Finding out that you are having a miscarriage can be a very heartbreaking experience. Having to leave the doctors office and go home still in shock and trying to prepare yourself is overwhelming as is trying to prepare yourself to miscarry at any time. Please know that you are not alone and that we are so sorry for your loss.
We hope that your medical provider prepared you for the next steps and if you are in the Rockford, Illinois area, gave you one of our Miscarriage Kits. These kits contain educational resources to help you know what to expect with a miscarriage as well as keepsake items. If you did not receive one and would like one, please contact The Haven Network at 815.962.1512.
We know this is an emotional and overwhelming experience for you and want to equip you with the knowledge for what you can do with your baby after he or she is born. While your baby came much sooner than expected, you are still able to create memories and keepsakes of your baby.
We encourage you to spend time with your baby. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable to hold your baby, but this is your only chance to do so. By not doing so, you may feel a heightened sense of loss in the months and years following. Take time to hold them, look at all of their little details, their hands, their feet, their little nose. This could be the perfect time to name your baby. Giving Your Baby A Name can be healing. Click the link for information on why naming your baby is important.
- Take pictures of your baby. Most of us have great cameras on our cell phones. Here are a couple tips to make your pictures better.
- Bathe your baby if you are able. Bathing your baby will clean off excess fluids. If you are in the hospital, involve your nurse in this process and he/she can help you.
- Wrap your baby in a little blanket. You can also use a smaller baby hat to cradle your baby in.
- Turn your flash off. If it’s the middle of the day and you have great window light, turn your flash off and place baby as close to the window as possible. Use the window light as much as you can.
- Ask the nurse to take a family picture of you with your baby. If you don’t want to be pictured, a picture of your hands holding your baby is a beautiful shot and will also show the size of your little one.
- Some potential shots, depending on baby’s size, would be: Baby undressed, baby dressed, holding baby’s hand, holding baby’s foot, a picture of baby on the scale, a picture of baby being measured, family pictures. If you have other children and they won’t be coming to the hospital to see baby, open a picture of your child(ren) on your cell phone and place it next to baby and then you will have a picture of your children all together.
- Make hand and foot prints. If you don’t have an ink pad, you can use a sharpie marker, just know that it won’t wash off.
- Have a loved one go to a local department or craft store and pick up some Crayola Model Magic clay. This product is what we use to capture foot and hand prints. If you have other children, they can help with this process and even cast their hands or feet.
- Make an ornament. You can make an additional clay impression of baby’s hand or foot and put a hole in the top for stringing a ribbon once the clay impression has dried. Another ornament idea would be to purchase a plastic globe ornament from a local craft store and put a copy of baby’s prints and any other keepsakes such as your baby’s hospital bracelet or hat in it.
- Make a Memory Box. Memory boxes are the perfect way to store all of your baby’s items that you bring home. Photo storage boxes are a great size and also allows you to be able to customize with embellishments such as scrapbook paper and stickers. Storage or hat boxes will work also.
Miscarriage and Outpatient Surgery
Sometimes it is necessary to have a D&C or other procedures to assist with the miscarriage. If it is something you would like for your baby, in most cases you are able to have baby returned to you for burial. To do so, you will need to contact a funeral home prior to the procedure and work with them to make sure everything happens the way you want it too. Ahead of your scheduled procedure, you will also need to contact the Outpatient Surgery department and let them know your wishes as there are forms that need to be completed. Please contact your medical provider with any questions.
- Consider joining an online community: There are many online communities fitting a wide variety of support needs from miscarriage to SIDS to other lethal conditions. These groups can be a comfort as you seek more information and grieve the death of your baby. Consider joining our facebook group: The Haven Network and our online parent group Gatherings
- It is perfectly normal to seek professional counseling services with a licensed therapist. Contact your insurance provider and ask for a list of preferred providers in your area. If you do not have insurance, ask if the therapist you would like to see if they have a sliding fee scale. When researching therapists, ask if they specialize in grief counseling or are comfortable talking about grief, specifically baby/child loss.
- Many communities have annual memorial events such as Walk To Remember or The Angel of Hope Ceremony held at various times throughout the year. Check with your local community about memorial events that they may have.
*Policies vary by hospital and funeral homes. Talk with your providers to ensure your wishes are honored.