Talk

Advanced search

*Trigger Warning* - Our son was stillborn - Ask me anything.

(193 Posts)
DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 14:29:08

Our dear son was stillborn at 38+2 weeks, in May of last year. No real cause was found for his passing.

I know this is not the most cheerful of subjects, however I am also aware that some people find it a difficult subject to approach in the real world. So, please, ask me anything.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 14:36:59

(I’m his mum).

JoshChan Thu 12-Jul-18 14:39:27

Sorry this happened to you.

Did you know beforehand that he was going to be stillborn?
When and how did you tell people about what'd happened?
Did you want people to talk about it? What did you want people to say?

MochiBean Thu 12-Jul-18 14:42:27

Thank you so much for offering to answer questions about this! It must be so, so hard for you. I am currently pregnant and I know a fair few people to whom this has happened so obviously it's one of my biggest fears (I'm a FTM).

May I ask, how did you know? Did you get any warning signs beforehand that you would suggest people look out for?

Thinking of you.

Xxx

PersisFord Thu 12-Jul-18 14:45:55

I have a friend who had a beautiful baby girl who was stillborn. It’s coming up for what would have been the baby’s first birthday - any ideas for something I could do to mark the occasion? Flowers?

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 12-Jul-18 14:48:11

What was his name? What is your favourite thing that you remember about him?

RailReplacementBusService Thu 12-Jul-18 14:49:53

Well done OP for posting. Child loss is not spoken about enough.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 14:56:18

*Sorry this happened to you.

Did you know beforehand that he was going to be stillborn?
When and how did you tell people about what'd happened?
Did you want people to talk about it? What did you want people to say?*

Hi JoshChan

Yes, we found out that our son had passed away two days before he was born. I was due to be induced, which had been arranged by the hospital after finding out he had died, however I went into labour the night before and our son was born early the next morning.

I told My DP straight away, I called him and he came straight to the hospital - he was working about 2 hours away at the time. I then called my mum. I told one of my best friends that evening that he had died and asked her if she would tell people on my behalf, which she did. Work was the same, I informed my boss, who I’m good friends with and she held a meeting the following morning, where the other staff members were told what had happened.

For a time I felt unsure what I wanted to be honest.
After he was born I felt like I wanted him to be spoken about, I didn’t want to feel as though people avoided the subject, for fear of upsetting me. I wanted him to be acknowledged and his little life to be appreciated. I didn’t want to feel like he had been forgotten about.
At the same time I felt as though I didn’t want sympathy or my hand holding. I’m quite an independent type of person and I don’t like attention or drama. For me, I was happy to talk about our son, my labour and what happened, I just didn’t want to be mollycoddled. I didn’t want or need sympathy from people, I knew they were sorry it had happened and that was enough for me.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 15:07:50

May I ask, how did you know? Did you get any warning signs beforehand that you would suggest people look out for?

Hi MochiBean

I found out at a routine midwife appointment, I was exactly 38 weeks. She listened for his heartbeat with a Doppler and couldn’t find it, so I was referred straight away to the hospital, where it was confirmed by ultrasound scan that his heart had stopped and he had passed away.

I didn’t have any warning signs at all that I can recall. I do remember feeling him sitting a little lower in my tummy, which may have been when he died, as I think babies when they pass “sink down” as they become floppy (sorry don’t know how else to describe). Other than that there was nothing to suggest he was in trouble. Even after it had been confirmed that he had died, his little body kept pushing really far out against my tummy, I could feel his bum pressing up against me. This can still happen as they float around in their fluid.
Because of this I think it took me a little longer to accept that he had died, I remember asking the midwives when I got to hospital if they could have possibly made a mistake because he was still “moving”. Of course there was no mistake.

I don’t really have any advice for what to look out for as such as I didn’t have anything that indicated to me he had died, all I can say is trust your instincts and if you feel like your baby’s movements have altered at all or you are worried, call your triage/midwife. It’s far better to be seen and everything turn out to be fine.

Wishing you the best of luck with the remainder of your pregnancy.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 15:21:23

I have a friend who had a beautiful baby girl who was stillborn. It’s coming up for what would have been the baby’s first birthday - any ideas for something I could do to mark the occasion? Flowers?

Hello PersisFord

We celebrated our boy’s first birthday earlier in the year. It was an extremely emotional day for me but my DP and I decided we wanted to do something to honour our baby.

I bought a big helium balloon in the shape of a dinosaur, I also bought a birthday card and we wrote in a message for our son.
We had sunflowers for his funeral and I often like to have them in the house, to serve as a quiet and gentle reminder of our beautiful boy. So, I also had lots of sunflowers. (We are also having them for our wedding in September).

My friends sent flowers, which were welcome and very thoughtful. One of my friends from work also made a beautiful cross stitch of a bluebell with a blue butterfly perched on it. It also has his name and date of birth on.

DP and I decided to go for a picnic with our dogs (our other babies). We had a birthday cake and spent time mostly just sitting in the peace and quiet with our four legged friends.

I would say definitely do something for your friend’s baby. It still is her birthday and it will always be a difficult day for your friend. I think the fact that you will have remembered will mean much more than the actual gift itself. I’d also say give your friend space but also offer a shoulder if he/she needs one.
Also, if you can have the baby’s name somewhere on the gift or tag - I find this so much nicer as it is still an acknowledgment of our baby boy.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 15:26:47

What was his name? What is your favourite thing that you remember about him?

Hi Johnny

We called him Edward William.

I don’t know if I had a favourite thing to be honest, he was so perfect it’s hard to pick!
His hands were beautiful, so tiny but perfectly formed. He had my mouth and nose. He looked very much like me. He had his dad’s blonde hair (I’m dark haired) and his feet! Everything else was pretty much the same as me.

I wish I could have seen the colour of his eyes.They were closed when he was born and remained closed.

ReggieKrayDoYouKnowMyName Thu 12-Jul-18 15:33:03

Thanks for doing this OP. Were you given the option of a c section? Do you think that would have been better than a natural labour? I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 12-Jul-18 15:34:01

That is a lovely classic name OP. He sounds like a perfect, beautiful baby. Congratulations on your lovely son and I'm so sorry for your loss.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 15:36:01

Also to add to my answer to you Johnny - his smell. If I close my eyes and concentrate on it enough I can still smell him even now.

Although we were going through one of the most painful things life can throw at you, that smell made me feel so calm and relaxed, with him in my arms.

Silversun83 Thu 12-Jul-18 15:37:32

I am so sorry for your loss flowers

Did you spend much time with him in the hospital after he was born? What sort of things did you do? Did it help with the grieving process?

Did you want to TTC soon afterwards?

Sorry if these questions are too personal, please feel free to ignore.

Silversun83 Thu 12-Jul-18 15:39:04

He sounds so lovely smile

FloralBunting Thu 12-Jul-18 15:41:32

My sincere condolences, OP. I have two friends who have experienced this, and they both process it very differently. One is very private, and feels much more comfortable about the issue by being fairly detached from it. The other has channelled her grief into campaigning about awareness and speaks frequently about her experience. I've learned a lot from both of them about the appropriate ways to approach the issue.

Can I ask, what are your feelings about further children? Have you even got to the stage of considering it? Do you have a good network to support you?

SmellMyBeads Thu 12-Jul-18 15:43:42

This is so so sad. I have never cried about a post but I am now. I'm so sorry for your loss. flowers

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 15:44:25

Thanks for doing this OP. Were you given the option of a c section? Do you think that would have been better than a natural labour? I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

Hello Reggie

I wasn’t given the option of a c-section, the hospital recommended natural delivery as they would rather try to keep your body from having a section in case of subsequent pregnancies. Their attitude is if you can birth naturally, they would rather you do so, which does make sense.

I don’t know that a section would have been better to be honest, perhaps physically easier by avoiding going through labour (not including recovery of course). I felt as though giving birth to my son, even though he was sleeping, was something, perhaps the last thing I could do for him. In having a natural birth, it was very calm and quiet, not too many strangers involved, we had two midwives popping in and out, we saw a Dr once right at the start and that was all.
I feel that if i had have been wheeled off to theatre and him taken from me by someone else wouldn’t have been right in a way.
As it was, my labour was fairly quick, I think an hour and 40mins in active labour. My DP was with me all the way through, I remember hearing the birds singing as the sun was coming up and our son was born. It felt surreal but like one of the most beautiful things in the world.

PersisFord Thu 12-Jul-18 15:48:35

Dippy thanks for answering. I never know what to say - I don’t want to not say anything at all, but I don’t want to push her to talk. I also feel really self conscious sometimes when I think I have been going on about my kids. I don’t see her very much any more as we moved away, so even though it’s been a year I haven’t had that many actual face to face conversations with her.

Edward sounds gorgeous - although when you say he had his dad’s feet I am picturing an adorable little bundle with massive hairy size 12s on the end!!

Did you get any photos? Would it upset you if someone asked to see them?

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 16:12:12

I am so sorry for your loss flowers

Did you spend much time with him in the hospital after he was born? What sort of things did you do? Did it help with the grieving process?

Did you want to TTC soon afterwards?

Sorry if these questions are too personal, please feel free to ignore.

Hi SilverSun

We were allowed to spend as much time as we liked with Edward after he was born, thanks to our hospital having a cooled cot, I think they’re called a Cuddle Cot if I remember rightly. Baby stays in this, which extends the amount of time you can have together. You can still pick them up, have cuddles, bath and dress them etc, which we did.

We spent two days in the hospital with Edward, which I think helped both DP and I. Initially when we found out that Edward had died, my DP wasn’t even sure if he wanted to see him. I think the thought of seeing something so precious, that was so desperately wanted and you knew you were losing, was just too much for him to comprehend at first. He did however say afterwards that he was really glad he had spent that time with him. We were allowed time to be a family and I will be forever grateful for that.

We didn’t really do a lot, obviously I had various medical people popping in and out to examine me, take blood, do check overs etc. We also had a few visits from the hospital chaplain who was a wonderful lady.
Both my parents and my DPs parents came to see us and Edward. By the time visitors had been, various medical folk and the people who provide food, there was time in between to have some quiet time, just us three, so we could hold him and kiss him and talk to him, just to do what normal families do when they have welcomed a new baby to their lives.

Those two days without a doubt helped both DP and I. After we returned home, we visited Edward in hospital twice more and then once at the chapel of rest. I remember saying to DP that I didn’t think seeing Edward was helping me any more. I felt stuck, like I coulddn’t move anywhere and I was constantly thinking about him being on his own away from me. After the chapel of rest visit, the funeral service closely followed, so we didn’t see him again after that.

We took lots of photos with and of Edward in the hospital. The midwives also did hand and foot prints for us and did a clay impression of his hands. A professional photographer also came (organised by the hospital) to take photos of Edward and us. We were given a memory box, which we keep all his little trinkets in, including his hospital band and things like that.

I felt desperate to TTC again straight away. If there was a way that I could have fallen pregnant the next day, I would have taken the opportunity. At first, after Edward had died, I had thoughts such as “he will come back to me” and that I would fall pregnant again with another boy etc and it would be him. Your mind does very strange things when you’re grieving and I think if I had fallen pregnant straight away it probably wouldn’t have been that helpful for me.
I bled for approx 6 weeks post partum, after this DP and I discussed what to do and he said he would like to TTC again (as did I), so we didn’t bother with contraception and let nature take it’s course. I am now 35 weeks pregnant and just this second received a phone call with my induction date!

FloralBunting Thu 12-Jul-18 16:19:39

Huge congratulations on your pregnancy! My friends have both had 'rainbow babies' and I know their pregnancies and labours were hairy scary times. I really wish you all the very best, with all my heart. You've made a stranger quite emotional this afternoon!

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 16:23:36

Can I ask, what are your feelings about further children? Have you even got to the stage of considering it? Do you have a good network to support you?

Hello Floral

DP and I wanted to TTC again as soon as was possible after losing Edward. Not to replace him as we could never do that anyway but we did have this horrible feeling that our family had a missing piece.
In a way I feel more connected to Edward now after some time has elapsed. I see and feel him in certain ways that I didn’t before because I was so consumed by my grief and our shared pain. I would be lying if I said that I feel him constantly, as I don’t but of courseI do think of him everyday, multiple times. Some days I feel very connected to him and other days I don’t so much.

Yes, we considered TTC straight away and proceeded to do so. I am now 35 weeks pregnant and just had my date through for induction. It has been a scary process, going through another pregnancy and I don’t think I will relax fully until our baby is delivered safe and well.

I have some very close and lovely friends who have been so incredibly supportive. My family, although they mean well have often put their foot in it or tried to force themselves on me, because they wanted to offer support. This didn’t go down well with me, although they meant well I didn’t like it and I do feel like it has caused a bit of a gap between us, so to speak.
I feel as though they don’t really “get it” and so I try to avoid situations with them where Edward is involved. For example, his birthday - My DM kept pestering me to come over to my house to deliver something (nothing to do with Edward), on his birthday and a few days after. In the end I had to tell her straight that I couldn’t and didn’t wish to see her and I’d let her know when I was ready. Some people cannot understand the need for space, which can prove difficult when that’s all you need sometimes.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 16:35:37

Dippy thanks for answering. I never know what to say - I don’t want to not say anything at all, but I don’t want to push her to talk. I also feel really self conscious sometimes when I think I have been going on about my kids. I don’t see her very much any more as we moved away, so even though it’s been a year I haven’t had that many actual face to face conversations with her.

Edward sounds gorgeous - although when you say he had his dad’s feet I am picturing an adorable little bundle with massive hairy size 12s on the end!!

Did you get any photos? Would it upset you if someone asked to see them?

PersisFord -

You don’t have to say anything as such, just knowing people are there if you need them is often enough. A gentle message should be enough, if she wants to answer she will and if she doesn’t answer, just give her space. It won’t be personal, I promise.
Perhaps ask her how she is feeling with baby’s birthday approaching. Would she like to do anything or does she have plans. Does her baby have a grave? If so, ask her if she would mind you taking some flowers or a little teddy, or both. I’ll bet you she says she would love you to.
The process of releasing things into the air is quite popular amongst baby loss families, such as balloons or bubbles. I am fairly environmentally conscious so balloons are a no from me but bubbles are great, especially over water, like a lake or the sea if it is close by.
Does your friend have anything that she associates with her baby particularly? For me, as I mentioned it’s sunflowers. Although they are associated with the death of our baby, they also represent our love for him, which is infinite and incredibly strong.

To be honest, other people talking about their own children doesn’t bother me day to day. I am very aware that life has continued since we lost our baby. I think it bothers me more when you can see people going “oh shit” in their heads because they expect you to get upset about them talking about their children. I hate being treated like a victim, because I’m not one. I’m a mum too, my baby is just not alive anymore.

Of course, I love showing my son off - what parent doesn’t? I am more than happy to share pictures of him, I am very proud of him.

DippyDiplodocus Thu 12-Jul-18 16:36:50

Re the feet - he wasn’t a hobbit! grin hahaha! Just a smaller version of his dad’s...

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: