More Than Birth and Babies

Perinatal nursing is sweet and magical and everything you think it would be.  But everyone only thinks of the birth and the babies.  No one ever thinks or talks about the pain of pregnancy, the heartbreak of infertility, or the difficulty of death.

I remember once I was working triage, and I seemed to be seeing patient after patient.  It was just one of those days…of course, I didn’t think the charge nurse was helping me like she could have.  I felt swamped.   By lunchtime, I had finally cleared all the beds in triage and was finally going to eat breakfast when a patient walked through the door with a slew of family members.  As she filled out her paperwork, I gave the unit secretary a look and she smiled at me.  I was thinking that I was about to see my 7th patient in 6 hours for a “I’m bleeding when I wipe” issue.

The patient was very tiny.  As I walked behind her I could not even tell she was pregnant.  As I put her in the triage bed, she told me that she hadn’t felt her baby move since the night before.  Tomorrow was her due date.  I put the monitor on her belly and heard nothing.  Even though I knew at that moment that her baby was dead (she was so tiny, I should have been able to put that monitor anywhere on her and picked up her baby’s heartbeat), I moved the monitor around and around hoping to hear something.  When I began tracing her heart rate at 120 beats per minute, for a moment I grasped on to the hope that maybe THIS was the tiny patient that had the baby I just couldn’t find to trace.  But the patient already knew.  I knew.  She began crying and her husband sat in the chair next to her with his head in his hands, not knowing what to say or do.  She asked between sobs for her mother, who was in the waiting room.

I went to get her mother, and when she saw me she immediately said “he’s gone, isn’t he?” Of course, as a nurse, I’m unable to say anything. I held her arm as I led her into the triage room, and only told her that the physician was on his way to speak to them.  My heart ached for a mother who lost her first child, a dad who lost his first son, and a grandmother who lost her first grandchild.  When her physician arrived, he pulled an ultrasound machine to the bedside to visualize the still and silent heart of her baby.  Everyone cried again, because this time they could see his heart not beating.  And the only thing I could be thankful for at that moment was that she had the support of her partner, that she had the support of her mother, and that the rest of my triage beds were empty and that no other woman had to hear the cries of a patient who had just been told her baby was dead.

tumblr_n1g68f61gP1sy59n1o1_400

Not every nurse can labor a patient with a full-term IUFD.  We have all shared this same story in one way or another, and after this kind of work day, we will leave physically and emotionally drained. You have to watch your patient and her family crumble in front of you, with no words to ease their pain or to provide any type of comfort or closure.  On top of that, they have to experience every pain and emotion that comes with labor.  As nurses, we walk a fine line of wanting to medicate them until they are semi out of their misery, and encouraging them to be present for a time in their life that they will eventually want to remember.  There is no other patient that we want to see have a vaginal delivery more than her.  As we labor her, we pray that she doesn’t leave the hospital with a scar across her belly, a permanent physical daily reminder of what she went through. They may not remember everything we said, or everything we did.  They probably did not know that we cried for them, alone in an empty room where no one else would be able to see us.  And even though we all see all too many of these, I can honestly say that I still remember every single one.

So for any mother out there who never got to carry her baby to her due date, or to any mother who never got to bring her baby home, know that your nurse remembers you.  And even though everyone else moves on, your nurse will always know that a part of you was left behind in that labor room.

 

Until my next delivery ❤

 


173 thoughts on “More Than Birth and Babies

  • July 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm
    Permalink

    Said so beautifully. All so true. As a fellow nurse (a long way away) sharing your same job, I just love reading every single post you write. Thanks for sharing. x

    Reply
    • July 5, 2014 at 7:15 am
      Permalink

      Worked L&D for 37 years. Lots of joyful tears. It isn’t always that though, as we L&D nurses know. This is so well written, captures the feelings of sadness for the family and the helplessness we feel.

      Reply
    • July 5, 2014 at 6:19 pm
      Permalink

      Beautifully said, thank you! I know a woman who had that situation and while everyone knows they are grieving, I thought about how the family has to go home to that empty nursery and put away all the little clothes, etc. What a stab in the heart. I am so thankful for my 2 healthy girls that were born when I was 39 and 41.

      Reply
      • July 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm
        Permalink

        That honestly, was one of the hardest parts. Our daughter, Zoe, was a stillborn. Two days before her due date. 12/11/13. I had my boyfriend go home and clear everything out of the house. I couldn’t bring myself to walk in and have to see everything right away.
        All of our nurses were so amazing! They cried with us and hugged us constantly! I brought them a box of chocolate and a bag of coffee as a thank you. (When I could finally gather the courage to go back up to L&D) it was the least I could do for them!

        Reply
    • July 6, 2014 at 5:08 am
      Permalink

      This was very touching. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve always appreciated nurses. You are the front line that must to stay strong through all that you see on a daily basis. Continue doing what you do. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    Permalink

    I did get to take my baby home eventually, but she was a meconium baby. During the 30 minutes lying on the delivery table watching my baby get chest compressions and be intubated, my nurse was our rock. After my littel girl was transported to another hospital, my nurse was there to cry with me, help me pee and offer me both the reality and hope of our situation. I don’t know how y’all do it, but thank you. I’m so glad you do!

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm
    Permalink

    This seriously touched my heart. I unfortunately lost my baby at 7 weeks and went through the horrible situation of a D&C. The nurses were AMAZING and I will never forget the way they made me feel that day. Thank you for what you do, day in and day out.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    Permalink

    To you, and to your fellow nurses: we, your patients, also will never forget you. Never believe that there are “no words to ease their pain or to provide any type of comfort” – your gentle words, your tears, your efforts to help us remember through pictures, bring us so much comfort. You (well, not you specifically, but your compatriots) cried with us. We know you care, about us, about our baby. We see you suffer with us, and we love you more than you will ever know. http://babylossmama.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/a-letter-to-a-nurse/

    Reply
    • July 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm
      Permalink

      Also… on my blog, if you read my son’s birth story, you’ll see a better tribute to an L&D nurse, specifically, who stuck by me through the awfulness of my son’s dramatic birth (the link above is a tribute to a NICU nurse who was there when my son died). I just wanted you to know that we remember you all, by name!

      Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm
    Permalink

    As a now nurse Manager with 20+ years of L&D experience, I tell my new nurses that caring for patients experiencing a fetal demise will never get any easier, and they will remember every one. I also tell them that if it does get easier it is time for a new profession.

    Reply
    • July 4, 2014 at 3:49 am
      Permalink

      I disagree Becky. I was often the nurse assigned the IUFD’s and it did get easier. Not because the pain of the situation was easier or that I cared any less, it got easier because I learned how to manage my emotions and how to better support the grieving family. I don’t think it’s fair to your new nurses to put that kind of pressure on them or make them feel guilty for maturing as a professional nurse. I have cried with almost every single demise, but not all. I guarantee that every single mother never doubted for a second that I was grieving deeply for her and cared for her.

      Reply
      • July 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm
        Permalink

        I would agree that it does get easier. Partly because I have a strong faith and am at peace with death, so my own fears and emotions don’t cloud my care. And partly because we have an amazing perinatal loss coordinator. She has taught us how to help families celebrate the life of the baby and create memories in a short time. Now, I ask patients what dreams they had about their baby and what the imagined doing with their baby. We read books to their baby. I help new mamas paint their little girl’s fingernails, etc. It’s not easy work, but it is healing and healthy. As a preceptor, I always take the IUFD’s with my orientee’s so they have someone to walk through it with the first time. I no longer take the sadness and grief home with me, because I know that I have helped start healthy grieving and that I have given the family something a little positive to remember.

        Reply
      • July 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm
        Permalink

        I think what she meant is that it never gets emotionally easier. You never lose that gut-wrenching feeling you get when you put the us on and see that little heart still, void of life. It affects you the same way 1st time or the hundredth time. And that’s ok- we have chosen nursing because we care passionately about the well-being of our patients

        Reply
    • July 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm
      Permalink

      I tell people and more specifically new nurses that it’s easy to be a labor and delivery nurse, no mater how terrible the shift can be or busy or difficult you’re patient and often her support people were… At the end you give them this wonderful little person.. But when you labor a family through the worst thing that anyone can imagine…. You really get to be a nurse…. You are her nurse… They may not appear to be engaged but they hold on to every word… Touch… Gesture… Tear…. And like all things on life, time does help dull if not heal all wounds…. She may not remember your name… But she will never forget you and you’re part in assisting her make it through it… Be proud that on those days YOU SET THE TONE you are a nurse…. You make a difference!

      Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm
    Permalink

    Taking care of a pt with an IUFD is,of course,one of the hardest things about being an L&D nurse. Many times,I would be wrapping the baby in a warm blanket,looking down @ a perfectly formed baby, & just shaking my head & thinking “this should not be happening.” One thing is for certain,these are the families that you will bond with the most. They are so thankful for everything you’ve done (when you feel like you haven’t done or said enough) & you won’t want to leave without hugging every single person in the room.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm
    Permalink

    i have spent 28yrs as a labor and delivery nurse and 16yrs of that as a bereavement counsler i remember all my mothes and families as if they were my first. you did a wonderful job telling our story thank you.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 11:41 pm
    Permalink

    Brilliantly said….touchingly real! I had 3 miscarriages…with the 2nd being at 5 1/2 months….no heartbeat they said. It’s comforting to know that it is not JUST a job to the wonderful women who help us! Thank you so much for what you said….and helping us through it all.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 12:17 am
    Permalink

    Well said. I can relate.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 12:35 am
    Permalink

    I was fortunate enough to have worked with the most incredible nurses and physicians at Palmetto Heath Richland ( Memorial) …. I loved every single minute of it and will never forget any of them…..

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 1:19 am
    Permalink

    Well written and so very true..hug yourself..you are a true labor nurse and and a true good person.. from one labor nurse to another

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 1:23 am
    Permalink

    So well written, and I know how you feel. Hug yourself, you are special and a great labor nurse..and we all know this sadness..the job is not all happiness..but its what you do, and what you are so very good at..

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 2:34 am
    Permalink

    14 years ago our first child was stillborn at 7 months. My husband and I were devastated. Our nurse, Anna, saw me through labor. She was incredible. The other nurses were amazing as well. 6 years later I started working in post partum. It has been such a blessing to give to my patients what had been given to me. One last thought. I treasured my stretch marks because they were a physical reminder that I carried my baby, that he really existed. When it’s the first child, you know in your heart you are a mom, but with no baby to hold it feels more like a dream. Physical reminders can be good, too.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:13 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for writing such a powerful post. I have been nursing for over 20 years and have been in L/D for over 9. I spent the first 7+ years at a High Risk OB hospital for women and children so I have lived this very scenario many, many heartbreaking times. Those of us who stay in OB have to deal with it sooner or later and as hard as it is, these poor families are the ones that come to mind first. So many special memories of them and so many nights praying for their hearts to heal.

    Thank you again for expressing it all so well.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:39 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for what you do!!!

    Just over a year ago, our sweet Ivy Raye was stillborn at 38 weeks, 3 days. We’ve never experienced such grief!! The nurses of Southern New Hampshire Medical Center Birth Place were our “angels”. We lovingly refer to them this way. Their tender care of our Ivy Raye, and gentle support and care for us was remarkable. We left a piece of our hearts that day! We’ll never forget each name and face!!! God bless you all!

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:46 am
    Permalink

    Beautiful and I really appreciate the perspective of the nurse. We induced and delivered our beautiful baby daughter at 22 weeks four years ago July 2, born silent. The worst day of my life. I wrote a letter to every doctor, nurse, midwife that was involved. You are deeply appreciated, and you are right. We leave a piece of us that died that day in the labor room.

    Reply
    • July 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm
      Permalink

      Your daughter and my son share a birthday. he was stillborn last year, he died during labor.

      Reply
      • July 14, 2014 at 5:29 am
        Permalink

        I am so sorry for your loss Becky. I rarely come across other mom’s with babes who share her birthday. It’s a deep connection that I appreciate in odd ways. Sending you love and light. I started a blog regarding her and how she has impacted my life, but nothing like your blog.

        Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:51 am
    Permalink

    It takes a lot of strength to help the family through hard situations like this. Sometimes I don’t arrive at work feeling very strong but have to dig down deep. After working in L&D for 29 years I have come to realize a few things about sad outcome situations in our department: Don’t try to fill up the silent moments with these families ( when words are needed, the right ones come), I haven’t met a grieving patient or father who seemed uncomfortable being held during those really hard moments that come intermittently, and, most importantly, it is a privilege ushering these families through one of the worse times in their lives.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:56 am
    Permalink

    My wonderful daughter in law is a labour&delivery nurse & loves her job! The tragic loss of a baby effects her in more ways that are known to the patients.Her heart literaly breaks when a mother loses her child.She cannot show her feelings at this terrible time, but takes her tears & heartache home with her after such a tradgedy. She has also lost a child too early & lives with this each day but continues to do her job with love & compassion. Please remember your nurses are people too,with feelings the same as you and I. Love to all moms & their nurses. x Baba

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:57 am
    Permalink

    I am a labor nurse also. recently, I delivered my second child by classical c/s at 26 weeks and she passed away two days later. I appreciate this post. It helps to read such beautiful words.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 4:09 am
    Permalink

    I lost one of my identical twin baby girls to twin to twin transfusion. Not only was I told my baby no longer had a heartbeat at 21 weeks, but I was then seen by the l&d nurses 3 times a week for the remainder of my pregnancy for biophysical profiles, nonstress tests and growth scans. Every single time I went in, the nurses were amazing. I had to see my survivor and be scared to death that she wasn’t going to make it, but also go through the agony of seeing my angel baby each visit. Without those nurses I couldn’t have gotten through the rest of my pregnancy . Those nurses were there for me at delivery, when I had to deliver both babies – one alive and one not.
    They knew just what to say and what not to say.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 4:59 am
    Permalink

    As a labor and delivery nurse for over 30 years, this touched my heart. Ultimately in my practice at a Level III Perinatal Center, I found myself focused on the care of these patients and their families. You almost know before you look for the heart rate whether you will find one or not- and brace yourself. My thoughts are that pretty much anyone can care for a patient who takes a healthy baby home, but the family who leaves empty handed remembers the care and compassion that was shown them. I do remember my loss patients and they each have a piece of my heart.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 5:38 am
    Permalink

    Well said. I’ve been a labor and delivery nurse for almost 15 years and will never forget the sound of the mothers wails when their fears are confirmed and I will never forget sharing the moments of birth and thereafter with these families. Making momentos for them to cherish since they will not take their baby home with them is the least we can do for them. The feeling of a heavy spirit which clings to us for days following these experiences and the lifetime of tears we hide behind our smiles can only be known by those who have cared for these families as well. Thank you for putting this into words. I am sometimes frustrated when people find out I am a labor and delivery nurse and say, “Oh, you have the most FUN job EVER!” Yes, most days it is joyous but on the days it’s not, it’s horrifically sad.

    Reply
    • July 4, 2014 at 6:33 am
      Permalink

      Wow, I too get somewhat annoyed and

      “frustrated when people find out I am a labor and delivery nurse and say, ‘Oh, you have the most FUN job EVER!'” or even better, “what a happy place to work!?”

      “…most days it is joyous but on the days it’s not…”

      It’s gut wrenching. It IS so “horrifically sad.”

      They’re not supposed to be childless.

      This post was perfect timing. Last night (only hours ago) I witnessed one of the worst cases yet. Her cries were heard by staff and patients alike; they brought tears to all of our eyes.

      We all have an expected outcome for our patients. No one goes in expecting a tiny heart beat to disappear once delivered. Sick people die. Babies shouldn’t.

      Thank you for your story. It’s somehow comforting to read what we all have experienced ourselves. We’re not alone.

      Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 5:52 am
    Permalink

    I’m bawling as I read this because yesterday morning at 0130 (July 3rd) this story came to life before my eyes. Almost word for word….. We as a unit cried together over the delivery that happened only hours before it was scheduled to. Thank you for putting into words what will be in my dreams for weeks and months to come.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 8:41 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for this beautiful post. How true this is. I like to say, as L&D nurses, we experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. No one should ever have to leave their baby behind in a morgue. And yes, every one of those families remains in your heart. Your heart breaks with them and tears of grief are shared with the family. It’s ok to show you are grieving with them. Not only does it show you are human too, but it also shows them that they are leaving their precious little one with those who truly care.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 10:11 am
    Permalink

    I’m not a mom yet, but as someone who spends many days and hours surrounded by doctors and nurses, I can attest to the fact that it is my nurses who’ve made the differences in my life. I have the highest respect and love for you and what you do. :-)

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for writing this, I think all you midwives do an amazing job, when I found out much like the patient mentioned here that I had lost my daughter the midwife we were with was so wonderfully kind and supportive, and was there with hugs and cups of tea throughout my labour despite her not being my midwife for my labour. It must be heart wrenching to watch families go through this but please know the work you do stays with us families aswell.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    Permalink

    As I care for a family who is experiencing the gut wrenching dispair of an IUFD I try to remember that I am one of the few people on earth who had the privilege of meeting their baby. Many of their family members may never even see a picture of their tiny face and hands but I got to hold their baby, possibly baptize her if the parents wished and take photos of them holding their precious child for the first and last time. Such important work we do for each and every one of them.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    Permalink

    I haven’t been in L&D for a while now, but it is my passion. I changed to a clinic job because it was easier on me as a single mom and I miss it every day. I still remember all of the women and families that I took care of in this difficult time. I cried with them, in other rooms, and when I got home to my precious healthy little boy. His hugs and kisses made it a little better. I think of those families every day and hope they were able to overcome the tragedy and eventually have the family wanted and deserved.

    Jessica

    Reply
    • July 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm
      Permalink

      May our God bless you and all of the nurses who help these parents through this situation . Such a special calling. God love you all. Gma. R.

      Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm
    Permalink

    Oh my. Thank you. My granddaughter was 37 weeks when we lost her. I was there when the news was delivered to my son that ‘we can’t find the heartbeat’, to the moment our 13 pound 13 ounce baby was finally pulled from her mother. It was THE worst and most heartbreaking experience of my life. I was the first to hold her and went with the nurses to see her first and only bath, to see her bathed, diapered, dressed and then wrapped in a warm blanket so her mommy could hold a warm baby. Lois. Lois was the nurse who so gently, so tenderly washed Evie to keep as much skin in tact as possible. One of the other nurses made a little pink and purple beaded bracelet with Evie’s name on it and made another for mama. Another nurse had crocheted a pink and purple blanket to wrap her. Evie was the last baby Lois helped deliver. She was retiring the next day. I know she hasn’t forgotten Evie, I hope she knows how much her kindness and gentleness was appreciated and how much she meant to me. I feel a deep gratitude to all our nurses. Never paid enough, never appreciated enough, frequently used as scapegoats by doctors, yelled at by patients…You are all Florence Nightingale to me.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I lost my son Seth at 39 weeks. I walked into the hospital that day in labor and it was my L & D nurse that discovered that my baby’s heartbeat could not be found. I have struggled with her response to me as I labored and delivered my baby. She seemed lost, distant unsure of how to comfort me. Reading your words help me think on it differently. Maybe she was one that went into a quiet room and cried over my baby boy. Maybe I am at the patient and my son is that baby who she always remembers.

    Reply
    • July 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm
      Permalink

      It’s unfortunate, but a lot of hospitals make nurses “take turns.” It’s very unfair. Not every nurse can do this type of delivery. Some nurses just do not know how to comfort the mom, and it’s not because they don’t care, it’s just that they really don’t know what to do or say. It is heartbreaking to me that she came across as distant. But I promise you it affected her. I feel like I take really good care of these moms, and I’m strong in that way, but one of the last fetal demise’s that I labored, I was pregnant and had just found out my baby was sick, and I remember that I took care of that mom completely differently. I felt very weak and vulnerable and I was not in a place to do it well. Another thing, nurse’s don’t usually say “I feel what you’re going through, I went through the same thing” because they don’t want to make it about them. But maybe that’s why she was distant. Either way, the one thing that I always know…everyone else goes on and moves forward. It’s easier for everyone else because they were not carrying the baby, feeling him kick, feeling him move. I know that a part of a mother who has lost their child never forgets and they have to move on in a different way. The only thing I hope from you is that you eventually go back to a labor and delivery unit and have something to celebrate. Because no one should have to leave without their baby. <3 much love to you and your family and your baby

      Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    Permalink

    Beautiful and thank you for sharing. I can tell you, the day I gave birth to my son it was my nurses hand, her sweet words, her gentle encouragement that got me through the delivery. I am forever grateful for my nurse. So grateful, she has her own page in my son’s baby book.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for sharing I spent over 20 years at the bedside as a labor & delivery nurse. I had many meaningful experiences but the mothers I remember most are the ones who left with empy arms.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm
    Permalink

    You’re absolutely right: your nurse never forgets you, mothers who have suffered to the depths. There is a permanent memorial in that room, at that bed, at that warmer, so don’t ever worry that your experience has been forgotten or that no one but you really remembers those moments and hours. Hugs.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm
    Permalink

    My wonderful sweet godchildren lost their baby at 37 weeks with placenta abruptio. Every so often, I get a little squeeze around my heart at this tragedy for these young people, and for those of us who so looked forward to knowing and loving this little boy. He changed us forever, even in his death. My appreciation goes out to the nurses who took care of her when we couldn’t, and when we didn’t know how, and when it just wasn’t our place. The appreciation of the staff regarding the demeanor and composure of the young ones also expresses the staff’s compassion and concern. All the best to all of you, and to the parents you will comfort.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    Permalink

    I ‘ve had my worst 4th of July ever, it started with one fetal demise ( almost term) diagnosed in her Dr office and brought in for induction. So young and so devastated . I have cried at probably every delivery of an IUFD I have delivered, sometimes alone in our bereavement room, sometimes with the family. It never gets easier emotionally, but the care, what to say and hopefully when to say it, and the paperwork have become easier. Everything was progressing well when at 5:30 a second mother presented for nausea, vomiting and ultimately a IUFD. This will be the second time she will go home without a child in her arms. How can I move fast enough, do enough to help both? I return tonight and want to be there for both, I know from reading these posts, that the care and support I will give will be remembered. I do know the families I care for , and their small beloved babies will remain in my heart forever. They are in my prayers forever! So yes, I do work on the best unit in the world, and yes I hope the majority of my patients never know about the ” other side” of my ” great job”!

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    Permalink

    This story reminded me of this quote: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

    Maya Angelou

    Reply
  • July 5, 2014 at 5:05 am
    Permalink

    Been there many times. I have held the Moms and cried with them. U do leave part of your heart with them each time. Your heart breaks when you hold the baby in your arms,,to clean them up, weigh them and measure them, and photo them. You try to wrap them pretty, put a crochet cap on them and give Mom a keep sake. You feel so helpless at this time…as a Nursery and L&D nurse, I do hope the Mom’s, Dad’s and grandparents felt my love for them….You certainly sound like a kind, caring Nurse.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2014 at 6:12 am
    Permalink

    A very thoughtful and difficult post to write. Very much appreciated. As a former L&D nurse I could easily put myself in your position. Caring for a family whose baby died was the most difficult but also the most rewarding nursing care I have ever provided. Have a look at a research documentary I was lucky enough to be part of. We have had excellent feedback from nurses:

    Reply
  • July 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm
    Permalink

    This is so true. I don’t think it gets easier. It is just that we have done it before and maybe know how to handle it a little better for us and the patient and their family. Just retired after 28 yrs working that area. Will miss the good and bad of it

    Reply
  • July 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Jen,

    I was the mom on the receiving end of this powerful nurturing 37 years ago. My first baby was stillborn. My strongest memory in those first twenty-four hours are of the nurses who made a point to come in and speak to me. Two of them had lost full term babies also. I saw a psychic years later who told me that that spirit had just needed to touch in and move on and to my surprise, that I had done the same. Months before I was born, my aunt, who had the same name as my mother, lost a stillborn baby girl. I went on to have three more children who were fine.

    The calm strength of nurses is without equal in my experiences in life. You truly have to be midwives for the soul of the mother and the baby.

    All the best,

    Carol

    Reply
  • July 6, 2014 at 1:10 am
    Permalink

    This was a lovely piece.

    I missed my baby’s birth due to general anesthesia for my emergency c-section at twenty six weeks. However, I do have pictures of my baby’s first appearance. A nurse was kind and thoughtful enough to call out to my husband, “Quick! Give me your cell phone!” as they raced me back to the OR.

    I’m so grateful for the kindness of the nurses during my last moments carrying my baby. It’s so nice to hear something from that side. Thanks for writing this.

    Reply
  • July 6, 2014 at 6:18 am
    Permalink

    Oh my goodness. I needed these words today. Thank you for this post.
    -a fellow labor nurse

    Reply
  • July 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm
    Permalink

    I recently went through a near-term IUFD-I can’t imagine a full term. The images from that day will stay with me forever, for some reason more than an early pregnancy IUFD or miscarriage. Everyone thinks L&D is the happiest place on earth & some days it truly is. Other days I swear it’s the darkest place in the hospital. Thanks for your blog.

    Reply
  • July 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Permalink

    My daughter was born at 28 weeks as a stillborn, I found out the day before and then had to deliver her via c-section the next morning. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through, this was 9 years ago thus Saturday and the nurse Shannon who was in the OR with me and then stayed with me the rest of that day and took pictures of my daughter for me and stayed by my side for all of it is someone I will never forget! I have had two other children since and it is not that I didn’t have great care with them as well but I can’t remember any names from those deliveries, but I will never forget Shannons name and all she did for me that day and the next!

    Reply
  • July 7, 2014 at 1:36 am
    Permalink

    What an incredible touching post. Thank you for your incredible heart. What a true gift and blessing you are.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    Permalink

    I had given birth to 3 healthy normal kids, when 11 years after the last I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant again. My pregnancy was normal, everything seemed fine, except for the feelings and dreams I was having. I had a strong premonition that this baby wasn’t going to come home with me. I couldn’t see myself coming home with a baby. I tried to change that vision, I tried to change what felt like was really going to happen. I couldn’t tell anyone, not even the Dr. I didn’t think anyone would listen to me. I tried to tell my partener, the babies dad, but he didn’t want to hear it. I tried to tell my best friend who was a therapist, but all she said was “oh you’ll see it’ll be fine” or “all pregnant women feel like that”. This was my 4th pregnancy, I knew what I felt before, it wasn’t what I was feeling this time.
    I had a dream that I was in the recovery room, and the Dr. walked in, he said “I’m sorry Mrs Everest, he ddn’t make it” at that point n my dream I heard myself say “I want a priest to baptize my baby, I want a shot to dry up my milk and I want to see my baby” The Dr. said “don’t give her a hard time, someone get her baby”. And then I awoke, with tears on my cheeks.
    I was huge, the nurse out our small town hospital had become a good friend she called the Dr and asked him to check for twins. He was a wonderful Dr. but new, and wasn’t too keen on listening to her. But he ordered a sonar gram(is that what it’s called?) and then said “no it’s just one baby”…but I was enormous, far bigger than I was with any of my others.
    I had told the Cheryl, the nurse that I wanted to birth when she was there. As it turned out I arrived at the hospital on her shift, but she was off at 3 that afternoon. She actually went home, took a shower, ate, put on clean scrubs and came back to be with me during my birth. I thank god for that woman so often.
    At 10: or so and after much hard pushing my babies head was born, and it was quite some time later that his shoulders were born. There were nurses there that helped me deliver this huge baby. Especially Cheryl. When my baby was born and put on my stomach he just flopped, and didn’t cry. That’s all I could focus on was the absence of his cry, I can still here that silence. A code blue went out, people worked on Sean, and they were with me.
    Later that night when the Dr. came into the room to tell us he was gone, I remembered that I was supposed to say something, I just couldn’t remember what it was. I knew I had to say it whle the Dr. was in the room, my brain could not wrap it’s around what I was supposed to ask for. So I opened my mouth and the words came out. “I want a priest to baptize my baby, I want a shot to dry up my milk and I want to see my baby”. I those days I don’t know that they did that. The Dr. said “someone get her baby”. Clearly the nurses didn’t want to do that, but one did get him. She bathed him, and brought that beautiful child into me, He was lovely and the size of a 3 month old baby. he weighed 13lbs and 5oz, His head was huge, but his shoulders were even bigger. he was 24 inches long.
    I love the Dr. who was with me, he was a good man, just young with not a lot of experience. The nurses were the best. They were amazingly good to me. I will always be grateful for most of them, especially Sheryl

    Reply
  • July 8, 2014 at 8:43 am
    Permalink

    Very true. I remember every one of my IUFD families. They have a special place in my heart…

    Reply
  • July 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I have been a nurse for 6 years. I spent my first five years as an ICU nurse and therefore have taken care of many patients who have passed on and cried with their grieving families. After almost a year in L&D, this week was my first time taking care of a patient with an IUFD and I can’t believe how emotional I am even days later.
    It’s hard to explain to friends and family how you can feel so connected and need to grieve for someone that you only just met.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm
    Permalink

    As one who has looked into the eyes of her nurse, on more than one occasion, and found comfort in the words she didn’t have to say, I thank you. Thank you for these written words and for the pain sung in the form of tears in hospitals and homes around the globe.

    Heart,
    Dani

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 12:16 am
    Permalink

    What a beautiful piece. My pregnancy was short of ordinary. I was bed-ridden most of the time and feared that I would lose my baby almost everyday. I am happy to share that I carried her full term despite all that. She is turning 13 years old next month and has been my pride and joy. Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 12:55 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I still remember the nurse that was present for my version of this story over five years ago. I remember her holding my hand as I walked out of the hospital front entrance late at night on Good Friday. I had entered with a belly full of life and exited with no baby, but thankfully my own life. It was snowing softly. The nurse watched my mother & I slowly skate to my car. My husband was unable to make the six hour drive to be at the hospital with me in time. It was Easter weekend. My nurse was a savior that day.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 1:15 am
    Permalink

    Savannah Grace was born at 3:55am on March 26, 2011, and passed at 5:05am on the same day.
    It is truly impossible to say all that is in the heart of a mother who goes through this. I know that it will never say what I truly feel, but Thank you for what you do…

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 2:55 am
    Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. And thank you for your work and compassion! Justine

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    My sister lost her baby girl a week before her due date. I can’t imagine the heartache that nurses go through. Thank you for what you do and for caring while you do it.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 4:41 am
    Permalink

    This is very moving and really resonated with me. thank you for sharing this with us and congrats on being freshly pressed!!! :)

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 6:48 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for acknowledging this pain, and for honoring and caring for those walking through it.
    My post “Still” speaks to this…these families are blessed with your care.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 8:44 am
    Permalink

    After spending 20 years as a delivery suite midwife, it is very true and we lay awake at night and remember the dear families that we have supported in their grief of losing a baby. I have a chapter on this very topic in my book released earlier this year ‘ Blue Hydranges – A Midwife’s Memoirs’ Thank you for bringing this delicate topic up for discussion and beautifully written.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there,

    Your post made me tear up a bit because of how traumatic my pregnancy was. I didnt carry my baby girl full term. The nurses told me I would possibly go in a coma or worse… BUT we are BOTH here today. She was born premature but is doing extremely well and just had her 1st birthday!! Shes so gorgeous with so much personality. :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there,

    Your post made me tear up a bit because of how traumatic my pregnancy was. I didnt carry my baby girl full term. The nurses told me I would possibly go in a coma or worse… BUT we are BOTH here today. She was born premature but is doing extremely well and just had her 1st birthday!! Shes so gorgeous with so much personality. :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  • Pingback: More Than Birth and Babies | deanacaroline

  • July 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    Your post brought tears to my eyes and a deep sadness to my heart. My neice and her partner lost their baby late in the pregnancy, but not at full term, after a uterine tear and later, infection. For medical reasons, she was told it would be better to give birth naturally even though they knew the baby would not survive. By all accounts, her experience in a hospital in South Africa was the diametric opposite of that experienced by most people who have posted here. She was placed in a normal ward and the nurses refused to help her, stating that they weren’t “trained for that”. Since the doctor had left the building and was stuck in traffic, she was helped by her mother and sister and the baby was left to lie on her bed until the doctor returned. She and her family have been traumatised by the experience and my heart aches for them that they didn’t receive the love and gentleness they so deeply needed. Thank you to all nurses who comfort and care for moms, babies and all other desperately ill people with love and kindness.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve never lost a child, but as a therapist I’ve walked the grief path with a few mothers–and fathers–who have had to endure this incredible pain. I appreciate the nurse’s perspective. Well-written and heartfelt. Thank you.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm
    Permalink

    very touching :( can’t even imagine the pain.

    And this is a very new perspective you are giving us, by the way :) thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm
    Permalink

    Read this at my desk, and I couldn’t hold back my tears.

    I gave birth four months ago, and although I hate to admit this I was more terrified of becoming a mother than excited. (That obviously changed once I met my perfect baby.) I could just punch myself right now! My heart hurts for this patient and all the other mothers that have have to endure this.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 12:30 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully written experience from your viewpoint. As someone who has lost 5 babies to miscarriage (including 1 emergency D&C and 1 septic miscarriage), I really appreciate hearing the nurse perspective.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 12:30 am
    Permalink

    Very touching. To this day I don’t know how ER staff do it. Probably because you’re super human.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 12:56 am
    Permalink

    This took my breath away. It was so stark, yet compassionate, so raw. I can’t imagine doing the job you do. Thank you for your service.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 6:10 am
    Permalink

    This is beautifully melancholic. I’ve never read anything from this perspective and it really touched me. I hope every mother who has ever had to go through such hardship is able to read this. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 6:33 am
    Permalink

    You said truth. Indeed bringing somebody to this world and making him grow what he/she want is not that easy. Thank you and I liked your post

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 7:31 am
    Permalink

    Wow I am glad I am a naturopathic doctor (specialising in anti aging) and not a nurse.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 9:32 am
    Permalink

    It must have been heart-breaking, but thank you for this beautifully written piece.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Permalink

    What an experience! Just know that with your compassion and kindness, you are changing a population one soul at a time.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 11:32 am
    Permalink

    There is great joy in the world and then there is sadness. It is no rose garden and although there is the touch of the miracle there is sometimes the hand of the devil in the brew.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 11:40 am
    Permalink

    Moving. During my delivery, I had a nurse who kept smiling at me and trust me, I remember her face to this day despite the pain I went through. A big thanks to you on behalf of all mothers.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm
    Permalink

    Reblogged this on GTBblogger and commented:
    This is so sad, but loving at the same time. I just had to reblog this.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 1:06 am
    Permalink

    Amen Sister-Nurse. Thanks for documenting so eloquently the downside of the L&D suite. Please continue to bestow your care upon your patients. They need you!

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 7:21 am
    Permalink

    Reblogged this on Tsamparada Kennique and commented:
    A very sad and moving short life experience on what our sisters, mothers and wives go through on a daily basis.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 10:35 am
    Permalink

    So heartbreaking, when i delivered my 1st daughter in the hospital, I did hear ‘never-forgetting” cry from a fellow mother in the delivery room, as i was told she lost her baby while deliver. I am not know the reason, but i know how it feels to loose your baby, being a mother. I remember all the nurse on our maternity floor,eyes filled with tiny tears hiding from me. I couldnt throughly enjoy my daughters birth as i keot constantly thinking about her. Nothing can comfort or give peace ot you

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm
    Permalink

    This is why people blog and why people read blogs to get this interior slice of life that often can be shared no other real way. Every mom, dad, grandma, grandpa should read this, knowing it can happen to anyone, and kiss and thank God for each little one in their life. Thanks.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    Permalink

    How touching! Beautifully written. This brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing and thank you for doing what you do.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    What a blessing of compassion you give to so many. God bless you for your love of your fellow women and children.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for this article, you’re expressing it so good and thank you for this excellent job.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm
    Permalink

    This is beautiful. Three months ago, my second son was born with a severe congenital heart defect. We knew immediately after birth that he was sick, but we didn’t know why. My L&D nurse sat beside me for eight hours while a team of nurses worked to get his oxygen saturation up. The whole night long, I sat in a wheelchair, she sat beside me, put her arm around me in the scariest moments, brought me water, brought me tissues… I found her and contacted her a month ago just to tell her how thankful I was for her that first night. What she did, the way that she was there for me, and she literally helped carry me through the scariest night of my life, it was incredible. Thank you for what you are doing for others… You are making a difference.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm
      Permalink

      Your story really hits home with me. I am so sorry that you had to experience that. I hope everything turned out okay…

      Reply
      • July 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm
        Permalink

        Two open heart surgeries later, he is alive and healing! He has been in the hospital since birth, but he is still alive, and for that we are so incredibly grateful. It’s nurses that have changed my life through this whole journey. I would probably be psychotic by now if it weren’t for nurses that go above and beyond to support, nurture, and love their patients and families.

        Reply
  • July 20, 2014 at 7:52 am
    Permalink

    I am only about to hit 22 at the end of this year but I hope that I never have to experience that kidn of pain. I know it is all too common to miscarriage, but I want to be a mother. It is a goal and dream of mine. Thank you to people like yourself and all thoae other nurses who love their job through the good and the bad. Knowing that you feel this way with every near birth and delivery makes me feel more comforted to know that I have support when the time comes even if it ever did go wrong.

    Very beautiful post, I’m glad there are people like you out there! ♡

    Reply
  • Pingback: Essential reading: Articles published prior to 20 July 2014 - Pers J RP

  • July 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm
    Permalink

    As a 17 weeks pregnant woman, I cannot imagine her grief, or yours. Thank you so much for doing what you do, as many of us could not bear the thought of it. You are appreciated and loved.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2014 at 2:33 am
    Permalink

    You are so right when you say that we remember every single one. As I read through this, my mind went over my families and I saw their faces and I remembered their heartbreak. For them, it is a pain beyond imagination.

    Reply
    • July 24, 2014 at 2:45 am
      Permalink

      Yes it does!!! I have already written something about this, but my family has been affected by infertility and I do not want to post it until she has a baby at home. I know it will happen, I just wish it would happen faster (for her!)

      Reply
      • July 28, 2014 at 2:03 am
        Permalink

        Bless your hearts. My family and my two brothers never had an such issues. My wife’s family has, and that and our age made it really difficult. It took 3 ai and a miscarriage to get our beautiful daughter. I will pray that your family member will get a child soon. :)

        Reply
  • July 24, 2014 at 11:30 am
    Permalink

    Beautiful. This piece captures your feelings of empathy and compassion towards patients for whom there can be no words of comfort. You do an amazing job.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2014 at 3:41 am
    Permalink

    I lost a baby to ectopic almost 2 years ago. I haven’t conceived since and I almost died. I was bleeding internally and looked more pregnant in 2 weeks than I did in 6 months with my other children. It’s heartbreaking and even more so that I haven’t been able to conceive since. I’ve never emotionally recovered from it and I want more than anything to give my husband an heir to his name. Doesn’t matter at what stage of pregnancy you lose a child it all hurts the same. My baby would be about a year around this time and every month I get that negative test result it crushes me to the point I don’t want to get out of bed anymore. I hope one day there will be an end to my pain and to all mothers who’ve suffered a loss. There is no time limit for healing a wound so deep. I often blame myself, if I had only done this or that or think maybe the drs were wrong and it was something else causing that pain and they mistakenly diagnosed it ectopic. I know I allow myself to stay in this state of mind but I feel guilty just thinking what it would be like not to hurt over the loss.

    Reply
    • July 25, 2014 at 3:46 am
      Permalink

      You are allowed to feel that way. I often tell my mom’s that it’s different for them. Everyone will be sad. Their husbands, their family, their friends…But everyone moves on. Men grieve in different ways. I think the woman is often coping with this tragedy secretly, because everyone else moves forward. I’m sorry that this happened to you. I wish there were more I could say or do, but I hate that this had to happen to you.

      Reply
      • July 25, 2014 at 3:51 am
        Permalink

        Thank you, and you are right when about coping in secrecy. I cry almost daily and I hide in the bathroom or why driving alone in my car. I just can’t find a way to put it behind me. I don’t share my feelings much with my husband because I don’t think he understands. I’m lucky to have walked away with my own life if what the surgeon says is true. I just have a hard time understanding how this could have happened and why to me. I also can’t make sense of why I haven’t been able to conceive since. I had no problem becoming pregnant before so I guess the fact we have been desperately trying really just adds to it all.

        Reply
        • July 25, 2014 at 11:00 am
          Permalink

          You should talk to your OB physician. Sometimes if you have an ectopic, it can scar your fallopian tube. You should still have the other fallopian tube if it is scarred, but that could be what’s delaying things. And your doctor was right, it can be very dangerous when it’s as serious as yours was. Talk to your doctor…And tell them about you bring so sad <3

          Reply
  • Pingback: Essential readings published prior to 20 July 2014

  • July 26, 2014 at 5:18 am
    Permalink

    I work with cancer patients and I understand the heart wrenching situations you, as a caregiver, go through. It doesn’t get easier. but the happier moments sometimes outweigh the sad ones. It shows you still have compassion for those you work with and that’s a trait you never want to lose. This was a beautiful post.

    Reply
    • July 26, 2014 at 6:28 am
      Permalink

      Thank you. It gets easier in the sense that you know the stages that each patient goes through. You prepare for that. But it’s heartbreaking every time…

      Reply
  • July 27, 2014 at 5:11 am
    Permalink

    I will never forget the wonderful nurses that helped me through the worst day of my life. My first baby and only son was born 20 weeks too soon. The nurses were so wonderful, bringing me a tiny blanket for him and asking if I wanted them to take a few pictures of him. They knew that would be all I would ever have of him other than the memory of his one and only tiny cry. I found out later from a family member that mine was the first loss one of the nurses had experienced. It has been 12 years and I still remember them and I say thank you to them and to all the nurses that help Mama’s like me through that dark and soul shattering journey.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    Permalink

    Great work, good to know that nurses care too. Its quite sad when you spend time preparing for a baby tha will not get home.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve so been there many times. You’re right…we do cry for them. We give our hearts as they lose theirs, just hoping to take a little bit of the pain served up and piled high on days like this. Thanks for sharing. L&D nurses are truly a sisterhood forged in the fires of lives of those we care for.

    Reply
  • Pingback: When There’s Nothing to Celebrate « Adventures of a Labor Nurse

  • July 28, 2014 at 11:51 pm
    Permalink

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed! This was beautifully written, and very touching!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    Permalink

    Its hard for me to read these things but I find myself doing it often…I lost my first child a daughter at 37 weeks at the very young age of only 19…I will never forget my obgyn’s nurse…I found out my baby had passed away in the obgyn office on the morning of sept. 6 2011,,,My doctor had never had a paitent loose their baby so late in the pregnancy…I was the first…And his nurse talked me threw everything…Sat with me as my doctor exsplained what would happen after this and that I was to be induced that night at 6pm…And then me my doctor my sister and his nurse cryed together before leaving the room and my doctor told me that he knew there was nothing he could say or do to make this better…He had had a stillborn his self…The nurse comferted me and stayed in that room with me until my mother could get there to drive me home because me and my sister where to shaken up to be driving…She sent me flowers to the hospital and a card that said kind words telling me that she was praying for me and if i needed anything to let her know…She is the person who made me want to work in labor and delivery…To help some mother some day if they ever have to go threw this…I am currently in nursing school…And have scence had a son and am pregnant with another daughter…And I see that nurse often…I believe she helped me more than alot of people…You dont realize until you go threw it the harsh reality that this world can bring down on you…But maybe just being with that mother offering kind words and knowing that they can can cousion the blow just a little…

    Reply
  • August 23, 2014 at 12:22 am
    Permalink

    As a mom whose first baby ended iufd at 12 wks, it’s nice to hear the other sides perspective, because in that moment–and even now two years later to some degree–it’s easy to feel like no one cares since life does move on. The fact that I was alone in the ER probably didn’t help (husband was out of town and all my family lived out of town). Being our first, my dh was so excited that he had told everyone we knew, so for weeks I was a crying mess in the cereal aisle and all over town when yet another friend asked me how the baby and I were doing. People were mostly awkward toward me and couldn’t wait to get away. Thank you for your compassion. A little truly goes a long way.

    Four weeks ago, we welcomed a healthy baby boy and had a great L&D, but I still to this day wonder what our first might have looked like, what he/she might have been like, etc. thank you to all the nurses who share these intimate moments!

    Reply
    • August 23, 2014 at 1:00 am
      Permalink

      I’m very sensitive to your comment. I try to tell all my moms before they leave the hospital…their friends and family may be sad now (in the hospital), but they all move on and you’re left just trying to deal with everything. Dads experience differently. They usually feel like they have to be strong for their partners, so even they get to the point where they stop talking about it, even if they still think about things. That’s very difficult for the moms. So I do understand what you are saying. I’m so glad that you were able to celebrate recently!!

      Reply
  • September 14, 2014 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Reblogged this on Sophia's Story and commented:
    Beautiful reflection of the toll our losses take on nurses. After experiencing firsthand the professionalism, empathy, love, and deepest concern our nurses expressed for our wellbeing during the toughest days of our lives, there aren’t many other professions I respect more.

    Reply
  • September 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    Permalink

    As a woman who lost a baby about 2 months ago this brings me a little sense of peace knowing that someone else has remembered my baby boy.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm
    Permalink

    When a baby dies so far into an otherwise healthy and normal pregnancy, is there an autopsy done to determine cause of death?

    Reply
  • July 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm
    Permalink

    Beautiful. I cannot remember the names of the nurses present for me as we said our goodbyes. Their kindness and compassion is very well remembered though. Recently a dear friend invited me to attend the birth of her daughter. I took care to make sure to remember their names. Everything went mostly well and my friend has a fantastically healthy daughter. Their compassion toward me during that night/day of her labouring helped me help my friend.

    Reply
  • Pingback: The Quiet Culture of Pregnancy Loss | Adventures of a Labor Nurse

  • December 12, 2016 at 10:20 am
    Permalink

    I don’t know how you do it.
    I don’t know how my nurse could do it for me. I had my mother and partner with me, but my nurse was my rock that I couldn’t have emotionally survived without.
    I lost my son at 38 weeks. Delivered in an induced coma and woke up thinking I was about to have him. I’m not sure how she managed to be there for me without breaking down.
    I didn’t leave the hospital with completely empty arms. Her mother made a patchwork quilt for me to help me remember my little man when I’m struggling.
    I was shocked to see her at the funeral. Having someone who was there during the worst moments of your life show up to support you again on her own time reminds you that you aren’t alone and he touched someone else’s life.
    I’m sure over a decade later you’ll have women like me thinking they’d not have survived without you. You’re a hero.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2017 at 8:06 am
    Permalink

    I’ve been an OB nurse for every day of my 37 year career. I love my job. We get to see families at their happiest and on the very worst day of their lives. It’s an honor to play some small part in helping them face either of these life changing events. Newborn or stillborn, couples are often unprepared and overwhelmed by the situation facing them. As nurses we provide vital emotional support and education.
    I know how important the few precious memories can be for our grieving families who don’t have a baby to take home. I take special care in creating memory boxes for these babies, and making plaster castings of their hands and feet. Tangible proof of a life gone too soon. Recently I have started teaching the younger nurses on the night shift how to collect these momentoes and care for these special babies. It is a special skill that must be learned and practiced but is priceless to our families. It’s what makes nursing an art. We owe it to our families and the next generation of nurses to pass it on.

    Reply

I want to hear what you have to say!

%d bloggers like this: