24 answers

Loss of Full-term Baby

Hi moms,
This week I found out that my cousin and his wife lost their first baby at 39 weeks. It is just so devastating for everyone. They had problems conceiving, then after 3 rounds of IVF, they found out they were pregnant. She had a very routine, smooth pregnancy so far. Then on Sunday night (from what I am told) she went to bed feeling the baby kick and woke up bleeding. My cousin rushed her to the hospital- she had a complete placental abruption and the baby had died by the time she got there.

What on earth do I say to them? They don't live in the same state as me, and I wanted to give them time to grieve before I sent a card or anything. My sister suggested we make a donation in the baby's name to the March of Dimes or some other organization. Has anyone been through this and can give me some tips? Anything I should include in the card? We are not particularly close, in that we don't call or anything and just see each other every couple of years as often as we can.

I just can't comprehend the devastation they are feeling. It has really shook all of us up and we just cry everyday for them.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My sister lost her first baby at about the same time. They had a funeral and everything for him. He was so beautiful. She lost her next pregnancy too, it was twins and she was not large enough to carry them. They just sort of started falling out. This was 35-40 years ago so now they would be able to do more I believe but she was devastated.

The dad was a good ol' country boy and did not want to go through that again and she had a hard time getting him to want more children. They finally had a daughter that was full term. She went to the doc every week throughout the whole pregnancy. Every little blip was a crisis to her, who could blame her. She almost expected the baby to not be born and it was hard for her to get excited.

I think the best thing you can do, since you are not close, is to just be supportive of any decisions they make to get pregnant again, not get pregnant again, etc...they are going through the death of a child and won't be thinking clearly for some time.

Send them a nice card and if they have a service of any kind try to attend or at least treat it seriously like you would want if you lost a child.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a co-worker whose grandson was lost the same way except it was less than a week from her due date. I would send a card now and include a note asking if there is anything you can do to help them. Since they live so far away, if you could connect with other family in the their area and maybe arrange for a few meals to be brought in (they aren't going to feel like cooking, shopping, or eating but are more likely to eat if there is food in front of them).

1 mom found this helpful

Say you have no words but you are there if they need you. I'd find out from them or family if they want groceries delivered (you can do this from afar) or meals or flowers or a donation to a charity. Don't wait. You don't need to say a lot. Just let them know you care.

More Answers

Send the card, thinking of you flowers now... they don't need time to grieve before they get that kind of support... Just tell them how sorry you are and that their family will be in your prayers.

6 moms found this helpful

I lost a baby at 20 weeks and I was devastated for a long time. I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's loss. I agree with the post below, stick to I'm sorry for your loss. Its too soon for them to hear anything else because they are grieving. I in particular did not like hearing: reasons for why it happened, "it happened for a reason", calling my baby a miscarriage, you can try again, and when people brought it up later on when I was trying to "move-on" from it. Its been 7 years so now I can see the purpose from my loss but at the time I couldn't (like most hard times). People have good intentions for offerring comforting words but it will take a long time before your cousins can understand any of it. Bible quotes can be comforting.

5 moms found this helpful

Call them in the morning and offer your condolences. Even something like I am so sorry, helps so much. Ask about funeral arrangements and send flowers -- not a plant. They will take the plant home and have to look at it every day and it will remind them of the loss.

The best thing you can do is call as soon as you can. When I lost my Mom in December so many people never called me or sent flowers, they waited until they saw me again to offer condolences. I felt empty and forgotten at her funeral -- that no one cared. Don't wait to call.

4 moms found this helpful

One of my Mom friends (years ago) was 8 months pregnant when her car got rear ended.
The placenta detached and the baby died.
There was nothing anyone could do and everyone was devastated.
She did go on to later have 2 sons.
Stick with "I'm so sorry for your loss".
Many people say things that are meant to be comforting but many times it just comes out wrong and ends up causing more pain.

3 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry for your family's loss.
I would consult with your aunt/uncle about the best way to show emotional support for your cousin.

3 moms found this helpful

All I can do is send thoughts and prayers to the family. That is pretty much all you can do as well.
I lost a later term pregnancy and went into shock and really didn't want to talk about it.
My friend had a baby who only survived a couple of hours after birth.
We never know why these things happen and really all you can do is say that you are so sorry for the loss and you are there for them in any way possible.

Maybe I'm different, but I just really didn't want a fuss made.

Be respectful. Send your condolences. Offer help. Wati for signals as to what she is comfortable with.

Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

That is just horrible! I feel your pain. My sister & her husband lost their first baby(full term) this past October.

She was induced at 40 weeks & he had a brain hemmorrage at birth & was officially pronounced brain dead at 6 days old. He never left the NICU, he never was awake. Looked as though he'd been sedated.

It was horrible! We were invited to the NICU before he was removed from life support & holding a (basically) dead baby is THE saddest thing I have ever done! It was important for them to have close family & friends there to meet him.

My advice, give your condolences. Allow them to talk about it when they are ready & listen. My sister says it hurts more for people to pretend nothing happened or change the subject because it makes them uncomfortable to hear about her son's death.

Congradulate them on the baby, if you feel it's appropriate. My sister said no one congradulated them on the birth of their son & just because he didn't survive isn't reason not to celebrate his birth.

2 moms found this helpful

What a terrible thing to go through! I am soo sorry for your loss! My sister in law is having a c-section tomorrow morning. I don't know anyone that has had a stillborn or lost a child right after birth but I know someone that lost their baby at 18 months due to heart complications.
I think the donation would mean a lot to them. My nephew was also born with a heart defect and the couple that lost their child were close friends of my boss. My work started to sell wristbands for donations and all proceeds were/are made to the childrens memorial hospital pediatric cardiology
You can also take a look at www.compassionatefriends.org
It has some pretty useful information for you
Your family will be in our prayers!

2 moms found this helpful

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