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Acknowledging the birth of a stillborn baby. Help and advice please.

(16 Posts)
Smartiepants79 Fri 07-Nov-14 19:53:49

A friend of ours has just given birth to a baby, born sleeping today.
She was around 32 week and we knew he was very poorly but we all still had hope.
What do we do? Do we send a card? What kind? A new baby card or something else?
What about flowers or gifts? We want them to know we are thinking about them and acknowledge his birth but we don't want to cause more hurt.
Any thoughts?

amy83firsttimer Fri 07-Nov-14 19:59:34

If anything treat it as a bereavement - definitely not a new baby type card. Maybe get an 'art' card rather than a baby or bereavement card and write something in it. Flowers rather than a gift I'd say too.

This happened to my best / oldest friend and I'm ashamed to say I only texted. It's so hard to know what to do or say.

charlie0123 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:00:24

I would say a generic 'thinking of you' card rather than a new baby card. Use the babies name (if you know it) and acknowledge their loss. This happened to my friend and she was grateful for us sending a card. You sound like a lovely friend - just be there. thanks

Viviennemary Fri 07-Nov-14 20:02:13

Definitely not a new baby card. I think a blank card with a message thinking of you and your family or something similar. I agree with treating it as a bereavement.

Plonkysaurus Fri 07-Nov-14 20:03:49

This happened recently to a very close family member.

The best support she's had is company and being able to talk about her baby. As she's been recovering physically the things she (and her DP) have found most helpful have been people dropping food round, offering to cook and clean, go for short walks and peace and quiet.

My heart goes out to your friend - and you too. It's so hard to know what to say, but it's important to admit your sorrow and lend an ear. Let their emotions flow, no matter how difficult it is to witness them. There's nothing wrong with a text either, as it doesn't put pressure on to give an immediate response.

Flower29 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:21:49

I would also say a blank card, maybe with a nice peaceful picture on it. How about a plant as a gift, something that will grow each year or bloom around this time of year when he was born. Or maybe seeds that they can plant themselves. Or maybe a nice candle that they can light each year. I would also acknowledge the name of their son too and maybe refer to the present being in memory of him in the card. I don't think you will cause any more hurt, I think it is very thoughtful and I am sure they will be touched by this. So sorry for your friends loss. flowers

eatyourveg Fri 07-Nov-14 20:24:18

I would send a thinking of you card which mentions the name of the child and consider contacting the the woodland trust to have a tree dedicated to their son's memory

MehsMum Fri 07-Nov-14 20:32:32

The hardest letter I ever had to write was to a couple who lost a baby shortly after birth. I just said that it must be terribly difficult, that in the modern world nobody expects this which must make it even harder, that I was sorry. Not a lot else, really.

I heard later that the couple found all the letters and cards they received very comforting - it made them feel a bit less isolated and alone. Practical help was also gratefully received.

eats, your idea of a tree is lovely.

Plonkysaurus Fri 07-Nov-14 20:34:27

Flower plants are a lovely idea but...DSis was overwhelmed with plants. She called me in a moment of stress and mentioned "I've got to find space in the garden for all these bloody plants!" In October, whilst recovering from a difficult labour... Plants can be very calming though, so choose wisely.

vichill Fri 07-Nov-14 20:36:43

I think a plant or candle would be a nice idea. Or naming a star after him. It's not too expensive and might make her feel his short existence made a little impact.

thisthreadcouldoutme Fri 07-Nov-14 20:38:42

My niece and nephew were born sleeping 3 weeks ago at 34 weeks.
I sent a card that said
Every life no matter how fragile or brief... (on the front)
Forever changes the world (inside)
I only posted it today though

Smartiepants79 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:54:54

Thanks for the thoughts so far. A few things to think about. Like the tree idea but think it's one to save for a bit later on.
Will get a card.
They went through so much to just get pregnant. So, so sad.

CMOTDibbler Fri 07-Nov-14 21:08:31

How about a card like this one - you can have the babies name and anniversary date on it, so it really recognises them as a baby.

Dildals Mon 10-Nov-14 22:25:49

I had a stillbirth at 29 weeks. It's awful.

I really appreciated the texts and messages I got, although I wasn't able to respond to them at the time.

I personally didn't enjoy all the flowers. I remember sitting in the kitchen looking at them thinking 'all this life, all these colours … and it will all be dead in a couple of weeks/days' and just couldn't cope with it. I gave the flowers away to next door.

Plants ditto to a certain extent. We got 2 rose bushes, which we planted. My FIL felt he wanted to do something to help, but didn't know what, he came round one day with loads of plants and did our garden (we're not very good at gardening, our garden looks horrible!), although I didn't enjoy receiving all the flowers I did enjoy looking out on to the nicely done garden. So if you can, do something for them, everyone always mention bringing round a meal, but no one ever did it for us!

Also, give them space to talk about it, don't shy away from the conversation. She's still given birth, she's still held her baby, she's still had her baby, she's still a mum. With live babies everyone always talks about their births, with a stillbirth all of a sudden no one talks. No one asked how my birth was, what she looked like. Some people definitely avoided me simply because they didn't want to be confronted with the fact that these things happen to people like you and me.

Then again, it's so personal how people experience this type of grief. You know your friend best.

StarlingMurmuration Thu 13-Nov-14 17:19:51

One of my nct group has just lost her son, born sleeping on Monday. We've all just found out. We're all going to send cards, but we were wondering about sending flowers as a group. Does anyone think this would be inappropriate or insensitive? We're all worried that we're the last people she wants to hear from.

CritterPants Mon 17-Nov-14 01:56:59

Starling, I had a neonatal loss this year (baby was deprived of oxygen). My antenatal group sent cards and donated to the NICU where he was for the day before he died. You could all donate to SANDS in her baby's name and send a card to tell her. I really was grateful for that, it helps to have your child's birth acknowledged. I didn't want to see them or their babies but their kind messages meant the world to me. You are a kind person. thanks

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