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Slow It Down

If this is a medical emergency, or your baby has already been delivered, you may not have the time to read this section.  You can ask someone else to read it so when you need this information you will have it.

If this is not a medical emergency and if you have recently learned your baby has died but have not gone to the hospital yet….this section may help you.

You may wonder, "Why are my caregivers rushing me to deliver my baby right away? Hasn't the worst happened?"  You may also feel your own pressure to, "Get this over with as soon as we can.  I can't stand the thought that our baby has died and is still inside me."  Understandable.  Most of us have had these same thoughts.  But there is a definite downside to moving that quickly, while so deeply shell shocked.  Read on to learn more.

Take a breath or two and ask yourself, why is there such a rush?   If your caregiver, a family member suggests you get to the hospital right away, ask yourself why? Unless you are hemorrhaging, are in serious pain or in labor, or you have other physical worries…you may have more time than you think. There are no other ‘non-emergency’ medical situations where the patient immediately (or as quickly) gets sent to the hospital to ‘get it over with’ prior to the proper preparation that patients deserve.   *Ask to see our video I Hardly Knew You…What Happens Next? which promotes slowing it down, tells why, and offers ideas to better prepare and gain some control prior to any induction or procedures.

Why does more time matter? Imagine you are in a terrible accident and then immediately sent to the hospital or a funeral home and asked to make earth shattering decisions (like how to meet your baby, who to call, what pictures to take, how to tell the children and other family members, whether to bring your baby home for a while after death, and what kind of memorial service to hold).

When in this kind of shock, it is difficult to make choices that will be the best for you in the long run. It is common to react in ways that reduces the pain you are feeling right at that moment.   However, there is much you can do during some quiet time at home that will prepare you for what is to come.  We recommend:

  • A little private time to make calls and be with your loved one(s),
  • Time to read a short decision-making chapter from the book, Empty Arms,
  • The opportunity to talk with a Baby Loss Doula (a parent advocate who acts as a loss companion) where you can get advice to consider and possibly help making a Birth Preferences Plan. This will help you gain back a little control and prepare for what is to come,
  • You might have time to pack a bag that includes camera, video, a stuffed animal, and/or clothing and blankets, tooth brush, etc.,
  • You might be able to call work,
  • Get the children settled, if you have any,
  • Give your parents, or other close relatives, time to get to you if they live far away,
  • Be in the safety of your home before heading off to birth your baby