is the right thing to do, though.
I could call my pediatrician, but my labors occur in the middle of the night, and I would proabably be told to go to the ER.
A few weeks ago, I read a thread here about a law going into effect(can't remember where) that if a baby is born UC, and dies, the parents have 12 hrs to notify the authorities or they would face legal action for child-neglect...anyone remember this?
I don't know if that is the case in our state- BUT
I plan on researching what is needed to be done if someone dies in our house. The procedure I don't think would be different if it were a full grown adult either. kwim?

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#3 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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An excellent question. We need to be prepared for ALL eventualities, and hope we don't have to use it! I would contact the midwife first. She should have the authority to determine death and be able to fill out a death certificate. Yes, that does have to be done. I think in VA it is for any baby born after 28 weeks. Other than that, the ER would have to suffice, but it sucks to have to undergo that visit, knowing they are going to be picking you apart to see if there is anything fishy....maybe a pediatrician or family friendly doc could do a post mortem exam, and fill out the paperwork. Might be a good idea to establish some rapport with someone for future reference.
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#4 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 05:06 PM
 
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I've considered this, too. If my baby was stillborn I would say my goodbyes and go to the hospital and do what I'm able to determine cause of death. I believe in organ donation, and to us that is a very important aspect to preserve if it's possible.

If the baby was dying at home I would probably call 911 or drive to the hospital (hosp is 2 mins away from my home), unless we all felt it was not meant to be... perhaps fault of a defect that was incompatible with life.
At the hospital I would stay close to my baby and would be as annoying as possible to make sure I had all the information. If it was made clear something was wrong which could not be fixed (but prolonged) I would leave AMA and take the baby home. I don't want my newborn to die hooked up to monitors and pumped with drugs, that's not right.

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#5 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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This is a very serious issue and I am glad to see it discussed. I do want to suggest that everyone stop over at the pregnancy and birth loss forum as there is some wonderful information there. Death is a part of life, everyone dies and sometimes even babies die. That is something that our society as a whole seems to have a real problem admiting. Sometimes babies die for reasons we don't know, even babies who seem healthy and who are born to healthy moms. Different states have different rules regarding the death of a baby in utero, but most states I think it tends to be if the baby is past 20 weeks and over 500 grams then the body needs to be handled by a funeral home. Some states give death certificates and others don't, but all require that bodies be handled in certain ways. You cannot bury your baby in the back yard like you would a dog or cat.

My daughter was stillborn at 22 weeks. She was born in a hospital so I do not know all of the rules about reporting a death that occurs at home. I do know that the death needs to be reported, and that you will probably have to take the baby to the hospital to be examined. I refused the autopsy as my daughters cause of death was obvious. There was an autopsy done on her placenta (common practice at many hospitals) and it confirmed her COD. I hate to bring this up, but there is the possibility that the state will want to investigate the babies death and the parents can wind up under accusations. I think this is a big fear for many UCers. I know it is for me. There is another mom who posts to this forum who has lost a child to stillbirth and had a homebirth. I hope she will post with more information if she feels up to it.

Quote:
I always thought that if my baby died, I would want them to take it away, and I would never want to see it again. (I can never look at funerals, dead bodies squick me out.)
It is possible that you would feel this way, but I wanted you to know that this is very uncommon. I am mildly freaked out by dead bodies as well, I don't even like to handle the bodies of animals, but to me my daughter wasn't a dead body. She was the beautiful and much wanted baby that I had carried inside my own body. Most of the mothers of stillborn babies I have talked to have felt the same way. I hope that you never have to experience the loss of a child, whether through still birth or other wise, but if it should come to pass I think you will find that your child will never be just a body to you. Not to single you out, but I just thought it might comfort you to know this.
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#6 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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I gave birth to ds in a freestanding center and am contemplating a birth at home next time. It has always been my plan to rush a stillborn baby to a hospital in the hope that his/her organs or tissues might save somebody else's baby.
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#7 of 43 Old 08-23-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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Haven't read responses,but will later. I actually do talk to people about it. When I interview moms, I ask them what they want to do in case of a stillbirth. It's the hardest, most ackward question I ask. It's not something fun or pretty or even something anyone wants to think about but it's always a real possiblilty and I think that if you prepare beforehand mentally, it goes better. I've never lost a child, I have friends who have. I know people who have had the baby taken right away and people who have held their babies for hours. I was at a hospital recently where one of thenurses had a stillbirth. The other nurses got to work right away making a beautiful scrapbook for the mom. I saw it, it was amazing and of course I cried. I know a woman who lost a baby in the 2nd trimester and had to fight to get the baby's body back to have it cremated. It's an incredibly real thing to me. For me, if I were to have a stillborn baby, I want to hold it. I want to breathe itin and cuddle with it and have a chance to say goodbye and send it away with love. I'd like totake pictures and keep a lock ofhair. I would donate organs most definately thenhave the baby cremated. We've actually talked about this, DH and I, as morbid as it sounds because I wanted him to view it as real too. He really hates to talk about things like that too, so it was hard to talk about. I think everyone should talk about it as they would talk to their spouses or friends and family about what to do in their own absense. I pray to never lose a baby in such a way but I know that I've prepared mentally for it for 7 years now so I konw that should it happen, I truly beleive I'll have the strength to carry on and to love my baby no matter what.

Namaste, Tara
mama to Doodle (6), Butterfly (2), and Rythm (due at home 1/06)
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#8 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 03:40 AM
 
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As a homebirth mama and an advocate for homebirth, I have always known that there are NO gurantees in life, and therefore life and death are possible in the same moment...

When I was six, my baby sister died on the couch next to me while we watched television.

No, no guarantees in life. This was an early lesson in life for me.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#9 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 03:46 AM
 
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Everyone should feel as responsible for their birth as all of you UCer's.

Most women deposit their laboring selves in the maternity ward and accept all interventions and leave claiming that the hospital saved their lives and their babies through all of the medical heroics!

Such high drama!

"How could anyone be so irresponsible and have their baby at home (sarcasm)?"

Remember that you live with the consequences, not the maternity staff.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#10 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iris0110
Some states give death certificates and others don't, but all require that bodies be handled in certain ways. You cannot bury your baby in the back yard like you would a dog or cat.
Just wanted to say, I would want to be buried in the backyard in a wooden box if I could be buried any old way, so it's not like I was thinking of a dog or cat here.



Quote:
It is possible that you would feel this way, but I wanted you to know that this is very uncommon. I am mildly freaked out by dead bodies as well, I don't even like to handle the bodies of animals, but to me my daughter wasn't a dead body. She was the beautiful and much wanted baby that I had carried inside my own body. Most of the mothers of stillborn babies I have talked to have felt the same way. I hope that you never have to experience the loss of a child, whether through still birth or other wise, but if it should come to pass I think you will find that your child will never be just a body to you. Not to single you out, but I just thought it might comfort you to know this.
It does, thanks.

My mother told me about her stillborn experience. She said that she wanted to see her, and when they brought her out, her arm flopped out of the blanket, and for a moment, she thought she was alive. Then she changed her mind and didn't want to hold her anymore. It's so poignant.

If my baby was born in severe distress, there is no question I would get to a hospital ASAP. But, what if the baby is born dead? I wouldn't want them to try to revive her. So, would I still need to go to the hospital? Or could I just call... someone to announce that there had been a death in the family. And yes, legal action does terrify me, especially if I went the UC route, but with a midwife there, it might be easier. I dunno, maybe not.
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#11 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 12:59 PM
 
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Just wanted to say, I would want to be buried in the backyard in a wooden box if I could be buried any old way, so it's not like I was thinking of a dog or cat here.
I didn't mean anything bad by it, I just wanted to point out the legal issues. Though Dh pointed out to me that legally in most states you aren't supposed to bury pets in your back yard either. I know that legally the death has to be reported some how and the baby will most likely need to be examined. I think you may be covered better if you have a midwife (if they are legal and licensed in your state) than if you were going UC. With a UC I think the safest route would be to call 911 or rush to the ER. I know it isn't what you would necessarily want to do, but it may help protect you from some of the legal issues (of course initially it may raise suspicion). Hopefully no one here will ever have to deal with this issue.


I am so sorry for your mother's loss. She must be very strong to have shared it with you. I know 10 and 20 years ago women were discouraged from even recognizing that they had lost a child and were told to just move on.
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#12 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Applejuice--I am so sorry.

Our daughter was born at home with a midwife. At 28 hours, she started to seize, followed by apnea. The first one we thought was a vagel response to some mucous, but he seizures got longer and the periods of apnea increased, so we went to the hospital.

It was horrible. Every test in the world. Tons of abx in case the seizures were from an infection. And the whole time, there was the very real possibility that she would die or that the seizures had done so much damage that she would have severe brain damage (neither happened and she is just perfect, seven months later).

I was very clear with the staff that she was born at home and that she would die at home if possible. They said that probably would not happen. If she were going to die, it would be too quick for us to get home. Good byes would have to be at the hosp, but they would try to find a way to send her home if possible.

What I knew at the time was that there was no way I could return to our house without my baby. We were there for a week, and everyone told me that I HAD to go home. I could not imagine walking through the door with empty arms.

In our state, I believe all babies born 20 weeks or later are required to have a death certificate. They must follow all the laws for handiling the body that you would for an adult. If you are at home, you should call 911. They will contact the ME or coroner.
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#13 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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But, what if the baby is born dead? I wouldn't want them to try to revive her. So, would I still need to go to the hospital? Or could I just call... someone to announce that there had been a death in the family.
i would honestly look for the funeral home you would use and contact them before the birth to ask them what needs to be done in case. I found the funeral directors to be far more compassionate than a lot of the doctor's or nurses.

I also wanted to add to make sure to take pictures and foot prints and locks of hair. Maybe a plaster cast of a hand or foot. Even if it seems morbid or uncomfortable a thte time, a couple of months down the line when you are coming out of shock, every little memento you have of your baby will be precious and invaluable to you.

I agree with Iris that your baby will probably not seem like a dead body to you, but just your sweet, precious, longed for child. I was driving the other day and saw a car accident and I thought to myself, "I wonder what it would be like to see a dead body up close. I see them all the time on tv etc... but I have never seen a dead body up close. Would it freak me out? How would I deal with it?" It took me 15 minutes to realize that I had seen a dead body up close, my daughter's. But she was so much more than that, it didn't even register on my radar. She was just my beautiful Mary Rose.
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Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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#14 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone
Just wanted to say, I would want to be buried in the backyard in a wooden box if I could be buried any old way, so it's not like I was thinking of a dog or cat here.

But, what if the baby is born dead? I wouldn't want them to try to revive her. So, would I still need to go to the hospital? Or could I just call... someone to announce that there had been a death in the family. And yes, legal action does terrify me, especially if I went the UC route, but with a midwife there, it might be easier. I dunno, maybe not.
My mom would prefer to be buried in a wooden box on our 40 acre rural "farm," but the legal legwork to get permits and such would be so time consuming and cost prohibitive that it sadly wouldn't be a workable option (which is really sad IMO).

When my nephew was dying, his parents did not want him resucitated (b/c he had suffered so much and we all knew there was no "saving" him). The family is friends with the coroner and he told us not to call 911 until after he had stopped breathing for at least 30 minutes b/c they would have to attempt resuciatation if we called before then. He also gave them the option of just calling him as soon as Brandon died and he would come out and pronounce him (I think that is what they did). I don't know if they would be required to attempt resucitation on a baby born still or not.

Christa
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#15 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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"I wonder what it would be like to see a dead body up close. I see them all the time on tv etc... but I have never seen a dead body up close. Would it freak me out? How would I deal with it?"
I hadn't given it any thought until i read that but, I've been around many dead bodiesand dead babies even and that's perhaps why such a thing wouldn't freak me out as much as I'd think. My dad was Deputy Coroner for our county for many years. He used to take me to the morgue all the time. I remember him telling me that a newbaby had come in and me asking if I could hold it. (obviously this tory took place 20 years ago!) He and the other guys let me hold the baby. I sang to it and hoped it's mother had the chance to do the same. I remember the guys crying watching me andthinking that I hoped to neverhold my own still baby. I was 5 or 6 at the time, maybe a little older. It was in me then to know that a baby needed a farewell from someone andI gues ssomething in me felt this baby hadn'tbeen giventhat. I learned laterin life that so many stillbabies are taken fromtheir parents without the parents even having the chance to say goodbye, so maybe I did a good thing for this baby.

Quote:
The family is friends with the coroner and he told us not to call 911 until after he had stopped breathing for at least 30 minutes b/c they would have to attempt resuciatation if we called before then.
At first when I read that I assumedthe dying nephew was older and he told them his wishes himself but then realized he was not. It's strange how if an elderly person is dying at home, no one will rush you to call but if you have a dying baby or child and know there is nohope, "they" want to rush you and if youdon't rush want to haul you off in your time of grief to question you and your actions. It's sad.

I'm not 100% sure of what the state I'm in requirs in such actions though I do know that any child born over 500g is considered "viable" and therefore savable and if they breathe for one solid minute then die, the state can indeed question your actions, even if you're at a hospital. In fact, if you have a baby ofthat size in a hospital, they can force life-saving measures on the baby whethery ou like it or not here. I know someone it happened to, the baby died anyway except instead of dying in his parents loving arms he died flat on a bed with tubes in himand his parents being held back from touching him across the room. I'venever looked into the laws oranything, haven't even really asked around. Maybe this discussion will getme to do that.

Namaste, Tara
mama to Doodle (6), Butterfly (2), and Rythm (due at home 1/06)
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#16 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaTaraX
I hadn't given it any thought until i read that but, I've been around many dead bodiesand dead babies even and that's perhaps why such a thing wouldn't freak me out as much as I'd think. My dad was Deputy Coroner for our county for many years. He used to take me to the morgue all the time. I remember him telling me that a newbaby had come in and me asking if I could hold it. (obviously this tory took place 20 years ago!) He and the other guys let me hold the baby. I sang to it and hoped it's mother had the chance to do the same. I remember the guys crying watching me andthinking that I hoped to neverhold my own still baby. I was 5 or 6 at the time, maybe a little older. It was in me then to know that a baby needed a farewell from someone andI gues ssomething in me felt this baby hadn'tbeen giventhat. I learned laterin life that so many stillbabies are taken fromtheir parents without the parents even having the chance to say goodbye, so maybe I did a good thing for this baby.
That's very touching, Tara. It was sweet of you to give that baby such a kind farewell.
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#17 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 05:38 PM
 
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I'm bawling my eyes out for the little girl singing to the sb baby. JUst the innocence on the act of sying goodbuy, for all we know the mother may not have had the chance.

I've always seen death as a pretty normal part of everyday life. I agree an idea of what to do in the event is part of being prepared. I know what I'd like to do (hold baby, allow family and friends to say hello/goodbuy, hold a small service before turning baby over donating tissues/organs) The problem is I don't know the legalities or practicalities of these things. I do have a mw though and will ask next time I see her. I think life support is necessary for keeping organs viable for transport, in some cases...so the time it takes to say goodbuy could make the organs unusable. I wouldn't want n autopsy. I don't believe in accidents, so I wouldn't have any questions about why.

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#18 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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I thought I would reply, since I think I have a starkly different opinion...

If my baby dies during birth, or before, I would do my own ceremony of closure with my family. I would *not* hand my child over to some "authority" to handle at all. I am doing UP, therefore, no one "of authority" knows about my child. I would find a private place on some land to return my child to the earth. Above and beyond the horrid thought of losing my precious babe, I abhor the thought of another human touching my perfect child. If death was not certain, then all measures to protect life would be chosen, without pause.

I have had miscarriages and saved tiny tiny little bodies. I have witnessed my own mother's passing, and the circus that ensued afterwards. The differences are stunning. Life, and death, need to be respected, remembered, and revered. Not handled with paperwork and legalities. (of course, I am only referring to natural deaths)

Sure, I suppose if "someone" found out that I had lost my child, there may be legal problems for me. But you know what, I've already accepted those responsibilities by not handing my body and baby over during conception, gestation, or birth.

I am so glad to see this topic discussed amongst the UC community. It is such an awesome power to claim one's path, yet often times the ones of us who (for whatever reason) experiences the "darker" side of UC are isolated and we rarely hear from that mama again. It is a shame. We MUST accept and be aware of all aspects of life if we are to choose full awareness of them.

Be well mamas, hug those babes!!!
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#19 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 06:47 PM
 
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huh... Kynd Mama... Your position is pretty logical. Makes sense to me. I guess that's why I have my reservations of calling anyone. Putting it into words makes it a bit more realistic, kwim? Lots to think about.
be well.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#20 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
When I was six, my baby sister died on the couch next to me while we watched television.

No, no guarantees in life. This was an early lesson in life for me.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

My parents lost a baby to SIDS before I was born. I obviously never met Jeffrey, but his short life and death definitely shaped my life and my thoughts about death.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#21 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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I am thankful for this thread (although I'm about to give birth and bawling my eyes out at some of the posts). It's almost as if somewhere in the back of my mind, I know my feelings about death and that I would just want to hold my child as long as possible... but it's like I'm still denying the fact that it COULD happen, yk?
This thread helps to just kick me back into reality that these things DO happen and that it is natural and OK, as tragic as it is. I pray and pray and pray for a healthy child, but I am reminded that if that isn't the outcome, then I should be mentally prepared about what to do. Thanks mamas for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

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#22 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 09:05 PM
 
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I am one of those rare moms who had a UP & had hopes for a UB, but whose baby died because he lost oxygen during labor. I am so glad this is being discussed here because its horrible to lose your child and on top of it lose faith in the whole process. There are still people (homebirthers only) who want to know what did I do wrong & maybe if I believed more in myself it wouldn`t have happened. The fact is death and birth are not that far away from each other.

Basically you never know what you will do until you are in the position. Our son was transported because he had a heartbeat, but he was very sick. We had him for 7 weeks, in the hospital. He was very strong and breathed on his own, but we didn`t do anything to prolong his life, just to support him and keep him comfortable in case he got better.

I realized that home was wherever my dh and I & our other son were, not necessarily our apartment. At that time no place felt like home, only when my family was in the same room, was it anything close.

When I was pregnant with my 1st I read every single birth story I found, even the sad ones. I remember being grateful that I had thought about this possibility. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to hold my son as he died and have as much time as possible. I have known people who`ve done it both ways, but usually its easier to grieve an actual memory of a person you`ve seen, held and loved rather than an image in your mind that you never really saw.

I hope none of you ever experience this, but I am glad you are open to thinking about all the possibilities.

Married Catholic mami : to 5 boys, : 9 6 3 : 5 mo. 5/6/02-6/22/02 (HIE)
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#23 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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liseux- First of all, I'm terribly saddened to hear that you lost your precious son. Also, I want to thank you soooo much for posting!! For reasons you listed, I'm sure, mamas who lose babies during UC are astonishingly chased away. I can't put my finger on the reason for this phenomenon. It's to the UC community's great loss that we should lose any experience of real life.

I completely agree with you: death is simply the start/end of life. I am disgusted that ANYONE would have the gall to suggest that your son's life ended because of something you "did wrong" or "didn't believe" in. Death is the end result of life, and the only unknown is the distance between the birth and the end. I believe if you are choosing UC to find the big "IT" and that "IT" is simply a live child at the end of birth... well, you may as well go with the medical establishment and let them be responsible for the whole experience! I believe the true "meaning" of UC and UP is not for the end result of a child, but the entire experience of claiming your own right and responsibility for LIFE. And life is just that amazing, unpredictable, humbling journey from birth to death. We can't romanticize about one, and sweep the other end of the spectrum under the rug. If we do, well, we're just lying to ourselves, the very same way the medicos would have us do.

Again, thank you for sharing your experience. Out of curiosity, did you go on to have a homebirth? Have you found any healing from your son's birth and death? I believe there to be joy and surprise in every life event, yet sometimes it is difficult to discuss the growth (understanding, spiritual faith, etc) that can aquired from trauma.
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#24 of 43 Old 08-24-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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kynd mama: You are one of a KIND!

s to you, and if I was as brave as you, I would do the same thing in the same position. G-d never put me in that position, but I have been in similar positions, and I hope I rose to the occasion as G-d expected me.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#25 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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Wow, thank you for this very important thread. Some of you know my story, but for those of you who do not, I will share with you as much as I am able to this morning.
My third daughter was stillborn @ 40 weeks July of 2004. She was a planned uc/mostly up. I started to see my midwife from a previous birth when I started having feelings that something was not quite right with my pregnancy. All seemed well from the outside. It was a difficult pregnancy because I was dealing with a lot of grief from my mother-in-law passing the month we conceived. My instincts were strong during the pregnancy. I could feel something was wrong, but my gut said just go with it, everything is the way it will be, there is nothing to be done. Two days after my due date, I woke up at 3 am and knew my daughter had died. I called my midwife that morning and she could not find a heart beat. We went to the hospital to confirm on ultrasound. I opted for some prostaglandin gel and then went home to labor. Labor stopped after the gel wore off. I rested and took some homeopathics, labor started again and my daughter was born peacefully at home in the water, just as we had planned. My midwife arrived just before she was born and was a wonderful support and guidance for our grief. I had worried how I would react, knowing my daughter had died, how would I labor, would I want to hold her, what would she look like. I was scared. Labor was normal, my body did its work and my mind turned off. As soon as my daughter came out, it was just the same as with my previous children--I was in love right away. It was that magic moment, I kissed her and loved her and ooed and awed over every part of her. She was beautiful, tiny, felt just like she should in my arms. It was so hard, because she just looked so peaceful like she was sleeping, I wanted her to take my breast and the yearning for this over the next few days was very difficult. But babies do die, we don't always have the reasons or the answers. Stillbirth is something most of us do not think about, or even fathom, but the facts are that it is more common than sids, yet we all know about that one. Death is part of this life, it is difficult to accept, I miss my daughter every day and I want her body and soul with me, but I have to accept and move on and carry her spirit with me and mother her from afar. I have three daughters, always will, I am just only able to raise the two I have.
The main thing is do not fear, trust in yourself, in your faith.
My daughter was born in the middle of the night. My midwife said don't worry about anything until the morning. We bathed her, dressed her, took her picture, held her, and put her to bed in a basket next to our bed. In the morning we called the coroner to report her death. He was kind and did not require to see her, he just said to call the funeral home of our choice and go from there, he would issue a death certificate once he received the paper work. It can vary from county to county, state to state. The county I am in now would have done an autopsy as regular protocol. We had our daughter cremated (no charge for any services for children) and brought her home to us. Even though she was born, she never received a birth certificate, all we have is a record of her death. But I know in my heart that she lived with us for 9 months, and she has a birthday.

I am now about to give birth to my fourth child, a boy, in a matter of days. We are having him at home. I did not up this time, I needed the emotional support and wanted to check on this little guy. It has been much harder trusting my instincts this time around (even though mine were spot on last time) due to fear and the knowing first hand what can happen. It has been a process to trust trust again, and to gain strength and wisdom, all the while grieving and yearning. I would love to have an unassisted birth, despite my fears, despite having experienced death of my child. I am days away from giving birth and I am still up in the air as to whether I will call my midwife for the birth. I am just going to follow my heart and my gut and do what it calls for. We do what we can, when we can, with the knowledge we are given-anything can happen, beliefs can change, we grow and learn everyday.
Blessings to each of us, to our children, in body and in spirit.
Love, Brandi

reading.gif

mom to dd-99, dd-01, dd-born still@40w 7/04, ds-05, dd-08, dd-10, dd-13

love and light

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#26 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Brandi-

Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine what it must be like to go through something like that. May you find peace and healing in your son's birth.

I hope more mamas come to talk about their experiences. I think it's just as valuable to hear these stories as it is the ones who are born live.

And on a practical note, the person to call if there is a newborn death would be the coroner? (Assuming there is no saving the baby)
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#27 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 03:01 PM
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Thank you for sharing your stories.
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#28 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 03:37 PM
 
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(((Brandi)))

If I ever find myself in the same situation, I hope to be as sincere as you were in the events of your daughter's *amazingly beautiful* birth.

You can speak of things I can only imagining happening, and lived through them. Live, mama, live!!! You and your daughter chose each other wisely.

I am incredibly over joyed that you are again seeking a home birth!! And just days away, too?? WOOHOO!! I completely understand, and see no "weakness, fault, or untrust in yourself" for seeking the companionship of a midwife. I can see that it is a companionship in your case, which in my mind, is the ideal "role" of a mid wife. (with woman) It is wonderful to have another female soul in which to celebrate a child within your womb!! (now, "care taking/giving/facilitator of birth" well... we know I feel a little differenty about that! )

Happy impending Birth Day, mama! I look forward to reading how your son makes his glorious commencement of life on earth.... with all 3 of his big sisters and loving mama to care for him.

(Thanks for sharing your daughter's life with us)
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#29 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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This is such an important discussion. I had a midwife at my dd birth at home but am wondering next time if I will bother to phone her ( I loved her but think I want to do it my way) I digress, I think there are few women that think through all the issues as well as those planning home and more so those planning uc births.

Brandi thanks for that very personal moving account of your daughter's birth. I think it was amazing how you just listened to your body. Wishing you all the best for the birth of your boy

Sally
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#30 of 43 Old 08-25-2005, 04:05 PM
 
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to you Brandi.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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