Every month there is always a remembrance event; I know there are many things we should never forget and be aware of, but I appreciate the allowances to share them with you.
“Infant Death and Miscarriage Awareness Month” affects many people all over the world. It is a time that a family has lost a child to either miscarriage or health problems that the baby was not able to fight and passed on.
A grieving family who must cope with the loss of their child usually finds themselves grieving alone. The reason for the month’s awareness article is to let you know that there are resources out there and support groups for families to help you learn how to heal from your grief.
Working in a hospital, I am very blessed to have the material in hand, and I want to share that information with you.
“I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you; but instead, I am deeply honored knowing that you spent the rest of your life with me.” – Camille Marcotte
No one should ever have to cope with the sadness of going home without their baby. And you should know that you are not alone and because a person may not understand what you are going through, does not mean you cannot let them be your support in the time of the storm, and you will find it will not remove the emptiness of your loss. Still, it will make it more comfortable knowing that you have people who love and care for you and that are willing to be the anchor you need in the time of the storm.
There is a process in helping you to recover in your time of grief. First steps, “Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. Never Hungry. Never Alone. And importantly, always knew love.” – Zoe Clark Coates.
- Honor your baby’s life, take photos, hand, footprints, blankets, a lock of hair, and the baby’s clothes and hat from the hospital.
When a baby has passed in the hospital, some make casters of your baby’s hand and footprints and give you all those items mentioned in a box for you to take home. It can never replace your baby, but you will always have that memory to look back on when you want it. Also, take the time you need to hold your baby; there is never anything wrong with that.
- You can always donate the milk to the milk bank; this donation helps babies who have no mothers to give them that first important colostrum. Donating the milk is not only beneficial to you but other babies in need.
- You can ask for an autopsy and consider donating your baby organs to help another baby live.
- Planning a funeral or memorial service helps you take a positive step in the mourning process and gives others a chance to honor your baby.
“How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.” – Dorothy Ferguson
Grief is a natural process to the death of your baby; the stages you might go through are:
Lack of appetite
or Too much sleep
Empty, still pregnant or aching in your arms called “Empty Arms Syndrome.”
Loss of joy in the things you used to love
Abnormal headaches and heart rate
Stages of Greif:
Anxiety, Panic, and Fear
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Guilt and Regret
Loss, Emptiness, and Sadness
Relief and Release
Acceptance and Healing
Find a Support Group
Permit yourself to do less.
Know that things will never get back to “Normal.”
Accept help from others.
Avoid grief Triggers.
Men and women tend to cope differently with their grief; you should always understand and know that one will not grieve like you do but honor their feelings and don’t shut each other out.
As one dad said, “My wife understood that when I’d go off on my bike or into my workshop, I was hurting. That was how I grieved. I’m grateful she held that space for me to do my thing, my way. Having that kind of respect for each other is so important.” – Jordan, Dad of Aida Jean.
Do not expect someone to grieve as you do but allow each other to grieve appropriately in their healthy personal way.
The resources that are available for you are:
Postpartum Support International:
Bereaved Parents of the USA:
Center for Loss in Multiple Births
First Candle/SIDS Alliance:
Other Support Groups Are:
Grieving Parents Support Network
March of Dimes
Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (MEND)
Now I lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS)
Open to Hope
Never let your struggle be alone, healing starts when you reach out for help.
CPO Asa Darkbyrd
SL Coast Guard Magazine
Editor in Chief