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Miscarriage - what should i do with the remains?

(26 Posts)
OliveHill Tue 23-Oct-07 20:06:33

I don't know whether this sounds really warped or not, but I couldn't bear the idea of our baby going to the hospital incinerator bins so I've brought the remains home with me.

I was 10 weeks so they are tiny but I don't know whether I should bury them or cremate them in some way, and how I would do this. We don't want to do it at home because we're planning on moving in the next couple of years and there is a beautiful spot on our local common. However I don't know whether we're allowed to just go and dig a hole, whether we'd be able to dig it deep enough to keep animals out. So we were thinking of cremation but it's tiny so could this be done. Would crematoriums so this? Or could we do it at home?

If anyone has ever done this, I would be really really grateful to hear what you did. Thank you.

pigletmaker Tue 23-Oct-07 20:13:12

I am so very sorry to hear that this happened to you.

My understanding is that before 25 wks you need to get a letter from your doctor or the hospital in order for any kind of funeral (cremation included) to take place.

If you look on the website for your local authority under "registering deaths" that information should be there for you.

chankins Tue 23-Oct-07 20:15:17

So sorry to hear about your loss. I hope whatever you arrange helps you come to terms with it and begin to grieve. I wrote a letter to the baby I lost and I found that really helped me. Good luck with what you are hoping to do.

fingerwoman Tue 23-Oct-07 20:16:29

I think pigletmaker is right, a work colleague of mine has just had a funeral for a baby she lost at 12 weeks- but I don't know all the details.
I am pretty sure you can't just bury the remains though, I think it's illegal.

splishsplosh Tue 23-Oct-07 20:19:23

I'm so sorry to hear you've lost your baby. I can't really answer your question, but in the conception topic, there's a thread called October, miscarrying, m/c, ttc or just loves cakes... something like that.
There's a poster on that, Aquababe, who cremated her baby's remains herself and scattered the ashes, so is possible.

I really you manage to do something that helps you

DrNortherner Tue 23-Oct-07 20:24:19

Hi olivehill. Sorry to hear of your loss.

I m/c at 11 weeks and passed teh remains too so know how you feel. However it did not occur to me to keep them, though I can understand your reasons.

I would say that a crematorium would not do it as they have to see a death certificate first, which of course you don't have and can't get.

However, I would say there is no harm in you doing it at home yourself, or maybe putting it to rest in the sea or a lake perhaps?

It's a tough one, but I hope you find something which you are comfortable with.


FlightAttendant Tue 23-Oct-07 20:24:35

How about making a little coffin - I don't know what you would use to prepare the little body, there must be info on the web...then you could take your child with you to bury in your next garden. (perhaps keep it in the fridge till then?)
Poor wee mite. I understand totally and wish you peace in your heart.

ConnorTraceptive Tue 23-Oct-07 20:28:50

Could you buy a large plant in a pot (say an azalia type) and bury the remains in the pot, then you could take the pot when you move home? Sorry you are going through this sad

callmeovercautious Tue 23-Oct-07 20:36:28

So sorry about your loss. I think the large planter is a great idea. You could then put the plant into your next garden so it is a permanent fixture with you in your new home.

Ask at the garden centre for something that is hardy and will survive for a long time so you will have the memory with you for longer than a few seasons. I am thinking bay trees or something similar which are slow growing but tough. They like pots or the ground.

I think I would have felt the same and would have made the same decision.


pattilou Wed 24-Oct-07 20:51:46


Really sorry to hear what happened to you. If it's a cremation you're after, you could always make enquiries of your closest crematorium. The people there are, in my experience, incredibly kind and sympathetic and even if they can't help, they might be able to advise you.

I miscarried at 15 weeks and the remains were cremated at Mortlake Crematorium in Richmond. The hospital (Queen Charlotte's - about 10 years ago, though it seems like only yesterday) arranged it for me. The remains were scattered in the Garden of Remembrance. It's kind of comforting to know where they are.

Hope you find something you feel comfortable with. xx

threestars Wed 24-Oct-07 22:16:57

I'm sorry you miscarried. When I lost my baby last year (25 weeks) the chaplain at the hospital was really helpful.
If you contact a chaplain at your hospital, they can help to contact the relevant people, and know all the relevant laws, as they are experienced in helping people with their loss. My chaplain organised everything, and didn't push on the religious front at all, she was just really supportive.
I hope you can find the same support.

elvisgirl Thu 25-Oct-07 00:54:52

I have read that some funeral homes & crematoriums waive their fees in these cirumstances. It could be worth seeking advice from these places even if you don't use their services.

OliveHill Thu 03-Jan-08 19:03:40

thank you all for your messages.

the hospital was useless and just said it had no policies to deal with it.

the local crematorium said they couldn't do anything as the baby would have been too small to have any bones.

so we had a big fire at home in an incinerator which held everything. we bought a little box to hold the remains and built a big fire with lots of small kindlings and paper. i'm really glad we did it because it felt right to say goodbye. we've kept the ashes at home in another box because i cannot bear the idea of her being outside or by herself in anyway.

belgo Thu 03-Jan-08 19:08:37

Olive Hill - I had a m/c last year at 7 weeks, and the embryo was in one piece. It happened at home and I buried it in a plant pot.

I am having a scond m/c this week, at six weeks, but there is no clear embryo and nothing to bury, which feels very strange.

I'm glad you did what you did, and got to say goodbye.

Lcy Thu 03-Jan-08 21:07:34

OliveHill - sorry to hear about your mc. I had one in August and had a d&c - it wasnt until i was back home that i started to wonder about what they did with the remains of my baby. I think it is disgusting that this is not always discussed with parents - even though good practise policys recommend it is.

Anyway i think the way you cremated the remains sounded very special and i am glad you got to say goodbye x

MothersPrayers Fri 04-Jan-08 21:21:29

OliveHill - have only just seen this thread now. I thought I would share my experience although I appreciate its quite far from the norm and you may find it a little strange. I know this wouldn't be the choice for everyone.

I had a mmc in August- I chose "conservative management" and eventually lost the baby at home at the beginning of September. I too had the baby's remains. We are Catholics and despite having quite specific beliefs I still wasn't sure what to do as I was at such an early stage (9 wks).

Even though I thought they would think I was mad, I eventually approached a funeral director and confided in them. They said that although they had never handled a bereavement for a baby as early as mine, there was no reason that they couldn't do so. We bought a small casket (one which was usually used for ashes). We thought we were going to have to buy a "lair" or plot in a cemetary but as it turned out the funeral directors advised us that a nearby cemetary had a Baby Garden for miscarried and stillborn babies. They called the council and arranged for our baby to be buried there.

We took the casket away and handled the rest of the arrangements, preparation etc ourselves. We had a lovely service at the graveside with our priest and family members.

As it turned out the Directors waived their administration fee and the council didn't charge for opening up the lair.

I know we were very blessed to find such understanding and support in our home town. I think our local council are fantastic for providing a Baby Garden as I know many areas don't have one.

It's strange that I only saw this thread today because although we had a temporary marker and memorial for the grave it was only today that we went along to the memorial sculptors to see about a permanent little memorial or "headstone". The reason I hadn't done this before is because I am pregnant again (10 weeks today) but have been having cramps/spotting throughout. I didn't want to arrange the memorial in case I had to add another little name to it.

However I had a scan today and we saw a healthy little baby wriggling around on the screen! I am absolutely ecstatic! It may seem strange but even though we were so happy we couldn't forget the little one we lost so afterwards went off to arrange his memorial. It didn't seem nearly so sad.

I know some of you reading this may think I am crazy. Believe me at the time, despite my firm beliefs, I did worry if people would think I was daft, or was making a big fuss or whether my baby was big enough to deserve a place in the Baby Garden etc. But we believe that no matter how big or how well the little body is formed, our baby's soul was just as formed as yours or mine. I hope this doesn't offend anyone who doesn't share this view or who has lost a baby or a child at a much later stage (which I know must be so much worse) but it was and is a great comfort to me.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Jan-08 21:29:29

Sos orry you lost your baby.
We lost our first at 10 weeks too and I passed, at home, our tiny baby.
We named the baby and DH dug a huge hole in the garden.
We bought a shrub and I went into Paperchase and bought like a giftbox thing with plastic diamantes stuck on the top of it like a flower. It tied shut with ribbon and was made of that really strong pressed cardboard stuff.
I wrapped the baby in the nice tissue paper that came with the box and put her inside (I obv. don't know she was a girl for sure, but definately felt she was)
We buried her and planted the shrub right overhead where she lay.
We then spent the next week scouring garden centres for the perfect statue and found a lovely cherub that now sits under the shrub.

We didn't have any bother from animals or anything.

She would have been 4 on February 2nd, next month, and I will go out there and spend a minute or 2 with her.

That's what we did, if that helps any.

lucyellensmum Fri 04-Jan-08 21:56:31

this thread is so heart rending, thank god i have never been in that position, but all the things you have done for your babies are truly lovely.

LOVEMYMUM Sat 05-Jan-08 11:06:33

I haven't had a m/c so i have no idea of what you are all going/went through, but i definitely think that the lost baby needs to be mourned properly and some kind of ceremony/ritual is ESSENTIAL to help the parents mourn and go thru the grieving process.

I said to DH and my parents that if anything happened to our LO (am now 32 weeks pg), i wanted to bury her and mourn as if she had had a life outside the womb. It may sound bizarre to some people but it helped me prepare for what may happen during pregnancy.

Mothersp - i so hope that all goes well.

Off to get some more tissues now. sad I hope this thread helps others in the same upsetting position.

Shelli08 Tue 08-Jan-08 16:13:03

omg i very recently had a m/c i went for a scan at 9 weeks preg and they found a sac at 6 weeks old but no baby and it stopped developing at 6 weeks, i had a dnc yesterday and after reading all this i am so devastated because i never knew you could keep the remains, as strange as it sounds its still precious to you, i so wish i would of known this cos i am finding it hard to come to terms with, at least saying goodbye would of been a little comforting xxx

BlindBint Sun 13-Jan-08 17:22:51

I completely agree with so many of these posts. I have had 6 miscarriages, from very early to 28 weeks pregnant. I have a 10 year old daughter and am currently pregnant (Due on 20th Feb).
The pregnancy I am carrying at the moment was originally a twin pregnancy. Unfortunately I too miscarried at home with this pregnancy but at the time was unaware that I was having twins (The scans i had hadn't picked up two heatbeats because one was behind the other).
I was just at the 12 week mark, and I was alone at home, when I passed the baby. I was in the bathroom, and going through such a dilema. I had no doubts at what was there was my baby, I couldn't bear to flush the toilet, but also I didn't dare "fish" him out in case I broke him.(I am visually impaired) And also I didn't want to alarm my daughter. I felt cruel too, in case me doing nothing was making him drown-even though there was no movement and there was nothing I could have done.
I begged the paramedics to get my baby out of the toilet for me, but they wouldn't listen. One of them marched straight up to the toilet and flushed it.
I think some of the suggestions on here have been lovely.
It's such a sensitive subject, and to deal with something like that takes an enormous amount of strength. Unfortunately, not a lot of councils, or whoever, seem to realise that these are our BABIES, and deserve to be acknowledged.


3madboys Sun 13-Jan-08 17:44:49

omg blind i cannot belive the paramedic did that angry how dare he. god words cannot express how angry i am on your behalf.

with regards to miscarriage and the remains of your baby, i do know people who have requested them from the hospital, tho sometimes they can be funny about letting you have them.

i have a close friend who miscarried at 18wks, she was at home and the baby was delivered whole, she had to go to hopsital to be checked over and the hospital wanted to keep the remains, but she said no and took them home and buried them.

this is an issue which really needs to be loked into more as many women and their partners wish to have some kind of service, burial etc for their baby, yet routinely they are just disposed of by the hospital

Jj455 Wed 11-Jan-17 23:30:23

Hi. I'm in the uk, am I able to do this? I've opted to wait it out and would be 12 weeks but baby stopped at just under 9. If I was to go into hospital for the tablet or d&c would I be allowed the remains in the U.K.? I have no clue I hope I pass at home. (Also how would I put the remains with the plant) this confuses me so much but I want to do something special xxxx

calimommy Thu 12-Jan-17 04:56:24

I buried my 10wk foetus in the garden.

Best of luck OP xxx

Whatsername17 Thu 12-Jan-17 07:35:29

I buried my lost baby in a planter in my garden with a beautiful bush on top. We used a planter incase wecever move. We wrapped the baby in tissue paper (the type you use to wrap a gift) and dh and I wrote a message to the baby on the inside. We wrapped the baby up in our words and buried him. The plant has bought us a lot of comfort over the last year. I know that the paper and remains will biodegrade and nourish the plant. The plant will provide pollen for the bees and that will have a positive impact on the world. It's a little hippy-dippy, but that thought has really helped me. I'm sorry for your loss. flowers

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