Professionally trained birth & bereavement doula
Professionally trained birth & bereavement doula
Professionally trained birth & bereavement doula
Professionally trained birth & bereavement doula
Contributed by: Deana
As a part of the SBD News Team
The song Held by Natalie Grant is such a powerful song. I don’t know the intended meaning behind this song but this is what it means to me. Natalie is singing about the loss of a baby at 2 months old. She speaks about being held by a higher power, perhaps God, helping her through the pain and grief. She sings of the pain of losing something or someone so sacred and important to her. The grief process is not instant. It takes a lot of time. For her, it’s a nightmare that a baby would die. She doesn’t know why it would happen to someone, it’s unfair. There is a promise that you’ll be loved by those around you. Family, friends, God or another higher power are there to guide you and support you through the tough times. Slowly with time, you see tomorrow. Hope is here. You are held, and loved. Hope comes through the suffering of losing a baby, at any trimester. This song has been the song I listen to during tough times. It always calms me down and brings me back to God, and remember I am strong and can get through anything. We at Stillbirthday are here for you. We’ll hold you and support you in any way that we can.
Deana is a thanatology student at King’s University College, in London, Canada. She would like to work with families who have experienced prenatal, infant loss and pregnancy in any trimester. Starting in January 2014, she will begin her Stillbirthday Doula training.
Told by: Carissa
My due date was scheduled for November 30, but my specialist ended up wanting me to deliver at 37 weeks because of the previous stillbirth with having no cause to that they wanted to get him here. So to deliver early they wanted to perform an amniocentesis to make sure his lungs were matured enough before induction.
On Monday morning the 11th I went in to have the amnio done and I was to wait for results; if they came back positive I was being induced. So they performed the amnio and it was a fail; they could not get a sample and after 3 tries they stopped. My fluid was low and Little Bit moved a lot. So the doctor said it’s fine let’s just go ahead plus he had noticed my fluid being low he didn’t want to send me home like that anyway.
Induction started; I went in with an all natural birth plan , just pain meds I didn’t want an epidural. Due to my previous birth during the stillbirth I received an epidural and did not like the after affects I suffered, spinal headaches and ended up back at the hospital, no fun. So this round I didn’t want that.
So Tuesday came and contractions built up more, at 5 1/2 almost 6 cm dialated, I ended up giving in and received the epidural in tears at that moment because I failed my plan but realized he was coming and I just want to relax at this point.
After getting the epidural, contractions rising more I realized I felt the same before the epidural , I was feeling my contractions and the epidural was not working.
Lying there hurting and the thought that I gave into somthing I really didn’t want and it wasnt working.
At this point I’m angry upset crying because of that.
While all of this is going on Little One’s heart beat was irregular, so we were already watching that and my nerves were on edge, so bad I had to be put on oxygen to calm down and get the baby more oxygen.
The more I contracted and dilated his heart rate dropped then jumped up. At this point we have all the residents and specialists glued to the monitors to see if an emergency c section needed to happen. (mind you we weren’t at out local hospital, I was scheduled at another hospital so my baby and I would be near specialists).
After the wait, they rushed in and said we were going to go ahead and do it. I think I immediately went into a silent panic and at that point said I didn’t come this far to leave the hospital without a baby this time I was willing to give him my last breath if that is what it took.
It all happen so fast from my room to the OR.
Our sweet miracle rainbow baby was born Tuesday 11-12-13 at 11:50a perfectly healthy and a perfect regular heart beat at 6lbs and 6.2 ounces .
I said I would do it all over again and I would and I will.
HE IS HERE!
My husband and I are so thankful for what God has restored in our life. Our first born, ended in a tragedy but also allowed us to see joy and thankful for a sweet living angel in heaven to look down on his little brother and protect him. Our first born has brought our family closer and stronger and allowed us to be better and great parents before we were given the gift of his little brother, our rainbow baby Jayden Samuel Hunter.
After our loss last year this same time, I continued to pray the prayer of Hannah in the bible who couldn’t conceive children, but one day cried at the well and asked God to bless her with a son and that his life would be given back totally committed to the works of God and that son was Samuel the king the prophet.
That was special and that’s why we named our rainbow baby Jayden Samuel Hunter. Our king! Our God given prayer. He restores, and is miraculous in the most wonderful ways we can’t even fathom at times.
I love love love our stillbirthday.com family and wanted someone to know that even in a storm or loss comes great joy and happiness at the end. Hold on and don’t stop believing , it is possible I promise! Our family is living example if it ,my son Jayden is a living example, a beautiful rainbow from all of the storms we faced. Our treasure, our gift.
Told by: Veronica
I found out I was expecting baby #6 in March this year and was due Nov 14th 2013.
I was so excited to finally have my final baby. From the start I was worried something was off, our baby measured behind our first 3 appointments, but at our NT Scan our baby measured perfectly, I felt I could finally breath!
I mentioned at my next ob appointment that I kept feeling tightening in my lower belly like braxton hicks contractions, my OB told me to rest when I felt it and there wasn’t much to be done until I got to 20wks…on May 24th I went in for my elective scan and found out we were having a boy!
He would be my 4th son and I couldn’t wait. Later that evening I felt a gush and knew things were bad I was bleeding, I went to the ER and they did an ultrasound and showed my son very much alive still, but no one could see my cervix we still don’t have answers on what happened. I still remember the ER doctor that came in and told me I had a massive bleed and that I should expect to lose the Fetus…those words still ring in my ears I told her HE was a boy and a BABY not a Fetus, after all of this I was sent home to see what would happen…..
My Husband and I hardly slept that night and at 5:30 am on May 25th I got up and felt him descend. I caught him in my hands as he was born, Hudson Avery Hunter Wright was perfect in every way just far too early to even have a chance. He was only 15wks 2days. In those few moments after he was born he grabbed my pinky, scrunched his little face and that was it he was gone; we held him, talked to him…
I later went to the hospital to be checked out, since he was born at home I have only what few photos we took of him. As hard as all of this was to endure I have my faith that one day my boy and I will be together again God promises me that.
Told by: Valerie
My baby boy, Fraser, was stillborn, at term, on a rainy night, May 20th 1992.
We never dreamed this would be the terrible outcome of my 4th pregnancy. How was l going to tell his siblings…who were so excited for him to come home? We came home without him and l never thought l would recover but gradually life came back to me again…and my husband and our 3 children…we learned to live without our boy….he would have been 21 this year …he is safe in our hearts…how l would love to see him just one time…but l will someday, l know that…
We love and miss you every day Fraser, til we meet again, our precious boy…sleep well ♥♥♥♥♥♥
Told by: Roberta
My miscarriage story: If I went right to the very start of my story I’d begin where I have a bad ob/gyn history. I had massive fibroids which needed removed by surgery and before the operation I had injections to try to shrink them to a manageable size or I could die.
These injection brought on the menopause at the age of 28 but surgery was a sucess. Two years later on my thirtieth birthday my periods returned which my doctor says shouldn’t have happened but I’d still never conceive. I also met my now husband that week and for what seemed to be a life of misery I was on the up. I got married when I was 32. Five months later after numerous tests and stress I became pregnant. The hospital told me I wouldn’t make it to 12 weeks because I was to heavily scarred. They were wrong.
When I was 16 weeks I had a respiratory infection but hospital scanned me and there was my little bean bouncing away! The following week I felt my baby move for the first time, it felt like the baby was stretching! I got my strength back and at 19+ 2 went back to work. The next day while having lunch with my colleagues my back was aching but I thought I’d just overdid things so I went home and took some pain relief. That night after putting away shopping I went to the loo and my life changed, there was so much blood and a large clot, I just dropped to the floor and sobbed.
At the emergency obstetric unit the doc confirmed our fears, our bean had lost it’s life and with that I lost mine. The miracle I had fought for and that they told me I’d never conceive I’d lost.
The hospital had no beds for a week so I had to call everyday to explain I’d had a missed miscarriage to be told I couldn’t come in. Nature took over on day 4 and my water broke. After 11 hours I didn’t even realize I was in full labour and when the midwife asked if she could take a look I just felt this strange rush; she put her hand on my knee and said “it’s over, don’t look down!” I didn’t.
After the doctors doing their part and getting me more medication I was asked if I wanted to see my baby; I said yes. This was a massive deal for me, I have a fear of anything dead but I had to see my child. The midwife, Fiona, brought me a little basket the size of my shoe and inside was my tiny baby. Fiona asked if I wanted a picture but I couldn’t, decomposition had already begun. She then told me it was a boy, my son, we named him Harry. She said he was 15+1gestation, but how could that be right, I felt him moving after that time? I asked if I could hold him but I wasn’t allowed because his skin was to thin so I just touched his little blanket and broke my heart into my husbands arms. I asked for a post mortem, I needed to know what happened to the boy I was told I was never to have.
We went home but it was empty, I was empty. My arms should have had my baby in them but instead I had a box with hand and foot prints a blanket and a teddy. A few weeks later I had his name tattooed on my arm and we bought a plaque at the cemetery and had it inscribed Baby Harry Swain born sleeping 4.5.12 Always loved never forgotten. It arrived a week before we received the pm results.
Harry had Edwards syndrome, a genetic condition where the 18th chromosome triples rather than doubles but worse of all, Harry was female. Details of how this mistake was made are too graphic but I understood how it was made. I suffered after that numerous panic attacks, I started drinking just to get some sleep and had thoughts of self harm, I was broken. I didn’t want to part with Harry’s ashes but my husband couldn’t cope with keeping them so we agreed to scatter the ashes in the garden of remembrance on the day our plaque was erected. We had a few family members with us and I remember feeling a release of some of the anger I had, not only towards the loss but the anger, anxiety and hatred I had for myself so rather than a day of mourning, I went to the local shops and bought food and drinks for my family and we had a lovely afternoon of laughter and chatting. It was also the day before my husbands birthday so we partied on into the wee hours. I still was very low at times and still had the odd drink for Dutch courage to get through the day.
But that soon stopped, when I realised I was binging not only on alcohol but pizza and fast food, I was pregnant again, eight months after my baby lost her life on the day I let her go she gave me the ultimate gift. Life. I was terrified, could I face this happening again? That was 10 months ago and now that life Harry gave me is truly a miracle. Her little brother Aaron is 8 weeks old and my purpose for living, and may I say an absolute nightmare with sleeping and feeding patterns, but I’d have it no other way! While Aaron is all I could have asked for my heart still yearns for his sister. It always will. We will never forget her x
On October 7, Krystal Scoggs gave birth to her fifth child, a son.
He was born in the fifth month of pregnancy: approximately 18-21 gestation weeks.
After the birth, Krystal needed medical attention, and has been hospitalized for several weeks. She and her husband have four surviving children, who have been under the care of their grandparents during this time.
On November 6, news networks reported an investigation at the Scoggs’ home which was related to a stolen vehicle and marijuana paraphernalia.
Because Mr. Scoggs gave permission into the investigation, a blue tub was discovered, which appears to have been in their shed, filled with cement.
The cement held their baby, who was not born alive.
The family have expressed their desire to create a special memorial for their baby, but with Krystal’s physical health requiring weeks of medical attention, they have postponed this until both parents can participate together.
Without support such as our birth plans, doulas, and postpartum support, it is entirely plausible that Krystal might have needed medical attention for substantial postpartum blood loss in particular, given this was her fifth pregnancy, and the time in gestation in which her son was born.
Without information like we provide here at stillbirthday through our farewell celebration resources, cement might have seemed to be an affordable way of holding the baby in a way that would be in consideration of sanitation and decomposition issues.
Their loss is being reported as “an alleged miscarriage” which is still in conjunction to the fifth month of pregnancy the family has reported.
Investigators, however, are painting a frightening story, neighbors are feeling suspicious and have been quoted as fearing their lives, and the prosecutor involved went on record as stating, “To have infant remains in concrete [in a] bucket — that’s why there’s a law against doing that,” clearly depicting the family’s response to their loss as not only unnatural, but illegal.
Actually, section 194.378 of Missouri Revised Statutes states that
In every instance of fetal death, the mother has the right to determine the final disposition of the remains of the fetus, regardless of the duration of the pregnancy. The mother may choose any means of final disposition authorized by law or by the director of the department of health and senior services.
(L. 2004 H.B. 1136)”
This is further expanded upon in Section 194.387 which states that the mother is also entitled to counseling services.
So what does the mother say?
“The only reason my baby was not in the ground and my husband is being accused of abandonment of a corpse is because I begged my husband to wait until I was healthy enough and strong enough to finish it (the memorial) hand-in-hand with him together,” she said.
When she was asked why they didn’t call 911 after her alleged miscarriage, she said there was no reason to.
“It’s a natural act of Mother Earth, it’s something that happens every day,” she said.
The fact remains that this family has stated that they intend to memorialize and honor their son, together.
Mr. Scroggs, though, is being charged with abandonment of a corpse, and will appear in court on December 12.
What to do, if a family legitimately wants to memorialize their deceased baby, who died via miscarriage, in a family in which four other children are loved and cared for by two generations of adults? What to do when finances are a factor, when the mother’s health is a factor, when sanitation makes time a factor, when honoring their baby to the best of their ability means using cement to hold him until the family finds the right place to honor him?
The verdict isn’t in yet. I am not an investigator in this case and I don’t know what else they’ll find. But they do not have enough evidence right now to paint this family as murderers, scare their entire community, which will have years of repercussions, and show the bereaved community – of which I am a part – as some bizarre, mentally unstable, creepy people who do unnatural things to our young and to ourselves.
Giving birth to a baby who is not alive? That is unnatural. That is not normal. That is not right.
But, it is common.
Wanting to memorialize a baby who is not alive, wanting to hold a farewell celebration in which both parents can attend, is an acceptable and responsible thing to do.
Using what resources you have, given the best of your ability and knowledge at a moment of chaos and despair, is an acceptable and responsible thing to do.
If it does turn out that these are the circumstances, my love goes to this family enduring such a catastrophic turn of events in an already impossibly overwhelming time.
And if not, may the news coverage update rapidly to include any new findings, because the implications in the current portrayal of, truly, an entire global community of bereaved parents, is unacceptable. Criminalizing bereavement is an atrocity.
May we all become more open to talking about pregnancy and infant loss, because it is not normal, it is not natural, and because it is common.
Professionally trained birth & bereavement doula, serving the St. Louis area