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Miscarriage at 16 wks - decisions about funeral

(17 Posts)
fatfingers Wed 06-Jul-11 09:09:09

I lost my baby on Friday 1st July when I was 16 wks pg. I had been for a scan on Wed due to stomach cramps/bleeding and baby was fine then, waving his arms around. Fast forward to Fri morning (I was admitted to hospital overnight due to heavy bleeding, labour pains and waters started leaking) and baby's heart had stopped beating. This was dc3 for me so I am lucky to have 2 dds already but I am so sad that I never got the chance to get to know my 3rd child. I had been so looking forward to having a new baby at Christmas and also being on ML to settle dd2 into school (she starts reception in Sept). I feel like all my hopes have been snatched away and I am so sad that my baby will never know how much he was loved and wanted. I keep crying.

Anyway, I have to make a decision about funeral arrangements. The hospital have said they will cremate him and hold a service. I don't really want him cremated but that's what they do so I think I will have to accept that. Then they can bury the ashes on the hospital plot with other babies or we can take the ashes. I am just interested to know what other people have chosen to do with their babies? I would really like him to have a proper funeral but this would be very expensive I expect.

jellybeans Wed 06-Jul-11 09:23:27

Hi, I am so very sorry for your loss sad I lost 2 girls at 20 and 23 weeks. One was sudden preterm labour (she was alive till delivery) and one had a severe genetic problem. Both were stillborn. I so understand your feelings about things being snatched away. I felt like i had suddenly been 'rewinded'5-6 months back and it had all been for nothing, it was horrid-so empty and sad. I couldn't face going out and seeing pregnant women for a long while. Our hospital offered simple funerals for late losses. You could choose cremation but it said in the literature that there may be few ashes for small babies. I wanted burial, it just felt right for us.

Private funerals are expensive but some don't charge for babies. You could try asking the hospital for buriel and see what there reasons are. Or you could approach the hospital's preferred funeral directers and ask them. We didn't have to pay for anything other than the kerb stone (£300 ish!). We had a very simple chapel and graveside service and buriel. The casket was lovely and had a plaque with their names on. I think having a service we were happy with helped alot. I lost a baby at 11 weeks years before and never knew what happened to the baby and it still makes me sad at times. But it is comforting knowing my girls are buried in a communal children's garden and are together.

I really think your wishes should be respected. I am grateful that my hospital was really good in this aspect. there are guidelines somewhere, if I find them i will let you know. Do you have a bereavement midwife? Mine was useful and liased about the funeral etc. Take care x

pink4ever Wed 06-Jul-11 09:37:40

I am so sorry for your sad loss. It is a horrible thing to go through. I have lost 3 boys at 19,24 and 28 weeks. We have 2 of them buried in the same plot. The funeral home only charged us for the burial plot and nothing else. Our other little boy had a funeral arranged by the hospital(as we were too distraught to go through it again). He is buried in a plot with other lost babies in a different cemetary.
You do not have to agree to have your baby cremated if you are not happy with that. Ask hospital if they offer burial and if they dont then ask them for the name of the their funeral directors. Having a small service may help you to come to terms with your loss.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 06-Jul-11 09:37:56

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, sometimes Mother Nature is a bitch sad Please go the hospital and explain that you don't want a cremation. If you are wanting a private funeral they will allow that. A cremation is offered as most parents aren't up to dealing with it all. Some, like you, are. As Jellybeans said, quite a lot of funeral directors don't charge for childrens burials. I hope its sorted easily for you

MollysChamber Wed 06-Jul-11 09:45:16

Truly sorry for your loss.

I'm not sure that a funeral service would necessarily be particularly expensive. I think you should look into it or ask someone close to you too if you don't feel up to it.

My friend regrets not having the funeral she wanted for her son. She didn't feel up to it at the time. If you can find the strength I think you'll feel better for having the service you want for your son.

fatfingers Wed 06-Jul-11 10:41:56

Thank you so much for your quick responses. Although this is the first time I've posted on this board, I have been reading since I came out of hospital on Sat and it has really helped me. I am really sorry for all of your losses.

I have a bereavement midwife who was lovely when I spoke to her yesterday - I must say the staff at the hospital have been fantastic. She did say that funeral directors won't usually charge for babies so you will normally only pay for a plot so its nice to hear some experiences reflecting that. I have thought about having him buried with my nan and grandad (don't want him to be alone) so think I will ask funeral directors today about cost of this. Glad I am not the only one who wants this - I worry that people will think I am being silly to worry about funeral for a 16 wk baby.

At the moment I feel so sad. Sad for the baby I have lost, sad that I have to go back to work and miss out on spending time with the 2 precious children I already have, sad that I might not be able to have any more children (dc2 was born at 23 weeks and miraculously survived but similar situation to this pg from 16 weeks so there does appear to be an ongoing problem). I have been referred to a clinic for tests re this. I am sad that the outside world will never know I have had 3 children and life will go on as though my baby never existed.

Sorry for going just helps to know that I am not alone and there are other people here who understand. I am only sorry that so many of you have had to experience this several times over sad

jellybeans Wed 06-Jul-11 11:21:06

Those feelings are so simelar to what i had. The months of pregnancy you had you spend so much time planning things and then it is suddenly gone. My baby would have been due when my twins started school and then suddenly there was emptiness. people were asking when I was going back to work etc. and I couldn't tell them that i should be having another baby and should be very busy!!

I was very lucky that i wasn't working but i was at college part time and went back after 2 weeks. It was a sort of refuge for me as i could pretend to be normal for 3 hours at a time as no-one there knew I was pregnant other than one very supportive friend. Is there any way you could get longer off with sick note or something? i know it isn't always possible though financially etc.

I too worried about never having another baby to fill that awful emptiness. however, both times I was lucky enough to have another baby although it took abit longer with 2nd late loss. I have several conditions which cause late loss and was given a 50% risk of more losses, probably late ones. luckily, I managed to go to term with my last baby but I had an emergency stitch at 21 weeks and injected heparin thoughout. Just wanted to give you hope that despite multiple problems and losses i have 5 living children. take care x

Bluetinkerbell Wed 06-Jul-11 13:02:21

fatfingers I lost my baby 2 weeks ago, I was 20 weeks, but baby only measured 16 weeks at 20 week scan and no heartbeat. So sorry you had to go through a similar situation!

You don't expect to have to arrange funerals and things like that when you're pregnant and it is a lot of information to take in.
In our hospital booklet it said you don't get any ashes back with a cremation. So we opted out for that. For a hospital burial it was in a plot with other babies and you weren't allowed to have a memorial plaque. So we decided to do it ourselves! We went to Coop Funeral and they arranged everything and you don't have to pay! Except for a small fee for a casquet and if you want a flower tribute.
You are definitely not being silly worrying about it! It was your baby and you had lots of things to look forward to! I know exactly how you feel!

littlewish Wed 06-Jul-11 14:47:54

Just like to say thinking of you. I lost my baby on the 1st of July 2010 at 20 weeks too. No words can describe it. x The hospital dealt with the funeral arrangements, which I am ok with now. Our little one is with other babies who were born too soon.

How so very softly you tiptoed into our world,
Only a moment you stayed,
But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.

spilttheteaagain Wed 06-Jul-11 16:33:35

fatfingers so sorry for your loss. I lost my first baby in October at 20 weeks and know how powerful the grief is.

Just to echo the others on here - you don't have to agree to a cremation if you don't want to do that. We chose to have DD buried. We contacted a private funeral director (the Co-op) and arranged it through them, they collected her from the hospital and provided the casket and flowers and organised the burial plot for us in the cemetery we chose. The Co-op do not charge for baby funeral arrangements/caskets/transport etc. Our cemetery gives out baby burial plots for free, but if we had wanted to buy a family plot for us as well then we would have had to pay. We chose a baby plot.

We had a private graveside service which our vicar held for us, and again there was no charge for this. Church of England churches do not charge for funeral services for babies, though if you wanted extras (flowers, choir, organist those sorts of things, they would probably cost).

You are not being at all silly to feel a need to have some kind of service to recognise your baby boy, he will always be your third child and part of your family. It's very important that you do this bit the way that feels right to you.

Sending you strength x

stmalo Thu 07-Jul-11 08:59:25

Hi, sorry to hear your loss.
I lost our first at 14.5 weeks in April, Last week we went to the memorial service. The hsopital arranged and the baby would be cremated after the service. I didn't find the service helped, it's brought everything back to the surface and this week I feel a bit of an emotional wreck. It's also TOTM, so I'm struggling with that too.
the decision of whether to change to a funeral service is entirely up to you, I think it is more personal, and would mean more.

I want to try again, but am very frightened due to no explanations apart from being overweight. I've lost 2 stone, but just don't want to wait any longer, but if I miscarry again it will just be blamed on weight.

fatfingers Thu 07-Jul-11 10:54:19

Thank you all for your kind words. I am glad to know I am not alone in wanting to organise a funeral for my baby. The funerals you opted for all sound lovely.

I went and made enquiries about having baby buried with my grandparents yday but apparently can't do that because no more than 2 people can be buried in a grave. Was an awful day yday - ended up with a headache all day, sobbing all afternoon and night. I have become fixated on the thought that my baby is all alone - the idea of burying him on his own is too painful to bear. So I have decided that I want the hospital cremation and service and I will take the ashes and put them at my grandparents' grave. Feel I need to get this done so I can stop torturing myself about it.

Jellybeans - it gave me some comfort yesterday to know that you have 5 living children. In one way I hope that they find out my problems are due to a weak cervix because at least that is something that they can help with. Part of me is desperate to be pg again and part of me is horrified at the thought of losing another baby.

Littlewish - that poem was lovely and made me cry. 1st July will be forever etched on our memories.

Stmalo - I am so sorry to hear your story. It seems like a long time to wait for the service although I have no idea how long the hospital take normally. I really want the funeral to be dealt with asap because I worry that, like you, it will bring it all back if I leave it too long. Can you be referred by the hospital for investigations? Did they send your placenta off to investigate possible causes? The last hospital where I had dd2 really early after threatening mc from 16 wks did not do any investigations and I really wish they had now. I feel I should have pushed for them to do some tests, etc but at the time I didn't know that was an option. It did take me 3 yrs to decide to try for this baby because like you, I had no explanation and I was petrified the pg would go wrong again (which obv it did so I know that offers no comfort). This hospital have been much better and are going to do blood tests, tests on my cervix, etc. Well done on your weight loss and wishing you the very best xx

DramaticGene Mon 11-Jul-11 22:23:08

Fatfingers and others. It is so comforting to me to read this thread. we lost our baby at 16 weeks two weeks ago. It was pretty traumatic. 19 hour labour and emergency surgery. The hospital is arranging the 'service', we didn't want a funeral as such and the bereavement midwife said we could be as involved as we wanted to be. We had our baby blessed and named in the delivery suite by the lovely hospital chaplain. So, we've asked her to come and do a simple service for just us (me and DH) at the crematorium. (I've always preferred the idea of cremation). We thought that she was one of the very few people to have met our baby and so we wanted her to be there. She also sent us the words of the blessing that she used in the hospital and a naming card. All lovely -- but very painful -- things to have, i hope, in the months to come.

The funeral is next Weds. I really hope it brings us to a new stage. I have unfortunately had to go back to work (am a teacher so just have to get through next two weeks and then can collapse). But I am really struggling to get through the days atm. Life is going on all around and I just want everything to scream STOP and selfishly let everybody to know how sad I am. Instead I feel that for everyone else's sake I've got to pretend that I'm ok.

fatfingers Tue 12-Jul-11 13:59:08

So sorry for your loss DG. You sound like you had a really hard time of it. The service you will have sounds really nice - very quiet and respectful. After torturing myself about funerals and cremations, etc last week, I spoke to the bereavement midwife yday to be told there would be no ashes after all because of the baby's gestation so we won't have anything to take away. Have still decided to go for cremation and service though...this week I feel much more accepting of the fact that my baby has gone and I believe he is being looked after by my late grandparents so that gives me great comfort.

I wish you well with the funeral. Let us know how you get on if you feel able. I know what you mean about wanting everything to stop. I felt that way so strongly last week that I couldn't really function. I spent every day in tears. I intend to go back to work next week (also employed in a school so I will have 2 weeks to work until summer hols) but I am glad I have taken a couple of weeks to try and get my head together at home. Have your school been supportive? Don't pretend to be ok for everyone else's sake - you need to look after yourself and express those feelings. Take care xx

Bluetinkerbell Tue 19-Jul-11 21:55:21

how are you doing DG and fatfingers? coping with going back to work?
How did the funerals go? We have Sterre's funeral this Saturday followed by the burial on the church cemetery. It was very hard yesterday going to have a look at the spot where our baby will be resting forever.

If you want you can join us bereaved mummies of lovely angels on this thread it is a gentle place to be talking about our children!

fatfingers Mon 01-Aug-11 08:53:35

Thank you so much for that link Bluetinkerbell. Have just had a read and I'm sat here in is so unfair sometimes. I'm so sorry for your loss. How did the funeral go (I will read more of the other thread later so sorry if it's on there already)?

I am coping ok being back at work - being busy is doing me some good and I like the fact that most people I work with know about my baby so I feel supported. Not being at work is harder tbh. I saw a friend this weekend for the first time since mc and she didn't even acknowledge it, which was hurtful.

Funeral service was lovely but everytime the chaplain talked about my baby being with God, etc I just felt twinges of bitterness. I want him to be me - his mother. Its also played on my mind a bit since that my baby's body has been cremated and there is nothing at all left of him now. Guess I'm struggling a bit at the moment. I feel like its becoming yesterday's news for people now and I want to shout at them!

DramaticGene Sat 13-Aug-11 20:55:06

FatFingers. I'm glad the funeral service was lovely. I coped surprisingly well at ours (dh was uncharacteristically in bits so I was the strong one). He carried in the tiny white box... awful. anyway, what helped me was when thee vicar asked us to repeat "We let you go ..." several times. I've been trying to use it as a sort of mantra. Not just we let the baby go, but the dreams and hopes go as well. We opted for cremation too and this was the right thing for us. we just need to so something with the ashes when the time is right.

We were lucky to get away on holiday and have just come back and I have to say it's now really hitting me. I'm not at work (am a teacher), there seem to be pregnant women everywhere. I feel so so sad and I know what you mean about it being yesterday's news. I feel guilty that I (my body) has let everyone down. The baby, husband, the really up-for-it grandparents etc. etc. we have our appointment to discuss the tests results on the 12th September. I realise that answers are rare.

It being yesterday's news is so true. I've had friends who have said nothing and it's incredibily hurtful. Saying anything is much better than nothing at all.

But the very very hardest thing is that my sister is 8 months pregnant. I just cannot bare to speak to or see her. I am getting the message from the rest of my family that I'm being mean not embracing her pregnancy and being happy for her. Of course I'm happy for her, but the sadness I feel for us just outweighs everything at the moment. Selfish I know.

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