sharing your stories and remembering your children
“The baby stopped growing. Here is where there should be a heartbeat,” the ultrasound tech told me as I lay on the table, half filled with hope, half expecting another loss. This was pregnancy number six, now a fifth pregnancy loss, a sixth loss in total, counting our foster daughter who passed away unexpectedly at 15 months old. I immediately asked to call my husband. There really were no words, but I needed to let him know. I needed to let someone who understood know.
We opted to wait a week for a repeat scan just because I had been here before. I knew my options, and I was nowhere near ready to make a split second decision. I wanted to miscarry naturally if my body would cooperate. At this time, one of our goals was to do genetic testing on our baby to see if we could determine a cause for another devastating loss. After two weeks of waiting, I opted to take Cytotec, a drug that induces labor by softening the cervix to produce contractions. Within six hours, our baby was born. There is nothing more demoralizing and humbling than bleeding and cramping over a strainer on the toilet in the middle of the night.
The next morning, after my husband and I had some time to think, talk, and reflect, we realized we really did not want to do genetic testing on our baby. We thought we would bury her, but we were in the midst of winter. We knew our baby would not last long-term in our fridge, and just knowing that fact was traumatic in its own right. I do not even know where I heard about it, but I remember hearing that many funeral homes will cremate a baby lost to miscarriage at no cost to the parents. I talked to my husband about this option, and he agreed with me that this would be the way to go.
The first funeral home that came to mind was the funeral home that cremated our foster daughter after she died. We called him, and he expressed his condolences and said he would come to our house that evening to retrieve our baby. The moment he left with our baby, I knew immediately we made the correct decision for our baby and our family. There was a “stillborn fetus” form we had to fill out and sign, but otherwise, it was a simple and healing process for us.
It did not take long to cremate our baby. We are still processing, but we know we will find a way to honor our baby and the life she never got to fully live. We are thankful for the funeral home who expressed such kindness and compassion, who offered hope and extended grace. It is healing to have our baby with us instead of not knowing where our baby would be if genetic testing had been done. I am thankful for an option other than flushing. This alone has brought about a semblance of closure, another step to healing, it makes this grief just a tad bit more bearable.
Submitted by an anonymous friend of the Early Pregnancy Loss Association.