Late Term and Child Loss

15 weeks and no heartbeat. Need some questions answered.

So after an ER visit yesterday and an OB visit today it was confirmed that the baby did not have a heartbeat. Apparently, I was measuring at 15 weeks and the baby was exactly 15 weeks into development, and the OB said it was just some sort of "freak accident" and "very rare" and "likely a chromosome problem".

 Because I'm 15 weeks I have to go in and deliver the baby instead of the other procedure (since the other would have higher risks for me). I know it'll be hard and I've made peace with that part, but I'm wondering what were some of the options those of you who've been through it had for the baby?

I just want to know what happens to the baby after, and if its possible for me to donate the baby to science or something -- because honestly, that's what we did with my brother and that's what I plan to do for myself, but I also want to know of any other options out there too.

Also, how long after the procedure will I be down and out? Will I have to take it easy for a few days, weeks, etc. or will I be okay to basically go back to being full-time mom and not worry about stressing my body out? 
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Re: 15 weeks and no heartbeat. Need some questions answered.

  • Honestly, I thought I was posting in the right place for this. I'll definitely post it there, too.
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  • I was almost 24 weeks and had a D&E. If you really do not want to deliver, you could push for that. The problem is that a lot of hospitals do not perform the procedure and you do not want to have to go to a clinic. I wish you peace during this difficult time.  

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  • So sorry to hear about the loss of your little one.  We lost our son at 31 weeks, so the experience was quite different due to his growth, etc.  For me it was like a normal delivery.  They induced me with a pill that was inserted vaginally.  Once I started active labor I was given petocin to speed up the process.  I was in labor for 12 hours and did have an epi.  When I delivered him, the doctor had to cut and stitch, which increased the healing time some, but I wouldn't expect that for you since the baby will be smaller.  We held our son for almost two hours after he was born and had him baptized.  The hospital took a few pictures for us and put together a memory box for us.  After he was born we didn't really have many options.  Our hospital did not offer any type of burial or cremation and we were told that we were responsible for him.  We planned a small funeral for him and chose a nice burial plot.  It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I had to do it for my child.  We asked if we could donate his cord blood or anything, but they told us that he had been gone for too long for it to be of any use.  After the delivery it took me about 2 weeks to stop bleeding, about 4 weeks to get my first period, but a lot longer to heal emotionally (still working on that part).  I hope that things go as smoothly as possible for you and that you're on the mend soon!  Best wishes.
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  • I am sorry you are going through this.  I went into labor naturally at 18.5 weeks so I don't have any experience with inducing labor.  My labor was about 12 hours long.  I didn't know what was going on for the first 8ish hours as the cramping felt like gastrointestinal or back pain and it wasn't so bad as to make me think something was really wrong.  At that point I went to the hospital and was given options for pain management since the pain really accelerated (along with other traditional labor symptoms like vomiting and feeling panicked).  I was offered an epidural or morphine and I went with morphine. 

    They told me I only needed to dilate to around 5 cm to deliver a baby that small.  The delivery part (the physical part--certainly not the emotional part!) was easy.  They said that I would feel a lot of pressure or a need to push when it was time and when I did to call a nurse right away and they'd get the resident on my case.  But I never actually felt much pressure after I got the morphine.  So at one point just randomly checking on me they said they thought I was ready to push.  And Alice arrived feet first with just a couple of pushes.  The placenta, though, would not detach from the uterus (which apparently is very common with losses in the early second trimester).  So after a few hours of waiting to see if I could deliver it naturally I ended up with a d&c which I was awake for, just had an epidural.

    The hospital from the beginning once we knew I was in labor and we could stop it asked a bunch of questions about what we wanted for the baby.  They asked if we had a name we wanted them to refer to her by.  They asked if we wanted to hold her after she was born.  We weren't sure at first, but were told that she might be born alive and gasp for air for a few minutes in which case I was sure I wanted to hold her since I couldn't let her die anywhere else but being held by us.  Her heartbeat had already stopped, though, by the time she was born.  But my wife saw her come out as I was pushing and said "she's perfect," I think we should hold her so we did.  They told us we could have as much or as little time as we wanted with her.  They also gave us a memory box with photos, a blanket and outfit she was dressed for the photos, and hand/foot prints.  They sent chaplain in at some point though we are not religious and so didn't really need that.  They gave me various resources for mental health help after the loss and some info about after care (e.g. milk coming in).

    In terms of what options there are for the baby's body, I think whether you can donate the body depends on the hospital.  The hospital where I delivered is a top university research hospital so there seems to be a study on everything under the sun which they need participants for.  So when our options were given to us, they did tell us about a professor/doctor who was doing research on pregnancy loss and that many parents in our situation donated the baby's body to him for that research.  We agreed to do that but unfortunately he had just retired a few months earlier and so his research program was no longer going.  We did choose to have an autopsy on Alice and her twin B who had died in utero 4 weeks earlier.  I believe even with the autopsy we could have arranged to transfer their bodies to a funeral home to do a burial or to receive their ashes.  We aren't really funeral or keep ashes sort of people though so we decided not to ask for the remains.  Our hospital does an annual ceremony each fall where the ashes of all the babies they have for the year are spread.

    In terms of recovery, I had a rough pregnancy--a lot of morning sickness, food aversions, tiredness, and pelvic pain.  I actually felt *physically* better just hours after the d&c then I had in months.  I remember the next morning I hadn't had anything to eat in almost 24 hours so my wife went to the hospital coffee shop and got me a bagel w/ cream cheese.  And even in my horrible emotional state, it tasted better than anything I had eaten for months as my food aversions and queasiness were gone.  My pelvic pain also went away.  They had me on prescription ibuprofen after the epidural wore off from the d&c but I really had no pain at all after the d&c.  I think *physically* I could have gone back to normal activities the next day after the delivery.  *Emotionally* it was a whole different story.

    BFP #1 9/21/11. EDD 6/4/12.  Twins discovered at 8 weeks. Twin B lost at 14 weeks due to megacystis.  Alice Joe born and lost 1/5/12 at 18.5 weeks due to pre-term labor.

    BFP #2 7/11/12.  EDD 3/23/13.  Ada Alice born 3/20/13.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. It is a pain no one should ever have to experience. 

    Our loss was at 26 weeks. After a l&d, we chose to have an autopsy and then we had her cremated.  I think it will depend on the hospitals and universities in your area and whether or not there is scientific research being done. Probably would have to ask your OB. 

    I wish you the best of luck and, again, I am so sorry for your loss. 

    DD#1 8/7/2009 TTC#2 BFP 11/10/12 Baby girl born sleeping at 26 weeks
  • I am very sorry for your loss.

    In regards to your questions, of course everyone and every place is different. I delivered my baby too. It took about 24 hrs from the start of induction until delivery. I was also offered to hold my baby... I wish now that I had seen him but make the best decision for you. Ask for a footprint if you can. If I had had time to think about things, I also would have brought a blanket for him to be wrapped in. Idelevered at a Christian hospital so they had a program for early babies. He was cremated and now has a place in the cemetery. If your wish is to donate your baby to science, ask your doctor or nurse about it. I found my nurses very helpful. In terms of recovery, I was told to wait six weeks before going back. I went back after three... While it is hard to get back into your routine, I found it hard to sit around just inking about it too. The doctors said that my milk would come in and it does for many women. It did not for me. I did take it easy for a few days, partly for physical reasons and mostly for emotional reasons.


    Allow yourself time to recover. It is okay to ask for help if you need. Again, I am sorry for your loss. 

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  • I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my baby at about 15 weeks, and was able to have the procedure instead of delivering. There were some risks involved, but for me everything went as well as it possibly could. I think this can be an option for you if you do not want to deliver, which I definitely understand. I am so sorry you have to go through this.


    "As long as I live you will live. As long as I live you will be loved."

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    BFP#2 5/21/14 EDD 1/27/15 *GROW BABY GROW*



  • I gave birth to my son one day short of 24 weeks.  From the time I was induced to the time I gave birth was 12 hours.  I was on morphine during labor, and phyically I could have gone back to work the next day, though I took a week off (and should have taken more to start healing emotionally).  I spent four hours with my son and got lots of pictures.  He was cremated.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.  Please come back and see us as you need to.

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
  • Sorry for your loss. As many pp have said, it is going to depend on your hospital procedures and OB. We opted to deliver at the hospital with a study being preformed on second tri losses. The other hospital required the parents to cremate or burry the remains. 
  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

    We had something similar happen at 18 weeks, I can share with you how it went down -

    I was given cytotec to start labor, they put it in your cervix (which is very uncomfortable), they did that every 4 hours or so at the hospital for 6 doses or something crazy, that was causing only mild contractions and my cervix wasn't opening so they tried a foley catheter (that hurt) and then laminaria (again, in cervix) which finally did the trick. I was taking IV pain meds but didn't want an epi, even though they suggested it. Well when the contractions started full force I gave in and did the epi.  After Harrison was finally delivered, I ended up having to have a D&C because the placenta would not detach (this is apparently very common). Since I had the epi anyway, they gave me something to knock me out and that was it, I don't remember the surgery at all. After the epi wore off (about 4 hours after surgery), physically I felt just fine, although a little tired and worn down. I bled lightly for about a week and that was that. One upside to the D&C is it cleans everything out so there's less bleeding afterwards. I had a light period about 3 weeks afterwards. I don't know if light periods are the 'new normal' for me or if it was just a light one because of the D&C.

    We had an autopsy done on Harrison to see if they could find out what happened. Because of that, we got to see him and take pics, but we never got any remains back. In retrospect, I wish we would not have because you could tell by looking at him that physically he was perfect. But it's totally up to you if you want to have that done or not. I think we did ask about having his body donated as this is my wish for myself when the time comes, but I don't completely remember, it was all a bit of a drug induced blur. 

    I hope that helps and I hope it goes ok for you. 

    **Warning: Losses and living child mentioned**
    BFP#1 1/31/12, EDD 10/6/12 Harrison Gray born sleeping @ 18w6d. You changed our lives little guy.
    BFP#2 EDD 10/29/13, C/P 2/25/13, Bye little Ish, we barely got to know you.
    BFP#3 EDD 12/21/13, Baby Boots born 11/23/13 My rainbow baby!

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  • I am so sorry for your loss. 

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