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Forum: Stillbirth

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  #1  
October 3rd, 2009, 06:20 AM
Gayle's Avatar Veteran
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A lady on another board that I go has a question and wanted to see if you ladies could come up with some ideas. She lost twins and is trying to help other people who have lost their child due to stillborn. Thanks in advance.



I was just talking to the director at my hospital and she says that almost half of the women who have perinatal loss refuse the mementos that the hospital gives to them.

I will have to check mine to be sure; but its a small box, with some literature, a card, a poem, and a tiny "outfit".

Can you think of any reasons why I mother would refuse such a ? I would like to work with the director to create more substantial boxes for perinatal loss moms, but knowing why they are refusing the boxes is the first step.

The only 2 reasons I can think of is 1. a Language Barrier, the mom's misunderstand and think it will cost extra money. 2. maybe its bad luck to hold on to things regarding death

We have a high Armenian, Hispanic and Korean population here. Also, the hospital is faith based (Adventist).

If any of you can think of why they would refuse it I would appreciate some insight. Also, please feel free to repost this at any other loss boards you are a part of. I don't really belong to any anymore.

Thanks again.
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  #2  
October 3rd, 2009, 06:45 AM
Brittanie's Avatar just me
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Wow, no, I can't think of any other reasons besides the ones you posted. It never occurred to me to refuse mine, but I'm sure cultural differences do make a lot of difference.
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  #3  
October 3rd, 2009, 08:24 AM
noworries
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I think that some people think it will be easier not to have anything around to remind them of what happened...as sad as that is, I've heard of women not wanting anything that will remind them.
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  #4  
October 3rd, 2009, 01:13 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Yeah, some people don't think they want to be reminded. Usually they'll regret it later.

I work with a group who makes gift boxes for mother's with kids in the NICU and for mom's who have lost a child. Usually the gifts are accepted, but not always. It always suprises me when they are not accepted, but it is still a wonderful thing to offer.

ETA: Maybe they shouldn't just "offer" them but rather give them without asking. If they don't want them for real, they'll give them back. Most would just take it home and think they'd throw it away at home, but will realize when they get there that they really do want it.
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  #5  
October 3rd, 2009, 02:20 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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They may refuse the gift because they were in denial. They wanted to locl away their pain, forget their loss, these are common feelings. When we made the decision to terminate Ethan's pregnancy due to his illness, we were offered the choice between an abortion and labor induction. The doctor recommended induction so we could meet Ethan. We were HORRIFIED - why would we want to hold our dead baby? I'm ashamed to say we wanted an abortion, we just wanted to end the pregnancy and move on. But we needed an autopsy to get some answers as to why Ethan was so very sick, so we were "forced" to induce. That weekend before the induction, I scoured the internet and found this site among others. I read story after story where women found meeting their babies to be healing. Now, 7 months after saying goodbye, I cannot imagine not having had the chance to meet my son, to take his footprints and outfit home with me.

There's also the cultural aspect. The US is largely an individualist culture, that emphasizes individual rights and freedom of expression. In collectivist cultures, like the ones you mentioned, it is common that stillborn babies are not treated like individuals, they are instead perceived as failed pregnancies, so keeping baby items may seem bizarre to members of those cultures.

I'm not sure if my rambling made sense, but I used to be a psychologist and before that an anthropologist, so that's my take on it.
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  #6  
October 3rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
littlebeansmommy's Avatar Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahBethsMommy View Post
ETA: Maybe they shouldn't just "offer" them but rather give them without asking. If they don't want them for real, they'll give them back. Most would just take it home and think they'd throw it away at home, but will realize when they get there that they really do want it.
This is how it was for me. We were given the option to call NILMDTS to take pictures, and at first I was positive I didn't want them, but I'm definitely glad that I got them taken now, it's a special memory for me. But we were not given the option of a memory box. As we were getting ready to leave after being discharged, the nurse brought in the blanket our DS was wrapped in for the pictures as well as a small box. There was no, would you like this, it was: this is for you. I started to look through it on the way home, until I got to his lock of hair the nurses had cut, and totally lost it. It took a couple of days till I could look over everything, and a couple more weeks till I could examine the contents without losing it. I like that it wasn't an option. In my grief I don't know if I would have taken it

Now I don't know what is in the boxes each one of us got, but in mine we had a lock of hair, the cards with his footprints and date/time of birth and length/weight on it, (just like the other newborns get), a small outfit and heart pillow (we used our own so they kept it in the box), the hat he wore in the hospital for pictures, the measuring tape used to take his length measurement, as well as several pictures they took of him using the hospital camera. I believe it also had a card signed by the nurses on duty that night/day.

I think if women are not given the option of taking it, they will at some point appreciate those little touches that volunteers and nurses put into them. I store other little momentoes of my DS in that box as well....it is his and only his.
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  #7  
October 3rd, 2009, 09:19 PM
Brittanie's Avatar just me
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I wasn't given the choice for Cora's box either. The nurse put it on my side table, and said "This is a memory box for you." I didn't even look in it until I got home. Most of what was in it is now in her scrapbook, but inside is a hat & booties that someone crocheted and the hospital tshirt that they give every baby.
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  #8  
October 4th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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I definitely think women dont really have enough time to digest whats going on. I was lucky in a sense that I had 2 weeks to figure out what I wanted/didn't want to do because in the beginning I didn't think I even wanted to see him, nevermind hold him or get pictures. Through research and you ladies I realized I -needed- certain things. Like to hold him, see him, to take anything I could to remember him. Even at the hospital I wasn't sure I wanted pictures, so the nurse told me they would take them and it took a couple weeks to get them in so if I decided I wanted them I could have them, if not no biggy.

I definitely think it should be a given thing, not a question. I can't even imagine the number of women that regret not having any mementos of their little angels.
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  #9  
October 4th, 2009, 05:50 PM
grlpisces's Avatar Dynamite w/ a laser beam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaBellski View Post
I definitely think women dont really have enough time to digest whats going on.
This was my situation. I didn't have any time to digest what was going on. One afternoon, the doctor couldn't detect Noah's heartbeat. The very next morning, he and Julia were delivered via C-section. Two hours later, I held Noah for about 10 minutes before they had to whisk him away because we asked for an autopsy. Somewhere in there, we talked to a funeral director. Somewhere in there, we talked to the chaplain. And somewhere in there, I remembered that I was a mom to a living daughter.

Memory boxes? Photographs? Those were the furthest things from my mind. Did I want to meet Noah? Yes I did. But at the moment, that is the extent of it. The hospital never mentioned NILMDTS and we had not known about them. Nobody offered to take pictures of us as a family and it never occurred to us to ask. While we did get his footprints, it never occurred to me to ASK for them (nor did it occur to me to ask for handprints, something I wish we also had). They just gave them to us.

The hospital also gave us a leaflet on grief, the little wicker baby basket the nurse used to carry Noah over to us, the blanket he was wrapped in, and the little stuffed bear they posed him with. I am very grateful and thankful for those mementos now, but at the time, they'd have meant nothing to me because I was so overcome with grief and sadness.
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  #10  
October 4th, 2009, 10:01 PM
Sebastians_mom
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The memory box we got for Sebastian was not offered, it was something that was just given to us as we were leaving the hospital. It had a cd with all the photo's the nurses took of us as he was dying, his hospital bracelet, a small gown and hat, the blanket we held him in after he passed away, a little blue bear, pictures, hand and foot prints, and some information on grief. Also when we went to the funeral home the next week they had more pictures that were taken of him after we left and a plaster set of his footprints for us to pick up.

None was offered, just given, it took me a few weeks to even open but now I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have these items. Strangely my husband has never wanted to look in the box and I've never shown anyone else.
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