we lost a baby today

  1. We lost a baby today. My first and the doctors first. Strip looked great all the way. No one knows what happened. It was devastating for all involved. The poor parents were in shock along with the staff. I can't imagine that this will ever get easier.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I am so sorry to hear that Cindy. Unfortunately I don't think it does get any easier.
  4. by   nograd
    Cindy,

    The loss of a child is so devistating and unexplainable even when there is a medical diagnosis. This is something that I feel will never get easier, and probibly shouldn't.

    We lost a mother last year, it doesn't get easier, but time begins to heal the extreem emotions of the event.

    Does your hospital have chaplin support? We did an M&M after this incident, allowing those directly involved to discuss, and vent over the loss. Talk to your co-workers, I am sure that someone has had to deal with this in the past and can be an invaluable support to you.

    So sorry for those poor parents.

    You all are in my thoughts.

    {{{{HUGS}}}}
    Nicole
  5. by   AudreySN
    I'm really sorry to hear that. You have to think that there was a reason even if you don't know what it is. I know that that doesn't make it any easier but you can't think that it's your fault. Right now it hurts but eventually it will get better, the same as if it were a member of your family. Talk with someone about the way you feel and that may help you a little. Over time it doesn't go away but it does get a little better.-Good luck!
  6. by   Cindy-OB RN/CCE
    Thanks everyone for the support. We had a meeting last night for staff to vent and it helped alot. Autopsy showed a tight knot in the cord. We still don't know why the strips looked good all the way to the end.
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    I am so sorry for you. It never gets easier but you will be able to so much more appreciate how to deal with it. Cry if you need to. I wrote a poem once for a retiring "old salt" nurse and one line was:
    Long ago, one night shift,
    I encountered my first fetal demise,
    and Pat caught me trying to be strong,
    she found me wiping my eyes.
    I truly tried to hide it,
    since nurses "must" be strong,
    but Pat told me not to do that
    and that approach was wrong.
    It's who you are and what you bring
    to your patients,
    It's YOU you share,
    that lets patients see your compassion
    and lets them know you care,
    so have your cry and feel it,
    do whatever you have to do,
    then lets get back to business,
    we have a lot of work to do...

    I remember my very first baby loss. I was removed from it somehow. I was watching it and this was a demise we knew of. I saw them try to remove the fetus and it was so macerated that I actually saw the skull fall apart. I recall everyone but me was crying. I somehow put it out of my mind.
    Nearly a year later, we had a patient come in who was visiting from Africa. She hadn't felt well all day and as soon as I put her on the monitor I knew there was going to be a problem. The fh steadily decreased to that ominous tone known so well to all of us ob nurses (do doot...do doot...)Beautiful baby who never came around. I was strong....
    The next week, a similar problem. Baby dies....I'm strong...
    Month after that, once again....I'm strong ( I think)
    Finally one of the nurses who had been there awhile came up to me and said "Give me the baby Mo". I countered with "I'm fine."
    She was silent for a moment and then came over to me and gently hugged me...That was it, tears spilled out of me. Grief for that baby and the first one a year before.
    That nurse did the right thing. I needed someone to "help" me in a way only a seasoned nurse can.
    Sometimes you have to give in to your grief. Each experience is a learning exercise.
    Following that episode, we had a full term pt come in with a known demise to be pitted. No one said anything, but by that time I had finally learned that you don't HAVE to say somethng. I went in, hugged her , and said simply, "If you give a hug, you get a hug." She said nothing and didn't even return my glance.
    6 months following that experience I got a letter at work with a handmade magnet decorated with that particular phrase. That had to be 12 years or so ago. It is still proudly and poignantly displayed on my locker. The sole notation on the attached card said simply, Thankyou.....We do make a difference in ways we just don't comprehend sometimes.....We all have those special stories, lessons....
    Just give yourself by being yourself. Your patients will appreciate you for it...Sorry to take so much time....
  8. by   duckie
    I have to say I greatly admire those of you that work in this area, for it would be more than I could handle. Loosing one of my elderly residents is painful enough but at least I know thay have lived a good life. I am so sorry for the pain you must be feeling.
  9. by   mother/babyRN
    I think it hurts wherever you work. Sometimes you have to wonder. When I worked in cardiac care I had an elderly gentleman tell me he had lived a good life and was ready to die. He was most concerned about his family, who couldn't accept that he was ready to go...He and I cried together for awhile and then he thanked me for spending time with him that he knew I didn't have...He also told me he knew I was bound by duty to call a code and begged me to walk slowley back to the desk as he was going to take a "nap" He also told me he understood if I had to "do something". About 15 minutes later his monitor sounded and I ran in to find him non responsive....I could NOT code him so the other nurses started. The er doc who responded actually listened to what the patient had told me and, though I never got a chance to tell the family his thoughts expressed to me at the time, elected to call off the code. The er doc, unknown to me, had recently lost her own husband, and called it off right away.
    It ended up being a "beautiful" death, because the patient was calm, restful and had his wished honored....Will never forget it. I even remember that his name was Charlie...Each pt teaches us something....
  10. by   CANRN
    I worked as a supervisor in small hospital. A mother came to us during the night and it was reported to me that she had "gall stones" which explained the abd. pain she was having. She was 33 weeks. During my first rounds, it was reported that the ultra sound showed small gall stones, the surgeon said could wait until after she delivered.
    Later I went back, the OB nurses were in a tizzy, no fetal heart tones. The baby died, unexplained. As the OB nurses and doctors took the mother to deliver by C-section, I stayed with the father until other family could come. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, he had so many questions and I had no answers.

    That event changed my views on nursing. I almost left completely. It's been almost three years and it's getting better.

    Dealing with death can sometimes be a good thing, but when it is a child, it never is. My hats off to all OB nurses, Your all so awesome!
  11. by   mother/babyRN
    Thankyou from one OB nurse, and the same goes for you! I have to tell you at NO time, even having been approached, could I or would I EVER consider being a supervisor. YOU guys have difficult jobs and I just HATE having to be the "bad" guy.....
  12. by   aus nurse
    I sympathise with you all..a tragic area to work in when something goes wrong.

    I thought I would share this with you as it will be in my mind forever. I work in a small hospital where everybody knows everybody. A few years back the sister of one of our RN's came in for a Caesar. It was elective and was for when the baby is too big for a normal delivery. (You can tell I'm not an obs nurse!)
    She arrested in theatre, due to an anaphalaxysis to Haemecell. Everyone was involved as it is a small place, but she died.
    They got the baby out in time, a little girl.
    It was devastating as you can imagine. It was so hard to offer any comfort when we were numb ourselves.
    As I always say, "there is no rhyme or reason to this life".
    Heamecell has since been banned in this state, we now use Gelofusin instead.

    God bless you all, you see much more of it than I.
  13. by   Mary Dover
    (((((((Cindy)))))))) I am so sorry for what happened. This is one reason I could not go into L&D. I don't think I would be able to handle that. But there is a reason you are there, maybe you know, maybe only God knows. A nurse with your kind of heart is obviously where she is supposed to be.
    A few years after graduation from nursing school, one of my classmates (who had waited to meet her career goal before having a baby), arrested during a C-section, and died later. I had lost touch with her after school, but was deeply saddened nonetheless when I heard the news.
    I have learned though, that Psych nursing doesn't go without heartbreak either. There are far more incidents than I care to recall. The most recent happened just this past week. A gentleman who fit the 'high risk' category for suicide (wm>65with chronic pain/medical problems, including TIAs), had just been hospitalized last week for an apparent OD attempt, which he and his family denied was intent to suicide. I had some phone contact with the ER doc at the time he was admitted to ICU on Thursday. I was out of the office on Fri. and Mon. so that by the time he was medically cleared and ready for discharge, one of my coworkers (who is not a nurse but a fantastic social worker), ended up doing the follow up for possible further disposition. While reading the paper here on Tuesday, I learned that this same man had been found dead on Monday afternoon, drowned in a pond behind his house. Sadly, his grandson found him. To unnerve me even more, it happened that this man lived only ONE BLOCK from me. They found his shoes and coat on the bank of the pond. The family is still apparently in denial that he was suicidal and who knows - with the hx of TIAs, maybe it wasn't suicide. But when I put the whole picture together, including what I was told by the ER doc about his hx, including tx with antidepressants, and possible previous attempt, in my heart I believe it was. I sat here feeling like someone had knocked the breath out of me when I read the story. What might have been different if I had been the one to see this man and his family on Monday, instead of my coworker? (Although, I read her documentation and it was clear she did a fantastic job in her assessment). Also, I thought, this man might have been one of the older people that I so frequently see walking around my neighborhood. What if I had just casually spoken to or started a conversation with him on an evening walk? Would I have picked up on something?
    Bottom line is - as nurses we have an unspoken desire to 'save the world' I believe. But we can't. And we can't beat ourselves up when there are sad endings. If we do, we may entertain thoughts such as "why did I ever get into this?". Overall, we are here for perhaps a much more subtle reason. We may not understand it, but I believe God knows why He chose to send each of us to our specialty area. He knows what we are made of, and what we are capable of. If He brings us to it, He will bring us throught it. Just my 2 cents.
    Mary
  14. by   mother/babyRN
    What if? Such a question for answers that never come...Still, it helps me to remember the people God put me in the path to assist...Each patient has a story and teaches a lesson....

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