It was a sad sad night


I lost my first little one last night. It was much harder than I thought is was going to be. I have been his primary nurse since he was born and gotten to know mommy really well. It really hasn't quite hit me yet because the night was just total chaos.

How do ya'll deal with the death of a baby? I've been there with adults, but a baby is so much harder.


nursedawn67, LPN

1,046 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

I wish I could help you on that one, I deal in Geriatrics. But all I can tell you is take it day by day and talk about it with someone. Also here's a (((HUG)))!


1,961 Posts


I can't imagine the things you see and go through. You are a very special person to do what you do.

I was walking through the newborn nursery yesterday, and found a limp, very blue baby. I performed some very vigorous tactile stimulation (actually, it felt like I was beating that poor baby up....) and gave some o2, but the wonderful NICU people were there and took over before I had a chance to breathe myself.

Hugs to you, and all of the wonderful things you do for all of those special little people. I'm shaken enough from my own experience, I can't imagine what you're feeling now.



206 Posts

Thank you so much for your thoughts. It helps to know that there is support when I need it. It means a lot.


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

((((((((((((HEATHER333)))))))))) :kiss

Talk about your loss.....and nursing when we lose a matter the age of the IS our loss.....because we care.....we gave them our best. Allow yourself to grieve that loss, and say a prayer for the family who will live with that loss the rest of their natural lives. :kiss

I've been lucky that I've only lost one patient so far. Very sad. I can only say I hope it doesn't get easier because it would make me a hard hearted person and then I shouldn't be a nurse.

I recently had a talk with the chaplin at our hospital about caring for a baby with brain death. Beautiful child, but he is just a shell. We are all so tired of caring for babies like this and it felt good to unload on him. Do you have someone at your facility who can do the same. You don't need to be a patient or a church goer to use the hospital chaplin.


365 Posts

I agree with cheerfuldoer, a loss at any age is very personal to us. When I loose one of my elderly residents, I grieve for them but at least I know that they made it through a long life and had a chance to live their dreams. I could never deal with the loss of a child. All nurses are very special, no matter what field they are in. We have no choice but to leave a little of us with each person we care for. It's okay to grieve but just remember the good you have done, how your presence in this childs life mattered and move forward to the next little one that needs you. You are in my thoughts.

sbic56, BSN, RN

1,437 Posts

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Psych. Has 24 years experience.


I still find it so very hard when a baby dies. There is nothing you can do except be there for the parents, but that means a whole lot to them. Still, it is such a helpless feeling when you just can't do more. Is there some type of review process that the care providers go through on your unit? This is helpful and necessary so you can have an official vent time and a chance to go over with your peers exactly what occurred and how you all feel about it. You never get used to it, but it does help to keep communication open and ongoing.


272 Posts


It is very hard to lose a little one. Dawn's suggestion is a good one. Also, do something special for yourself as a way of grieving and for all of the care you put into that baby.

It seems they have thrown you into the fire very early in your orientation...


Two years ago, my husband and I almost lost our first son. He spent a week in the NICU. He was born with pneumonia and had jaundice to boot. He spent four days under the lights and 7 days on antibiotics. My mom had noticed the difference in him and called in the nurse. he was admitted to the NICU 2 hours later. We are both greatful for all of the nurses that worked day and night to help our child. My son had on of the best doctors that the airforce had to offer in pediatrics. You have bad days, but then you have great days. Ours was when we got to bring him home!Keep doing what you are doing!!:kiss


1,334 Posts

Specializes in NICU.


I know that very feeling. Although I wasn't on orientation when I lost my first one, I was still fairly new. It was a tiny baby, but was doing well. I had become very close and friendly with the parents. They had called early in my shift for an update on the baby. I updated that she was fine, no changes from the afternoon when they had been to see her. Within a few hours, all hell broke loose and we worked on her for several hours. Total chaos. We had to call the parents at about 4AM because we were losing the fight and the baby was going downhill. The poor little thing was dead from sepsis and DIC by 5AM.

So so sad to lose a baby, let alone one who you had strong feelings for. I felt the need to explain to the parents that she honestly was fine when they had called-- I sort of felt guilty. But they were appreciative-- they had arrived and seen several of us in a flurry around her bed. They knew we worked hard for her.

You will start to feel better with time. Luckily our job really is more good outcomes than bad. Take comfort that you fought your hardest to help the baby. These things happen. Have a good cry and go back to work and talk about it with your coworkers that were there that night. It helps. And for sure don't let one bad night deter you from being a NICU nurse.

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