I will probably regret asking this...RE: losing a baby at different stages of pregnancy
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 2/3/2013 by Just T in NSBR Board
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Just T
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:49:03 PM
Do you tend to think that someone who loses a baby at an early stage has less of reason to grieve than someone who loses a baby at full term, or at a later stage of pregnancy?

Do you think it is harder to lose a baby at say, 20 weeks vs. 12 weeks? Or 40 weeks vs. 20 weeks? If you have lost a baby at a later phase of pregnancy, do you look down upon those who are sad that lost babies in the first trimester?

Or, do you think, "a loss is a loss, no matter when it happens?"

I'm just upset about something I read today, and I want some different thoughts/perspectives.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:51:49 PM
A loss is a loss. It is a loss of what would have been, no matter when it occurred.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:52:38 PM
I lost a baby at 14 weeks. It was developed enough to know it was a boy and it didn't look like a blob but like a small baby. I also had 2 miscarriages early on right after that. I will say that it was harder losing the one at 14 weeks because I had had longer to be excited about having a baby.

I do feel more sympathy for women who lose a baby after 3 months of pregnancy because you have probably had ultrasounds and seen a baby or heard a heartbeat...it's just a little more real than an early miscarriage

I don't look down on someone who lost a baby at 6,8 or those early weeks. it's still a loss.

pheestand
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:53:01 PM
I lost a baby at 22 weeks, and I lost a triplet at 10 weeks (delivered twins at 26 weeks). Both were devastating losses to me. I think my family had a rougher time with the 22 week loss, as many didn't know about the triplet pregnancy until we announced it when we were closer to 13 weeks along with twins. Many didn't know about the triplet loss at all as we were consumed with the NICU experience.


melanell
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:54:06 PM

Or, do you think, "a loss is a loss, no matter when it happens?"



This is exactly what I think.


I think people have a terrible tendency to compare pain. Either they downplay someone else' pain by saying "Oh, but at least *this* didn't happen to you." or they downplay their own pain by saying "I know it's nothing like what happened to you, but....".


Pain is pain. And we should all be given a bit of comfort and sympathy by those who care for us when we are experiencing it. We shouldn't try to say another's pain isn't so bad, not should we feel guilty about expressing our own pain.


I knew someone whose baby was born stillborn, and she knew someone who lost a toddler, and the person I know said that one day they were both saying why they felt it had to be harder for the other, and then they both realized how useless the comparison was, since in the end they both mourned those children, missed those children, and loved those children. And that was what mattered.



tamhugh
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:54:58 PM
I think it is a different kind of loss. Not better or worse, just different.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:55:50 PM
While I don't think they have LESS of a reason to grieve, I don't think a loss is a loss or that all pain is the same.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:56:20 PM
Loss is personal.
I would NEVER tell someone the loss they experienced "wasn't *that* bad.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:57:15 PM
I've never lost a pregnancy, so I can't really chime in personally, but I have a number of SILs who have lost pregnancies everywhere from the first few weeks clear up to a full term still birth and places between. And they all have grieved differently. I don't think you can quantify how much of a loss it is. It seems so individual to the mother. It's safest to say a loss is a loss and try not too placate those whose loss isn't deemed "big enough"


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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:58:04 PM
I miscarried my first pregnancy at 13 weeks. I even wondered if it would have been worse if my baby was still born. I don't know. I feel the loss is the same.

Maybe for some it depends on the circumstances? We're they trying to conceive? Were they happy that they were pregnant? Some might be somewhat relieved to miscarry if they weren't sure they were ready to have a child. I don't know.

We were ttc, so the miscarriage was very devastating for us. We were already in the mindset of being a family instead of just a couple. We mourned the life that we would never share with our child. I also felt as though I would never have children, or wasn't meant to. Even though we have three healthy daughters now we still think of our first child and what could have been.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:58:15 PM
For me..having a miscarriage at 13 wks..I would say it would have NO WHERE been close to miscarrying later...after say the 2nd trimester. That's just me though. I know everyone handles grief and loss differently. Honestly at 13 wks I barely felt preg, nor movement, nor anything like you do later on.






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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:58:49 PM
I have had several losses at various stages, and I think I have become numb from it. I honestly think losing a baby after a heartbeat and even a still birth is harder. Maybe because I don't get excited when pregnant anymore. I get scared and sad and worry that it will be yet another loss. I think everyone deals with that pain differently. . I wish it on no one.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:59:59 PM

If you have lost a baby at a later phase of pregnancy, do you look down upon those who are sad that lost babies in the first trimester?


Certainly not.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:01:16 PM
I think Melanell nailed it. I know everyone I have told my story to has felt it was all just horrific and it was definitely the worst thing that ever happened to me. It hurts to hear about the number of babies just in our small town who have been murdered by their parents in the last year or two. It's in the double digits.

But your own personal loss is always the hardest, IMO, because you're the most intimate with it and you have to deal with it 24/7 and work through the grief. It's not something you can walk away from.

I have sympathy for anyone who loses a child no matter what age.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:02:58 PM
I suspect different people will answer differently depending on their experience of loss, previous challenges conceiving etc.

Personally, I've had a first trimester miscarriage and, while I was devestated, I think it would have been worse FOR ME if the pregnancy was further along.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:03:47 PM
I have lost five. Four were early (10-14 weeks) and one was at 22 weeks. All were devastating.

Now, 23 years after the loss at 22 weeks, all are a blur. They all blend into one another. It might be because I did have a successful pregnancy with dd 20 years ago.

Now, I would say a loss is a loss. At that time, the 22 week loss was the worst.

I would never judge or quantify anyone else's loss.

melissa
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:04:42 PM
A loss is a loss.

However, I think a third trimester loss is significantly different from a first trimester loss and may require more time to recover from.. if that make sense. It's just different. Personally, my second trimester twin loss was much more difficult to deal with than my 2 1st trimester losses.

I sincerely believe that many women go into pregnancy either without understanding first trimester pregnancy loss rates or in denial that it can happen to them. About 20% of women with positive pregnancy tests will miscarry. With these even earlier pregnancy tests, the numbers are even higher. Everything that has to go correctly in order for a baby to be born is just incredible. It makes every baby a miracle.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:05:27 PM
We had a loss at 9 weeks, another at 20 and 9 weeks after delivery. Each were incredibly difficult. For me personally, each successive those was markedly more difficult than the one before, but I remember the absolute devastation I felt the first time, and in no way would I tell a grieving mother to toughen up.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:05:51 PM
I have lost pregnancies at different stages and also lost my oldest child's twin. I still grieve for all them and can't differentiate- how could I?


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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:06:24 PM
I think every loss is different.

I think a woman grieving a full term stillbirth is grieving a different loss than any of my early losses. Not that any loss is more significant than another, but that it is different for different women, at different stages of pregnancy.

I am not inclined to compare the trauma or tragedy of such a thing. In that sense, a loss is a loss. But I wouldn't say to someone who lost a full term baby that I lost one at 9 weeks and so I know how she feels. You know? She felt that baby move, bonded with it and named it. I had big hopes and dreams, but - I'm still going with "it's different".

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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:06:49 PM
I've had several early miscarriages. I grieved the loss of the pregnancies but not necessarily the babies. Further along I think you grieve the child and the pain never goes away. I have three kids now and rarely think about the ones I lost. I have a friend who had a late second trimester loss between her two kids and she. Thinks about the baby every single day.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:07:29 PM
I lost my twins at 28 weeks. I was devastated, it was the worst thing ever. I feel sad for anyone who goes through this, no matter what week number.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:07:29 PM
I would never begrudge anyone her grief.

The hospital where I work has a remembrance ceremony every year for the parents of children who have died under our care. We do a slide show and there are children from preterm pregnancies through late teens. The NICU moms have expressed how appreciative they are that we include them and don't dismiss their grief as "less" than moms who had their children for a longer lifetime. That lets me know that it goes on.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:08:28 PM
As someone who lost a pregnancy at 19 weeks I say a loss is a loss. My heart breaks when I hear that a pregnancy has ended badly. It's been 19 years and I have two nearly adult kids and still feel the sadness of my loss sometimes.





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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:09:16 PM
I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks and while I'll agree that a loss is a loss, I hadn't known I was pregnant even a week, and didn't feel attached to the child yet, so my sadness over that loss was "minimal".
On the other hand, I know a person who's baby died at 40 weeks and she had to deliver knowing the baby was dead. Her story makes me cry buckets every time I think of it. I can't imagine walking in her shoes.

So ya, I think a 6 week loss is very different from a 40 week loss. But it's still a loss.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:11:42 PM
I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I have lost two pregnancies: 9 weeks and 18 weeks. The 18 weeks was WAY WAY WAY harder. It's been 13 years and not a week goes by that that baby doesn't pop into my head.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:59:17 PM
I think 1st trimester losses are almost expected medically speaking. I think you should not hold onto a pregnancy until after 12 weeks. I try not to let it be real until then. However, any loss before 12 weeks will still take time to heal. I don't think it is a death loss but the "idea" you are mourning. I personally don't understand people who mourn a 6 week pregnancy loss every year when they have beautiful children after that loss. I would expect grief but that is a bit much to me. I know a girl, she named "him" and she gets a new small tatoo on his due date. She knew she was pregnant 3 days and nothing was ever visible not even the sac on u/s. So I guess everyone is very different.

I would never say a word but in reality a lot of woman miscarry at some point in the 1st trimester. It is natures function for our bodies if there is a problem with you or the fetus.

I think any 2nd ( more like 15+ weeks movement), 3rd and new baby loss is actual death loss you feel. I can't imagine that type of loss.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:04:36 PM
I think a loss is a loss no matter what stage. I do think losses are different for different people and the stage plays into it also.

I've had 2 losses, one a miscarriage days after finding out I was pregnant. I also had an ectopic pregnancy. Both early losses and i've always said the ectopic probably would have been much harder grief-wise if I weren't in such tough shape myself after it (it burst so I spent some time in the ICU then hospital, etc.) There was more concentration on my health than grieving.

All that said, I can't imagine how horrible it would be to lose a mid-late stage pregnancy. I'd think it to be devastating. Also I imagine it's different for people who have had multiple losses, etc. Grief is such a personal thing and is different for everyone.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:07:51 PM
I had two miscarriages within the first three months of pregnancy. As difficult as those were, I think it would have been much more difficult to lost a baby later on. My sister and SIL both had still born children, I think that having gone that extra time and feeling the baby move would exacerbate the pain.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:18:41 PM
I lost a baby at 20 weeks last year. I've never had an early miscarriage but I think it would not be as "hard" early on. Obviously upsetting, but perhaps a little more expected. I think it's a different experience when you have to labor and deliver versus natural mc/d&c etc. Everyone grieves differently and has different levels of attachment at different stages, but yes I would say that my loss is more "substantial" than a six week mc....not to take anything away from anyone.
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:21:44 PM
I don't think grief can be quantified - and I think it is cruel to treat a parent who has experienced an early loss as if their loss is somehow less significant than a later loss.

I lost my first baby at 24 weeks and it remains one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced. If I had lost that baby earlier, it still would have been incredibly difficult - I think the difference is that we often feel a false sense of security once you get to that "magic" 13 week mark.

It isn't that a late loss is more significant than an earlier loss, but it's more unexpected.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:24:28 PM
I think a loss is a loss because I have no idea what you went through to get pregnant. I didn't always believe that but after suffering through infertility only to pay a crap ton of $$, to be poked and prodded and stuck repeatedly, I was very invested into my not even viable 12 week fetus that might not have even been a blip on someone else's radar.

I also don't know what is going on in your life. One of my friend's lost her dad and he was the only one who knew she was pregnant. When she lost the baby 3 weeks after he died, it literally was the end of the world for her, but again, 1st trimester, rates of loss are higher, blah, blah, blah. It is her loss, not mine. I'm not here to judge.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:25:18 PM

but yes I would say that my loss is more "substantial" than a six week mc....not to take anything away from anyone.


so, how would you have felt if someone had implied to you that THEIR loss was worse/harder/more significant because it occurred at say 36 weeks instead of 20 weeks. Or, how would someone who had a 40 week loss feel if someone had said, "well, at least you didn't lose a baby who was born alive and died at 6th months old?"

Just T
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:28:34 PM

I think it's a different experience when you have to labor and deliver versus natural mc/d&c etc.


Not all women who have early miscarriages have a d and c...some deliver a very tiny baby at home, in the er, etc. Does it make a difference because you "deliver" the baby vs. having a d and c?

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:32:20 PM
I have lost 3 pregnancy's very early on. I have had 3 successful pregnancies outside of that. I easily get pregnant but don't easily stay pregnant. I love my children deeply.

The first pregnancy loss I grieved the most and had period of times over the years where I felt deep grief and pain over the loss of that baby.

The 2nd and 3rd pregnancy I didn't grieve in the same way. They were very early and basically came within a week or two after a positive pregnancy test. They were my 4th and 6th pregnancy. My dh and I were talking about this the other day because I told him that I have wondered why I didn't have the deep grief about it that I did with the other time. I had peace about it and also gratitude for the blessings I had been entrusted with.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:34:19 PM
Right perhaps significant and substantial are better replaced by "unexpected." every situation is different and there are a million different scenarios. No one knows how they will feel about something until it happens to them. I can't imagine losing a child at 36 weeks/40 weeks/6 months/6 years/16 years. All I know is my only baby died at 20 weeks gestation because I have a crappy cervix that didn't hold him in. And I think that it hurts more than it would have if *I* had lost the pregnancy at 6 weeks. But who knows? I don't look down on anyone and I wouldn't wish the loss of a pregnancy (at any stage) on my worst enemy.
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:40:35 PM
2peafaithful- was the first loss your first pregnancy?

I think those are always the hardest with early term for a lot of woman. I think there is always that fear you will never have a successful pregnancy or you are infertile if you want children. I'm sure the other two were just as important to you but you actually could grieve them properly without fear, if that makes sense?

I'm only thinking about it. I am no expert or claiming to be anything of the sort. I just wondered.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:44:17 PM
I don't know. My SIL lost a pregnancy at 6 weeks. That doesn't seem like a pregnancy to me but a really late period, so I don't know.

I lost my first at 10 weeks 4 days. I still have the baby's sonogram pictures. It's obvious it was a baby. I don't know what to do with them. i can't throw them away...they're stuck in a drawer of my nightstand.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:51:20 PM
I have been through 4 first trimester losses, one at 22 weeks, and one at 38 weeks. All were difficult, but none had the impact that the full term loss did. That was a crushing blow and the grieving took years! My 22 week loss was actually just 8 months after the 38 week one and for a time, my grieving for the 38 weeker was derailed by the new loss. However, as time has passed, it's the baby I carried to term that I find myself thinking about and missing the most.

All in all, I would say the 1st trimester miscarriages were very sad, but not life defining. The 22 and 38 week losses are not something I think I'll ever be over.

That said, I would never presume to say how another mother would or should be affected by any pregnancy/infant loss.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:58:41 PM

My SIL lost a pregnancy at 6 weeks. That doesn't seem like a pregnancy to me but a really late period, so I don't know.

I lost my first at 10 weeks 4 days. I still have the baby's sonogram pictures. It's obvious it was a baby.


I really do not mean this to sound bitchy, but I am sure it will. Why was your 10 week loss more of a "baby" than your sil's 6 weels loss? To her, she lost a baby, just as much as you did, 4 weeks later.

I have always wondered, where is the line drawn? Is a 16 week loss worse than a 14 week loss? Is 24 weeks worse than 20 weeks? Is full term worse than a one month old?


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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:06:24 PM
I think a loss is a loss but I still have a hard time with the loss of my BFF's baby. She was 18 weeks and I was only 10 weeks. It still makes me cry. She had to deliver him. I just couldn't imagine having to deliver a baby knowing it wasn't alive.

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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:09:55 PM
I would never presume to define another persons grief. I think each person is entitled to feel as much grief from the loss as they deem necessary.

That being said.

I have been through 3 miscarriages. Fist at 13 weeks, Second at 15 weeks and the third at 5 weeks. My personal experience is that the first two affected me far more. I still have the sonogram pictures. I could not see a diaper commercial without breaking down. However, that is not to say I did not grieve after the 3rd. I had only found out a week previous when I started bleeding so it was less of a shock to me as I hadn't had as much time to enjoy the idea of being pregnant.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:11:36 PM
(Sorry, I can't find the quote function on my phone).........

"I think those are always the hardest with early term for a lot of woman. I think there is always that fear you will never have a successful pregnancy or you are infertile if you want children."

I think this is a very important thing to consider.

I was always told I could never get pregnant. I was over the moon with both excitement and a bit of fear when I found out I was pregnant.

I lost that pregnancy and had emergency d&c on the morning of my 12th week. It was my first pregnancy.

That happened in October. It's February now and sometimes I still find myself crying so deeply when I'm alone because so many think it was "such an early loss". To me, I was a becoming a Mom when I found out I was pregnant. I talked to the baby and planned things in my mind.

I am scared that if I get pregnant again, ill lose the baby. I'm scared that I won't get pregnant again etc.

It doesn't make the loss less or worse than someone else's. it's just different. I dont have another child to find comfort and joy in and I fear I might not ever. It's not the same pain as a later loss but it still hurts and that is still the same.

Sorry if this post is a bit rambled. My loss apparently "makes other people uncomfortable" (or so I have been told) so I don't often get to speak of it.
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:17:32 PM

I still find myself crying so deeply when I'm alone because so many think it was "such an early loss". To me, I was a becoming a Mom when I found out I was pregnant. I talked to the baby and planned things in my mind.

I am scared that if I get pregnant again, ill lose the baby. I'm scared that I won't get pregnant again etc.

It doesn't make the loss less or worse than someone else's. it's just different. I dont have another child to find comfort and joy in and I fear I might not ever. It's not the same pain as a later loss but it still hurts and that is still the same.

Sorry if this post is a bit rambled. My loss apparently "makes other people uncomfortable" (or so I have been told) so I don't often get to speak of it.


what you said about becoming a mom when you found out you were pregnant is so true.

I am so very sorry for you loss. I feel bad for you that you don't get to speak of it and don't have the support that you probably need right now.

megmc
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
Posts: 6,921
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:19:09 PM
My one at one month was horrible, since we were trying.

the one( the last one) at 6 weeks wasn't as bad since she/he was very unplanned, but I still can't look at the boy that was born when mine was supposed to be here

My son's twin, We didn't know about. It is just sad that my son didn't get to grow up with him.

My daughter's twin were only here for a microsecond. I think that the disappointment was more because the Dr. kept "looking" for twin at every ultrasound.

So It depends on how the parents are handling the loss.

leslie132
BucketHead

PeaNut 399,083
November 2008
Posts: 699
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:20:04 PM
I think everyone has that right to think their loss is worse than the next person. No matter when it occurs, it is heartbreaking.

Having said that, I will say that after 5 years of infertility and achieving pregnancy with a new doctor we were over the moon. We went to the hospital in labor the day before my due date. We ha no idea that 6 hours later we would have our daughter pass away. For me, one of the toughest things to get over, was going to the hospital all loaded down with newborn gear and sadly, coming home to a new crib that never got used. It added a layer of pain that I don't think an early pregnancy loss would experience.

But again.....any loss is heartbreaking!


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ramblin72
PeaNut

PeaNut 85,321
May 2003
Posts: 492
Layouts: 73

Posted: 2/3/2013 10:26:24 PM
someone who has a loss at 12 weeks may not know what 20 weeks is like so in their frame of reference, 12 weeks is as bad as it gets.
when people are grieving any loss you're not handed a card with an expiry date

scrapaholicmt
I reject your reality & substitute my own

PeaNut 183,518
January 2005
Posts: 12,323
Layouts: 64
Loc: Big Sky Country

Posted: 2/3/2013 10:26:50 PM
a loss is a loss no matter when it happens.


Jennie
You call me Pollyanna like that's a bad thing.




Flat Alex's World Tour

bsn22
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 253,768
March 2006
Posts: 2,430
Layouts: 6
Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 2/3/2013 11:10:18 PM
I miscarried early in my pregnancy and someone said that I shouldn't worry because it wasn't even really a baby yet anyway. I promptly said "It was to me,"and walked away.



SusanNJ
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 291,659
January 2007
Posts: 2,956
Layouts: 0
Loc: New Jersey

Posted: 2/3/2013 11:13:26 PM
i lost a baby at 26 weeks. I delivered her stillborn.

I do not look down upon anyone who has had a loss at any stage. It is one of the most devasting things that anybody can go through
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