Stillbirth at 38+2 - Advice? Long Post as I am getting it all off my chest..(26 Posts)
I am a newbie here, I just wanted to share my recent experience and perhaps ask for some advice from other mums who have been in my situation.
Approaching 2 weeks ago I was given the devastating news that our little boy had no heartbeat at 38 weeks gestation, I gave birth to him two days later. He was absolutely perfect. We named him Edward William.
My pregnancy had been fairly straightforward, nothing particularly to note, just usual sickness up to 12 weeks. He was a very active boy, always pushing up into my ribs and wriggling around at night.
I had noticed the day before my routine midwife appointment that he had been a little quieter than normal, however like clockwork, just before I went to bed, he was shoving his bottom right out and making me feel as though he was just going to burst out my tummy at any moment. At that point I wasn't concerned, my baby was still moving and causing me to take sharp intakes of breath when he shoved a little too hard.
I saw my midwife the next morning for a routine check up. I told her about his movements the previous day but I wasn't overly concerned as he had done his usual acrobatic routine the evening before. I hopped up onto the bed for the midwife to have a listen with the doppler. She tried for what seemed like forever but she couldn't find Edward's heartbeat. I was sent straight away to the hospital, where an ultrasound confirmed that our little boy had passed away.
The pain I felt was indescribable. I remember the feeling of complete disbelief. I couldn't accept that our boy was no longer alive. They scanned me again, but still nothing. He was gone. The hospital gave me a tablet which would "switch off" my placenta and get me ready for the next step, which would be to deliver my baby 48 hours later - something which completely horrified me, I couldn't stand the thought of going through labour and my baby not being alive.
The days that passed following this were a blur of constant crying and feeling as if my whole world had stopped turning. I didn't want to accept it. My partner was just as devastated as me, we were both in complete shock.
We didn't make the 4pm hospital appointment 48 hours later, as Edward decided he didn't want to wait that long. At just before 12am the day following the news, my labour started. By 5.29am Edward was born.
There was nothing obviously wrong with our precious boy. He was so perfect, he had my nose and his dad's mouth. His little hands were just like mine and his feet were unfortunately similar to his father's. I willed him to take a breath or open his little eyes but no matter how hard I tried, he wouldn't wake.
My partner and I were able to stay in an apartment in the hospital with Edward. We were allowed to stay for as long as we wanted, so we could spend time holding, cuddling, kissing our dear boy. We stayed for a few days before returning home without our baby.
That was nearly two weeks ago. Tomorrow we are having a service for Edward and he will then be cremated. Tomorrow was his original due date.
The time since Edward being born has been a blur. Everyday is different but the same. I have tried to keep busy but nothing changes the way I feel. I have cried every day since finding out he had passed away.
My partner has been absolutely amazing and so strong. We have both said we feel infinitely closer to each other since Edward was born. My love for that man will last forever I'm sure. I have tried to be strong for him too, he did say how proud he was of me and amazed at my strength and courage throughout the whole process, even though I feel as if I'm a massive mess.
I'm at a stage currently where in between thinking about everything that has happened, I am thinking about being pregnant again. I feel as if I have had my right to be a mum stolen from me and all I want now is to be a mum. I have spoken to my partner about trying again and he has said he wants to.
Question 1 -
When have other mums in this situation decided to try again?
(I'm still bleeding currently but it has slowed significantly - barely any at all. Is 2 weeks too soon?)
How soon after a stillbirth/miscarriage did you fall pregnant again?
Was it a successful/normal pregnancy?
Were you induced earlier because of stillbirth previously?
Question 2 - how soon following a tragedy such as this did you return to work?
I feel at the moment quite apprehensive about returning to work. I am self employed so I should hopefully start receiving maternity allowance, which is significantly less than the Stat maternity pay, so I am worried about finances. Especially as I don't even have a baby to look after now. I don't know whether to start working somewhere else entirely just so people don't know me or what has happened. I don't know how many times I can take people telling me how sorry they are or having them ask if I'm ok. I know they mean well but it just feels overwhelming. I'm a veterinary nurse and I'm worried about making mistakes because I can't concentrate. I can't really afford to be making mistakes. I almost wish I had an office job where I could just sit and stare at a computer screen all day.
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, I feel like I had more questions but my brain has stopped working now.
Thank you in advance for any responses I get.
Oh love i am in tears reading this. So v sorry and sending you love and hugs.
I think you need time to grieve before trying again as the full impact will take time to come to terms with.
No doubt you will be a mum one day so hold on to that. I didnt experience anything like this but did have 3 miscarriages and that was hard enough so i really feel for you xxx
Oh Jenny, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I cannot give you advice from experience, but many women fall pregnant again very soon after giving birth, so you may not have to wait long. As for returning to work, you should not do so until you feel ready. You deserve this time to grieve
Ps i wouldnt rush back to work or make any decisions at present. You are not able to think clearly about these things yet. Give yourself time Jenny xxx
You poor, poor thing. I can not imagine how you are feeling. You just need to take as long as you need. There is no set time to feel better. Sending lots of love.
Oh, you poor darling.
I have had 3 miscarriages and lost a twin in the womb, but I have never experienced the loss you have. I got pregnant very quickly after one miscarriage, waited 9 months after another, but neither seemed to make much difference. I suppose people will tell you to let your body recover a little bit before trying again so my advice would be to fill yourself full of vitamins and nutritious food to get your body back to peak health.
Sometimes there are no words to explain a still birth. One can only guess, maybe the poor little popper had a weak heart....
A friend has 11 miscarriages between her 1at and 2nd child.
I'm so sorry that you lost your beautiful boy.
This hasn't happened to me but sadly three of my close friends have had stillborn babies. All of them started trying again straight away, two of the three had successful pregnancies straight away, and one had a number of miscarriages before having a successful pregnancy. All were induced early because of the previous stillbirth. All were employed (rather than self employed) and took 6-12 months off after losing their babies.
It's all still very early and raw for you now so try and take things one step at a time, don't worry about work while you are still going through saying goodbye to your baby.
Much love x
I'm so sorry for your unfair and cruel loss of Edward.
We started trying as soon as bleeding had stopped, maybe 4 weeks? I had a huge amount of stitches though. We were lucky and fell pregnant within 2 months. Same due date as our eldest. Totoally normal, healthy pregnancy and baby.
Hospital insisted on an early induction resulting in a section; it wasn't necessary and I wouldn't do it again. My third baby was actually a home vbac.
I didn't go back to work until I had actually had another baby (so three in total) and she was almost 1. I was not mentally able to go back to the same job/company from before my stillbirth.
Again, I'm so sorry. I hope tomorrow passes peacefully.
Oh god I'm so sorry. How horrific. Remember you are still entitled to your maternity leave. Even basic is 6 weeks at 90(?)% of your pay, so be sure to take that at least!!!!!
You've got an emotional roller coaster coming up. So sorry for your loss
If I were you I'd be taking the whole maternity leave
Just sending love and asking you to take your time before making any decisions at all. I am so sorry.
Our first little one was stillborn at 39+3 13 years ago and every word you wrote had me nodding along and saying yip.. exactly what I felt.
Don't return to work too soon.yes when you are there it's a distraction and there is a sense of relief of having something else to think about apart from Edward. But that relief is short lived. As hard as it is you need to take time to acknowledge your grief and work through it.
Like you I just kept thinking I want to be a mum. We tried in the first cycle after my bleeding stopped. Our second son was born less than a year later.
Another baby will never replace Edward but it does give you someone to cuddle and shower with love.
It's normal to be in tears every day at the moment. It's going to take a long while for that to stop. Once you have said a final farewell , you can try to start to think about building a new normality.
Baby steps though..get through an hour then maybe till lunchtime etc.. then one day you will make it through the day without tears..
My heart goes out to you both.
So sorry to hear this. My sister had a stillbirth at 40 weeks with very similar timeline to yours, he had moved less but she was told babies often did close to term as they had less wiggle room. She has gone on to have two lovely, healthy children since then (first of them was born 3.5 years later but I don't know if that was planned or just how it happened as she never discussed it)
As I am self employed I only get approx £500 per month in maternity pay from the government. That just covers the mortgage.
My partner earns a good wage, however I don't want to put extra pressure on him because I know he is going through the same turmoil as I am.
Luckily he works from home for some of the time and goes out on site for the other (he's a surveyor), so he can be at home with me and I can go out on site with him - which I have done a couple of times since we had Edward. It seemed to help us both a little.
I just feel like I'm being useless at home but there's no way I could face going back to work currently and obviously it's way too soon anyway.
Part of me wants to get pregnant again and just stay at home for 9 months until the baby is born. I'd probably wrap myself in cotton wool if I could.
I wasn't overly cautious when I was pregnant with Edward and now I desperately wish I had been, although they don't know why he died, he just did. It wasn't anything me or my partner did as far as they know. To be fair I suppose I was cautious looking back, I didn't have any alcohol at all, I don't eat meat anyway so no weird fish or anything like that, I didn't eat soft cheeses, all the stuff you are meant to avoid, I avoided. I took the appropriate pregnancy vitamins every day. I keep trying to tell myself that there was nothing more we could have done but it doesn't make it any easier.
It feels so unfair that two people who love each other and have a stable life who really want a child have him taken away from them. Then there are people who smoke and drink throughout pregnancies and they have a happy healthy baby at the end. How does that even make any sense?!
Life is so unfair and I hate it.
Thank you for your replies. x
I'm so sorry, life can be so cruel
You are not to blame Jenny. It is not your fault . Life is v unfair at times x
I'm so sorry for the loss of your little boy Edward. Sadly I am in a similar situation just slightly further down the road, I lost my little girl 13 weeks ago at 41 weeks after a long labour. In the end I was given an emcs but they weren't able to save her
It is the worst pain imaginable to lose your baby and I am so sorry you are going through this too. The funeral will be so hard, I didn't think I would be able to get through the day but I did and I had lots of support from my family & friends. Did you get lots of photographs, we have some beautiful pictures and they help me get through each day now just looking at her beautiful little face. Like you we don't know why my little girl passed away- I had a completely low risk pregnancy and when my waters broke I was so excited to be bringing my little baby home- I had no idea that this could happen. Unfortunately it's more common than people think- I have joined a sands group and met some people with recent losses like us and it has been so helpful to speak to them and hear they are thinking and feeling the same things and I'm not going crazy. We are getting our post Mortem results tomorrow and they have been so supportive during this horrible time and wait for results.
I can't say it gets easier - in fact sometimes I think I'm feeling worse than I did before because at the start it was just all consuming grief and disbelief but as the weeks have gone on it's been hard to try and process what's happened and find the "new normal" that so many mums talk about after loss. I will say though that the bad times are getting further apart and I'm having more moments of hope & happiness again.
I haven't gone back to work yet- I work in a job where I would have to face lots of people everyday and don't feel ready for that yet but I'm planning to go back in September time when my maternity leave ends - so about 6 months after losing my daughter. My husband went back to work after around 5 weeks and says the routine and normality of it all has helped him though.
I too am starting to think about another pregnancy but have the added factor of waiting after a csection to think about. I think after tomorrow's results I will have a better idea of when to try and what caused my little girl to pass away. At first I felt so so so guilty thinking about having another baby incase it looked like I was replacing her but it's not that at all I love my little girl more than I thought was possible but that almost made me realise how much I want to have another baby to add to our family. From my sands meetings and online forums etc it seems that it's completely normal to think of adding another baby to your family soon after a loss and most mums go on to have other pregnancies after a still birth.. but only you will know when is right for you.
I just want to say again how sorry I am, it's something no one should have to go through.. and I want to say that I never thought I could make it through a day or a week without her but here I am 13 weeks later still broken but beginning to have some hope for the future. Please take it slowly tomorrow and just take each day as it comes - some will be harder than others but that's ok. Grief is exhausting, take time to care for yourself and try not to feel guilty when you begin to have some moments of happiness coming through - you need the good times to help you get through the tough ones
I don't have any practical advice but I just wanted to say that I'm so so sorry for you, and also that you ARE a mum - don't ever think that you're not. My heart goes out to you.
I am a midwife and became very close to a family in your situation. She, too, wanted to conceive Asap. Her partner was more apprehensive.
What helped her a lot was contacting her local SANDS group. She felt less freakish and alone with other people who had had similar losses. She also found a lot of practical advice.
In the end, they waited a while (about 8 months) before another pregnancy. The dad, especially, got a lot of comfort from fundraising for SANDS, through his sport and his work. It was a way for him to acknowledge the reality of his pain whilst "doing something".
She was offered an induction of labour at 38 weeks if she wanted it. I offered her extra antenatal checks and saw her throughout. She also had extra scans.
She accepted the induction. All was well and a healthy baby was born normally.
steph0488 - I am equally sorry for your loss. It's so heartbreaking, there are literally no words to describe how a tragedy like this makes you feel. We didn't expect anything like this to happen either, you think that you're out of the woods once you've had your scans and everything is ok. I never even thought about the possibility of leaving hospital empty handed.
My partner and I decided against a post mortem. I don't think I would have been strong enough to wait for results and we didn't like the idea of it. We agreed that we would both be tested as much a the hospital wanted, we just didn't want it for our little Edward.
We got lots of photos and the hospital were fantastic. They gave us ink prints of his hand and foot prints, they also did a clay impression of his hands. They gave us a bear, he has one the same which is still with him now. They gave us a memory box with everything in. They also had a professional photographer come and take photos of our precious boy.
Every day since Edward has been odd. I don't feel as though I'm alive any more. Nothing feels like it matters or is real.
My partner and I were discussing getting married before Edward was born. Now it feels a little odd to think about. We both still want to get married and I do more than ever actually, after everything we have been through I couldn't ever imagine being without my partner. He has been my rock and I couldn't have asked for any more from him. I keep thinking maybe we should just go and have a private ceremony somewhere, just me and him. I feel like it will always be us both against the world as no one else has felt the shared pain that we have.
It's a very confusing time.
I don't have any advice, but I couldn't read and run.. I'm so very for your loss
Hello Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss. My baby died at 22 weeks of pregnancy- I honestly thought I was losing my mind with grief, and it seemed to get worse before it got better.
I was desperate to get pregnant again ASAP, but unfortunately had a missed miscarriage. I then got pregnant with my DS after 12 months. I then had my DD 2.5 years after- both pregnancies normal and babies healthy. The pregnancies were very tough emotionally, so with hindsight I was glad it took a little longer to get pregnant- gave me the time I desperately needed to grieve.
I went back to work after 3 weeks- major mistake!!! I was barely functioning and it nearly finished me off. Take as much time as you can would be my advice- being out and about in nature/ countryside seemed to help me.
Thinking of you and wishing you all the best. It is a very long hard road that you are now on- look after yourself x
It might be an idea to contact SANDS (Stillborn ad neonatal death syndrome) My friend got an enormous amount of support from them after her little boy was stillborn at 40 weeks. All she was told is that the the placenta failed. I think it was Steph who mentioned SANDS.
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