Life After the FuneralThere is nothing that prepares you for a silent birth and there is nothing that prepares you for going home without your baby. I often refer to the moment that Sophie was born as a deafening silence, and I know that this is a contradiction in terms. So I thought I would write a series of blog posts, not to upset people, but to explain what happens during a silent birth, why the silence is deafening, and what happens after the birth. This is just my experience, and other people’s experience may be different… I would like to hear other experiences so please write a comment or send me an email if you wish.
In the series are:
- The Induction, labour and birth
- Your sleeping baby and the first 24 hours
- Going home without your baby
- Supporting your children
- The post-mortem
- Planning you baby’s farewell
- Life after the funeral
- Help that is available
Supporting Your Children
One of the hardest things that a parent has to do is to tell their other children that their brother or sister has passed away. Your heart is breaking, but then you have to break their heart too, and watch as their world crashes. It is just so hard. I remember my middle son saying ‘how can she die? she wasn’t old’ It’s true… babies are not supposed to die; old people do but NOT babies… it is just wrong on so many levels. You may find that your child’s perception is different to yours and that will also depend on their age too. I have 3 living children; at the time of Sophie’s passing they were 15, 10 and 2… and they each had different ways of dealing with the grief. My youngest son just says ‘baby in the sky’… he has no concept of what has happened; my middle son had so many questions and was really distraught; while my oldest son spent hours in his room not talking to anyone.
So… you may find that they ask lots of questions, they may be quiet and not say anything, they may not realise the severity; they may start to become badly behaved; they may start attention seeking; they may cry for hours or not at all… all of these reactions, and more, are normal and the best way that you can support them is to simply be there, answer their questions, give them a cuddle or some space when needed, and just reinforce how much you love them… because they are hurting too.
There is help available and your doctor or school should be able to help with bereavement counselling for your son/daughter. You will also be able assigned a bereavement midwife after your baby dies and they are an excellent source for support and information.
At the end of this series there is a post about help which is available.