Your baby’s death will have repercussions throughout your life. Right now, it may be difficult to imagine life beyond these moments and you may wonder how anyone else has ever survived this tragedy. We can assure you that you will find a way through this tragedy.
Going home for the first time after the death of your baby can seem incredibly scary. Instead of going home with your baby in your arms, you may suddenly feel the magnitude of the emptiness that their death has left in your heart.
Try to think of how you can ease yourself into going home. Maybe you can ask a couple of family members or friends to be there or to stay so that the house doesn’t feel so empty. You could ask someone to tidy up if you had to leave in a hurry to get to the hospital. You might also want to think about your baby’s room and whether or not you would like someone to pack up all of your baby’s things or simply to close the door until you’re ready to see the room again. It’s important to tell family and friends whether you would like them to touch the baby’s room or not. Some people may think it would be easier or best if you don’t have to see your baby’s things but you may feel incredibly distressed if the room you had been putting together so lovingly is suddenly empty.
Take your time to make these decisions and don’t worry about changing your mind. Everyone will understand your need to make decisions about going home without your baby and facing the days after their death in your own way and in your own time.
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Time moves forward and eventually, you will find that you do too. You might feel it is unfair that once the funeral is over, the world returns to normal and everyone appears to have forgotten that your baby has died. It may not seem fair to move forward with your life without your baby in your arms either. Guilt at still being alive and moving through your grief can be overpowering but be kind to yourself. You are allowed to take breaks from grieving and you are allowed to wake up some mornings and forget for a few moments that your baby has died. It will happen and when it does, don’t be angry. You’re not forgetting; you’re healing. Remember your baby in those moments and acknowledge that they will never be forgotten.
To help conquer feelings of despair, reach out to your loved ones and talk about your precious baby. Acknowledge your baby by using their name, by talking about who they looked more like, and how much they are missed. You can also register your baby’s birth on our website, send images of your precious baby to us and send us your story. Remember, only you can keep your baby’s memory and presence in your life alive. Don’t worry so much about causing others discomfort when you mention your stillborn baby. You are still a parent to that baby.
Many parents are anxious about whether they can ever have a healthy baby in the future following stillbirth. If there were genetic reasons found for the stillbirth of your baby, you may need further testing. However, generally there is much reason for hope moving forward and it is best to meet with your doctor or health care team to discuss the investigation into your baby’s stillbirth and what it means for the future.