Best friend lost her baby

(18 Posts)
BeautyBoo Wed 12-Dec-12 23:54:36

My best friend went into labour at 25+6 and had a baby girl within a couple of hours. Baby was doing really well and chances of survival went from 60% when born to 75% the next day. She passed away tonight at 3 days old. I haven't asked why or how. I will listen when they're ready to talk. I'm completely heartbroken for them. I went to see them all yesterday and baby was just perfect, so tiny but absolutely beautiful.

They have a 2 year old boy.

I don't know what to do/say. I had to talk to somebody about it so here I am hoping you have lots of good advice..

chipmonkey Thu 13-Dec-12 00:33:21

Oh Beauty!sad

My daughter died suddenly after seven weeks. She was born at 28 weeks and was also doing really well so it was a total shock.

Your friends will be in utter shock right now. Don't worry too much about trying to say anything to make them feel better. Nothing you say can make it better. Just tell them that they are in your thoughts and if you pray, in your prayers.
I say this because people often tried to say something comforting, like "At least you have ds" or "She's an angel now" or "God has a plan" which were sod-all good to me at the time!

Just be there. Don't just say "Let me know if I can help" just get in there and help. Bring over a lasagne or casserole because they wont' feel like cooking. Bring her over to yours to have a cup of tea and a chat. Ask if they want you to take her little boy out to the park or to your house.

Keep texting even if you don't get a reply. Say the baby's name. Remember her birthday as well as the anniversy of her death, and for this little lady, also remember her due date.

The other thing to remember is that three months, six months, a year down the line is still early days for a bereaved parent and there is no getting over it and there is no moving on. But the pain does gradually ease so it's not so raw and easier to bear.

If she wants, you could direct her to our bereaved Mums thread here. Anyone who has lost a child is welcome and we do "get it".

BeautyBoo Thu 13-Dec-12 09:56:55

Thankyou Chip. It's good to hear from somebody that's been through this. I've experienced loss before but I know nothing is like losing a child and I can't imagine how painful it is.

I've text her saying I'm so sorry and that I'm here for her although I know she knows that.

I look after her little boy a lot anyway as he's my godson. I had him from Monday-Wednesday this week while they stayed at the hospital with baby.

I just feel so numb for them. We were all so positive and although we all had wobbles at times I don't think any of us really believed this would happen. I don't understand what happened, when I saw her they said she was doing really well, she had started breathing by herself a bit and everything was stable.

I just can't get my head around the fact that my best friends life has changed forever now and she doesn't have her little girl anymore. I'd do anything to take away the pain from her sad

SledsImOn Thu 13-Dec-12 10:13:13

You sound like a very good friend. I'm really sorry that they have lost their daughter, what a terrible thing to happen.

One thing that stands out is that you met her - you have known their baby for just a short time, and that will matter to them. You witnessed her little life too.

I have no proper advice but will think of them, and you x

chipmonkey Thu 13-Dec-12 10:35:59

Beauty, you sound like a lovely friend. I found that losing our dd really showed me who my friends were.

I had one friend that I don't see often but we had been best friends through school and college and I really expected that she would have come to see me but she didn't.sad I got one message saying she was sorry, then nothing since.
On the other hand, a Mum I barely knew invited me to her house for coffee and cake and was a lifesaver.

Before I lost dd, I imagined that losing a child would be like losing my Dad except maybe ten times worse. But it's actually not like that at all, it's a totally different grief. I missed my Dad very badly when he died but there was a sense of moving on, that Dad was part of my past. dd can never be in my past as she was supposed to be in my future, and she still is.

Another thing you could do is to get her a personalised Christmas tree bauble or angel with her dd's name. I'll see if I can find a link. Poor love won't be feeling Christmassy at all but my cousins did this for me last year and I so appreciated it.

chipmonkey Thu 13-Dec-12 10:49:30
BeautyBoo Thu 13-Dec-12 11:30:41

Thank you Sled.

Chip I really like the idea of the bauble and especially as it is Christmas time now it will be nice to hang that on the tree to remember her every year. Is it too soon to buy it now for the tree this year? Should I wait until next year? It seems strange to talk about Christmas now. Since this started happening on Saturday is feels like time has frozen. I haven't even written Christmas cards and it feels wrong to now wish other people a 'Merry Christmas' when I know that my best friend will be going through hell. I'd brought her and her family a lovely card but I just can't bring myself to write it and give it to them now. I can't even bear to think about giving them the presents I'd brought them sad

I've spoken to her sister this morning and she said that their parents were there and also their little boy when they turned the machine off. And they also managed to get her christened too which is comforting.

chipmonkey Thu 13-Dec-12 17:02:57

Beauty, we lost our dd in October last year so we had a couple of months to get used to the idea of Christmas. We live in Ireland and here it's traditional not to send cards to a family on that first Christmas. One or two people sent us non-Christmas cards to say they were thinking of us at Christmas.

I am trying to think back to how I was at that time. I did manage to do the school run after two weeks and I know I wanted things to be normal-ish for the boys. I think I probably would have done Christmas but tbh, I don't think I could answer that for anyone else.

I think I would give her a low-key card and the bauble. She will appreciate it and even if she doesn't have a tree this year, she will have it for next year.

AlwaysOneMissing Fri 14-Dec-12 10:35:19

Oh Beauty, your poor friend, I am so sorry.

When I lost my DD what I really needed was help with the every day practical things. I was so depressed, I longed for someone to come and clean up for me and cook a few meals, even help me look after my DS who was 1 at the time. I was putting on a brave face and was too polite to ask anyone, but that's what really would have helped.

As someone up thread mentioned, something like this really shows you who your friends are, and I will never forget the way some people treated me at the time (both good and bad).

Your friend is lucky to have you. One of the most important things you can do is listen to all she wants to say about her baby,, without trying to rush her or 'make her feel better'. Let her cry, and cry with her if you need to, she won't mind. I almost felt relieved when other people cried to me and showed me that they were grieving too; it made me feel less alone.
Take care x

AlwaysOneMissing Fri 14-Dec-12 10:39:15

And my first Christmas afterwards was awful. Really heart wrenching. Be careful not to make her feel as though Christmas can take her mind off it, or that she has a duty to her son to act cheerfully. He is still little - he won't really understand, and it will probably be a very hard and distressing day for your friend.

sad sad. A friend of mine lost her baby recently. It's really unbelievable what some people say/do, but was shock shock when a mutual friend started talking all about her own difficult birth.

So, my advice would be to take your friend's lead, and listen when she wants to talk. Obviously everyone is different and some will want to talk about it, some won't.

My friend did say later that it was very appreciated when I simply showed up with food. I did a few comfort type foods, macaroni and cheese, cottage pie, that sort of thing, and just left it for them.

YouCanBe Fri 14-Dec-12 10:54:24

My friend went into labour at 23 weeks and lost her son- he died the same day, in October. I have just tried to keep up seeing her regularly, we weren't super close. Our DC still play every week after school and we have a chat, like before. I am pregnant and I didn't know if that would make it harder for her but I didn't want to stay away unless she asked me to, if you see what I mean.
It is a terrible thing to happen. sad

chipmonkey Sat 15-Dec-12 00:50:30

YouCanBe, I found it hard when other people were pregnant, especially as I can't have any more myself but I found babies who were the age my daughter was supposed to be more difficult. Also little girls a bit harder than little boys. It is tricky because I truly don't want to be the sort of person who begrudges someone their baby, but it's not actually begrudgery, it just heightens the longing for my own baby back.

YouCanBe Sat 15-Dec-12 08:28:29

chipmonkey I can imagine, it must be hard. sad

Some great advice here, but I really support Chipmonkey's comment about remembering the baby's birthday/due-date etc. Your friend is going through such an horrendous time now, but these future dates will also be very difficult, and you would be surprised how much a card, or even just a text or a call, is appreciated on these sad anniversaries. Will make your friend feel that their baby isn't forgotten.

Love and best wishes to you and your friend at this very sad time.

BeautyBoo Mon 17-Dec-12 19:01:58

Sorry I've been quiet for a few days. I've been so sad and lost sad

I saw my friend this morning as I took her DS out for a couple of hours while they went to the funeral directors, she was acting so cheery and normal, I just wanted to cuddle her and say it's ok to be sad. She is dealing with it as though nothings happened really, she says they need to be as normal as possible and focus on the future now and be thankful for the few days they had with their DD. I think she's been fed up of me texting her as she doesn't want to talk to anyone and says it's private to her and DP and noone understands how it feels.

I've asked her if I can do food shopping, cleaning or washing or anything and she says everything is fine. I must admit the house did look spotless when I went this morning and she had even written her christmas cards and starting wrapping presents. Maybe she just wants to act normal for the next few weeks to get christmas out of the way for her DS and the family?

The funeral is on Thursday. She says it's just immediate family only. I'm absolutely gutted I can't go although of course I respect her decision. I was the first person they told when she fell pregnant and I saw her at least once a week during the pregnancy, I heard the heartbeat and I was one of the very few people who felt baby kick. And of course I actually met her. I wish I could say goodbye properly rather than just visiting her resting place afterwards.

Sorry this is a bit of a sad post, it's been a very sad day sad

fromparistoberlin Wed 16-Jan-13 13:03:01

i think chipmonkey says good advice (and she knows of course)....

and I saw recent post. My guess is it has not hit her yet. But in some ways its way harder for you to deal with as its a bit weird?

Its her bereavement, so although it might seem weird you have to respect her reaction

so if she wants to act normal, act normal back

But my guess is it will hit her soon, and hard

MummysPuppet Fri 22-Feb-13 19:16:00

Thanks for this thread. One of my very good friends lost her baby girl today, full term and with no indicator of any problem. It is the most profound shock I have ever experienced and I feel unbelievably wretched so I've no idea how she must be feeling. She has asked for time which of course we will give her, but it is so helpful to have some insight into "what to do for the best", if there is such a thing. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

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