When There’s Nothing to Celebrate

Recently, I left work so late my kids were already asleep by the time I got home. Part of me wanted to wake my daughter up, ask her about her day, and stay up late talking about all the things she had done throughout the day. I wanted to scoop up my sleeping son, smell his baby-ness and cover him with kisses. The other half of me was so exhausted, I was glad that my husband had put them to bed before I had gotten home. I fell into bed, asleep before my head even hit the pillow. I woke up the next morning before anyone else was awake, put on a clean pair of scrubs, and went back to work, rested and renewed, but determined to finish charting in time to be home at a normal hour.

It was busy that day. A few hours before shift-change, a young mother came in to be triaged because she hadn’t felt her baby move for almost twelve hours. All of our triage beds were full, so we had to put her in a labor room. When I couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat, there were so many things I wanted to say to her, but couldn’t. It wasn’t the right time and I was only her nurse. But this is what I wish I could have told her:

  • It didn’t take me long to stop looking for your baby’s heartbeat. I knew then the next chain of events that were about to occur. I couldn’t tell you anything, even though I wanted to, because I have to wait for your doctor to break the news. I hope they’re not too far away, and that they’ll be able to get here quickly.
  • The moment I stopped trying to find the heartbeat, I know all of your suspicions were confirmed, even though neither of us said a word. Your husband did not know to be concerned yet, because he wasn’t the one that had stopped feeling the movement. I know you needed him, so I chose my words carefully: Because I could not find your baby’s heartbeat with the monitor, I’m going to get someone to do an ultrasound. I will also call your doctor. Do you understand what I’m saying? Your eyes were glossed over with tears, but you did not cry. Your husband put down his phone.
  • When I walked out of your room to call your doctor, I prayed the entire way to the nurse’s station that maybe I was wrong. When I got to the nurse’s station, every single nurse, unit secretary, and tech asked me if I had been able to find the heartbeat. When I told them no, the tone changed on the entire unit.
  • When I called your doctor to tell them, I heard their voice catch in their throat. They didn’t have to tell me…I knew they were going to drop everything and come straight to the hospital.
  • When I walked back into your room, your husband was holding you and crying. I told you that your doctor was on their way to see you. I was so thankful that your husband finally understood and was next to you, comforting you.
  • When the ultrasound confirmed everything we already knew, you cried silently and your family cried hysterically. It’s usually like that. You won’t cry hysterically until you deliver your baby and see her with your own eyes.
  • As a labor nurse, when we are going to deliver someone whose baby has died, we hope with everything we have that the baby hasn’t been dead for long. We want you to remember her as she was: perfect, only sleeping, silent, and still.
  • You will want to know a reason, but you probably won’t get one. If you do, it won’t make anything easier, but, like you, we still hope you get one.
  • Even if you came to the hospital the moment you stopped feeling her move, it would have been too late. So don’t blame yourself for anything you did or could have done.

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I did not cry in front of the patient. I hugged her and kissed her head, got her towels and helped her into the bath. Afterwards, I put extra pillows in her bed as I tried to prepare her for her induction. I didn’t feel there were any words I could say at that time. She probably won’t remember that I stroked her arm when her physician verbalized her fears. She probably won’t remember me telling her husband to call her mother. She probably didn’t know that I went home and cried for her, while I was in my bath. And she probably doesn’t know that I’m still thinking about her and writing about this, months and months later.

As nurses, we make every situation the worst one: Oh, this was their first boy. Oh, they were finally having a girl. This was their first baby. This was supposed to be their last baby. Their daughter was finally going to be a big sister. Their son really wanted a brother…As a patient, you experience the delivery as a stillbirth. As a nurse, we experience the delivery as an IUFD, or intrauterine fetal demise. I have never personally had a stillbirth, but I’ve experienced an IUFD at practically every stage of pregnancy. It’s never easy when there’s nothing to celebrate, and your situation is always the worst one for us.

I stayed at work late that day, not wanting to leave the patient until her mother had gotten to the hospital. I knew the young couple would need their parents, I knew that woman would need her mom. When I got home, my house was quiet with sleeping kids. That night though, I scooped up my son and crawled into bed with my daughter and asked her to tell me all about her day. She talked endlessly about everything, until I finally fell asleep with her hair in my face and her knees in my back, thankful to be next to their two little warm bodies.

I hope that every mother out there who has ever been shattered by the silence of her baby’s unbeating heart knows that our hearts broke for you the day you came in to have the baby that you would not leave the hospital with. And every single time I watch someone leave the hospital empty-armed, I close my eyes and wish that if we meet again, we will all have something to celebrate.

 

 Every Kick Counts

More Than Birth and Babies

 

Until my next delivery ❤


259 thoughts on “When There’s Nothing to Celebrate

  • July 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm
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    You captured what we all think in these situations. So hard to cope with loss. Thanks for sharing this..

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  • July 26, 2014 at 12:06 am
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    I have been both this mother and this nurse. Thank you for so eloquently putting this into words.

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      • July 27, 2014 at 8:07 pm
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        This is so beautifully written. You paint a picture with your words and I can feel your emotions. I lost a baby at 20 weeks and although my personal experience was terrible and the interactions I had with a ‘particular’ nurse telling me a “its a waste of time to come in we are already at capacity, so dispose of IT at home”. I accidently grouped ‘most’ nurses into the category of heartless ogres. I say accidently because I didn’t realize how much resentment I had until I read this and seen and felt that you are affected also.
        Thank You for writing.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 12:11 am
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    That is the other side of working in the “happiest” department. Every one of us that has labored the patient that “has nothing to celebrate” remembers her and her baby even more than any other patient. Thank you for putting into words what we can’t.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 12:15 am
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    And somehow we know even before we search for the fetal heartbeat whether we will be successful or not. If our ‘gut’ senses bad news, we wish and pray to be wrong. Over 30 years in labor and delivery, and these are indeed the families that remain in my heart.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 12:35 am
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      you are absolutely right. a couple of times I’ve put the monitor on patients and don’t get it right away and then I find FHTs in some weird spot…my heart always skips a beat! and the mother always cries. and then I know she realllllllly believed that something was wrong with her baby.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 12:18 am
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    This was beautiful. I will never forget my first IUFD delivery. I was still training as a brand new graduate nurse. I cared for this sweet couple for 12 hours, and stayed late after shift because I couldn’t leave her right before she delivered. The dad hugged me as I left, and I remember feeling numb. A little over a year later the nurse I had been training with and I were there when they came back and had a healthy baby girl.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 12:20 am
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    When I tell my friends that I want my nursing career to end up in L&D they always tell me that I will hate it because of situations like this. I disagree with them every time. Sure, I would hate that situation for the family. But I would be grateful to be there to comfort them in their darkest hours, when words fail. The joyful times will always out weigh the sad. I can’t wait to be in your shoes!

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  • July 26, 2014 at 1:07 am
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    I’m sitting in my car at the end of my shift having just cared for 2 different families who have nothing to celebrate today. I always feel like these families reward me more than I do them. I am always humbled, grounded and in awe as I watch each and every time a family tries grasp at something to celebrate during this time. It reminds me how rich my life is with a healthy child. We are honored and lucky to be part of their angels life stories, no matter how brief.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 1:35 am
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      what a hard day at work!!! you are right, we have a great profession and I feel very blessed with my family. <3

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  • July 26, 2014 at 1:30 am
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    I so enjoy reading your words after finding your blog a few weeks ago. I have two healthy little girls but I also have two friends who delivered stillborn babies. I cannot imagine how painful it must be for everyone involved especially the nurses. My sister is a nurse and your words help me understand a little about what her job is like in the Pediatric ER. Thanks for this one….

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  • July 26, 2014 at 1:44 am
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    I taught childbirth classes at my hospital when I was an L&D nurse (midwife now). One couple often stayed after class to chat with me, and I really liked them. We joked that maybe we’d get lucky and I’d be her nurse (she desired a pain-med-free birth and I was one of few nurses who enjoyed that). When she came in at 6am the morning after our last class, I just knew. I knew from her nervous laugh about being a silly first-time mom as she signed in, I knew as the triage nurse turned up the volume on the monitor and we could all hear the nothing from outside the door. I knew when I heard the quiet tears as the doctor came in with the ultrasound, and the dull, heart-wrenching sobs when the worst was confirmed. I went home and tried to sleep that day, waking up tearful several times. She was 12 hours into her induction when I returned that night, and I was able to be there for her birth. It’s been 5 years since that night, and I still remember the doctor handing me that perfect, beautiful, rose-lipped, limp baby girl. I remember her face, her name, and her sweet parents. I always will.

    There are, of course, many others. We all have these stories. I haven’t yet experienced this as a midwife, though I know it is inevitable. Thank you for your beautiful writing. It helps.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 1:54 am
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      I think there’s always one that really gets to you. I kind of knew I was cut out for L&D because when there’s something sad, I feel this surge of strength, like I HAVE to be strong for the patient. I walked into a patient’s room, and the patient was crying in bed and her whole bed was surrounded by people, all touching each other and touching her in some way. All of their heads were bent in prayer and it was one of the most beautiful sites I’d ever seen. If I had a camera, I would have taken a picture. It was so beautiful. I hope she knew how loved she is and how sad everyone was for her. Thanks for reading my blog xx <3

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  • July 26, 2014 at 1:55 am
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    wonderfully written – thank you for putting into words what we feel, what seems like too often…

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  • July 26, 2014 at 1:57 am
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    I’m deeply touched by what you’ve written. I’ve been on the patient side of this exchange, and it was a nightmare. The amazing nurses that cared for me were my saving grace. Thank you so much for caring.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 1:59 am
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      Thank you for reading what I’ve written. This was my day recently. I have probably read this post 100 times, and I get teary every single time. I love these mothers, and I feel so bad that anyone has to experience this kind of heartbreak.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 2:55 am
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    I have tears as I’m writing this. I have been a LD nurse for years and I still remember my IUFD as a new RN. No FHTS in triage. I remember crying on my way home and coming back the next night to do her delivery. There was nothing worse or so I thought until I had my third baby four months ago and my best friend who was two months behind me had an unexpected stillborn. My heart broke to pieces and I was suddenly on the other side of it. It has been the most heart wrenching time. There are no words. As I go back to work since my leave is up I hope to even be a better nurse to the pts I encounter in this situation. Thank you for your blog. So thankful to have found it.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 2:58 am
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    I am 40 weeks 3 days right now, and this is literally my biggest fear right now. I take comfort in knowing that should something like this happen, I will have a team of angels helping me through. <3

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  • July 26, 2014 at 2:58 am
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    I am 40 weeks 3 days right now, and this is literally my biggest fear right now. I take comfort in knowing that should something like this happen, I will have a team of angels helping me through. <3

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      • July 26, 2014 at 3:11 am
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        I have been doing my kick counts religiously! :) If I get nervous during calm moments, I pull out my home fetal Doppler to listen in on baby (I cheated and bought one a few pregnancies ago). I have had several friends lose their babies after the 40 week mark so I’m always crazy paranoid the last few weeks especially. Reading your blog has helped me remain sane! :)

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  • July 26, 2014 at 2:59 am
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    I lost a second trimester pregnancy to T13 in March. Going back to work was beyond painful, especially when something involving pregnancy was everywhere I turned. As I continue to heal, I have a new found passion for perinatal loss. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written post. I so enjoy reading your blog.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 3:02 am
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      thank you so much! there are a lot of resources out there for perinatal loss. does your hospital focus a lot on bereavement?

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  • July 26, 2014 at 3:08 am
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    Thank you for this! I’ve been an OB nurse for 2 & 1/2 years, my entire nursing career, in a hospital that averages 1 delivery per day, and just within the past week I experienced my first time of being the one not finding the heartbeat. I’ve stepped in at all the other parts of an IUFD but this was my first time feeling my own heart in my throat after 2 minutes of no heartbeat on a 36 weaker though I continued trying for another 3 minutes. With just 3-hours left of my 12-hour night shift, I stayed with her during the ultrasound because she had no family with her yet. I was the one answering her questions about the induction since her doctor wasn’t present during that time. I was the one telling her she couldn’t just have an immediate c-section because as her first baby at the age of 22 the preferred method was still to try to deliver vaginally. I gave up my voluntary low-census on call for the following night so I could come back to be there for her induction so she wouldn’t have to spend it with a stranger nurse, because we both needed that. I went home and loved on my 3 healthy children and cried for you, and asked my own 2 miscarried babies in heaven to watch out for your baby. And when I found out your beautiful boy was delivered strangled in his own cord I breathed a sigh of relief that you would have an explanation even if you didn’t have an answer.

    I knew it was only a matter of time before I experienced this, and I hope it’s a long time before I do again, but I know OB is where I’m supposed to be BECAUSE of this, not in spite of. Thank you for bringing an outlet to my experience,

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  • July 26, 2014 at 3:50 am
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    Like Kelly above, I have been on both sides here- a L&B nurse (now midwife) and a patient who had a loss (a few hours after birth, but we were given a likely fatal diagnosis prenatally) and I can say this is well done. And for all the nurses and providers out there, go ahead an cry in front of your patients for them. It will not take away from them- only help them feel validated that what they are experiencing is truly the saddest thing. I remember and cherish each time a nurse or midwife cried for me or with me. I remember and cherish each tear streaked face of every nurse that came to my baby’s wake. Now five months late, I still cherish every tear that is shed for me and my daughter.

    thank you for writing about this.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 4:49 am
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    I gave birth to my baby boy just over two months ago when at my 20 week appointment no heartbeat was found. My heart was crushed. But I can’t tell you how touched I was when my doctor sat and cried with me, she was truly heartbroken as well. And I don’t know how I would have gotten through 31 hours of labor waiting to meet my little boy I would never take home if it weren’t for the nurses. Seriously, they were so good at helping me through the entire process. I truly consider the nurses angels sent from God to help me bare the burden of my loss. Thank you for what you do!

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  • July 26, 2014 at 4:50 am
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    I wish I’d had a kind or caring nurse (or doctor or anyone, though the cleaning lady the next morning was very nice to me. She was the only one who hugged me and said she was sorry.) when my son was born at 21w gestation. While I know now the chain of events that led to pre-term labor and that it was unlikely anything could have been done, the unit was stretched thin that afternoon and I was left alone, unmonitored, unexamined for hours, contracting the whole time. I won’t go into details except to say the doctor confirmed I was at 6 cm with a presenting part and I was left in triage to deliver my son alone, my husband frantically yelling for a nurse. It was the most traumatic, horrible event of my life and the staff made it all so much worse by their neglect and indifference (they took my son, still alive, away to ‘examine’ him and left him on a triage tray in a blanket, even while we begged to see him and hold him while he was still alive).

    You may have some idea of the comfort you bring, but you may never realize that your humanity and your kindness in these situations can be the difference between going mad with grief and being able to bear it, just a little. I am always grateful to people like you for what you do for other mothers. I can’t bear the thought of someone else having to go through what I went through.

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    • July 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm
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      Your story made me cry even more than the original post. I am an RN, but not L&D. I hope you have found peace and can feel my ((HUG)).

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      • July 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm
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        Your post made my heart hurt! Your experience was so tragic. There’s no other word for it. I hate hate hate that your experience was like that. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope other nurse’s read it and remember how our actions can affect another woman.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 5:41 am
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    Thank you. Thank you for crying, thank you for caring, and thank you for staying. I remember the tech that cried in the hallway for my son. I remember feeling so grateful that someone was able to do what I was unable to do at that moment. I knew that someone outside of my family would remember him. 4 years later the memory of her tears still bring me comfort.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 6:46 am
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    Beautifully captured and respectfully articulated. I still remember many of the mothers that I have helped deliver their stillborn babies. Willing their babies to breathe as they enter the world, just in case we got it wrong. We never got it wrong, sadly.

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  • July 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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    Oh my heart breaks for her. As a couple who dealt with infertility and a twin pregnancy, this was something I feared daily. I can only imagine that parts of that experience are just as difficult for the nurses. (((Hugs)))

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  • July 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm
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    My name is Vicki I am a Regional Coordinator with NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) and I would love to be able to share this blog post on our NILMDTS facebook page. Would that be something that would be ok for you? We have 250,000 followers that have experienced loss and grief and there could be some healing in this message from you>
    Thank you,
    Vicki Zoller
    vzoller@nilmdts.org

    Reply
  • July 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm
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    Thank you so very much for this post and more importantly thank you for the work you do. Grieving families know when their nurse “gets it” and it is clear that you are one that does. It’s also important for those same grieving families to know how difficult it is for nurses to do their jobs when the worst happens. We salute you and all that you do because we know nurses grieve too.

    Shauna Libsack
    Star Legacy Foundation (www.starlegacyfoundation.org)
    Stillbirth Matters (www.stillbirthmatters.wordpress.com)
    ASAP Coalition (www.stopstillbirthasap.com)

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    • July 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm
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      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for reading my post. I hope that we can spread the good work of nursing and at the same time, help patients and nurses along the way…

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  • July 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm
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    I would like to tell every nurse that you may think we don’t remember the little things you do for a parent of a still born child but we do! Sometimes the silliest things, are most remembered. I remember the nurse that came and offered to sit with me. That meant the world to me. So even if you are only bringing a washcloth to wash our face or a little hug to comfort us. We do remember and appreciate all you do and go through for us. So, I would like to say, THANK YOU for all that you do!!!!!

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  • July 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this. I will never forget the nurse who stayed by my side as my son’s heart stopped beating. She carefully layed a blanket over him when they finally made me leave the room. A month later, she brought that blanket to my house. I can’t even begin to explain how much that simple gesture still means to me. She was a amazing nurse.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 2:44 am
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    Thank you so much for this post. Two and a half years ago I had a stillborn baby boy at full-term. I felt him move on the way to the hospital to have him, and when they hooked me up to the monitors, he was gone. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through.
    I think you are wrong though, about your patients not remembering the kindness that you showed to them. I remember in vivid detail the nurses who helped me face the shock of losing our sweet baby boy. I remember the nurse who held me when I felt the first wave of panic of the reality that I was facing. I remember my doctor’s sad face as I walked to the operating room to have my c-section. I remember the nurse who handed me my baby boy for the first time after my operation, and the care in which she gave him to me. I also remember the nurse who helped me the first night, and how when I asked her to hand my baby to me, she stood at a distance and wiped away her own silent tears as I held my boy in the darkness and cried and cried.
    I will never ever forget my wonderful nurses and doctor on the day my baby died, and the days that followed. I will forever be grateful for the love that they showed me. I’m sure that the women that you have helped in these situations feel the same way about the care in which you helped them. They may not have been able to articulate it at the time, but I bet they wish they could express their gratitude somehow now. I know I wish I could. You sound like a wonderful, loving nurse. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    • July 27, 2014 at 3:12 am
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      Thank you for taking the time to tell me your story. I’m so glad that you and your family were well taken care of. You are very special to us nurses!

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  • July 27, 2014 at 5:04 am
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    Thank you for this. I had twins pass away shortly after birth a year ago. I will forever remember of all the nurses who helped me the 3 days I was in the hospital…the one nurse who came in and the first thing she did was give me a hug. That hug has never left me. I am forever grateful for her hug. It meant the world to me as so many other nurses didn’t know what to say or how to act. It strengthened me those days in the hospital. Thank you for caring.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 5:22 am
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    I found my first demise only 4 months into my career as a new grad L&D nurse. It was the worst night if my career and one of the worst nights of my life. Eleven years later, I will still cry as I talk about it.

    I have never had a patient quietly cry at the discovery. There is a wail that only a mother who has lost a child can make. I heard that wail in my head for 2 days, every time I tried to sleep.

    That night I remember telling myself, it’s not my turn to cry, it’s not my turn yet. Years later and many demises later, I feel blessed to help families through this, and nothing can ever be worse than that night. So I pray to do it well.

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    • July 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm
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      “There is a wail that only a mother who has lost a child can make.”

      I’ve never heard anyone talk about this part. I delivered my son at 22 weeks not knowing whether he would live or not, the belief was he would not. I hadn’t cried up to this point, even after listening to the Dr insist that someone come and speak to me about the reality of the situation. I was in intensive care and we were trying to keep it from happening however I got very sick so the baby had to come. I went into labour rather quickly after they removed the medication stopping the contractions. I didn’t feel bad but rung the nurse anyway, they rushed me to delivery and after two pushes my beautiful baby boy was born. They took him away as they do and that’s what I did, me the most reserved, quiet, non-crying person in the world, I screamed a primal mother losing everything at that moment scream. The nurse with me (I had no one there) grabbed me and held on to me so tightly, longer and tighter then anyone ever has, I felt that if I just held on to her that I would be okay for that brief moment in time. I never have forgotten that moment the raw primal scream that I didn’t even know was coming until it just came out, and the person who held me tight even though we were strangers.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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    Five years ago I lost a much-awaited daughter to abruption at 19w5d. Seriously, if not for those nurses seeking me out, connecting on Facebook, shoving their way into the sacred spaced of an introvert’s grief, I likely wouldn’t be typing this today. If God calls you to, reach out to them. You could be saving a life.

    Thank you for writing this, for being there for this family, and for allowing your heart to open for people beginning this journey. <3

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  • July 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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    Thank you. I know and love many of my nurses who, like you, are an amazing blessing in the most tragic of our days. Thank you thank you. I am the editor for Still Standing Magazine and would love to share this as well, if ok with you?
    Again, thank you.
    xoxoxo
    http://www.stillstandingmag.com

    Reply
  • July 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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    I lost my baby girl almost 8 years ago. My nurse Karen was my rock through the hardest day of my life. I was alone in my room when the DR came is to tell me they would have to induce me and that my daughter would not make it due to IUGR and severe pre-e. I fell apart. Alone surrounded my DR’s, she rushed over as the Dr’s walked out and hugged me, she quickly got my husband and mom who ad walked down stairs. I will never forget the love and compassion this nurse showed me. I wish I knew where she was today or her last name. So she know that I do remember her and the love she showed me that day. Thank you for this post.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm
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    Beautifully written. I have worked in many areas of nursing during my career (Med/Surg, ER, Tele) but when I was in nursing school I always wanted to either work in L&D or Hospice. I have been working in Hospice for the past 4 years and I really love what I am doing (though I know that I would love working in L&D as well). One of my daughters lost a child, and I was with her when they were unable to find the FHT. I saw the look on the staff member’s face and I knew what was going on. When they did the ultrasound, it confirmed what we suspected. I remember it as if it was yesterday. It was so difficult to be a nurse, a mother, and a grandmother. We were supported wonderfully by the team through the ordeal, and even afterwards. Thank you for sharing this story. It reinforces that IUFD is not preventable, and the medical staff is there to help and support you during your time of sadnes and difficulty.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm
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    Thank you for your beautiful post. I was this patient at 38.4 weeks. It has been a year, yet I have not forgotten nor will I ever forget every single moment of those 36 hours. Our nurses were absolutely amazing- I felt that God had placed them there to show us love and light in the darkest valley of our lives. The nurse that placed the doppler was so compassionate- she cried with me as I got into the wheelchair to be pushed to a delivery room. She said, “I love you, and I will never forget you.” The nurse that monitored me during labor held our hands and asked if she could pray with us before she left to go home. The nurse that took care of me after delivery was the most kind-hearted soul.. telling us how beautiful our son was, giving us a basket of his foot molds, handprints.. coming into our room in the middle of the night and asking if she could place a knit hat on his head.. She hugged and held me in the parking lot, crying, as she helped me get into our car, without a baby to take home. These nurses were our angels. They will be in my heart forever. A big thank you to all l&d nurses..

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  • July 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm
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    Ive never experienced a stillborn but my 17 year old son was killed in a car accident so I know that heartbreak all those mothers are feeling. My oldest daughter decided while her dad was in ICU under sedation that she wanted to be a nurse. She is about to start nursing school after getting her prerequisites done. She wants to work in a NICU. I am proud of her for her decision and for how well she is doing while working full time with a toddler to take care of but at the same time worried about how she is going to handle these kinds of losses when she becomes a nurse.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm
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    I retired nearly two years ago from a 46 year career, nearly all of in Obstetrics. I could have written every post I have read on your blog and sometimes feel like I am reading what I must have written. Thank you for doing this. I am not sure that reading is therapeutic. I continue to have nightmares that take place in the green tile rooms where I started. I did not want to quit working, but I was still uninjured and I was becoming increasingly anxious going to work. I felt I had seen everything and the anticipation of “normal” and “healthy” and “natural” was overcome by fear.

    Thank you for these lovely posts that must be the universal voice of the obstetrical nurse.

    Sincerely,
    Gayle Lewis
    RN, MN

    >

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  • July 27, 2014 at 7:58 pm
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    My L&D nurse was fabulous. Gina was with me during early labor when I sent everyone away because I needed to be alone, to figure out how I was going to get through it, to try to reimagine life without the precious baby girl that was already lost to us. She answered all of my questions, was my advocate, kept me entertained, helped me with my husband and older daughter, and nearly had to deliver my baby. She was also there to hold my hand a year later when my son came (healthy) into the world. It takes a really special person.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 8:05 pm
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    I am a social worker in L&D. I absolutely love your posts. This post hits a soft spot for me. IUFD’s are the most challenging cases but very dear to my heart. It is a privilege to be able to comfort, guide, and support someone during the hardest day of their lives. And an absolute honor to be part of the team that takes care of these patients. Hats off to you and my amazing RN’s.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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    Having delivered a beautiful stillborn son at 36 weeks in 1991, I think that this could have been written by my LD nurse. It describes my experience exactly. My sadness was beyond anything that I could imagine, and the nurses and doctor were professional, but so compassionate, and I knew that their hearts were breaking too. As my nurse was going off shift, she came in and hugged me, brushing her cheek against mine. I will remember that gesture until the day I die. It meant so much and let me know that she cared. When I woke up later in the day, she had sent beautiful flowers with a lovely card. I almost felt sorry for those who had to care for me, because I was a tearful, sad mess. We were blessed to go forward and safely deliver two beautiful daughters, but we will never forget our little Brandon, the baby who touched our lives, even though he never breathed a breath outside my womb. So thankful for medical people who care so much and can help families navigate through such a tragedy. God bless them all!

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  • July 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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    Man I just read all these comments and tears started falling.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm
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    Written so beautifully, its such a hard situation for all involved. X with nurses like you it can make it that little less difficult x

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  • July 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm
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    This was a hard blog to read. You see, I am not a nurse. I am a patient with an experience you spoke about. I am the one who has left the hospital with empty arms not once, but three times and at all different stages of pregnancy. But I do want to say one thing. I DO remember the caring strokes as we received the devastating news. I DO remember the soft smiles and looks of compassion and concern. I DO remember the nurse directing us down a different hallway so we would not have to pass the brightly decorated doors and happy faces of new parents as we left the maternity ward with empty arms. I do remember all of your kindness shown during those dark times. I just had nothing left in my broken heart to say anything to you at the time. So, thank you, to all of the nurses who give so much of yourselves to your patients in the wonderful times of celebration and in the darkest times of desperation! You are truly appreciated.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm
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    This is so beautiful, thank you so much for sharing your stories, I started crying at the beginning and haven’t stopped. I delivered my beautiful perfect boy, Ayden at 40 weeks December 30, 2007 born sleeping, after my ignorant doctor ignored my pleas that something was wrong with my baby, but since it was Christmas he just told me to go home…my labor and delivery nurses were amazing and I will never forget what one wonderful lady said…nothing hurts more when you lose a child than to hear your perfect baby referred to as only a fetus and not a human being. When the register lady came in and asked if this was the fetal death room, my nurse turned around and told her to get the F out and have some respect….thankfully we were given an answer, my son died because of a true knot, but not a day goes by that I don’t think there was something I should have done….

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  • July 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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    i do remember the kind nurse that told me how everything was going to happen, who I know cared so deeply, who was more kind than any of my doctors.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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    This was beautifully written. I was choking back tears when I first read it. I felt like it was written about me. I lost my Layla on November 22,2013 at 32 weeks due to placental abruption and what was chalked up to preeclampsia. My husband was that man who was clueless. He was texting his mom and thinking we were just going to be having our baby that night. I knew from the moment the FIRST nurse put the monitor on my belly that Layla was gone. One more nurse, the doctor, and an ultrasound later my worst fears were confirmed. Seeing my daughter not moving and not hearing her heartbeat, which I had just seen and heard the day before, was the worst thing ever. I had to break the news to my husband. He yelled and held me. Sounds came out of me that I will never forget. I cried silently during my c section, still hoping for a miracle. Layla was beautiful and PERFECT. My nurses and doctor were so loving and compassionate and my daughter v was treated with dignity and respect. I’m so thankful for all of you l&d nurses. ?

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:04 am
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    Thank you so much for what you do and the care you give. I lost my first child last August, he was diagnosed with annencephaly and we decided to go ahead and induce early at 21 weeks. I entered the labor and delivery department for the first time in my life having no idea what to expect. As I walked up to the nurses desk and said I was there to be induced I knew immediately by the somber tone that they all knew who I was and why I was there. My fear was that through my stay I was going to have to continually explain to people what was going on and why I was there since I wasn’t even showing yet. I never had to deal with it, they worked some sort of behind the scenes magic where every nurse I dealt with and every person who came to take blood or give me a form to sign seemed to know what was going on. I never had someone ask if I was excited, or where the baby was. I was shocked by how well prepared they were and how well everyone handled the situation. The two days I was in the hospital are a fog, and I can’t even begin to remember the names of the wonderful nurses who held my hand, and did things like bring me a lemon ice when I was all hot and sweaty after delivery. I wish I could tell them how much they helped and thank them, so instead I thank you (and every wonderful labor and delivery nurse I encounter) for everything you all do, because somewhere there is a patient like me who wants to thank you specifically, but can’t.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:13 am
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    thank you, I will never forget my first midwife. I had her for my first 2 boys. I had completely forgotten about her role with my first son until I read this. Although she was amazing with my second son and there were tears once I was finally discharged from her care with my premature baby whom she had done everything she could to help me bring him into the world. she also went against a lot of my wishes and wasn’t allways there when I needed her most so I found a new midwife for my 3rd son who became like a best friend. but after reading this I am still sooo grateful for my first midwife as I realise it wasn’t just my oldest son that she helped me bring into this world but she was there with me, crying with me, comforting me when we found out my eldest sons heart had stopped beating and when he came into the world too. she guided me through his loss and cried tears of joy with me when we found out we were expecting again. im sad now that she never got to witness all 3 miracles with me and had I read this earlier or thought about it in this way she probably would have. but none the less I am thankful for what she did do and for what she meant to me through both loss and life. =)

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:19 am
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    My daughter was induced after FDIU at just shy of 28 weeks. It seems surreal in certain moments, almost like it did f happen, but at the same time that whole experience is always cycling through my mind 7 months later. I had an accreta after her delivery and we never got any answers, but I have become friends with my perinatal bereavement nurse. There was a spence of peace whenever she was in the room, just knowing she had helped other families suffering this loss… Somehow it helped. Though I won’t have more children, I do have a 4 yr old son who has been the life force bringing me through this experience.

    Thank you for your posts!

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:30 am
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      Accretas are one of the scariest things for an L&D nurse. They are so dangerous for the moms. I am so sorry that you had to have that experience. I’m so glad that you had someone there with you that made a difference. Thank you for reading my post! <3

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    • July 28, 2014 at 2:33 am
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      I feel so very fortunate for our friendship that grew from your loss.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:21 am
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    My beatiful boy was born at 26 weeks weighing 2lb 2oz after lots of complications,he lived for 5 hours,my midwife had delivered one of my other children 3 years earlier,she and i are now good friends,i will always be in her debt for the kindness and compassion she showed me and my husband,she is now favourite auntie for my little ones including our rainbow baby who was born 2 years later,he is 3 months old.You midwives are worth your weight in gold,you are the difference between sad acceptance and going mad with grief,thankyou for caring . Samuel 21/6/2012 RIP my tiny boy xxx

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:24 am
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    Wow..

    To imagine there are nurses out there like you all. Really warms my heart. I had a terrible experience, I don’t wish to go in on personal details but I still wish to share it.

    I knew something was wrong when I all of a sudden couldn’t stop vomiting. I started getting headaches that wouldn’t go away. And then I started bleeding.

    Rushed into the ER at 2am on a Wednesday. They said it’s probably nothing to worry about but I knew deep down that she (my baby) was gone. I got rolled in for an ultrasound, alone. The technician couldn’t find a heartbeat. She was just a young girl, she didn’t know what to do after she told me. Her words echoed in my head ‘unfortunately at this time, I can’t find a heartbeat’ … Over and over again. This sound came out of me, something I’ve never heard before. It was a cry, a scream of anguish and disbelief all at once. Then all went black. I got rolled into the maternity ward out of all places cause they where out of beds. Due to 2 previous c-sections I was unable to deliver my baby naturally. So they where going to as the doctor so lovingly put it (note the sarcasm) take care of it. I was left alone in a bed, for hours. I decided I wasn’t going to have it taken care of in this cold, heartless place and I discharged myself. Wanting to go home and do it on my own I got told of the risks involved and didn’t care. I left the hospital that evening. I was in intense pain for the next couple of days.. Trying my best to do this myself – I failed. I ended up back in the ER where they hooked me up on a morphine drip, I don’t remember much except a copious amount of blood and screaming. It wasn’t me screaming though. They rolled me back up to the maternity ward. I was left alone again, to wait for the doctor. One nurse there, was amazing. She came in absolutely appalled that I was alone. She didn’t leave my side, just sat there. Stroking my face for what seemed like an eternity. she had to rush due to a code and left me for a moment. I was so doped up, and all of a sudden as I finally had calmed down I felt the need to go to the bathroom. Little did I know I was going to push my baby girl out while I was in there. She was delivered in the toilet bowl. I just stood there. Couldn’t find the words nor strength to call for help. When they finally found me, I said ‘what do we do’? Can I pick her up? Can I hold her? And one nurse blurted out ‘ we don’t do that here’. I felt like the dumbest person in the world for wanting to hold my baby who was still at this point in the toilet.

    The kind nurse, the one who spent time with me said they where going to go and get the doctor. Told me to jump in the shower and winked at me. I knew this was her way of saying, ‘ lock the door and do what you have to do ‘.

    I never saw my baby after this.
    ‘expelled babies’ back then, got ‘taken care of’. This was a while back now. I walked away empty handed apart from a bag of my blood soaked clothing and the last ultrasound pictures of my precious baby.

    My point with this post is, while I wish everything had been different. That one nurse, the one who sat with me, stroked my face, said she was sorry and held my hand. The one who winked at me and gave me the time and privacy I needed to say goodbye – she saved me. The actions of ONE person, made me want to be strong. To keep going, to hang in there.

    I never got to thank this woman, I never saw her again. But I can thank you all, for everything you do!

    To all of you loving, caring, wonderful nurses out there… thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, for taking the time out, for walking that extra mile. Thank you for the compassion, the care and the words unspoken. Thank you for the tears you shed, the tears you wipe. Thank you for the selfless acts you perform each and everyday. Know, that even if someone walks away not having said a word – they will always remember you. They will always remember what you did.

    You, truly are a breath of fresh air in a world full of a**holes. Thank you.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm
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      Wow. On so many levels. Huge hug for you.

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    • July 29, 2014 at 11:06 am
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      I am so, so sorry for your experience. I am thankful for that sweet nurse. God bless you. I’d hug you, too, if I could.

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    • July 29, 2014 at 4:41 pm
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      My heart aches deeply for each and every one of you. No one should have to endure such profound grief and heartbreaking loss as that of losing a child. I am sorry that you did. As nurses it is often hard to know exactly what to do or say in our attemps to comfort our patients; at times just to listen is best. I truly believe we as people are here for a purpose, to make a difference. Making that difference begins with each new patient. Little do they know, the beautiful difference they make in our lives as their nurses too. My prayers of peace, healing, happiness, and comfort to each of you.
      Jen :)

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:29 am
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    My daughter died after 2 days, but I still remember everything my kind nurses did for you. My friend delivered her baby sleeping a year ago, and she remembers the nurses. Thank you for your sweet actions, and most of all, for caring about them. I am almost certain she will always remember your kind gestures. Xoxo

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:25 am
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      heartbreaking. <3 thank you so much for taking the time to tell me. I really hope nurses read this and see how they made a difference.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm
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      So much like my own experience 16 years ago – it still hurts but I have never ever forgotten the kindness of the nurses like you who looked after me thank you xx

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      • July 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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        Its 17 years ago for me and I sit here in tears as I remember the physical and emotional pain.i was in france and they were uncaring and heartless. Never been trested so badly. Thankfully when I got jome and I met so many wonderful caring people who have touched my heart. As a miidwife i have been on both sides.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 1:01 am
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    My son was born at almost 32 wks and he lived 3 hours. I am thankful to the nurses that helped give me strength and who took pictures of my son,even though I didn’t want any then. I will always be forever grateful for their kindness at such a horrific time.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:23 am
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      I am so glad that you were taken care of by people who knew what you needed then, and who knew what you would need later on down the road. It warms my heart! xx

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  • July 28, 2014 at 1:02 am
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    I have been there for so many years now retired have so many thoug xhts they never leave you
    X

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  • July 28, 2014 at 1:09 am
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    I have never been through this myself. We have had two sets of friends who have lost children at delivery or very shortly there after. There are no words to make the situation better. No amount of hugs and love can help. I am glad that there are nurses who have a heart and know the words to say to help the entire family through losing their child. Thank you for your compassion.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:22 am
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      <3 I love reading the comments for this post, because people describe unbelievable compassion from their healthcare providers. Thank you for taking the time to read the post. xx

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  • July 28, 2014 at 1:26 am
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    I, too, am an OB nurse. Nine years now, and I still remember every one of my own patients who endured these awful things. I have gotten notes & small tokens over the years. I treasure them. We share stories all the time…the close calls, the heartbreak, and the miracles.
    We get that lump when you get THAT patient–she comes onto the unit, complaining of decreased movement & you just KNOW when you see her that it’s not going to end well. I have had three patients in my career, who came in for decreased movement & had them on the monitor for less than 15 minutes before running to the OR. I had two who felt the literal last movements in triage or in labor. We’ve had babies who had a heartbeat in utero, but we couldn’t resuscitate the baby after delivery.
    And you are so right. We live their loss. Their story. We remember the situation. The room. And the delivery.
    I tell anyone who questions baby movement to come in to get checked out. We definitely don’t mind to reassure them. It’s the hardest part of what we do, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:04 am
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    She will remember that you stroked her arm. She will remember that you asked her husband to call her mother. She will remember every kind, warm action and gesture. It has been almost 15 years and I still remember my labour nurse’s name and every wonderful thing she did to bring me comfort and, yes, even joy during that difficult day. I will always be grateful for her and remember her with fondness. Thank-you for your kind heart – it means the world to us.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:39 am
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    I still think about a 22week IUFD that I induced as a brand new nurse 17 yrs ago, working a 14 hour shift so I could finish her delivery and after care. Will never forget bawling my eyes out as I cleaned and wrapped this sweet baby up to take back for Mom and family to see for the first and last time and then trying to pull it together so I could place him in her arms. I often wander whatever happened to this Mom, how she was able to cope with her loss, if she ever had anymore children, how this little baby would be going into his Sr year of high school. You never forget an experience like that as the nurse, cannot imagine the pain for the family.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:46 am
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    This was my day today. Shock, tears, grief, paperwork, photographers—thank God for NILMDTS, clergy, fragile skin, locks of hair, acts of parenting so gentle your heart shatters watching.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:20 am
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    We remember… it was 16 years ago last June but I remember vividly that my nurse was beautiful, and compassionate, and tall, and blonde, and named, Jennifer. As I was induced to deliver my daughter who would not be coming home with me, she kissed my forehead and told me, “you can do this”. I remember, I’ll never forget.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:46 am
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    I was a nurse working on med/surg pregnant with my first baby. I had never thought about working in OB-in fact it was the last thing I wanted to do. I lost my precious baby girl at 26 weeks and after going through that with the most amazing nurses OB is all I wanted to do. I now proudly call those beautiful nurses my coworkers. After being an OB nurse for 2 years I’m still so thankful to each nurse that came into my room during my 2 day induction. Now being on the other side is heartbreaking but I just hope I can just help these moms and dads say goodbye in a way they will remember with joy along with the sadness.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 4:04 am
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    We always remember, the good nurses who have wings of angels and the not so good (as mentioned in earlier comments). Approaching 5 years and I am incredibly thankful for the nurse that was with me while I gave birth to my suddenly stillborn (1st born child) at 38wks due to placental abruption. A pain that is never erased but a time that is different due to such amazing nurses. I am thankful to be friends with her, even more thankful we came full circle and she was with me to deliver my rainbow last year. So yes, we remember♡ and we are forever grateful for the things you do for us.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 4:21 am
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    I lost my first son almost 28 years ago. He was full term and died at 3 days old. I was in total shock when it happened but I recall vividly one of the NICU nurses with tears streaming down her face as the resuscitation efforts were stopped. The nurses helped care for my son those 3 days in the NICU and were wonderful to me and my husband – letting us come in whenever and for however long we wanted to sit with our son. Their support enabled us to spend those 3 days with our son, that we will forever treasure.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 5:12 am
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    Thank you for this, beautifully written. I can’t say more than that as I am truly moved.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 5:29 am
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    Wow this is amazing, you are amazing and all of you who have shared your comments are amazing. After reading this it makes me want to get into L&D even more than I already had wanted to. Thank you all. I hope to one day be thst nurse who makes a difference.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 6:45 am
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    Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. April 22nd I went in, I was supposed to be 8 weeks but our baby kept measuring behind after every ultrasound, with a weak heartbeat. At first the ER team acted like I was flying off the handle, but I told them after 5 miscarriages in the last 2 years, I feel like something is wrong. The tech didn’t even look me in the eyes, but I knew when she asked me what the baby had measured last time, and didn’t tell me there was a heartbeat, that our baby was gone. I used to think that was cold. Now I wonder if she couldn’t look at me because she didn’t want to cry in front of us. The doctor came in and she held my hand and she told me she was so sorry but our baby no longer had a heartbeat, our baby had died. I don’t remember much from that night or the next day, but I do remember her face as she held my hand, and her genuine sympathy in having to tell us that we were having our 6th miscarriage in a row. My husband was much like the husband you described, he had no idea and was completely blindsided. She was so kind and patient answering his shocked questions. Thank you for this look at the other side.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:08 am
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    thank you. that s about it. nurses like you… you mean so much to us moms. she might not remember you stroking her arm… but i bet it made a world of difference as she was listening to the saddest words she would ever hear. thank you

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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:15 am
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    I’ve cried all the way through this post. I had a slightly different experience, and I’m in the uk but still witnessed the amazing amount of love, compassion and care that my midwives gave me and my child. Also my incredible, wonderful OB/GYN doctor, who I will forever be in debt too
    After a severe case of ICP in my first pregnancy, and spending many long hours in the pregnancy assesment unit with the wonderful doctors and nurses there, I suddenly had reduced fetal movements at 33 weeks. My husband and I rushed to hospital to be met by staff who’d become friends. I knew as soon as they hooked me up to the monitor that this was no false alarm, and when they called my dr in from home, I knew how serious it was
    We sat in the scan room with my doctor holding my hand, and my nurse holding my husbands hand, to be told that they couldn’t find any sign of movement, and only the faintest of heartbeats. The tears in their eyes are still imprinted on my heart to this day. They told me I was having an emergency Caesarian section ‘right now’ but to be prepared because they were almost certain the baby, our son, wouldn’t make it. I was rushed to theatre, and every single person I met, from anaesthetist, to student, to nursing assistant, was amazing. My husband was treat with the same love and respect in the scrub room.
    The theatre was almost silent as our doctor began, we had 2 nurses beside my head holding mine and my husbands hand. Their gentle murmurs stopped me from screaming in horror, and helped my husband hold it together for me. My wonderful doctor gently talked me through each step, then told us the baby would be delivered. As she said this a tiny little bottom appeared over the screen, followed by a perfect little face. Everything seemed so still, and the nurse holding my hand squeezed it so tight. Then this little angel let out the biggest gasp, and the smallest cry, and everyone in the room just ran! There were suddenly people everywhere, resuscitating my baby, working on me, but when I looked at my doctors and midwives faces there were tears streaming down them as they worked.
    My little boy was whisked away, leaving us in theatre with the doctors and nurses caring for me and my husband. Nothing much was said, but they were all crying. As the hours went on, while I was in recovery, we received better and better news, this little guy, who we thought had left us, was going to make it!
    We had a steady stream of nurses and doctors in our room that night, each one still tearful but with sheer joy this time, that for once, what they thought was the inevitable sad ending, was the one in a million happy ending. When my OB/GYN came to my room she literally sobbed, hugging me and my husband, and telling us he was her miracle baby.
    I saw that day how much all you wonderful wonderful maternity carers invest in each and every patient, and I will be eternally grateful for each and every one of you xxxxxxx

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    • July 28, 2014 at 9:21 am
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      I’m a student midwife in Australia and I delivered a sleeping baby at 19 weeks just a few short weeks ago. One thing that mum said to me, which has really stuck with me, was, “thank-you – for caring about me, as me.” I was the only person she said it to, and she called me into her room the next day to say it. I had cried with her. I cried at home, and I cried in the pan room. It’s not something I will ever forget, and I went home that night and hugged my little boy tight, after pulling him out of his cot.
      Mama’s of angels are some of the strongest women I know, and I send you all my love xx

      Reply
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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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    I’ll be forever grateful to the nurses who made my daughter’s birth so wonderful in heart breaking conditions. Born at 33wks she was a little darling. And for making it and enjoyable visit r her older siblings that were 11 and 8. Then again for all the reassurance when our rainbow was born. Four years down the line i can still remember the nurse saying he was the image of his sleeping sister

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  • July 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm
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    As a mother who lost a child, 38.5 wks pregnant, please know that I remember vividly ever word, every kind gesture, I treasure the tears that I saw trickle down my delivery nurses face as I tried to walk throughout the most difficult time in my life. You are not forgotten!! You are an angel of mercy sent to us mother from a Just and Gracious God…. Thank you!

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm
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    After 5 days for an induction at 15 weeks due to 5th disease, I was determined to return to that same hospital and hopefully some of those same nurses when I finally did have something to celebrate. I went back with a card months later. It took another two years but both of my living daughters were delivered there. Thank god for people like you

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm
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    My nephew was born still in 2011. I remember the nurses who cared for my sister in law — and for my brother. They were so caring and amazing to our whole family. And without them, we wouldn’t have some of the beautiful pictures we have of James. I will never forget what they did for all of us.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm
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    I’m a nursery RN and have been a part of so many demises that I’ve lost count. Just last month I finally learned what it’s like to be the parent as I lost my 20 week, healthy twin boys because of incompetent cervix. I am forever changed. I feel numb. Thank you for caring for your patients and never let yourself get burned out on your job.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm
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      I am so sorry for your losses

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    • July 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm
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      I am so sorry for your losses

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    • July 29, 2014 at 9:13 pm
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      I lost my twins at 20 weeks as well due to an incomp. cervix! It was 13 years ago. I still remember the nurse that held my hand through the delivery of my second son. She was amazing!

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm
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    I have never read anything quite so compassionate, and …well… er…… so beautifully put.

    I felt for my daughter then, and now i will dlight ven more for her with the birth of her second son, 8 months 0ld, and a child who has brought happiness that cannot be believed.

    I hope my daughter takes him to see the midwives and nursaes who helped her when she needed them, to maybe just give them a smile in what has to be a tragic working life.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm
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    I felt as if this post whispered its truths to my soul.
    It is sacred.

    Thank you,
    Dani

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  • July 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm
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    My daughter was stillborn 5 1/2 years ago. She was one of triplets, and her sisters were in the NICU. On the day they co-bedded the survivors, I started sobbing. The nurse correctly determined that I was crying because this was my last, final proof that my daughter was gone. I do not remember her name, but I will always remember what she said: “She was a real little girl, and don’t you ever let anybody tell you she wasn’t.”

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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this. My daughter was born silently 9 years ago. My nurse spoke so sweetly to her as she bathed her. I will never forget how beautiful that was.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm
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    I can’t forget the wonderful things and kind warm heart with the hard work and huge help for 17yrs, and reading the message knows that NMW a hero in wat ever hospital you’re in,thank GOD for the wonderful skills that you have may GOD bless you all n your family.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm
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    I am a Granny of 16, but remember the loss of my sweet grandson, Jed, that we realized was gone when my daughter went in for an ultrasound to find out if we were getting a boy or girl. Our grandson was so loved,
    so needed, so deserved and so missed. I still think of him often, as I know my daughter and the rest of the family does. May God bless every one that goes through that horrible time. One of the worst memories of my life. I wish so badly that I’d remembered to sing to him for a moment, Jesus Loves Me. I’ve sang it to every other of my grandchildren. Thanks for this posting. Nurses are special.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm
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    I lost one of my twin boys at birth and even though it was 14 years ago my heart still aches for him. I had an abruption and things moved along very quickly but there is one thing that stays in my mind and that was the care given to me by the wonderful midwives at the hospital. I was to have a general caesarean as I had lost a lot of blood. As we had been to a wedding the previous weekend I had the most beautiful nail polish on. It was such a pretty purple but as I was going to be given a general it had to come off. One of the midwives said to me it’s so pretty I’m leaving it on your little finger of your left hand. It was that little bit of extra care that has stayed with me all those years so know that there are special things you do which mothers will remember. Thank you for writing this…you guys are angels in disguise

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  • July 29, 2014 at 12:17 am
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    As a Mom that has experienced a baby born still, I appreciated my nurses so much. I was overly concerned with the body of my baby boy not being handled any differently than that of a live baby. My nurses were so kind, so loving and that meant a lot to my husband and I during our time of grief. We had only moved to our new town just two weeks previously and knew no one. Thank you for being a caring and loving nurse! Your love and care during a time like this means more than you will probably ever know! It is the kind of loss that changes your own life forever, and just knowing that someone else acknowledges that baby as a life, as a person that matters is a comfort beyond words.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 1:03 am
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    I am a first year nursing student, and reading this has inspired me to be the greatest nurse possible.
    Thank you

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  • July 29, 2014 at 1:09 am
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    I cried while reading this… I remember every IUFD I have ever been a part of. I feel guilty I get to go home to my sleeping daughter and hold her knowing there is a mom at work who doesn’t get to take their precious child home, I wish I knew why the families have to go through so much pain. You put in words what my heart says everytime I can’t find heart tones….

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  • July 29, 2014 at 2:16 am
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    Our daughter Addie was stillborn at 33 weeks. And above the doctors, our nurse comforted me. I wasn’t very receptive at the time, but I could tell her heart broke for us. After I delivered our sweet angel they had two students take Addie, my husband and I up to a room in a different floor so we didn’t have to be on the “floor of happiness” anymore. The nurse that was up there for me wasn’t a L&D nurse….I’m not even sure what floor I was on…but we talked and talked, about things I’m sure she shouldn’t have, but things that healed my heart. As she helped me get dressed to leave we talked about her sister and how she had lost a little one like we had. She told me about her getting a necklace to wear to remember her angel by. We cried and hugged together for what seemed like hours. After leaving, I promptly went and had a necklace made in Addie’s honor. I wear it every day. The looks and touches you give as a nurse do not go unnoticed, after the shock settles, we sit at home, holding the memories we do have, and reflect on the journey of our angels birth. You are a bigger part of our journey than you’ll ever know.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 7:36 am
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    Although i have never personally experienced the loss of a precious Angel but know of someone who has it was the most heartbreaking thing i’d ever seen happen to one so young she the mother has never forgotton her first born angel but thankfully enough now celebrates the lives of her three blessed gems
    Thankyou to all who cares for the Mums n Dads of lost Rainbows
    May God watch over you and hold you safe with your Families
    Xxx

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  • July 29, 2014 at 11:23 am
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    Does it count when their daddy kills them by beating you when you tell him you’re pregnant? I lost my children in Easter Week 1994 and the same week 1996. No hospital, no nurses, just a raging man on the other side of a thin hollow wooden door, my baby, tons of blood and pain, and the toilet. :( Thank goodness he’s not in my life any more.

    Mother’s Day is hell for me. All these women getting honored – esp at church. You can tell the other women like yourself — we all look hollow and we don’t get remembered. We’re invisible. Our children aren’t in Sunday School, they don’t interrupt the priest’s sermon. They’re never underfoot. They’re quiet.

    We’re mostly pretending to be happy. But every moment in the presence of children is a burning brand jabbing into your mind – reminding you that yours are gone and there’s nothing you can do to get them back. I never saw their little faces. Not even that.

    Sorry to be so down. But thank you for being here.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm
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    This is absolutely heartbreaking.
    Thank you for sharing your story – I am sure there are many women who can relate.
    I have a good friend who is studying midwifery and is currently doing a lot of pracs and looking after women throughout their pregnancy. She has been telling me about the cases she is following and there really are some very heartbreaking situations.
    But I am sure your attitude toward women and looking after them is making a world of difference.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm
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    I never knew how much my sorrow impacted my caregivers until a year after my baby was born, half a kilo and on the cusp of viability. I walked him in to a routine obgyn appointment, and she started to tear up. Clearly he was viable, he beat the odds and lived, but he was the tiniest shed delivered and she says she remembers every moment of that delivery.

    She was strong and professional when we needed her the most. So were the neonatologists and nurses. Thank you.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm
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    Omg, I’m crying right now! We just lost our daughter two months ago at 24 weeks and I wanted so badly to go back to the hospital to see that one special nurse that took such great care of me while I was in there, but I can’t just yet. I am wishing to see her but maybe later. So touched by your words. I’m even more grateful for all the nurses, residents, and doctors I had when I was in the hospital. Thank you for posting this.

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  • Pingback: From nothing to celebrate, to something to celebrate. | Babylove Beckha

  • July 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm
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    Even 8 years on this is something I will never forget, it’s in my bones. A little girl of 21.6 weeks. Thank you for this beautiful post

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  • July 30, 2014 at 1:17 am
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    My daughter Haley was stillborn at 37 weeks on December 10th 2006. My story almost sounds what you’re describing. I didn’t feel my baby move all day went to labor and delivery about 7 o’clock at night the nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat. I was pretty sure what happened as my husband was joking around talking about what happened if he pushes the red button. He had no clue yet. When I asked if there wasn’t a heartbeat the nurse turned the screen monitor and said that they had to call the doctor. I already knew but your right you don’t believe it to see the baby. Thank you for sharing the story. Your words are so comforting this is one of the best things I’ve read in all the things I’ve researched about stillbirth or people have posted or sent to me for some reason this brought me more peace and comfort than anything has in a long time. Thank you! ♡ Haleys mom!

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  • July 30, 2014 at 1:43 am
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    My son, Jeffrey, would have been 40 years old this September 17. He was stillborn. Even after all that time, there’s a huge empty place in my heart, and I’ve haven’t been the same person since, because I know things can go wrong, terribly wrong. A nurse asked me a couple of times if I wanted to see him and I said no. It was important to her that she make me realize that I should see him; she said he was perfect and that I would wonder forever what he looked like. So I did see him and he was perfect! And eight days less than a year later I gave birth to his sister who looked exactly like him! Thank God for that wonderful nurse who cared so much about someone she didn’t even know! God bless all of you!

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  • July 30, 2014 at 3:23 am
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    Four months ago I went in to labor, a week past my due date and beyond anxious to finally meet my son, my first child. After labouring at home 7 hours, repeatedly calling Labor and delivery and continuously told to stay home until my contractions were 2 mins apart I finally got to the hospital only to find out right away that he was gone. I didn’t notice the lack of movements because my contraction were distracting. I never imagined this would happen to a healthy 25 year old whose pregnancy was “unremarkable” ( as was described in all the post-mortem reports). I had good nurses that day and some crappy ones. I remember both. If I could say anything to you it is this. Tell the parents of all the things they can do with their baby. It is a painfully confusing and shocking time and for me, now 4 months later, I no longer wish I could go back in time and get to the hospital earlier or schedule a c section on my due date when he was alive.. I have accepted his death. What I regret the is not having the opportunity to have given my son his first and only bath. I wish I would have dressed my 8.3 pound baby in the little newborn sleeper I brought in my hospital bag. I wish I had more pictures, more time, more foot prints for my memory books. I wish I gave him more kisses. I wish the nurses would have offered that to me. I couldn’t possibly have known then in that moment. One minute you’re huge and pregnant ready to birth your first child and the next youre given papers to sign for autopsies and asked to pick a funeral home. You can’t possiblly think of all those little things and how months later you will lose sleep wishing so bad you would have had the opportunity. So please, I know it is hard on you as nurses and it’s sad and kind of awkward but this is the most important event of our lives and although we don’t have the ability to ask, we need to be informed of absolutely everything special and sacred that we may do in that short time we have with our babies.

    If you would like some perspective from a grieving mothers perspective please visit my blog

    http://Www.lifeafterhayden.blogpost.ca

    Thank you for all your hard work

    Xo

    Sam

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    • July 30, 2014 at 3:28 am
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      Sorry about the double “perspective” my eyes are filled with tears I can barely read what I am typing

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      • July 30, 2014 at 3:47 am
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        Your story is heartbreaking. I do appreciate that you took the time and shared such a personal story. I have to be honest…I feel like I take care of these families really well, and I’ve never asked the parents if they would want to give the first (and probably only) bath. I’m so glad you brought that up and mentioned that. I will say—in the moment, as a nurse, I had never thought about that because I’m so focused on wanting the baby to look as sweet and as perfect as possible. I want the mother’s memory to be of this sweet little perfect baby. If it is possible, I hope I remember your words with the next family that I take care of that are facing the same situation. Sometimes it’s not possible, because the baby is very very delicate, especially if the baby has been gone for a few days before it was discovered. At one of the hospital’s that I work for, we have an amazing person that comes in and talks to the parents and takes pictures and makes a slideshow and a video for them to take home. She is usually the one who will bathe the baby, and I know she always asks if the parents had a special outfit. I will have to share your story with her. And now, after reading what you’ve written, I will at least offer more things to my patients and their families. We also encourage the parents to keep the baby as much/often as they want in the room with them.

        I’m sorry that this happened. I hate that you had to go through this kind of experience. It doesn’t matter how many months ago it was, I know it’s still hard. Men grieve differently than women, and everyone else moves on because that’s what they do, but I know that you’re still hurting and I’m sorry <3

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  • July 30, 2014 at 4:00 am
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    I have wept through out all the reading, I am sooo very greatful for seeing your perspective in words, I have sadly had the experience of watching my daughter and her husband lose two babies, Isabelle in January could have been almost what you described in the beginning here. I cried thinking you would write my daughters name in there… such tragedy, and I have watched the love and care of the nurses and doctors in the situation, you as nurses and doctors do so much and deal with so much as well… thank you for your love, sensitivity, caring words, kind actions toward the moms and dads who deal with such loss. Bless each of you for you compassion and kindness.
    thank you for sharing your heart…

    Isabelle and Jonathan’s nana

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  • July 30, 2014 at 6:44 am
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    Beautifully written and so accurate in the description of this devastating experience. I related to every single thing you mentioned, as a nurse. And I relate, to a degree, from a family member’s perspective because a very close member of my family experienced stillbirth and I will always remember the terrible loss. This was before I became a nurse. She lost her daughter at almost 37 weeks, and we were all devastated. We had spent months anticipating her precious daughter’s birth, taking turns feeling her kick, planning, loving, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of this special baby girl. And when this happened, well, it was one of the most difficult deaths of all to accept (and unfortunately I have lost many loved ones) because it is supposed to be the beginning and not the end of life. It is just something that forever changes things, and this happened to her and not me. I am capable of relating only so much, as my sweet loved one was the one to endure the complete awfulness of this.

    As a L&D nurse, well, you described so much of the process perfectly. My heart breaks every time, especially, when the mother looks at you with a haunting and desperate look for answers, a look that is seared into my mind..and the look is always the same.. a hollow look mixed with a hunger and a desperate need to understand, to make some sort of sense of her shattered world.. and that description doesn’t even do the look any justice..my heart just breaks. It breaks every time I’m in the nursery making the footprints, handprints, getting the baby ready. I cry and pray over those babies, every time.

    Also, it never occurred to me, either, to ask the mother if she would like to bathe the baby, because like you said, a baby’s skin in this circumstance often is so delicate, and like you, I have been focused on getting the baby ready for the mother. But I will definitely pass that idea along, too.. I would want to do anything I could to ensure that the mother gets every opportunity for every experience she wants with her baby..it just never even occurred to me to offer some of those things, like putting on the clothes. Thank you for sharing that Sam.

    Another L&D nurse I work with experienced a stillbirth herself, and she said that she remembered the sweet baby smell. Someone took the time to make sure her baby had that sweet baby smell and she remembered that smell when other things were a blur.. and she was so thankful for that considerate detail later. She gives the best advice about what to say, what not to say (that could be a topic of its own because people mean well, but often they say the wrong things in these circumstances) and what to do, because, of course, she experienced it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this unique perspective of a L&D nurse. So many women go through this heartbreaking experience and seeing the experience written in the nurses eyes, well, there is just something comforting about it for me..maybe just knowing that other nurses go through the same process and that we are not alone in these things.

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    • July 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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      Thanks you for praying over our babies.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 9:42 am
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    Crying as I read these but how do you get over losing a grandson who on delivery had his skull fractured by forceps so angry

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  • July 30, 2014 at 10:55 am
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    I do not know the pain if stillbirth, but when my son was born as 23 weeks, it was the nurses who were the ones who kept me going. I’ll never forget how kind they were, helping me clean up after the birth, stroking my hair while waiting for the elevator to the NICU, teaching me how to use the pump, crying right along with me knowing that I really faced an unknown battle. One nurse, who cried with me when I was discharged, happened to track us down when we were delivering gifts to the NICU a year after my son was born. The fact that she remembered us and had thought about us during that time is something I will never forget. And don’t even get me started on NICU nurses – amazing.

    To those who have had a baby born still, my heart aches for you. To those who have lost a baby shortly after the birth, my heart aches for you. I can’t imagine the pain, the hole in your heart. My good friend is expecting her rainbow baby at the end of the week and while I know this baby will bring her joy, it won’t fill that space in her heart where sadness will always live.

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    • August 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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      My daughter is expecting a rainbow baby, up until my daughters baby was born asleep I had never heard of the term rainbow baby, and yes you are right, whilst there will be joy there will also be sorrow at the same time.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm
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    Thank you for posting this. I’ve had two girls born still – one in 2010, the other in 2011. When my first was born, the doctor and nurses were terrible to us. I had more PTSD from them than I did from actually losing my daughter. And then they had the nerve to ask if I wanted them to play the chimes in celebration of my daughter’s birth. What exactly was I celebrating? If they’d phrased it differently, it might have been different – maybe, “in celebration of your daughter’s life” or “in memory of your daughter” or anything other than “in celebration of your daughter’s birth.” I cried for months over the treatment I received in that hospital – what hurt the most was yelling at me, “YOUR BABY’S ALREADY DEAD!!” instead of, “I’m sorry, she’s gone.” When I faced a similar thing a year later, I went to a different hospital. The people were amazing. The doctor was great. The ultrasound tech was great. The nurses were great. One nurse even sat in the room with me for a long, long time. She was bothered by the facts that I was about to deliver a still baby; that I had done it before; and that I was alone in the hospital. Once, I asked, “Don’t you have other patients?” “Yes, I guess I should go make rounds real quick. I’ll be right back.” And she was a little later – right back in my room, just sitting with me. She had long, blonde hair. She was young and pretty. I don’t know her name, but I wish I did. I have cried for years over the kindness she showed me, and I still wipe tears today as I type this thinking about her. From a patient going through this twice with very different experiences, let me tell you – I did notice. I noticed the caress. I noticed the sad eyes. I noticed everything you did to help me and comfort me during that time. Thank you.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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    Thank you so much for your post. It was an emotional read for me as a mother who has given birth to my forever sleeping daughter. I was blessed to have a wonderful staff that day. However, the head nurse that was on the clock that night stood out to me the most. She was so tender and caring towards me and my family during our rough time. While giving birth to my sleeping baby, she had noticed something which would not go well for me. That’s when she jumped in and told me… “Do not look at your daughter right now. Keep your eyes on me. You can cry, scream, or even yell at me. But please do not take your eyes from me. We will bring your baby back shortly. The way she looks right now isn’t one image that I’ll let you carry for the rest of your life.” She gently allowed me to cry and scream with her holding me. She tried to hold back her tears but they overwhelmed her and we cried together. With each tear that dropped out of my eyes, she wiped them away.

    I want to thank every nurse out there who has endured this with a family. You all are amazing and I feel that you don’t get recognized enough for what you do. You are amazing too and don’t forget that.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm
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    I remember every moment my nurses were with me. I remember their names. I could not have gotten through it without them. Six years later… I know I will never forget them.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm
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    I know exactly what you mean in your essay. All of us – midwives/nurses- one day will go through a big loss with our patients. Believe me it is experience which we will never forget. It brings tears and sadness to our faces, but also relief that we could help and support someone in so difficult time. Only if you ever experienced that situation you can understand it. Only by being strong at that time you can really help.
    To all ladies who experienced loss of their loved little angels …we always keep fingers cross for your future and awaiting for happy ending of future pregnancies. We are hoping to meet you in future and bring happy news to your lives. Remember that you are stronger than you can imagine.

    Aga

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  • July 30, 2014 at 8:50 pm
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    Reblogged this on Sophia's Story and commented:
    I came across this blog depicting a nurse’s perspective on the experience of having a patient go through a loss. It is easy to rely on these professionals to get us through the horrific ordeal, and they really do deserve all the praise the world could provide as they are warriors too. After we lost Sophia, both Jason and I wrote a letter to the whole nursing staff in gratitude for what they all did for us. Without them, a completely horrible situation would have seemed impossibly worse.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 10:52 pm
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    Nurses are angels I had a baby girl pass away 6 hours after birth the nicu girls got me through it I will never forget their compassion and their strength thank you ladies for everything you do

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  • July 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm
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    I am deeply touched by your story. The nurses that I meet as a Heartfelt photographer are incredible
    and I am remaindered often of just how deeply draining, complex, and sad, but also very inspiring and beautiful this work is. Thank you for sharing a nurses perspective.

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      • August 20, 2014 at 3:12 am
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        I delivered my sweet angel on June 16,2009. I had an amazing nurse who showed such care and compassion that actually motivated me to finally return to school to finish my nursing degree. She was the one who actually delivered her bc my Dr was in an emergency c section. The following year I gave birth to my screaming little man and I wish she had been there. I am one year away from getting my BSN degree and I want nothing more than to be able to return that type of nursing care to someone in need. Thank you for all you do! ?

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    • August 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm
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      Oh my I don’t usually tear up after reading blog stories. But being a newer OB RN I can relate and now my face is wet. I love that you went home and scooped up your kids despite their sleeping state. I would have done the same. I’m grateful I work in such a field where I am reminded daily of the importance of my kids and family.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 1:05 am
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    I will remember this call forever. When I arrived, I knew this little sleeping baby would never take a breath. The Mom dressed this tiny one and held her close. All we could do was sit with her, let her talk and shed tears with her. When my shift was over, I would remember that tiny face and still feel the Mom’s pain. That night, thankful for my children, I shed tears again, and asked God to be with her as she had lost her little angel.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 1:31 am
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    I too am a l&d nurse. I will tell you we share our patients pain in different ways. We as nurses want to fix our patients and make them better but in this situation we can not. We are simply able to listen, understand, offer compassion, hug the patient and family members, treat their child with love, compassion and mostly respect. We are often able to give them favorable yes favorable memories that these mom will hold close to their hearts for the rest of their lives. Every mother who loses a child to god never forgets their gift and the dreams they had for that baby. Our heart break for them, we cry with them. I have never lost a child of my own but have lost many with my patients. I am humbled by these mothers and thank them for allowing we as nurses to learn from them as to how they need and want to be treated. I have cried, mourned smiled and laughed with these stronge woman. I will say that when I go home after caring for a mother who has lost a child I am spent in every way, I know that I have help this family to experience their child for the short time that they have them in the most favorable and memorable way imaginable at the most difficult time in their lives, thank you again ladies for sharing so we can better care for those whose child is here for such a short time.

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    • July 31, 2014 at 4:25 am
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      very well said. and I’m so glad that you pointed out that their child is here for only a short time. we have to make those memories precious. xx

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  • July 31, 2014 at 1:51 am
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    Your passion for what you do is so evident in your writing, and I truly enjoy reading it. Thank you for sharing!

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  • July 31, 2014 at 4:18 am
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    Thank you for sharing this. Having been that patient going through a stillbirth, I so appreciate hearing how much you care. We had a most wonderfl night nurse . We have kept in touch and she is going to be there for the birth of our 2nd son in two weeks. There is no one I would want there with us more. What you do is invaluable.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 7:45 am
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    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I think the mom will remember your support. The kindness of our nurses and doctors was incredibly welcome and needed when we lost our daughters. I will never forget their support.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 11:11 am
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    Tears pouring down my cheeks. I am fortunate to have 3 healthy children from 3 pregnancies so I can’t begin to imagine the heartbreak of parents whose babies don’t make it. Midwives and labour nurses are a strong breed. You have beautifully expressed how much you care, written with love and sensitivity.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 11:34 am
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    We did notice. We noticed our midwife push to not have our induction delayed any longer. We noticed that she stayed late on her shift and came back early to be with us. We noticed that she sat on the end of my bed and silently grieved for us. We noticed her when she pushed the ultrasound tech who asked to see our “fetus” out of the room. We noticed that she protected us from stares as we took our baby “downstairs” We noticed when she shook as she handed our baby over to the morgue technician. We noticed that when she came back to our room afterwards she had been weeping. We noticed it all. And it mattered so very very much.

    Paisley Jane, stillborn at 23 weeks, 30-6-12.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 11:46 am
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    As a mother of 4 including my son that was born still I would like to thank you for your amazing story and thank you for your care and honesty. Even though it was the worst time of my life and I was in a daze for most of it I remember the amazing nurses and doctors that went beyond the call of duty to care for us. Not only my husband and I but the care they gave to my two girls and my mum was outstanding. I swear that the nurse that sat beside me for hours from the induction to the birth and thereafter felt every bit of my pain. I don’t have many positives to remember of this time but I am often comforted by the level of care and sensitivity we received. Thank you thank you, thank you.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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    As I read your article I couldn’t help but smile through the tears. I don’t remember my nurses caring face but I will never forget her voice. Nor will I forget her words. My daughter was born sleeping and the nurse told through the cracking voice told me how beautiful she was and how lucky I was to have an angel. She reminded me that I could stay with her for as long as I wanted that day and there was no rush. At first I didn’t want pictures she urged me to take them and put them in a box.She brought in a tiny dress, my hands were shaking so bad but she didn’t notice and helped me dress her. Today I’m so grateful for them. I wish I could remember this nurses face or even name. My grieving was so strong that all I can remember it’s her voice.
    To all you OB nurses thank you. Maybe the nurse who sat with me that day will read this. You will never know how much your words and kindness meant to me.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 12:41 pm
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    As a student nurse reading this, I’ve got tests in my eyes! This instills in me that I have chosen my ‘calling’ and I look forward to my future studies in early childhood nursing, and supporting mothers, like this, who have nothing to celebrate, and also mothers who do!

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  • July 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm
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    We remember you stroking our arm, kissing our head, holding our hands, bringing us tea and toast and blankets so we could stay together, telling us where we can park overnight for nothing, giving us a separate room away from everyone and wheeling us around the long way to avoid the labour ward. We remember and appreciate though are not always strong enough to “thank you” at the time. Just please know, you make it easier, it is appreciated and you make the memories not all tinged with pain. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the nurses, midwives, doctors, reception staff and cleaners who made our awful time easier to live with and remember. X

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  • July 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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    I wish I had a nurse like you when one of my twins born sleeping. It felt like none of them had a idea what to say or do for me. They would not talk to me. All they asked was how was the pain ( I had a c- section). The doc was the same, only seen him once after I had him. That was to tell me how he passed.
    I wish I had a nice story like others, of them being caring and understanding. It was like they had never seen it happened before.

    Reply
    • July 31, 2014 at 3:44 pm
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      I’m glad you took the time to tell me. I hope other health care people read it and will do differently if they were the ones that didn’t know what to say or do. I hate that your experience was like that because that’s the only one you are getting. I hope you have something to celebrate the next time. Seriously…I’m thinking about you and your family. Xxx

      Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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    Thank you for this lovely blog. My husband and I lost our daughter, our first and only pregnancy, just two months ago. I will never forget the nurses who were with me that day. I will never forget their names or their kindness. They truly made the worst day of our lives bearable.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm
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    thank you for writing this.
    I am the mother of a stillborn baby girl.
    The nurses and doctor were so wonderful to us during a most devastating time.
    Thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm
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    My first child passed away right after he was born (neonatal death from stress), and I can tell you that I remember EVERYTHING every one of those kind, caring nurses did for my husband and I during that nightmare of an experience. I remember how they bought my husband dinner even though they didn’t have to. I remember how they hugged us and prayed with us. I remember how they tried so, SO hard to save my boy, and how they cried with us when they couldn’t. I remember how they cleaned and dressed him and took beautiful pictures of him for us to take home. I remember every bit of it, and not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for each and every one of those ladies. I have often wished that I could thank each of them personally for everything they did, without it being an awkward and odd thing.

    So rest assured; your kindness was noted, and very, VERY appreciated. <3

    Reply
    • July 31, 2014 at 6:51 pm
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      Thank you for your sweet post. I delivered a baby boy just last week at 19 weeks. My nurses and doctor were so kind, and it really meant the world to me. I expected to have everyone treat it as just a miscarriage because I was one week shy of 20. Instead, they treated me far better than I could have ever asked for. They walked me through the process, were there to help dress him and brought someone in to do feet and hand molds, the works. Those powerful, positive memories are all that we have to hold onto as we leave with a box of our baby’s things on our laps instead of a sweet baby. I’m so grateful there are kind people there to help us and make these situations go as well as they can.

      Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm
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    My 4th baby was a full term, 9lb, 58cm, stillborn boy…24 1/2 years ago. I too remember the kindness of the nursing staff, especially the midwife who delivered my beautiful son, She was so loving & caring. You would think that with the amount of shock & grief that you are experiencing at the time that you would never remember anything else about that horrible day/night but I remember everything from the time the ultrasound could not find a heartbeat until approximately 12 hours later when I gave birth. The staff were amazing & to all you nurses out there I do remember your love, support & kindness. It is amazing that 2 years later I gave birth to another son & he has just finished a double degree as a Paramedic/Nurse, it makes me proud to think that one day he may be in the position to make a difference to someones life experiences in a warm loving way & be remembered for his gentleness & kindness.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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    Such a heartfelt and honest article. We are just coming up to the one year anniversary of the stillbirth of our beautiful daughter; she was our third child and was to be the final member of our gang joining two older brothers so excited to meet her.

    The help and support of the amazing medical team at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, UK really helped to drag us thorough the worst 24 hours of our lives. The tenderness and care we were afforded was second to none and I will forever be grateful for those amazing midwives who made the horrific special.

    To be four days overdue and for your baby to die for no reason at all is beyond comprehension. I’m so glad that people like you are doing a job like this, which makes it easier for people like me to get through it. Xxx

    Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm
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    I miscarried at the end of my first trimester. I had experienced a large amount of blood worse than any period I had ever had. I had a sharp pain in my abdomen, and my fiance was at work. I had called left him a message on his cell phone and at customer service. I drove myself to the hospItal already knowing what was wrong, but hoped against all hope I was wrong. When they couldn’t find the heart beat I was faced with the absolute reality. My fiance arrived after the ultra sound to a nurse hosing my hand while I cried on her shoulder. It was devastating. The support I received from the staff was phenomenal. Although they couldn’t take away the pain they offered comfort and support.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 11:35 pm
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    Sitting here surrounded by my beautiful family but my heart aches with your sentiment, so beautifully expressed. Ours was 8 yrs ago but the tear in my heart and the tears in my my soul will never heal. Thankyou.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 11:58 pm
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    I had my little boy 27 years ago but for me it could have been yesterday. My term was 20 weeks and he was my first after a previous miscarriage. An ultrasound had found that he had severe spina bifida and fluid around the brain…so much that it had stopped his brain growing. I went to hospital and the nurses eere wonderful. My grief was overwelming when I came out from my operation feeling so empty. There was one midwife who I will never forget and be forever grateful to. She advised me to see and hold my son to say goodbye…she went and got my him , dressed him in a nappy and bonnet, wraped him in a blanket and took a photo for me to keep. I will cherish this small part of my life journy forever and I hold it in my heart in a prescious place. The grief still hurts but the kindness and caring of this midwife gave me something that noone can ever take away. Wherever you are now I send you my love and gratitude.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 12:49 am
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    Almost 25 years since my twinboys were born at 26weeks. Born alive only to weaken and pass on at one and two days old. The pain remains but much weaker, then surprises me with “just yesterday” feeling. The awful loneliness of leaving the hospital with nothing but flowers will remain with me forever. The staff in the NICU are an amazing group. The head doctor was the most gentle man and the nurse who cried with us on the last night lives in my heart. Thank you. I still miss you my darling little boys, mummy’s boys. Xxxxxx

    Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 3:47 am
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    Thankyou for this post. I shed many tears reading it . I am the Mother of an Angel born still, so this read was quite emotional for me. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful midwife go through my labour with me. It has now been 19 years and i still often think about her kindness. Thankyou for the job you.

    Reply
    • August 1, 2014 at 3:51 am
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      I’m so glad that you had a healthcare provider that was supportive and gave you a sweet memory during such a tragic time. It’s heartbreaking when I read comments about people who were not so fortunate. Thank you for taking the time to tell me your story! xxx

      Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 4:51 am
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    So sad…
    It really sucks when you can’t have kids.. My heart breaks for all of us who can’t have kids..

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  • August 1, 2014 at 7:45 am
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    Very touching & we do remember your compassion, your gentle touch, your voice & you telling us how beautiful our baby is.

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  • August 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    My son was stillborn on 03/19/94 & even all these years later i still remember how concerned the nurses where & how well they treated me during the whole tramatic time.

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  • August 1, 2014 at 7:17 pm
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    Reblogged this on Illuminate Project and commented:
    I really enjoyed this post!

    Although my last pregnancy ended in a stillbirth, the only comfort I received at the hospital was from the residents, my doctor, the lab techs that came every four hours that greeted me at least with a hello, and my nurses, especially the one who had me when I was admitted and then later when I was induced. Her name was Kristine and she was amazing.

    If you are a Labor and Delivery nurse, you are a special brand of nurses. Thank you for all that you do.

    Reply
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  • August 2, 2014 at 2:01 am
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    You do remember. .. I had a loss and I placed a baby for adoption I stayed three days with my baby when a nurse sat with me and explained I had to be discharged….I will never forget her words or their unbelievable kindness.

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    • August 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm
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      I don’t normally reply to threads but I am a midwife. I recently looked after a wonderful family from booking right up to 39 weeks gestation. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a heartbeat and her little angel had passed away. I did know in my heart but when I got the call to confirm it …. We do feel it… I saw her after her delivery and shared her pain… We hugged for a long long time. They asked me to attend the funeral too which I was very touched about!!… They said they considered me a friend and I was such a big part of their journey….. U went home that night and held my 2 boys just a little bit tighter than I had for a while…. Appreciating the dirty socks on the floor and the fact that buzz light year was in my bed…… I will never forget that family and I just hope …..I have given that family what they needed…. Which was time ….time :to listen ..time .To care….time.. To appreciate them….. Xx

      Reply
  • August 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm
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    I’m currently 28 weeks with my first pregnancy. My baby didn’t develop any kidneys, also known as Potter Sequence, and IF it makes it to 40 weeks, it won’t live long after birth. Thankfully, I’ll be delivering at a hospital with a wonderful team of Drs and neonatologists. I just wanted to tell all you wonderfully compassionate caregivers and nurses thank you. I appreciate the sad, knowing, concerned looks of sympathy from all the specialists I’ve met with, and I know that the women you all have helped through painful experiences of their own appreciate your kindness, too. Thank you for caring enough to remember their struggles long after the timeline of life has continued.

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    • August 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm
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      Whitney, I’m praying for strength right now for you and your family. I know it goes without saying: cherish these sacred days. Sending hugs your way.

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    • August 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm
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      whitney, I’m sorry you’ve been given a difficult diagnosis. My baby had hypoplastic kidneys and essentially had potter’s too. nurses and midwives were a lifeline during such a difficult time, prenatally, during the birth and six hours of her life and they continue in the grief afterwards. I wish you strength and hope you can find joy in the now. (I’ve blogged about my experience, if you are looking for reading material. I’ve linked others who wrote about similar experiences too. or feel free to contact me through my blog if you want more support).

      Reply
  • August 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm
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    I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I just lost my baby 3 weeks ago tomorrow, and the nurses were all that kept me going at times. One of my favorite nurses was wiping off blood from between my legs the day after he died. I felt humiliated and helpless, and apologized to her for the fact that she had to do something so unglamourous. She patted my hand, looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Honey it’s an absolute honor taking care of you.” They treated my child like he was just as important as any live baby. I only got to have him with me for 31 short weeks before he was stillborn, but the nurses made me feel like he really was perfect. People like you make so much more of a difference than you know! Thank you!

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  • August 7, 2014 at 1:10 am
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    *I* remember.

    I remember the nurse who held my hand as my first child, my daughter, came too early, alive in the ER but not surviving delivery.

    I remember hearing her ask someone to call her husband and tell him she would be home late.

    I remember her hugging me when my husband left to call his parents.

    I remember her tears, and her telling me she would cry all the way home.

    What I do not remember is her name. And that I still regret.

    But I remember. And I’m thankful every day, even almost twenty years later.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2014 at 12:54 am
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    I am a now-retired L&D nurse and CNM. This captured it perfectly. I’m in tears now thinking about some of the women that I met along the way (some of those were 15 years ago). I wish and hope that they all had another chance.

    Reply
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  • August 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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    What a beautiful post. Having presented to the hospital in labour and the nurse not being able to find my daughters heartbeat, then getting the dr to come up, then the ultrasound, as it slowly started to dawn on me that something was wrong, and then having it confirmed that our daughter had died and would be stillborn, everything became a blur, my husband crying, my mum & dad arriving, social worker, the delivery, seeing our beautiful daughter etc. but throughout it all, supporting not only me, but my husband and family was our wonderful midwives. Their professionalism, their compassion and their support was wonderful. Later my mother told me that she saw one of my nurses sobbing in the tea room being consoled by another nurse. It hadn’t occurred to me through my own grief how deeply these deliveries affect them as well. It’s been 26 years now and not a day goes by where I don’t think of my daughter and occasionally when I let myself think of that day and the delivery room the pain is just as fresh. I went back later with flowers & chocolates to pass onto the nursing staff, as without them I wouldn’t have got through it I’m sure. They were so kind, letting us spend time with our daughter, arranging footprints, a lock of hair – I will be forever grateful to them.

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  • August 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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    I have had to deal with this issue. YOU are so right. Everything you said. I cried for several months. I felt so alone. I had a wonderful nurse who whispered bible verses to me in my ears. She actually helped delivered my son and daughter. Doctor and hospital were not has accommodating. They sent me home because they didn’t have any rooms. So I had to wait for about 8 hours. Church people didn’t help too much either. I was the first to lose a child in both families. Family was helpful! It has been 17 yrs now. The heart pain has subsided. However, I still have a hole in my heart! I miss my boy.

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  • August 12, 2014 at 6:38 am
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    Our Joshua was born still in November of 2006. My midwife and my nurse were the most amazing people I’ve ever seen during his delivery. Our nurse chose to work over her shift when my delivery went too long. She stayed, not only until he was delivered, but to sit with me until I was somewhat calm after. I had a CD that I brought to the hospital with me and they both sang worship songs and hymns with us during labor and delivery. I have 6 other children and that delivery was so precious to me…in part because it’s all I have of my son, but more because of how gentle those two women were with me. They were angels in crocs and I’l never forget them. In November of 2007, I delivered my next baby. She wasn’t my nurse that night, but she was on the floor when I was doing my laps around the halls during labor. She stopped me and told me how glad she was to see us back. She remembered and that memory touched my soul. L&D nurses are some incredible people. Thank you for this post. It was a blessing for me to read through the tears.

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  • September 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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    I often wonder how the lovely staff felt who looked after me when my baby April died. Thanks for your blog. Now I know xx

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  • September 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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    I have just cried reading this, and remembering the birth of my first baby. She was stillborn at full term seven years ago. I can relate to so much of what you have written, because I do remember the hugs, kind words and tears of the nursing staff. I remember the midwife crying when she delivered my beautiful baby girl, before the emotional enormity of what had happened had hit me. The midwife stayed with me throughout my 9 hour labour, and I remember feeling sorry that she had to manage my stillbirth that day. I will never forget the love and care that the medical staff showed me on the worst day of my life. I have the utmost admiration for the work that you and your colleagues do. Thank you x

    Reply
  • September 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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    Such a moving post and beautifully written. We lost our first baby at 21 weeks and went through an induction. I will always remember how well we were treated by the doctors and nurses who looked after us. Every one treated us with such kindness and professionalism. When we left the hospital one of the midwives told us she would look forward to seeing us back in happier circumstances and sure enough we returned the following year when I had my daughter and again more recently for the birth of our son. We are truly blessed. At the hospital, sure enough, we bumped into one of midwives who’d met us when we lost our firstborn and it was lovely to see how happy she was for us.

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  • September 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm
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    Our first son was born at 21 weeks after I went into premature labour. In the same hospital I had both very good, and very bad care. The first midwife I saw was amazing, and took fantastic care of me. She stayed on after her shift had ended so that she could come see us after our son was born. We had a newly qualified midwife, who had never delivered a baby in those circumstances before and she was fantastic. She treated my son with such dignaty. I will never forget the care and attention those two women paid to me, my husband and our son. Neither will I forget how some of the other people ‘looked after’ us (or rather didn’t). But mostly I am grateful to the ones who were compassionate, caring and treated my son with dignaty and as a baby rather then a ‘foetus’.

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  • September 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm
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    What a lovely piece of writing x

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  • October 18, 2014 at 3:27 am
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    As a Midwife, I have been a bearer of the bad tidings before. It breaks my heart. You have done a superb job of writing about it. Thank you so much.

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  • October 19, 2014 at 2:43 am
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    Thank you for sharing this with us. This touched my heart because 19 months ago I was in that hospital bed looking at my nurse like she didn’t know what she was doing because she couldn’t find one of my twin daughters’s heartbeat. This has opened my eyes to the dread she must have felt when she was seetting me up with the monitors and already knew what the doctors were going to find. Thank you and all the nurses for taking our stories home with you and keeping a part of us in your heart. Without that care provided by you guys during those moment, we wouldn’t have the strength to continue forward. So thank you again from the bottom of my heart and much love to you and your family.

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  • November 4, 2014 at 8:38 am
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    Thank you. Your words brought me peace in a time of such distress. I’ve read and reread this post probably 30 times in the last 6 months. I have been so comforted knowing that your hearts hurt also.

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  • November 13, 2014 at 8:29 am
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    Beautifully written, as a midwife going through another woman’s loss it conveys exactly how we all feel, we remember everything.

    Reply
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  • January 29, 2015 at 12:10 am
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    My daughter was stillborn almost 12 years ago. I knew going into the hospital that night that I would be leaving with empty arms. I had some amazing nurses help me through the next 24 hours. You would be surprised what a mom will remember of that time. The comfort of hug or kind gesture from a nurse will likely be etched in her memory forever… even as time turns the heartache of the loss into bittersweet memories. I will never forget the nurse that worked so hard to find my daughter just the perfect gown out of the many that had been donated. The nurse that wouldn’t let go of my hand as labor pains become almost too much to bear. And my doctor, who had to quickly leave the room after my daughter was delivered because he didn’t want me to see him cry. They all became part of my daughter’s story. One that I will never forget. So, from a mom who had to endure this loss… Thank You.

    Reply
    • February 7, 2015 at 5:38 am
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      Thank you so much for this wonderful post. As a mother who lived this experience 21 years ago, I can honestly tell you is something you never get over. I also had a great nurse who I remember dearly from that awful experience. I have since become a nurse myself and strive to give my patients the understanding and compassion they deserve. Thanks to all the nurses that go the extra mile for their patients and family because they care, we certainly don’t do it for the money.

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    • May 29, 2015 at 1:23 am
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      I picked out the perfect donated gown and hand knitted hat today. I sit here crying and trying to regroup from our day. We labor nurses put our hearts and souls into every patient! I want families to know that they are loved and thoughts are carried in our hearts at all times!

      Reply
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  • March 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm
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    Just beautiful……

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    • May 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm
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      That was beautiful, you have me in tears, I now want to go hold my babies like you did when you got home that night and my heart aches for all the women who have to face this, I wish there was a magic wand to bring those babies back to life. I miscarried my first pregnancy at 8 weeks, my husband and I believe that it just took two tries for our oldest daughter to arrive, so we don’t think about it much, but sometimes late at night I wonder if I will meet a little girl or boy in the summerlands that is that first child.

      Reply
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  • July 16, 2015 at 2:33 am
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    Beautifully written. As a former L&D nurse, I had this experience too many times. Now, as a high risk ob home health nurse, I recently had a pt at 34 weeks with no heart tones. I was in her home, and I knew her baby had passed but couldn’t tell her. My heart sank. I had to send her to the hospital to confirm what we both already knew. Her little girl was gone. That day has never left my memory. We keep in touch as she is pregnant again and of course, very nervous. This really hits home for me as a parent too as my newborn son died almost 28 years ago, just 3 hours after birth. The pain never leaves us. We hurt as much as our pt’s do.

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  • July 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    Someone already said this in a comment, but she probably does remember. When I lost my baby, I remember the strangest things about what the nurses said and did for me. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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  • July 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm
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    I am sitting here in tears as I read this story. As a new labor and delivery nurse, I experienced my first fetal demise delivery recently and shared in the sorrow with the family. I could not speak much without my voice breaking and once I thought I had my emotions under control, I would feel the tears well up in my eyes and start running down my face again. It is hard to keep a “brave face”, but we try to give as much support to our patient and family as possible while trying not to show our own emotions. We dressed the baby and helped family to hold her and took pictures for them. Like you, I cuddled my own babies when I got home. Another thing hard about our situation is we cannot come home and talk to someone about our day for fear of violating HIPAA so we do grieve in our own quiet space.

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  • July 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm
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    As a 30 year L&D RN I have practically seen it all. A few times still ‘haunt’ me to this day. A couple having a stillborn were grieving at the delivery. Her parents lived a good eight hours away by car. On the way to be with their daughter her parents were killed in a car accident. This is still in my head.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm
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    Recently I went through this experience. I delivered my son, who was going to make my daughter a big sister and be our first son and our last child. We longed for this pregnancy, 2 years of trying, multiple fertility drugs, multiple trips to a specialist, following a miscarriage. We thought for sure we were going to have our completed family after making it to the 2ND trimester.

    I went to the hospital because on Braxton hicks like pains. Your view from the ER to delivery is verbatim how I felt. Down to the husband on his cell phone, not having a clue as the nurse struggled to find a heartbeat.

    I am also a nurse. Not l&d nurse, but I understand how you feel. As the patient and as the nurse. I knew how those nurses felt in my delivery room while my entire family was crying… I saw they didn’t have the words to say, but they didn’t have to say anything.

    Thank you for doing what you do, and writing this story so perfectly & beautifully.

    ?

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  • July 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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    This is my story 26 years ago. Please know nurses and doctors it is okay if you shed tears with us. It brings comfort rather than anguish. It lets us know you care and that we are just not another patient.

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  • July 28, 2015 at 2:12 am
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    2 weeks ago Sunday I lost my twin boy and girl at 23 weeks due to PPROM. Although my situation wasn’t exactly the same as described, so much of this resonated with me. I am so unbelievably grateful for the 3 nurses who cared for me and my husband during our time in the hospital, praying my labour would subside. During the worst moments of my life, those little moments of support, care and emotion, shown to myself, my husband, my Mom and my beautiful angels, will always live with me.
    Thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2015 at 2:18 am
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    Thank you for this post. On November 18, 2014 I went into labor knowing that, outside of a miracle, my daughter would not live long after birth. My entire birth team also knew this and they all did an excellent job. But my labor and delivery nurse is the one who still sticks out in my memory. She was an incredible support to me and walked alongside me every step of the way. I will never forget the tears in her eyes as she took our baby girl to bathe her … and when she came back later to give us our memory box, her eyes brimmed with tears as she told us she thought our daughter was beautiful. I have remarked many times to my husband that I do not envy her job but am so very grateful for the peace and comfort she gave me during a devastating day. Thank you for all that you do. Your job is so very important.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this story. My son was born still at 39 weeks. I didn’t know he passed when I went into labor that night. I had seen my dr just hours before and she said he was fine and scheduled a c-section for 3 days later. I do remember my nurse not finding his heart beat and waiting for a doctor to come and tell us. I didn’t cry silently, I screamed and tried to get out of the bed and go home. By far the worst night of my life. Thank you for sharing that the nurses feel our pain and remember our babies.

    Reply
  • October 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    I want to give you all a great big HUG and tell you that I am in awe of the fact that you have been through so much and still show great LOVE for each other., Yes Midwife’s jobs come feel like Hell some times.Only God knows why He returns the little ones to Him so soon. May His Peace and LOVE be with you “TODAY”

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm
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    A friend and his wife lost their full term baby yesterday. I am not sure what happened yet, as I don’t have the details, but whatever it was, it was sudden and unknown. She was full term, about 39-40 weeks and even just a couple days ago, everything was fine. All I know is that she had to deliver her 8lb 21in sleeping baby, and my heart hurts so bad for them.

    Reply
  • January 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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    So beautiful. You have no idea how comforting and how much it means that you are there for your patients like that. It’s been almost three years since I delivered my sleeping girl and every nurse I came into contact with was so amazing I don’t even have words to describe it. You felt our pain, you took care of us, you ushered my brother into an empty room when you came across him crying in the hallway. You told me my daughter was beautiful. Virtual strangers, yet you showed so much love.

    When we came back, almost a year to the day to deliver my daughter that I would get to bring home, you celebrated with us. You weren’t the nurses I had before, but now I know you were celebrating out daughter’s live birth after comforting someone else after their stillbirth. You held my hand and understood my tears that were tears of joy, sadness, and fear all in one.

    To this day I think of all my nurses that took care of me during both of my daughters’ births. Please know that your kindness stays with us long after your shift is over and we are discharged. Thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  • February 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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    Hello, this post really means a lot to me. When I was 18 my daughter was stillborn at 37 weeks. I remember every second of that day, calling the hospital because I was bleeding, realizing I was in labor on the way in, the triage nurse not finding the heartbeat, but mostly I remember my labor nurse who stayed with me the entire time. My mom was the only person I had with me but my nurse was my rock that whole day. It made me want to become a nurse and help people on the worst day of their lives. Now it’s 10 years later and I AM a nurse , I can appreciate that labor nurse even more. Thinking back on it I’m so sure she stayed well past when her shift was over. I came in there at 3am and delivered at 10:35 and she was there for every second. She reassured me I could get through labor even without the promise of a baby that gets most women through it. I’m pregnant again now, and I think about her even more. I will never in my life forget that woman, and I hope to help someone the way she helped me. Thank you for posting this.

    Reply
  • February 29, 2016 at 3:46 am
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    I am a Labor and Delivery Nurse.This is so true The feeling is so real. it brought tears to my eyes just thinking of the many patients I have cared for with a stillborn.It hurts all of us.Thank you for shareing

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  • March 16, 2016 at 10:54 pm
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    I had a stillborn daughter and I can still tell you the names of the three incredible nurses who got me through my delivery and the following days (Annie, Marigny and Emily). I still think of them often and certainly every time I pass the hospital. When I had my second daughter who was born living exactly one year later, Annie and Marigny were there for her delivery. They were such a source of comfort for me and I don’t know how I would have survived without them. I’ve had more hospital stays then I’d like to have had, and every time I am so incredibly thankful for the nurses, but never more than for those L&D nurses who got me through the darkest moments I’ve ever experienced. So thank you all for what you do.

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  • September 2, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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    I found this post last night while I was in the middle of writing an “Open Thank You” to the nurses that cared for me in July when we delivered our first son stillborn. I cried as I read it, thinking about the nurses who cared for us with such compassion during our time in the hospital, which was much longer than we were originally told (6 days – four attempting induction, then c-section and recovery). Those L&D nurses mean SO much to us. Thank you for what you do, and for sharing this story, and reminding us that nurses are human and feel the weight of our situation as well. You people are heroes and what you do matters so so much.

    You can read more in my open letter here: https://erinhaligowski.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/an-open-letter-to-our-health-care-providers/

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    • September 12, 2016 at 3:19 am
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      <3 I loved it. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I hope I can share your article!

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  • December 18, 2016 at 8:32 am
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    Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a non profit organization that provides free professional portraiture to parents suffering the loss of their infant. Together we can assist in the very long healing journey

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