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Anyone got any advice ? My friend is miscarrying at 16 weeks, and does not know whether to view the baby .

12 replies

OnEdge · 28/05/2011 19:52

we are in the delivery suite waiting for the drugs to work. We have been discussing whether it's better to see the little baby afterwards. The MW has said that they will have dark pinky purple skin, and will be tiny but fully formed.

I just wondered if anyone has had any experience of this or advice.

OP posts:
lionheart · 28/05/2011 20:28

I did and never for one minute regretted it. So sorry for your friend, OnEdge. Sad

If she decides not to see the baby now she can always change her mind later and I think any decent hospital will also arrange for photos to be taken.

(What a good friend you are to be with her).

lionheart · 28/05/2011 20:35


excusethemess · 28/05/2011 22:02

I didn't - I couldn't do it at the time. My baby was born still in her gestational sack and I couldn't bear the thought of them opening it. I realise now that they had to but at the time I didn't know.

18 months on and I still think of her often, and wished I had been brave enough to see and say goodbye.

She was 15 weeks.

lionheart · 28/05/2011 22:28

etm, it's a hard thing, for sure. Sad

OnEdge · 29/05/2011 04:57

She had seen the baby. I went and left her and her partner alone for a few hours. I don't know how she is because she is sleeping and I don't want to disturb them ( I am in the car ) I just bumped into the MW in the corridor, and she said they were very upset, hope it was the right thing for them to Di. Her partner said "I owe it that at least" so it sounds like he wanted to. I advised them to and I hope it was the right thing to do . The MW said she wouldn't have advised it. This is do difficult to get right.

OP posts:
lionheart · 29/05/2011 08:53

You've done your best OE. It's an awful situation.

MandaHugNKiss · 29/05/2011 10:30

Of course, we're all different and so we would all react somewhat differently, but I do think the MW was somewhat out of line to say to you that she wouldn't have advised it (was she an older, 'old school' midwife?). That could put you in a position of 'guilt', expecially after telling you they are very upset (although, duh, most couples would be) and that is somewhere you really don't deserve to be.

You've sought the advice of women who have 'been there' which was a caring and responsible step to take rather than blithely advising your friend. From what I have read here (and other places), and my own experience on April 1st delivering at 16+5, I can say that overwhelmingly women do not regret seeing their babies. I've read many stories of women regretting not seeing them. And as lionheart says, if they didn't feel up to it, photos could have been taken for a later viewing (infact, I hope they've been advised they can still take photos - for me, I was told the baby would stay on the ward until I was discharged and I could see him/take photos any time I wished. It was a great comfort).

I do find it rather odd that the midwife wouldn't have advised it (unless the baby had passed a long, long time ago) as she must have some experience of how women respond to this tragic turn of events and how it can ease the grieving process.

ANyway. I wanted you to know you've been a good friend, a great one. And to tell you that, if you're up for the job, she'll probably need you quite a bit more over the coming weeks. I talked as a long, rambling stream of thought for hours at my best friend about 10 days after delivery. She also bought me a huge pot of chilli over, a jo malone candle, did some washing up, and just generally heaped love and care on me that day. She has a very busy fmily/life of her own so it was just the one day, but it made such a huge difference to me (and probably would have become overbearing if it went on each day anyway!). It helped me pour out my thoughts (irrational and not) and kinda 'regroup' for another round of feelings. All quite difficult to explain but I'm kinda saying she may need/appreciate practical help, or an ear/shoulder, or something 'nice', a distraction, and/or all or none of the above!! It's certainly a tricky job to take on, to be supportive during a grieving period, but let her know you're there for her in whatever capacity she needs. You'll know her best - she might be better left alone for a while.

Ugh. I'm not an expert. I hope I'm not coming across as teaching you to suck eggs. I think I'm just really sad that the midwife has said that to you when you're just trying your best for your friend. She's lucky to have you.

MandaHugNKiss · 29/05/2011 10:31

expecially? That's not even a word. Especially*

lionheart · 29/05/2011 12:40

Lovely post, Manda.

giraffesCantZumba · 29/05/2011 12:57

Yes I did. I would take photos too, and hand prints if can manage to get some

CandiceMariePratt · 29/05/2011 14:10

I saw my tiny baby, they put her in a little basket wrapped up for me. They also gave me a couple of photos which are fading over the years x x

OnEdge · 29/05/2011 16:10

Wow, what lovely posts !
Manda, 5 years ago I lost my baby at 22 weeks, she did live for an hour or so.
I can really identify with what you said. I had my husband to talk at and because he had been with me throughout he could relate to what I was saying and help me pick it all appart and come to terms with it.

I think I felt crap because I was going from my own experience, and advised her to see the baby, but I didn't think about the fact that mine was 6 weeks more developed, so looked better possibley.

Sadly I can't stay to be with her because I live 180 miles away and I have 3 young children. I had to drive back just now. I am in contact over the phone though. She said that she is feeling ok, and isn't that a bit weird. I said that she might have had her awful moment when she had her nasty scan.

She said that she was shocked when she saw the baby. She would have wanted to see it whatever I said,and so did her partner

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