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Did you regret not arranging your own funeral or saying goodbye properly?

(16 Posts)
knackeredlou Fri 29-Oct-10 12:04:09

Hello ladies

I know this subject has been touched on but I would really appreciate your advice. Last week I found out my baby had died at 17 weeks. The hospital staff were great but I did feel pressured into making a decision about funeral arrangements as I was told I would need to let them know before I left. Tbh, following two days in hospital I just wanted to get home to my DS so decided on a cremation, where all babies are cremated together and the ashes scattered at the local cemetery. Parents are not allowed to attend and so my DH and I have decided to light a candle in the hospital chapel on the day of the cremation.

Sorry this has become so long but my question is if any of you took the same option did you feel that you were unable to say goodbye properly? My options are basically to arrange our own funeral, but I don’t know if I have the strength for that (the hospital will put us in contact with funeral directors etc) or for the hospital to arrange it but therefore we won’t be able to attend. I am worried I will regret not saying goodbye or that I didn’t give my baby the send off he/she deserved.

Thank you for reading.

spilttheteaagain Fri 29-Oct-10 12:39:44

Hi lou

Firstly I am so sorry you've lost your baby.

I found out 3 weeks ago that my baby had died at the 20 week scan so have just been through something very similar to you.

All I can tell you is what we did. We chose to make private arrangements for our baby to be buried. We are part of a local church so spoke first to our vicar and asked him to do the service. His wife works for a funeral directors so was able to arrange that side of things for us. We had a very small private graveside service with just me, DH, the vicar and his wife. I carried the casket to the grave. DH read 2 poems and we had some prayers and then the casket was lowered into the grave by the vicar and his wife. DH and I filled in the grave ourselves (our choice) and spent some time there to say goodbye. We visited again a few days later when the gravediggers had "finished up" and laid flowers. It was very simple and small but was immensely helpful to us. We felt it acknowledged that our baby had been born, loved and was missed. It means we know where our baby is now and have a place to go and visit when we want to.

Our hospital offered the same service as you describe, but having not made use of it I can't tell you what it might have felt like. It was the fact that you couldn't attend the service which put us off. We felt we needed to be there. We briefly considered private cremation but were told that with a baby so small very few, if any, ashes would be returned to us. We couldn't cope with that, we felt we needed to know where our baby was if that makes sense?

If you do want to consider private arrangements, the Co-op funeralcare did ours and were excellent. They will have handled this sort of situation before so don't feel you are asking for something odd. Their policy is not to charge for the funeral of a baby. They provided a lovely white and silver casket 12 inches long, so it was appropriate to the size of the baby (important to me). The local cemetery also have a policy of not charging for baby graves, I understand this is common but not universal.

Thinking of you, I hope that is of some use x

localmum Fri 29-Oct-10 12:46:51

Friends of mine lost their little boy when he was 2. They did not know where they were going to be living, so they arranged a cremation and kept his ashes in a little container (sorry don't know what the correct name is). They have a little place in their home with a candle, some flowers and a rosary and they plan for his ashes to be bnuried with them when the time comes.

localmum Fri 29-Oct-10 12:50:03

Meant to say I am so sorry for your loss.

My sister is buried hundreds of miles away from where I now live. This is a source of great sadness for me.

knackeredlou Fri 29-Oct-10 12:57:35

Thank you both for your replies. Split, I have been following your post and am so sorry of your loss also.

It's the not being there that I cannot cope with, my baby deserves more than that. I think I might give co-op a call, even if just to see if there are any other options.

Thank you again,
Lou x

knackeredlou Fri 29-Oct-10 13:16:44

Sorry Spilt, I didn't mean to put split. Still don't know whether I'm coming or going...

Localmum - sorry to hear you have lost your sister. Life is so unfair. My DH lost his dad a few years ago and it breaks my heart that we're now discussing the funeral of our much wanted baby.

I wish you both happiness for the future.

iloveblue Fri 29-Oct-10 14:29:03

We lost our baby last week - similar story, was having period pain and mini-contractions ,went into hosp to be told baby had no heartbeat. I was 20 weeks pregnant.

We decided against a funeral, and our hosp has a similar set-up to yours. I liked the thought of our baby being with other babies, and there is a memorial we can visit.

I personally didn't feel the need for a funeral - I don't think it would have helped me, I said goodbye to my baby a week ago when we found out he/she had died, but this is a really personal thing and if you think it would help you then I would definitely look into arranging one.

We will have a keepsake box for scan photo, hand/foot prints, tag etc and we are also going to plant a tree/plant to remember our little one.

How are you doing? I hope you have lots of support around you.

Did you have any reasons why this might have happened? This is what I'm struggling with at the moment - knowing that we may never get any conclusions.

spilttheteaagain Fri 29-Oct-10 14:29:26

Lou, one thing I meant to say is that if you do speak to a funeral director you can ask them to come and do a home visit to discuss the arrangements, so you don't need to go out (I know I would have found it very difficult to go somewhere so soon, I wanted to be at home and limit who I might see).

Thinking of you x

knackeredlou Fri 29-Oct-10 15:04:32

We've not been given any reason why it happened either. The hospital will check the placenta, but I've been told this rarely gives any answers. The same with an autopsy, we will probably never know so decided to not have it done. The hospital seemed to imply that unless you've had three miscarriages then they don't really investigate. Don't know if it was just me who took it that way.

I am very lucky that I have an amazing DH and DS, I honestly wouldn't be coping otherwise.

Thank you both for your kind words. I hope that you too have lots of love and support.

iloveblue Fri 29-Oct-10 15:29:40

Glad your DH and DS are helping you through this lou - how old is your DS?

Our hospital gave me the impression that there would be a lot of investigation done into why this happened, and it is my first miscarriage (still find it hard calling it that).

They took about 9 lots of blood from me to test for various things plus urine sample and swab. They also send the placenta and cord off for testing. We opted for a full postmortem - going through the paperwork at the time was very hard but it seems to be very thorough. But even with all this they said to be prepared as 75% of investigations like this still come up blank.

knackeredlou Fri 29-Oct-10 16:24:40

My DS is almost 3. He's a little young to know what's going on but I sense he knows something as I've been getting lots of lovely kisses! Do you have any children?

It's interesting how hospitals differ. I didn't have any swabs or bloods taken. Tbh I was so dazed by it all (as I'm sure you were) that I didn't ask many questions. I'm visiting my gp on Monday as I don't really know what to expect next.

I hope you get answers. It's an awful thing to go through but the thought of it happening again petrifies me. Any info is better is better than none.

iloveblue Fri 29-Oct-10 22:20:33

I have two boys aged 4 and 6. They don't seem to be sad about whats happened (which I'm glad about) but like your DS they have been v loving and a bit clingy since it happened.

I can't believe the way different hospitals deal with similar instances - surely there should be a standard practise that they all follow.

I was chatting with someone else on another thread (*leosmummy* - hope you don't mind) who suffered a similar loss and spent the day in A+E, never saw a midwife and was given v little support by the sounds of it.

I will also be worrying about future pregnancy/ies even though I had two easy pregnancies with DS's. I know its early days but all I can think about at the moment is TTC again.

Keep chatting on here or PM me if you like - I will be posting, I find it really helpful.

Thinking of you at this awful, sad time x

spilttheteaagain Mon 01-Nov-10 16:03:13

How are you lou?

Rosettaroo Mon 01-Nov-10 22:47:40

When I lost my baby we were going to have a cremation with other babies at the hospital but I changed my mind the day after and we did have a funeral. He is buried about 200 miles from where we live, near where my DH asked me to marry him and not far from my family. I think wherever they are put to rest whether near or far their always with us .

I have a keepsake box, I look in it less now as 4 years have almost passed, was at Christmas time. I will always be very sad but the pain does lessen, at first it is so raw you worry you will never be able to get through it. I had counselling to help me. I feel for you, truly I do, take care.x

Dimi Fri 12-Nov-10 22:25:16

I lost my beautiful baby girl 5 weeks ago at 41wks+4days...she was perfect in every way. I had an uncomplicated, low risk, healthy preganancy.
Life is so very unfair....I am so sorry for your loss.
We had our daughter cremated and I was surprised that they cremated my placenta with her, but pleased they did as it is comforting to know a piece of me went with her.

iloveblue Fri 12-Nov-10 23:11:00

So sorry for the loss of your daughter Dimi. Thinking of you x

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