If you have other children, find ways to include your children in this loss. Their baby sister/brother has died. Learning how to cope with this and talk about it can be a real learning opportunity which seems to promote healing and openness over time. Children can draw, write, give gifts to the baby and so much more. If they aren't invited to be involved, they make it up. Sensing that something is going on, children's imaginations are often far worse than reality. The walls in the house are not thick enough and your non-normal behaviors tip them off. Something is up. Better to be honest and tell them what is going on.
The children ideally can be included in this ritual in some way. Don’t be afraid they can’t handle it. Most children are resilient and don’t understand the permanency of death anyway, unless they are much older. It may help you to read booklets like Sibling Grief to learn the development and understanding of ‘typical’ children at the various ages. We Were Gonna Have a Baby but had an Angel Instead is an awesome book to help young children understand. Some other good ones are: Molly’s Rosebush, No New Baby, and Where is Chloe? which is good for the NICU situation. Some of these are available in our eShop. The downloadable eZine #13 Children and Grief has 22 pages of amazing and very practical advice, books, and other resources. Some of the articles include: Rabbi Earl Grollman "Talking About Death: A Dialogue between a Parent and a Child," how to tell their children about their sibling who died, developmental understandings, common cliches, Do's and Don'ts, What if? the Story of my Sister by a teen whose baby sister died young...and so much more.
When and if you have other children, tell them about their baby brother or sister. There are some good books for younger children to help to you introduce their brother or sister when the time comes. A Letter from Heaven and We Will Remember You by Steve Butler are faith-based, easy to read, and comforting. Grief Watch has a few books, including Someone Came Before You. Decide that you will bring this subject up to them at an early age (it is easier for children to learn about their deceased siblings(s) at an earlier age rather than waiting until they are older. Young children are amazing about such things; they ask many direct questions because they are so curious, and can often be very comforting to mom and dad. It is wise to keep an open dialogue with your living children.
A reasonably priced Children and Grief pdf download will soon be available with even more information. Visit the eShop.