You have longed for and dreamt about the birth of a healthy baby. Now things have changed for the worse and you may wonder about what rights you have...whether you should see, be with and lovingly meet with your baby who may die or has already died. Like most of us, you are also probably being controlled by fear. You can get past that.
This is your baby, not the hospital's property. Remember that. If you have a home birth, you will probably be more natural about how you spend time with your loved, precious one. Like our grandparents, you might spend days with your baby, dress her, show her off to others, take your own pictures, and maybe even sleep through the night with her. If you are in the hospital, it may feel odd to do these things as people watch you, make you sign forms, etc. Don't let any of that get in your way. Tell them you want private time and even ask for a sign on the door that says DO NOT DISTURB.
You should be able to spend as much time as you wish in the hospital. Many, many parents have their baby in the room the entire time. Most hospital staff are usually trained on how to help you; others may not be as aware and helpful. In almost all cases, they hurt for you and really do want to do the best. The more you know before you put the gown on and become a ‘patient’, prepare yourself so you don’t have too many regrets (which can haunt you over time).
This is the only time you have - these few days - so make the most of it. And if you wish to, you may ask for help to bring your baby at home for a while. Then you can read the children’s books, sing your favorite lullabies, create mothering/fathering memories at home, tell your child the stories you planned to tell throughout their lives, and make the most of your time in the comfort and safety of your own ‘nest.’
Say hello well! Make it count, collect everything you can, and create rituals. Experience and parent fully now. In the long run that is what will help you over time. Read the Decision-making pages 7-29 of my self-help book Empty Arms to learn why and how to do this and so much more. Order the book eShop or download it (Kindle, Nook, or in our Healing Hearts eShop . Also available on Kindle or the Nook. You may also find specific help in our eZine #3 The Hospital Experience and Memory-Making found in our eShop.