If you read Baby Dust and
fell in love with Stella, the leader of the miscarriage group, she now
has her own book of how she and her husband met. No sadness here, just a
roller coaster romance between two out-of-the-box characters.
Whether you were 4 weeks or 40 weeks along, this was your baby. From the
moment the nurse called you to say the test was positive (or you saw the
purple line!), you began to think about that baby, dressing him/her up in
cute clothes, walking down the street pushing a stroller, handing the baby
over to proud grandparents, and countless other dreams. You DO NOT need to
pretend the baby did not exist or that your child wasn't a "real"
baby. Even if others think you are being excessively emotional, do what you
need to do to get through this. One thing that is very helpful is making a
memory box for your baby.
You may have many things to go inside: pictures from the birth, a
hospital ID bracelet, the outfit your baby wore, the blanket he/she was
wrapped in, and the many mementos from your pregnancy. You may have only a
few: a positive pregnancy test, a journal tracing your attempts to get
pregnant and hearing the good news, sympathy cards, dried flowers from
sympathy bouquets, or a sonogram printout or videotape. You may have nothing
Things to add to your memory box, even if it was years ago:
A letter to your baby describing your love
A dried leaf or branch from a tree you planted in your baby's honor
An outfit or stuffed animal you bought especially to remind you of
A small journal detailing your feelings
Printouts of messages from women you talk to on the Internet about
your baby (I did this!)
A birth or name certificate that you make with scrapbooking supplies
or on a computer
A poem you read that reminded you of the baby
Most baby books will not work well for a
baby who has been lost to miscarriage or stillbirth, and the
"milestones" sections of these books can be very
upsetting. One book that is made just for these babies is In
the Company of Angels. It has an extra long section for
the pregnancy, a place to put down happy moments, and then
also has a section for when the baby was lost, and a place to
write down memorial information.
It may seem odd to other people, and even to yourself, to make elaborate
plans AFTER the baby died, but it will help. I have no greater comfort than
the heart pendant I had engraved with our baby's name. I can wear it
everywhere and look at it whenever I want. It is sort of like carrying Casey
around with us; I would never leave it behind. And spending time arranging
and rearranging the items in his memory box gives me an outlet for all the
mothering feelings I still have.
I also turned my small flower garden into a memorial
garden. I have a small baby statue, an angel birdbath, and a place to
sit among the flowers. Since I have no grave to visit, I can go there. And
even years from now, when I (hopefully) have many children, I can go there
and feel happy and remember Casey.
One unique source of memorial items is the Bereaved Mothers Web Site.
They sell a beautiful print of a mother by an empty cradle who is watched
over by Jesus holding her infant. They also have inexpensive pins and
jewelry of baby feet and hands, with or without angels, stickers of baby's
feet the exact size of a 10-week-old fetus, and little formed statues of
12-week-old babies with the details and weight the baby would have had. A
link to see these items, or to join their email group, is the pink graphic
Another amazing site is run by Robyn
Bear, the founder of Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day on Oct. 15 (see more
info below.) Click on the blue box to see her beautiful remembrance
items, including car magnets, ribbon pins, gorgeous candles for the
annual candle lighting, and jewelry.
Naming the baby is a strong personal choice laden with emotions either
way. You will go through many phases after a miscarriage. At times you will
want to cling to the memory, therefore wanting to name it. At other times
you will want to put it behind you. My initial advice to you is to go ahead
and name your baby, especially if your pregnancy was widely known. It will
help you refer to your baby to others and in your own mind. To think this
decision through, consider the following thoughts that will likely pop into
Naming the baby seems like a waste of the name.
Believe me, when you get pregnant again, you will not want to name the
new baby a name you had already picked out. Although we named our baby
something non-gender specific (Casey), we still ruled out the names we had
originally chosen, Savannah and Benjamin, for our second pregnancy. We had a
sort of irrational fear that we would jinx the new baby. So don't save the
name for later; call the baby what you intended to call it all along,
whether you know the sex or not. The only reason we chose a different name
is because we wanted to name it right away and we thought we would find out
the sex later when the chromosome test was done. As it turned out, we never
knew. But that first Christmas, we chose a little girl named Savannah to buy
gifts for through our church and also keep watch for a Benjamin. It helps us to know we
are assisting some little ones with those names, in Casey's memory. We couldn't do this if we didn't have a
I was only a few weeks along. Why bother?
It's hard to judge how you will feel later. By naming the baby, you make
him or her more real, making the grief harder to deal with. While this may
not seem like something you want to do, the grief is out there and you have
to work through it. Naming or not naming the baby does not change the
situation, but later on, when you are less grief-stricken and more
nostalgic, particularly if you get pregnant again, you will like to think of
the baby by its name. It will help you separate the babies in your mind,
which is far healthier than thinking of the new one as a replacement.
I don't know the sex of the baby.
There are dozens of great names that aren't associated with a gender.
Ours was Casey Shay. And there are many others: Adrian, Aiden, Alex, Blair,
Bret, Chase, Christian, Chris, Dakota, Danny, Denver, Drew, Gabriel, Hayden,
Jersey, Jesse, Jody, Julian, Kelly, Kennedy, Lane, Lee, Lesley, Logan,
Madison, Micky, Morgan, Nicky, Quinlan, Robin, Sloan, Taylor. I hope this
gets you started. You can, of course, simply go with the sex of your choice
as well. I find it unlikely you'll go to heaven to discover a very angry
little boy named Martha. He'll already be going by Marty.
I didn't name my first miscarriage. I feel bad
naming this one.
It's okay to name your baby after the fact, even if it has been years.
You will want to remember your pregnancies separately, and the names will
help. Think back to that pregnancy, and you will probably remember a name or
two that you favored from the moment the test was positive. Use it. Also, if
you look at my angel dedication pages,
you will see several mothers who have one named baby and several
"unnamed." This is okay too.
My first son was going to be a "junior"
with his father's name. What should I do?
I think it's okay to save a name like that, especially if it's a long
standing family tradition. Give this baby another name, but name it all the
I just don't feel comfortable calling a dead child
by a name. It's over. Why make it more sad?
I urge you to examine WHY you feel that way. A lost baby is terribly sad,
no matter what. Are you afraid that the grief will not end? It will take a
while, but you will feel better. You will always be wistful; you will always
wish the baby was with you. But you will get better. Naming the baby simply
makes it clearer who you are wistful about.
My husband and family don't want me to name the
Are you sure? Could it be that they don't want you to suffer any more, so
they say these things to try and help you forget about the baby? Or perhaps
they are afraid THEY will be more sad. Remind them that naming the baby will
help you feel better. And simply start referring to the baby by name. If you
find you can't talk to them, find friends or support groups for mothers who
will listen. They will be glad to hear your baby's name.
If, in the end, you still don't want to name you baby, then don't. You
can always do it later if you want to.
Many parents want to have some sort of memorial service for their baby.
You do not have to have a burial plot or other tangible remains in order to
hold a service. If you actually have the baby to place in a little coffin,
or if you were given the ashes from a cremation, then you can go the
traditional route and hold a memorial at the funeral home or by the grave.
Whether or not you want the memorial in the paper to alert your community to
the service is up to you. I think you will find many people will come to
support you. Don't think people will avoid this service simply because they
did not meet your baby.
If you did not get to keep any remains of your baby, you may still hold a
service at your church or in another lovely location, such as a park or
garden. You can plant a tree in your yard and have others gather for the
dedication of the tree or a plaque. You can do the same with a memorial
garden, making the focus be the baby or have the dedication be a part of a
party to show your garden in full bloom. Your service can include a member
of the clergy, or you may simply have people say a few words. You can
scatter rose petals or bird seed off a cliff or into water. Many people have
released balloons with messages inside.
Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day, Oct. 15
One determined Mama decided many
years ago to have a special day and event where
mothers could come together and remember their babies.
If you have no other service, no remains, or do not
feel comfortable having a funeral, then you can still
observe this special day each year. Here's some
information about this special day:
Bear, founder of www.october15th.com envisioned a day when all grieving
parents could come together and be surrounded by love and support from
their friends and families, a day where the community could better
understand their pain and learn how to reach out to those grieving. This
would be a day to reflect on the loss yet embrace the love. While our
babies’ lives where so brief, they were also very meaningful. Yet,
there was not a time to talk about them. Our society seemed to forget or
perhaps, simply didn’t know how to reach out. Since October had been
proclaimed “Awareness Month”, she chose a day, in the middle of the
month to become, “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day”. We are
asking everyone in all times zones, worldwide, to join us in a candle
lighting ceremony at 7pm on October 15th. For more information,
and to see if a public lighting or walk is scheduled in your city, visit
for October 15th
candles and display them in your windows.
local Radio and News stations and have them announce that it is
October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
with your headlights on. Also, ask that radio and news stations
announce this as well.
your porch lights on. Have radio and news stations announce this as
butterflies (Can be expensive, but is very beautiful, Use a search
engine such as yahoo and type in butterfly release)
Doves (You can rent doves that are trained to fly back to the owner)
a candle lighting ceremony in a park, church, or local hospital.
off a pink or blue balloon with your Angel’s name and/or picture.
(Warning Please: If you do this, only send one balloon per child.
This is very dangerous for birds and wildlife. The animals can eat
the remnants of a balloon and die) (As beautiful and wonderful as it
is, I can’t personally recommend it due to my love for animals)
for all of the Month of October
pink or blue ribbons around trees in yards, neighborhoods, and
signs and banners in your yard, neighborhoods, and parks.
your local radio stations and television news stations to have them
announce that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
an article and submit it to your local newspapers.
flowers in memory of your baby in a church service or hospital.
a t-shirt made that says I have an Angel, and have your child’s
name put on it.