how to recover from stillbirth
November 29, 2012 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Three weeks ago we lost our baby at almost 6 months pregnant. Due to complications I was in and out of the hospital for much of the 3 weeks and it's all just hitting us now. I don't know anyone who has had this experience and would love to hear some suggestions on how to get through this time.

My husband and I were so busy getting through the 8 days after my water broke followed by labor,(a ridiculous 14 hours,) and then a rehospitalization for infection with emergency surgery and 30 hours of drs thinking that I had meningitis, that we are suddenly very sad--like a huge weight is pressing down on us. I am going to a group starting this week which hopefully will help. I'm 41 so I'm not sure if we will try again and am obviously putting that on hold for a few months.
Please share any experience that you think might be helpful.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am so sorry for your loss. The community at is the best I've found online for support around pregnancy with all outcomes - many people there have had similar losses and can help you as you grieve. This is especially recommended if you, like me, are put off by much of the "angel" language used in discussions of stillbirth and miscarriage. I wish you much comfort and tenderness as you mourn.
posted by judith at 9:58 AM on November 29, 2012 [7 favorites]

I am very sorry.

I was going to suggest the altdotlife forums, too.
posted by belladonna at 10:06 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

So sorry for your loss, I was in a similar place 2 years ago, it's going to hurt and hurt for a long while.

Joe Biden's speech at TAPS about loss was very helpful to me, it expressed some of the things I felt better than I could, and even though I never go to meet the little guy I still miss him

posted by kanemano at 10:10 AM on November 29, 2012 [10 favorites]

My heartfelt condolences on your loss. Glow in the Woods is a community for parents who have experienced babyloss. May you find some comfort there.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:10 AM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

From the way you sound, you seem to be on top of things, as much as you can be. Therapy will be a tremendous help. Think strongly to do some 1-1 counseling as well. Group is invaluable because you'll be able to share/empathize with others who have gone thru the same thing, but it's not a substitute for a good session with a therapist.

Take time. Your feelings will not resolve instantly.

I'm sorry for your loss. You will survive it and you will be stronger. It will just take time to notice.
posted by damiano99 at 10:11 AM on November 29, 2012

I've finally subscribed to ask mefi just so I can reply to your question. First of all, I am so sorry for your loss.

I have to recommend the forums on as well. The book Empty Cradle, Broken Heart is regularly recommended in the "Life after losing a child" area of altdotlife.

I'm wishing you peace in this terrible time of grief.
posted by waterisfinite at 10:17 AM on November 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain you are feeling as I went through something similar nearly three years ago. It is going to be very painful for a long time and as far as I can tell it never goes away but it does get easier with time.

I want to second the recommendation for Glow In The Woods and suggest another book, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. Both are excellent.

I found working with a grief counsellor tremendously helpful. Please feel free to memail me if you'd like to talk.
posted by teamnap at 10:28 AM on November 29, 2012

I came to suggest and 2nd the video kanemano already linked; it's absolutely worth watching in its entirety. Biden's wife and 1-year old daughter were killed and his two sons critically injured in an auto accident, and he explains how he dealt with his grief in the aftermath.
posted by EKStickland at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2012

I think altdotlife is a good resource too. In the past, people I've recommended the forums to have been confused by the sign-up process.
- You must sign up to read many of the forums.
- Signing up is free. (You don't have to choose any of the payment options, although if you like it, kicking the site admin a few bucks is a nice thing to do.)

I'm really sorry for your loss.
posted by purpleclover at 10:47 AM on November 29, 2012

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

I had two early miscarriages and while I did feel loss, I cannot say that I felt grief. However, a very close friend lost her daughter at 7 months gestation due to anencephaly and watching and helping her and her husband through her grief was the hardest thing I've ever done.

Therapy will help you immensely, especially if you can see someone who specializes in grief or infant loss. There will be people who do not understand your grief. They will tell you or make you feel as if you're being ridiculous for grieving. You're not. You have every right to feel everything you're feeling and those people are the ones you should avoid for a good long time, until you feel like you're back on your feet (if ever).

Remember to be kind to each other. There might be times when one of you will seem to be doing better than the other; that doesn't mean that you or he have "forgotten" or moved on. Everyone deals with grief differently and that's okay.
posted by cooker girl at 10:54 AM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

My wife and I lost a baby at around that time. We aborted her due to osteogenesis imperfecta.

I would expect almost all people to not understand your grief. I had a lot of times where I told people and then had to console them. Talk to people about it anyway. The helpful thing that you will get from talking to people is their stories. Their aunt who lost a baby. You'll find that it's not uncommon, it's just unmentioned.

Find the oldest people in your family and ask them about the lose of babies, they have stories.

I don't know if it is something you can recover from the way you can recover from normal setbacks.

One thing that we did was to have a party. After a couple weeks we told our friends what happened and invited them over for a pot luck. We made a book with the ultrasound pictures and descriptions of the events that occurred and left it on the coffee table. The party was helpful because right after the abortion we spent a lot of time together and stayed away from other people. It felt odd being with people, they were part of some sunshiny world and we were not there with them. A party felt like being welcomed back to the human race.
posted by bdc34 at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2012

You should read the blog

They lost their baby girl at 17 months after a very difficult pregnancy and premature delivery. They are still hurting and always will be, but they now have another daughter who brings joy to their life.

Heather had a miscarriage earlier this year and suffered a lot of pain from that loss. She is now pregnant again and things are looking much better this time.

I think you'll find comfort and hope in their story.
posted by Georgia Is All Out Of Smokes at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2012

Anonymous, please contact me via memail or the email address in my profile. I have a friend who lost her twins at a similar gestation who wants to reach out to you, but doesn't want her email address posted publicly. I am so sorry for your loss, this a cruel and miserable situation.
posted by KathrynT at 1:11 PM on November 29, 2012

I'm so, so sorry.

There is a blogger who lost twins at 20 weeks, in 2004. You can read about the experience beginning here, and she's still blogging so you can continue reading about how she got through it all the way up to today.

(It's too soon to contemplate this, but she chose to try again, and her daughter is now 6.)
posted by MeiraV at 3:56 PM on November 29, 2012

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