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Best friend lost baby (38 + 3) advice needed

(28 Posts)
seeyouanon Tue 07-Aug-07 15:28:27

Just found out that my best friend has lost her baby. No movements for couple of days, got checked out at hosp and no heartbeat. Baby confirmed as died in uterus. She has been given something to induce labour and sent home, with instruction to return on fri am if not before. She has her dh around for support but I just feel useless and any info on what is to come and how to be the best support/use, even practical advice/tips as to what needs to be sorted out would be much appreciated, TIA

LadyOfTheFlowers Tue 07-Aug-07 15:43:46

im so sorry.

DarrellRivers Tue 07-Aug-07 15:48:19

What tragic news...
Does she have other children, because helping with childcare if she does , would be very helpful.
What about practical support, having just been bereaved myself (my brother) , none of us could be bothered to cook, so a friend bringing around home cooked food was lovely.

goingfor3 Tue 07-Aug-07 15:51:59

Home made food does sound like a good idea, make sure it can go in the freezer if she can't face eating. Don't really know what else you can do at such a sad time.

DarrellRivers Tue 07-Aug-07 15:54:29

writing down how you feel is good as well.
A card telling her how you want to be there for her so she can read it when she wants to.

seeyouanon Tue 07-Aug-07 15:54:42

Unfortunately, she lives about four hours away so can't be there at moments notice. She already has one dc and this baby is the much longed for second. Thinking about going and staying in b&b or hotel nearby at weekend so can be around to do childcare, meals etc.
Plan to fill her freezer with goodies/comfort food - fish pie, lasagne, cakes etc.
Has anyone got info on what happens next? Does the birth and death have to be registered? What about a funeral or similar?

Mumpbump Tue 07-Aug-07 15:56:10

How awful... So, so sorry. No experience of this sort of situation, so can't give any practical advice.

DarrellRivers Tue 07-Aug-07 15:56:11

Both the childcare and the food sound very helpful things to do.
That will take a weight off her mind.
You sound a lovely friend

goingfor3 Tue 07-Aug-07 15:57:28

Unfortunatley your friend will have to register the birth and death of the baby which will be so painful for her and her husband. The baby will have a post mortem and then they will be able to bury the baby and have a funeral. Some hospital can arrange the funeral at no cost to the family.

seeyouanon Tue 07-Aug-07 15:59:15

Thanks for the support. I honestly feel useless, trying to keep busy is sort of helping. I don't think the house has ever been so clean and I can actually see the bottom of the ironing basket!

DarrellRivers Tue 07-Aug-07 16:01:38

Those things you are planning to do will be a big big help.
Cleaning however I find is always helpful in such a solution
so sad for your friend and her family
Life just comes and bites you when you least expect it

WanderingTrolley Tue 07-Aug-07 16:07:06

your poor friend

Find out the baby's name, and send her a nice card this time next year.

There will be a funeral - ask her if she wants help organising it, though she may opt for a quiet affair.

Great idea to go up for weekend and stay in B&B - you sound like a good friend to have.

Tommy Tue 07-Aug-07 16:09:18

I think going and staying there for the weekend will be really helpful.

Ask her (or her DH) what you can do to help and make sure that you are prepared to do anything they need.

They may find it useful to have someone in the house fielding calls or visits, to help arrange the funeral etc.

Filling the freezer is good too and doing housework for them.

Really sorry for your friend's family.

Marina Tue 07-Aug-07 16:13:20

SANDS Head Office will have some advice for you - the hospital should put your friend in touch with them anyway.

As goingfor3 says, because the baby was over 24 weeks when he/she died, both birth and death have to be registered

With regards to the funeral, thanks to a campaign by SANDS some years ago, many undertakers will provide a simple funeral service in these circumstances, free of charge. Crematoria will often waive their fees too. Your friends can choose what, if any, type of funeral to have for their baby.

Hopefully the hospital will have a bereavement midwife on the staff, whose job it will be to liaise with your friends, maybe even be present during labour and delivery, and to help them through the procedures such as the post-mortem and follow-up care at the hospital.

As I understand it, your friends are not required to have a post-mortem if they really don't want one done. It may well be able to tell them why their baby died, and it is recommended. But in about 50% of stillbirths overall, no reason is found, sadly. However, it can also be used to specifically rule out some causes of stillbirth. We had one, and despite no cause being found, and the delay it caused in being able to say goodbye to Tom, I feel it was the right decision.

You sound like a great friend . It is very tempting to give people whose baby has died a wide berth, for fear of intruding, or saying the wrong thing, whereas in fact you can feel totally alone and shunned in the days after such a shattering piece of news. Cooking, childcare, they're all helpful and welcome, but the chance to talk about their baby (by name if they choose to name him/her) and grieve with someone who's not afraid to be there, is the best thing you can give your friends.
We lost Tom at only 21 weeks but he was a desperately wanted and long-awaited second baby (five years ago this month). My heartfelt sympathies to your poor friends, and to you too, I know this sort of bereavement has a huge impact on friends as well. XXX

WanderingTrolley Tue 07-Aug-07 16:16:24

So sorry to hear about Tom, Marina.

RGPargy Tue 07-Aug-07 16:18:04

How tragic. So sorry

seeyouanon Tue 07-Aug-07 16:28:50

Feel in limbo, because she hasn't gone through the birth, we still don't know if the little one is a boy or a girl (names etc all secret). Flowers seem so lame and thoughtless (wrong word but I hope you know what I mean.)
Can't believe response from you all, some of you closer to the situation experience wise than others but all with so much support and love. Huge thanks

WanderingTrolley Tue 07-Aug-07 16:35:25

She may or may not want to speak to anyone at the moment, but that's what texting and answer phones are for - have you spoken to her, or sent/left a message? It doesn't matter if you don't know what to say, calling at all will mean a lot.

seeyouanon Tue 07-Aug-07 16:38:14

Spoke v briefly to her dh this morning, who said she would prob call me herself this pm. Feel I want to call but don't want to rush her.

goingfor3 Tue 07-Aug-07 16:41:49

Flowers are a nice thought they may seem lame but at least she will know you are thinking about her, on the other hand if she gets them then they may remind her of whats happening and make her feel worse if you can see what I mean. Everybody deals with things differntly so it's hard to know what to do for the best.

DarrellRivers Tue 07-Aug-07 16:42:20

Txting is good.
She knows you are there,are contacting her, but doesn't need to speak to you if she can't

expatinscotland Tue 07-Aug-07 16:43:18

I'm really sorry about that, seeyou.

Biglips Tue 07-Aug-07 16:46:25

im so sorry to hear about your friend x

emmamaw Tue 07-Aug-07 16:52:49

My mum lost a baby at 35 weeks eight years ago this week, and it really was a dreadful time. No-one knew what words to use, how to refer to the baby etc. Once the birth was over, and we knew it was a boy, she named him Matthew, and she always prefered to name him, and speak about him as a baby, her son, a person, who had been alive, even though it was inside her. That validated her grief, and enabled her to go through the grieving process. Some people refered to her loss as a miscarriage, which though upsetting, is much more common, and she felt that that was inconsiderate, and wrong. She will want to talk about it, let her know that's ok, when she's ready.

seeyouanon Wed 08-Aug-07 08:19:55

bump for the morning crowd. All advice/suggestions welcome. TIA

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