infant loss- keeping baby in room

  1. I know this was discussed a while back. but i wanted to add this.

    There was a woman on the Today show talking about her story of losing three babies and having a L&D nurse become a surrogate for her. She mentions the hospital allowed her the time to grieve with that last baby for two days. and now she is working on a project called Jacob's room to put these grieveing rooms in all hospitals.
    Anyway it's very good. take a look
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    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 148; Likes: 4


  3. by   adrienurse
    my m-i-l is on the committee to build a grieving room in her NICU. I htink it's so important to the dignity of the parents. Apparently there's a lot of pressure sometimes not to offend the sensibilities of other parents by acknowledging that babies do die sometimes. I mean :icon_roll
  4. by   JentheRN05
    That was beautiful and inspiring. I personally have repeatedly thought about being a surrogate mom. My biggest problem would be delivering a baby and handing it away. I decided even though I would love to do that. I do not have it in me to be that person.
    Better that I choose that then make a mistake and do it only to want the baby once it's born.
  5. by   33-weeker
    we don't have a level iii, just i & ii, so we rarely deal with death in the nicu. we do have demises from time to time in l&d.

    together, the nursery & l&d team (whomever has time) cleans and dresses the baby in a nice outfit - either one the parents bring or one donated to our unit - then we take tastefull pictures as the condition of the baby allows. the one pose that i think is my favorite is the one where the place the baby prone and cross the little ankles. the then photograph the feet and little butt sticking up. it is so cute. this is really helpful when the condition of the baby's face is not so good.

    we have people decorate little boxes either with paint or fabric & lace and donate them. we choose one that's appropriate and fill it with all the little momentos - bracelet, blanket, clothes, tiny stuffed animal (often photographed with the baby) and a tiny picture of the baby in a frame. there is a little poem they include, too.

    we also press the baby's little feet into playdough that has been pressed smooth into a small round bowl. we cut a straw in half and place both pieces in the top about 1/2 inch apart to save holes for ribbon later.

    after the dough dries some (but not cracking yet) we mix up plaster of paris and pour it in. when it hardens, we flip it out, gently wipe of the playdough and tie a pink or blue ribbon bow through the holes. when it dries some more, we write the baby's stats on the back. the plaster impression looks as though the little feet are coming up out of the plaster, since the impression is reversed. the ink on them transfers some, too. the mother can actually feel shape of her baby's feet by touching it. it is so beautiful.

    our manager takes the digital camera we used and prints out the pictures on nice photo paper with a quality printer, then she presents the whole thing to the family.

    we offer mothers the chance to hold their baby as long as they wish. we also put a special card with the picture of a white rose on it outside their door. this lets anyone entering the room know they lost their baby.
  6. by   tamrnmomof4
    You need to che ck out this site <a href="" target="_blank">Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep</a><p>Infant bereavement photography allowing families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives.

  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    I just visited the website and it was so beautiful it reduced me to tears.

    How incredibly thoughtful that an organization solicited photographers to take these pictures in such trying times.

    Just beautiful
  8. by   hica19
    Oh wow, these stories are so beautiful! I'm not in OB or NICU right now, but when I was still in college, I joined a nursing sorority. Our biggest event each year was our spring fashion show in which we raise money for charity. Each year is a different charity. This last year's fashion show right before I graduated, we raised money for a support group that helps families after they lose a baby before, during, or after birth. And it was this fashion show that we raised the most money ever so far!
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    I think the "door marker" is very important. My friend's daughter-in-law had to have labor induced at 20 weeks b/c the baby lost all of the amniotic fluid.

    One employee (they don't know if it was a nurse or not) came in and said, "Wow, you sure are back in shape really quickly".

    They didn't know that the "quack" of a doctor kept her in the hospital for 3 days trying to get her to deliver a 20 week fetus, and then when they asked to hold it they were told, "it was not appropriate" and asked that they not ask for further details.

    It was such a shame.
  10. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    I think the "door marker" is very important. My friend's daughter-in-law had to have labor induced at 20 weeks b/c the baby lost all of the amniotic fluid.

    One employee (they don't know if it was a nurse or not) came in and said, "Wow, you sure are back in shape really quickly".

    They didn't know that the "quack" of a doctor kept her in the hospital for 3 days trying to get her to deliver a 20 week fetus, and then when they asked to hold it they were told, "it was not appropriate" and asked that they not ask for further details.

    It was such a shame.
    Wow, how very sad. The international symbom for infant loss, I believe it's a leaf with a teardrop - I may have it backward but I know it when I see it. It's something that all hospitals have or should have, and I don't know why it wasn't used in that case. It's used to deter conversations as the one stated above.

    As far as allowing parents to hold the baby: I think that the handled it in the wrong way. The nurses at our hospital tell the parent what they will see if the baby has gross deformities. Once they are advised of this, it's the parent's choice to make. Often times the deformities are covered up but the perfect parts (hands and feet) are shown, and then the parents decide for themselves if they will look at the deformities. This example is for the one listed above, the 20 week demise. If the babies are further along and demise is due to a cord accident, etc., the babies are dressed and brought into the parents who can spend as much time as they want with the baby.

    I've seen the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep website and I think that's wonderful. In fact, the website is a sticky in the NICU forum.

    The idea of a grieving room for NICU is wonderful as well. In the hospital where I work, they can draw the curtain around the bed, but parents may be crying and it may upset others. I think it'd be awesome to have a place for parents to grieve with dignity would be a wonderful addition to any unit.
  11. by   dansmom6
    This is such an important time for the parents. Our hospital has incorporated a Bereavement Program that is just wonderful (we, too use the leaf w/teardrop).

    We have nurses who have went thru bereavement training, and when possible, they take care of these families. However, we all know this isn't a perfect world, and things happen sometimes when these nurses can't be there, so we formulated a check-list of everything (all the little details, too). We have handouts about stillbirth, miscarriage, neonatal death, greif of grandparents, mothers, fathers, and talking to children about perinatal death...etc). When we have a demise or when a woman loses a pregnancy (even ectopic or very early), we speak w/them, give them info, including a voice mail # that if they need help/resources later, they can call us. Many women have called months later and we have been able to counsel them or refer to other services.

    We encourage these families to keep these babies as long as they like, and do not send the baby to the funeral home until the mother leaves, so if they would like to see them again at any time, the baby's still there. We also give lots of momentos, memory box, blanket/hat/booties, frame, lots of pics, stuffed animal, hand/footprints, lock of hair, etc..

    One of the nurses (Love ya, Jamie) that started the bereavement program about 7 years ago took it upon herself to find out what exactly happened to <20 week gestations that the family chose not to bury. Well, we had a tremendous surprize! The pathologist who had been there for 22 years did not have it in her heart to throw the babies out with waste material, so we had ALL of them (ectopics, miscarriages, demises), preserved in containers in the morgue. I know it sounds gross, but no-one knew about wasn't like there was babies floating around in jars everywhere. The pathologist said she knew in her heart someone would take care of them. Well, Jamie took it upon herself to find a resting place for these babies. She got on the phone, and solved the problem! A local funeral home donated cremation, a local cemetary donated a cemetary plot, and our nurses paid for a gorgeous headstone that reads "The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or heard, but are felt with the heart~Helen Keller". Four of us went to the morgue and removed the babies (that was REALLY tough), and I know for certain that a couple were near term that had been there since the early 80's (we just guessed the Doc's may have fudged the EDC or something if the parents couldn't afford burial?). There were over 200 all together. After they were cremated, we had a beautiful graveside service and launched balloons.

    Now we are able to tell these families about the site, and we have a cremation every year or two, depending on how many we have. Every October (last week, actually), we have a graveside service, and these families are welcome to come. But I think it helps us nurses just as much.
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    I agree. I also think that there needs to be a separate waiting room for families whose loved ones in a hospital, are having a surgery that is life threatening.

    I know that anyone can die of any type of surgery, I'm speaking of surgeries where someone has an extremely low chances of even surviving it going in. To sit there in tears for 8, 9, 10 hours around other people who has families in there for more minor or routine things is very uncomfortable.

    This happened to our family with my mother (she survived but went in with a 20% chance of survival), but it was a long surgery, an emotional one, and being in a stiff, hard chair for that many hours takes a physical toll on your body as well.
  13. by   mrscurtwkids4
    I had mixed emotions about how my doctor and the hospital handled the death of my son. I was 32 weeks along and had a placental abruption and nearly bled to death myself. I ended up in the ICU for several days. One nurse in particular was wonderful for my husband. She had wrapped my son up in blankets and brought him to my husband to hold. I think my husband said he sat there for 3 hours holding him. This was in the room that I had been laboring in prior to them pulling me in for an emergency c-section. The nurse was great and kissed my son on the forehead before handing him to my husband. For me though, I was stuck in the ICU. My husband did bring our son in to show me. But I was so weak from losing so much blood that I couldn't even lift my arms to hold him. My husband said later that the staff was rather pressuring him to let me see him so that they could take our son to the morgue.
    What was worse about it was that the doctor was wanting to place me in a post-partum room after I was able to be moved from the ICU. My husband had to argue with him in order for him to place me in a different area. I had to agree. I didn't need to hear and see all the happy families with their new babies crying and such after having just lost mine.
    On a happier note, when we went back approx. a year later and delivered our first daughter, my husband went and found that nurse that had handed him our son that night. He was able to show her video of our daughter being born and she came and visited me and held our daughter. It was nice to share the more happier time with her since she was so kind during our saddest time. And to think that was 15 years ago now. It's definitely something that sticks with you and I feel that anything that can be done to make it easier on the couple/parent(s) would be a tremendous blessing.
  14. by   mybluedog
    Someone showed me this...

    "I Spoke With My Child"

    Wonderful, but have tissues.