Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Proper burial?

I am obsessed with what happened to my baby once we took him to the hospital. The doctor asked us if we wanted pathology done. We said of course. A week later when we returned, we asked what the results were and the doctor told us that they do not conduct pathology on babies if it is the first loss.

I would like to think my baby was handled with respect. Instead I am scared that he was thrown in the trash. Maybe the baby was cremated. He was so small that I am sure the pile of ashes was tiny. I would like to think our baby was not thrown into a fire with other random body parts from surgeries. However, with the way everything has happened at the doctor's office, I have a feeling our baby was thrown into a pile with medical biohazzard and burned indiscriminately.

At the time it seemed wrong to bury our baby in our yard or at the arboretum. I was scared our dogs or some other animal would dig up the grave. Now I wish we had not left our baby at the hospital.

Our baby was so tiny, laying on a white pad, wrapped in a Ziploc bag. That was not the proper way to relinquish our baby. I wish I had wrapped him in a cloth napkin or a handkerchief, but I was not thinking straight. We placed him in a small wooden box that we bought on our honeymoon. It was the perfect little coffin. I felt so conspicuous carrying the box from the parking garage through the hospital. I felt awful holding the box in the waiting room at the doctor's office for what seemed like an eternity. I felt like everyone knew the box contained our baby. I was worried that others would think we were morbid. But what are you supposed to do with your baby? When we called triage, they didn't tell us what to do once the baby came out. The books did not tell us what to do.

Our baby was maybe two inches long, probably less. He had tiny arms and legs. A black spot where his eye would have someday grown. This sounds horrible, but I sort of wish I had taken a picture just so I would have proof of this child who grew inside me for such a short time. This was our first child. The child we will never hug, kiss, wipe tears from, comfort, laugh with, or watch grow up. I miss my baby.


PCOSMama said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and that you have to deal with this worry along with it. There's no excuse for the way the hospital treated you and your baby. They should have walked you through everything that needed to be done and that you wanted done. It totally sucks that you have to go back to the same doctor now.

Congratulations on the new pregnancy! I hope everything turns out well and you don't have to go through any more grief and pain.

The Town Criers said...

It's not a horrible thought at all, and I wish hospitals and doctor's offices were better equipped to help you think through those things. When you're in the moment, you have no idea what you'll wish you would have down the road.

I'm sending so many good thoughts to you for tomorrow's appointment. And since it's imaginary--a nice glass of wine. To toast this new pregnancy AND to help you relax. It's so hard.

Furrow said...

Here's hoping that soon you'll be able to rename your blog, or at least give it a subtitle. So sorry for your loss. I'm hoping that it's all good news from here on.

Beka said...

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I really appreciate the verse you included. I'm so sorry about your recent loss: I will be praying for you. Congratulations on your new pregnancy, though! I hope and pray that everything goes smoothly this time.

Rachel Inbar said...

I had a miscarriage at the beginning of my 14th week, but my bleeding was so heavy that I didn't even know that the fetus had come out (I was having labor like cramps and knew I was miscarrying, but my (now ex)husband was sleeping and I didn't want to wake him by turning on the bathroom light, so I never saw anything and only found out when I got to the hospital and saw nothing on the ultrasound monitor).

Not having been able to properly bury the baby (I never found out what it was) was the hardest thing for me and I had an imaginary ceremony (in my mind) that involved everything I would have liked to have done. I even decided where I would bury it - somewhere I don't go very often, a place where I finally let go.

I cried a lot that day, but since then I feel completely at peace with it.

I hope you can see your new pregnancy as something completely separate - that you can mourn the baby you lost and celebrate the new pregnancy.

Geohde said...

I never even asked what happened to my baby.

I didn't want to think about what was going to happen with the pathology, so I coudn't get past that to think about what do do with the remains.

I so sorry for your loss.

Kami said...

I'm so sorry. I think you handled everything as thoughtfully as you could and your baby understands. (found my hear from the big roundup)

Aurelia said...

I'm so sorry about this. I just found you through the blog round up. Can I just second what Rachel said about maybe someday having a ceremony for yourself?

Maybe you and M. could say goodbye in a special way either at a church or just a nice place you both love.

Congratulations on the new pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry also for your loss, and I am curious why anti abotionists do not make a stronger point by advocating proper treatment including burials for the infants lost due to miscarriage, it might help in their arguments concerning when like begins.

Winston Wolf said...

Hello Rachel,

My wife and I found out yesterday that our baby has no heartbeat. My wife is (was?) approx. 13 weeks pregnant. I got to see our child's heartbeat at the last visit to the fertility doctor. It all seemed much easier than we expected. Well, I guess it was too good to be true. We have to wait two more days for the D&E.

This blog entry appeared first in my Google search results. My wife and I are the kind of people that bury our pets, including the fish, when they die. So of course this topic has crossed our minds. I wish there had been more information available... that is not a complaint. I will keep looking.

Thank you for sharing your experience. It is surprising to find out how many people we know have gone through this.


Rachel said...


I didn't have an e-mail address for you, so I'm just replying here hoping you will see this message.

I am sorry for your loss. It is hard when you lose a baby and your dream of being a parent is crushed.

I hope you find some information about burying your baby. Some hospitals will bury the baby for you in the baby cemetery.

We ended up burying letters I had written to the baby at my husband's grandfather's grave. We also buried pictures of us and a couple other mementos. I hope that you and your wife are able to find a way to properly grieve the loss of your baby.


Winston Wolf said...

Hello again,

Thank you for your kind words. My wife called a funeral home that we have used in the past for other family members. He was very helpful, and apparently, this is not such an unusual request.

We can bury the remains of our child with other family members that are already buried there (on top of the existing casket). The cemetery does not charge for this service.

We also spoke to our priest. We are the third family to have a miscarriage this week. I had no idea this was so common.

Making plans to bury the remains gave us a moment of comfort. But now my wife is starting to get menstrual pains. It's Sunday now, and the D&E or whatever is scheduled for Tuesday. On one hand, I would prefer the natural route instead of surgery, but now I think we're both hoping that she can hold on until Tuesday.

Thank you again for sharing your story.


N Griffin said...

I just found out tonight that there was no heartbeat to my supposed 12 week old embryo. My midwife thinks the baby died 3 weeks ago and they have scheduled me for a D&C Thursday. I've done research for miscarriage burial rights and surprisingly there are few states that have this. I foudn this web site for burial rights and am going to ask for that when I go to the hospital Thursday. www.adamssong.net

Rachel said...

N Griffin,

I am sorry about your loss. I will be thinking of you on Thursday.


heavensgain said...

I am so sorry for your loss. In 2006 we had our third miscarriage at 17 weeks. I was induced and delivered at the hospital. We were not able to find a funeral home that would help us find a casket for a baby only 8 inches long. We found a 12 inch wooden treasure box and I sewed linens to make it into a coffin/casket.
My husband suggested we start a ministry providing caskets for families of babies who die in the first or second trimester. After I felt God continuing to call me to this ministry I finally accepted the call and we atarted our ministry Heaven's Gain. We have a website www.heavensgain.com . We provide caskets at a minimal price for famiies who experience loss of a baby prior to the third trimester.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss, you must understand that your baby is in heaven with our Father God this is truth. You will one day have the chance to hold your child and you'll never have to let go. That is the reality of God's promise to us.