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DH's friend's baby has died following her developing pre-eclampsia

(10 Posts)
LoveInAColdClimate Sat 24-Sep-11 09:41:07

Her DH is one of my DH's oldest and best friends, although I don't actually know them all that well as they don't live nearby. We can't remember exactly when the baby was due but know it was soon. We really, really want to do and say the right thing to help them at such an awful time, but don't really know what to do other than the usual flowers (which we will of course be sending). If anything similar has happened to you, and you don't mind talking about it, what did people do and say that you found helpful? What should we definitely not do or say? Would you have appreciated one of those food parcels like you send new mothers (although obviously not branded as such) since they probably won't feel like cooking but will still need to eat? We're a bit far away to help with anything practical (although not sure what that would be anyway) but still want to do anything we can.

The other thing is that I'm 15 weeks pregnant, which we haven't told them yet. I already have a proper bump and if we go to the funeral (assuming it's not just for very close family), they'll almost certainly realise (although I suppose I could hide it by keeping my coat on?). What is the least dreadful way to deal with this aspect of it, do you think? If we don't go to the funeral, how and when is least awful to tell them that I'm pregnant?

Thank you - I appreciate this will be a very painful subject for many people and I really value your help. Thank you.

Thumbwitch Sat 24-Sep-11 16:48:48

So sorry for your DH's friend and his wife, what an awful thing for them to have happen.

This hasn't happened to me but I have been on the threads of two ladies who have lost near-term babies in the last year and their pain is palpable.

Thoughtless comments include:
"don't worry, you can always have another one"
"she's in a better place"
and anything else that minimises their loss or suggests in any way that it wasn't a "real" child as it hadn't yet been born. sad

Can I suggest you read the thread that WhatevertheWeather has running at the moment, it might give you some insights - she may be able to offer you some advice but it's very raw for her just now. Cheeseandgherkins lost her baby 9months ago and is still finding it very hard but again, her thread might offer you some insights.

Helpful stuff is asking what you can do to help, especially after the funeral, because that's when most people stop thinking about it. And talking about their baby, not pretending that it never happened.
Do they have any other children? You can offer them links to the various websites for charities that help children deal with loss (again, you should find those websites linked on the other threads).

bishboschone Sun 25-Sep-11 12:40:30

Not sure how much help this is but I had pre eclampsia earlier this year and had to have my son at 33 weeks ..thankfully he is ok but I just wanted to point out that she will be very unwell too. I nearly died too and was on strong medication for a long time afterwards. Please ignore if you realised this already.

GiganticusBottomus Sun 25-Sep-11 12:48:28

Sorry to hear that LOveinacoldclimate sad
Just one thing,I would avoid sending flowers, so many people tend to do it, it can be a bit overwhelming. Food parcel sounds nice or I'm sure other people can come up with some great suggestions that aren't flowers.

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 25-Sep-11 13:57:48

Thank you so much for helpful suggestions. I hadn't actually realised how unwell she was until yesterday, I had wrongly thought that as soon as the baby was delivered the mother's health was no longer at risk. Apparently she is getting a bit better physically which is a relief.

I will check out the other thread and send a hamper rather than flowers. Thank you.

Whatevertheweather Sun 25-Sep-11 22:41:05

Hi loveinacoldclimate - what a lovely thoughtful friend you sound. Thumbwitch is right I lost my baby daughter at near term 4 weeks ago.

There are some lovely websites which do specialist baby loss gifts. Here is a link to one I think has some especially lovely things http://www.alexandrasangelgifts.co.uk/ Something like a personalised candle would be a beautiful gift. Or this 'comfort box' would be perfect http://www.alexandrasangelgifts.co.uk/baby%20angel%20memorial%20comfort%20box' I would avoid the memory boxes though as if they are like us they may want to choose that themselves. The cards on there are lovely too.

Or do they have other children? If so a gift for them I expect would be equally welcome. Something to occupy them like a board game would be really helpful. Also something some of our friends did was rather than send flowers immediately for the funeral was to organise a 'rota' for flowers at Erin's grave so that there will be fresh flowers there for a long time.

Hope that helps a little. Please pass on my heartfelt sympathy to your friend and if there is anything else you would like to ask please feel free. The love and support of our friends and family and the wonderful support on here is invaluable at this time xx

Whatevertheweather Sun 25-Sep-11 22:42:41

Bugger forgot the brackets on the links

www.alexandrasangelgifts.co.uk/baby%20angel%20memorial%20comfort%20box

www.alexandrasangelgifts.co.uk/

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 25-Sep-11 22:48:59

Thank you so, so much for coming on here to give advice at what must be such a difficult time, Whatevertheweather. I read your thread today on Thumbwitch's suggestion and am so impressed by your amazing courage and so distraught on your behalf that you have had to go through such a dreadful, dreadful experience. Thank you for the links, that is a wonderful idea. This is their first baby so no older DCs to buy for. Thank you again, and I am so, so terribly sorry for your loss. X

bruffin Sun 25-Sep-11 23:37:57

Everyone reacts differently. I was in hospital for 7 weeks with pre eclampsia, one lady i met in hospital lost her baby at 32 weeks due to pre eclampsia. We kept in touch and when I finally got out of hospital she wanted me to bring ds to see her. She said she didn't mind about other people's babies she just wanted her own sad I went to see her and she wanted to give DS a cuddle.

One of my NCT class also lost her full term baby, she didn't want to see any of us at the time, but she had another baby very quickly afterwards and she had a get together for all of us then.

Whatevertheweather Sun 25-Sep-11 23:50:56

No problem at all. Thoughtful gifts really do honestly mean the world. I forgot to say re your pregnancy - everyone is different but I find it hard seeing people who are due around now or with newborns but I have 2 friends who are 16 and 18 weeks pregnant (but I did know before I lost Erin) and seeing them doesn't bother me at all. I was even talking to one of them last week about my experience of having now had a vaginal birth with dd1 and a crash section with dd2 as she asked what a c section was like.

Personally, however, if you can hide it if you go to the funeral i think that would be best and tell them gently after the event - maybe in a card so they have time to process it in case it does upset them. Their emotions will be so heightened on the day of the funeral. I did ask a friend who is due a week after what would have been my due date if she minded not coming to Erin's funeral as it just would have been too hard to see her on that day. She totally understood and sent some lovely flowers and I've chatted to her since on the phone. But it is the close due date thing that I struggle with rather than just pregnancy per se x

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