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When a Child Dies

April 16, 2009

I lived in a sweetly ignorant world before I opened this website – I never knew of a person who had lost a baby. Not here in the US! Not in this day and age of good medical care and awareness of baby safety! I knew it happened, but it was rare – so rare.

And then, shortly after this site opened, a mother wrote a post here about having lost her son and it punched me right in the heart. But she was not the only one, many mothers have since written here about the same thing.

That same summer, a friend of mine was at the birth of her goddaughter when that beautiful little girl did not make it – and there was no known reason for it. I listened to my friend as she tried to make sense of this, as she went through the grieving process, the legal process – the fears during her friend’s next pregnancy, and the joyful outcome of a healthy baby at the end.

This website is here for us mothers to help us deal with our body issues, but as I have learned here, mamas need an outlet to grieve as well. This week, a friend pointed me to a beautiful website for parents to blog along the road to healing. I would like to know of other websites as well to keep them here as a resource for parents who need them. If you know of any that have helped you, please leave them in a comment here.

This past week, two babies in the blogging community have died. Maddie and Thalon. You can read more and find links at this BlogHer Post. If you think you can help, please do. If you cannot afford to help monetarily, even just a comment or a moment of silence, I believe, would do the world some good.

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11 Responses to “When a Child Dies”

  1. I-dra Says:
    April 17th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I agree. It’s a shocking reality. What disturbs me the most about a lot of the stories I’ve heard or read has been how many mothers who DON’T KNOW why their children died. Either they didn’t ask, or did not receive the whole truth from their care providers. I want to stress to everyone reading this that you must get informed. Demand answers. Follow up. Doctors are not gods, hospitals are fallible & care providers should be held accountable for the death of a baby if there is even a remote possibility that mistakes were made leading up to tragic consequence.
    Mothers, please do your research before you submit to standard hospital procedures. This doesn’t mean simply accepting a brief nod or a brush off answer from your OB, this means doing your research & finding out the risks of all medications & procedures. Find out the truth about ultrasound, epidural anesthetic, pitocin, forceps, vacuum, & cesarean. Take steps prenatally to minimize your need for any of these procedures.
    And finding out the real cause of your child’s death can potentially help you avoid the death of future babies, if the cause is something that can be avoided.
    I’m in your corner.

  2. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    April 17th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I think, though, that there are some things science does not yet fully understand – I think maybe in the next 50 or 100 years we will understand more about why babies sometimes die, or why SIDS happens.

    The friend I mentioned was very aware and educated of medical issues and she was, in fact, a doula attending the birth of her best friend’s baby. They have looked at many different angles and they have a few thoughts on why the baby may have died (one thought was maybe the cord was cut too early), but the fact is that no matter how much they research it, they just don’t know.

    So I just want to say that sometimes even the births with the most educated/aware moms and fewest interventions can end sadly and we just don’t always have the answers for it.

  3. I-dra Says:
    April 18th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    i just re-read my comment & i wanted to add that i am in now way blaming bereaved mothers for the tragic outcomes of their births. i am moved to tears whenever i hear of a baby’s death. i’m just saying that knowledge is power & we have a right to it. investigations are necessary. there is always a cause of death. babies do not simply just die for no reason. something happens.

    my heart cries out for grieving parents & siblings everywhere.

  4. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    April 20th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I know what you meant. :) There is always a cause of death, but sometimes investigations do not give us the answers. I agree that investigations are vital. You and I share a lot of birthing values in general I think so I am certainly not arguing with you. Just wanted to clarify since this is *such* a sensitive topic.

  5. Lacey Says:
    April 26th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I lived in that world as well before losing my 3yr old son. I knew that it happened, but no way something like that would ever, EVER happen to my son! Now I’m unfortunately living the life of a bereaved mother. It will be 3yrs this November that he’s been gone & you would never believe how quickly & slowly time passes at the same time. Now his a big brother & I’m so very thankful to have another little boy in my arms again. I still miss Landan more than anything.

    I lurked on this website alot when I was pregnant, it’s amazing!

  6. Elena Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I lose my son this year and I feel like i’m dying. he was only 3yr old and he past way on Jan 19th. I still dont know what happened. He was alright the night before, but out of nowhere he complained about a headache. and after that moment everything went down hill. He was pronouced brain dead the next day. I was in shock and I still think I am in shock. I dont know why GOD did this to me and to all mothers. When I pray at night, I pray for all the mothers who lose their own. I pray for peace because I feel like this is to difficult for me to handle.
    I feel so sad.

  7. Laura Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I lost my child in my 5 1/2 months of pregnancy when I was 23 yrs old. This was in 1977 and when
    I wanted to know the cause the Dr told me I had a pychological miscarriage. He came to that cause because the bleeding started the day of my Dr visit
    where he harshly told me “for someone who wants a baby so badly you don’t seem to care. You have gained 20 lbs already and its only 5 months.” I did go home and cry because he said this so mean. So he concluded because I cried that this caused my miscarriage.
    The next year I went to a fertility specialist who put a camera in my womb (not when I was pregnant)that I had a double uterus and the baby could only grow to a certain point because the 2 uteruses were small. He performed surgery to make them one utereus. I had a daughter. So I agree with OP that its our right to know what caused our babies to not make it. And be aware that even a Dr can give you a stupid , ridculous reason so look further if it dos not sound logical. Hugs to all who even have to have this discussion as losing ones child before or after birth is agony
    Laura

  8. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Oh, Laura, that breaks my heart to hear how that doctor treated you. I am glad you found someone who treated you well!

  9. Rachel Says:
    May 2nd, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    i have lost 2 daughters. Carly was only 4 months old and died from a heart defect. She was 3 months premature and also had a brain defect along with severe IUGR, (she weighed less than a pound at 13 ounces and 10 inches long) A month after she passed away I became pregnant again. I carried Hannah till 32 weeks when she passed away in my belly. I delivered her as a stillborn. My dr. wouldn’t do u/s as I requested b/c the heart rate was fine and my uterus was measuring on time. But her movement had slowed from 28 weeks. Well needless to say our 2nd daughter suffered from IUGR as well only weighing 2 pounds 15 ounces at 32 weeks. We are still unsusre as to what is causing small babies. I have lots of blood work and test run. The most we can come up with is I have a bicournate uterus that also has a septum in it. Causing less room for babies to grow.

    Lossing a child is difficult. Having to deal with body changes and have no child is hard to. It’s sa constant reminder that you no longer have what you once had.

    i have 2 sites

    hannahkathleanelliotte.blogspot.com

    carlynicoleelliotte.blogspot.com

  10. Brenda Says:
    May 16th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    My son died 3 years ago tomorrow. He was from our 6th IVF cycle. Its thought he had squashed his cord. He was born alive at 32 weeks. Weighed 5 pound 10 (huge for 32 weeks). The one thing I did learn from this this was to demand the care you want from your Dr. You are paying for it so you should get what you want and need. We have gone on to have a daughter. Our 11th IVF cycle. When I first saw my OB at 9 weeks I demanded weekly appointments, weekly u/s, stress tests for bub from 28 weeks and a c section at 36 weeks. I got all of this and more. He also gave me special u/s over at the hospital fortnightly from 28 weeks, steroids at 34 weeks and due to me mentally not coping I got to have our baby girl at 35 weeks. She was 7 pound 7 and only spent one night in special care before they kicked her out and sent her to stay with me in my room! EVERY mother needs to demand the care they want and mentally NEED. Yes most of the time weekly u/s are not needed BUT if thats what YOU as a mother needs then you have every right to have them.
    After 2 babies I have a body that looks like it is ready for the rubbish heap but Im not worried. I tried for too long to get pg and have a live, healthy baby. My body reminds me every day how lucky I am to have had to beautiful babies.

    xxx

  11. Job Ademola Says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Les us analyze the stressors on the psycho-social well-being on bereave d mothers for losing a child.

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