First of all, I wish I could fix it, or at least be there for you. I wish you had never heard of me and you were not on this page. My heart goes out to you.
Second, know that you are not alone. This is a sad path that you walk alone, and yet so many of us have walked a similar one. If you need someone to talk to, please contact us. We see you and we love you.
Here are some things I wish I had been aware of when it was my turn. Please do what is best for you and your family.
- Take pictures. They will be hard to look at, but there will be a lot more regret not taking them than taking them. One of my favorite pictures in the whole wide world is the one I got of our whole family. It’s the only one we will ever have, and I treasure it. Even if you never look at the pictures again, it is a comfort to have them. This one is another one of my favorites.
- Enjoy your time with your baby. “Enjoy” seems like a strange way to put it, but nowadays I long for a chance to hold my baby again and kiss him and hug him. Feel his weight in your arms. Talk to him. Sing to him. Sleep with him. It feels strange at the time, but knowing that you held him as long as you could will mean a lot later.
- Think about what you want to bury with him and how to dress him. If you need to order anything, now is the time to make sure it will get to you in time.
- Ask for help. The nurses sadly usually have experience with this sort of situation and can help with dressing your baby, taking pictures, and fielding visitors. They also might have some suggestions for planning a funeral service and finding a local funeral home to work with.
- Get footprints. Get casts of his hands and feet.
- Protect your time with your baby. Don’t feel bad about not inviting people you don’t want there. Ask someone else to spread the news for you and be your point of contact. Do not answer phone calls or texts unless you want to. This time is all you will get.
Once again, I am so sorry you are here. You will get through this awful thing one minute, one hour at a time.
If you have any other ideas for people going through infant loss, please comment below.