Intro from an elephant in the room — The Bump
Late Term and Child Loss

Intro from an elephant in the room

I am very sad not only to be posting here, but that this group exists at all.

A little over 12 weeks ago my husband and I received the terrible news that our daughter’s heart was no longer beating. I was 41 weeks and labor had finally started. When we got to the hospital and the nurse put the fetal monitor on my belly and there was no sound I immediately knew she was gone even though the nurse was still trying to find the heartbeat and was getting the doctor to bring in the ultrasound. That was the most terrible moment, to look over at my husband who was so excited and happy that it was finally almost time to meet our baby girl and knowing that in seconds his world was going to come crashing down. After many long and painful hours of labor I finally gave birth to our beautiful Lillian Wren, all 9 lbs 6.4 oz and 22.5 inches of her. She was perfect and wonderful. She had lots of dark hair, my husband’s brow line and forehead, my lips, chins, and toes. I look at photos of her and am still in amazement that I grew someone so beautiful, she really got the best combination of genes from my husband and I. My parents were there with us, they were also there for all of the labor, and they got to meet her and hold her which is a memory I deeply cherish.  

We have since gotten back the results from the autopsy and also all the bloodwork that they did on me and any they did on her. She was absolutely perfect in every way; it was an acute ascending infection that took her. I had seen the doctor two days prior and we were both happy and healthy, she had a strong heartbeat, and there was absolutely no cause for concern. The infection came on very suddenly and got her first. She had been active and squirming around until she just all of a sudden wasn’t. It started to get me too as the labor went on- but being an adult I was better able to fight it until they could give me the antibiotics and treatment. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish it took me, though I know my husband would be devastated. I have been struggling with regret and guilt- that my body couldn’t go into labor sooner, that maybe I shouldn’t have continued working until the end but instead rested at home as maybe then I would have been strong enough, or something enough, to have prevented this infection, that maybe I somehow missed that she was in distress and didn’t go to the hospital in time… My doctor has said there was nothing I did wrong and that these infections can come very suddenly and strike without rhyme or reason. I try to believe that, it is just really hard sometimes.

We are still learning how to live day by day, sometimes minute by minute. My husband had to go back to work two weeks after her birth. I have just recently gone back to work. I wasn’t really wanting to but, it had to happen. I have been struggling greatly with many insensitive coworkers. There are a number of people that have never said anything and avoid me- I am just the big elephant in the room. I am angry a lot of the time about this, but primarily just very, very hurt. I feel so ostracized and in a small, close knit group like ours that is really difficult. Do any of you have suggestions for how to deal with this? Part of me thinks that only option is to find another job, but maybe that is being too rash. I have also been learning to forgive and to hopefully at some point repair the relationship with my in-laws for how they acted after Lillian’s birth. It has been difficult but they are my husband’s parents and so I try- I have told him it will take time and not to push me. He has also struggled with them, but since they are his parents I think he was able to forgive and move forward easier.  

I am sorry this has turned long. I am also very sorry for each of your losses.


Re: Intro from an elephant in the room

  • I am so very sorry to welcome you to this board and for the loss of your precious daughter. Lillian Wren is such a beautiful name! My heart breaks for you and your husband and all that you are experiencing. Like you my labor started at 39 weeks and we arrived expecting to be bringing home our son only to learn he did not have a heart beat - that is the most crushing news one can ever hear. (my son died of a cord accident). I am so glad you and your family were able to cherish the time you had with Lillian. I can understand your frustration with family, friends and co-workers - unfortunately not everyone is able to respond appropriately and sometimes we need to teach others how we need to be treated. Be patient and kind to yourself - you would have done everything and anything you could have for your daughter. This is an incredible board with many amazing women and it has helped me so much. I hope it helps you too:)
  • I'm so sorry for the loss your daughter Lillian. I hope you find the support you need here. It's hard for people to understand how to treat us. My coworkers have not said a thing to me since I went back to work but I could tell they wanted to say something but did not know what to say. I went back to work fairly soon after I gave birth to my son so I was actually glad no one asked me about any of it. 
    TTC since August 2013 BFP #1 1/15/14...MMC 2/24/14...D&C 3/3/14 BFP #2 5/11/14 ... severe pre-e placental abruption our angel born sleeping at 22 weeks Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
  • I am so sorry for your loss. Lillian Wren is a beautiful name. I hope you find comfort in this group and lean on us any time you need.

    Going back to work was incredibly hard for me too. I had a lot of trouble keeping it together, so in some respects I appreciated that people gave me my space at first but it hurt a great deal that some people that I felt I was fairly close with didn't even acknowledge my daughter. People don't know what to say and sadly it seems most people err on the side of saying nothing at all rather than risk saying the wrong thing. It sucks. Only you can decide what's best for you but if you enjoy the actual work you do and used to enjoy the people you work with, I suggest giving it some time before making any big decisions. Being at work has pretty much gone back to normal for me but I know I will never forget who reached out to me or expressed kindness to me in one form or another after my loss and those that never said a word. That list is permanently burned in my brain.
    November 2010 - 10.5 week loss  o:) 
    October 2011 - DS (7)  <3 
    July 2014 - Stillborn DD (24 weeks)  o:) 
    August 2015 - DD (3)  <3 
    April 2018 - 5 week loss o:) 

  • **ticker warning**

    I am so sorry for your loss.  I lost my twin boys at 22.5 weeks due to an infection as well (Chorio).  Labor came on rapidly, and like you -my babies were fine until they weren't.  The doctors induced labor before the infection could kill me (although, I didn't really care about that - but I did realize that if I died, so would my boys since we delivered so early). We got to spend two short hours with them before they passed away in our arms. 

    My husband and I talk about our boys openly and positively, since we still believe they are the best things to ever happen to us.  However, it took us awhile to get to this point.  Their first birthday is coming up in just one week. Most people are still uncomfortable talking about them or hearing about them, which hurts. Also, when people found out it was an infection that took the boys, some were very quick to blame me.  I hope that you do not find yourself in the same shoes. 

    If you ever need to talk, please feel free to send me a private message.  Love and prayers to you and your family. 
  • I'm so sorry for the loss of Lillian. I'm glad you found this board. We aren't elephants here.
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
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    [Deleted User]
  • I'm so sorry for your loss.This board is full of very caring women, so I hope you can find some peace here.

    I can't offer advice on your specific situation because I haven't gone back to work yet (my son passed on December 4th), but I will definitely be thinking of and praying for you!

  • I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl Lillilan Wren. What a beautiful name! I'm sorry you are joining us here, no one wants to be a part of this group. I can relate to your feelings of guilt and "what if". I have really struggled with my own feelings of why didn't I realize sooner that something was wrong, why couldn't I save him, that is was all my fault. What you are feeling is normal and you must know that your daughters death was not your fault. Of course you did, and would do, whatever you could to save her.

    As for dealing with co-workers, I'll second what PP have said - people just do not know what to say and so they say nothing. My only advice is, as you feel comfortable, talk about your daughter. When coworkers are talking about their children, their pregnancies, or loss in their own lives, talk about your daughter. If you do something in her memory, or something makes you think about her, talk about it with them. We have had to take this approach with my ILs, they do not talk about our son at all, so we talk about him with them, and it does seem like it has helped. The more you talk about her, the more your coworkers will realize that it is okay to talk to you about her.

    Also, you could put photos of her out in your office - often our babies seem to "not exist" for other people, but seeing a photo (even just of her hands or feet if you don't feel comfortable sharing anything else) makes them more real for others. One of the other moms on here shared how she had a photo of her daughter out in her office and a visitor commented on what a beautiful little girl she had. That sort of response will make any mom proud! I have a photo of my sons feet and also a beach shot of his name in the sand out in my office at work, and both are out proudly along with other family photos, and if nothing else, those photos make me think about him and that makes me smile.

    One other suggestion, if you have any jewelry that is in memory of your daughter, wear it. People will comment on it and it gives you a chance to talk about your little girl. My husband wears a band every day that says "dad of an angel" and he gets asked about it often which gives him a chance to talk about Colton, which is special.

    Ultimately, it's really about how comfortable you are with people asking about her (and some days that is easier than others, I get that! Even now 16 months since the loss of our son, I still have days where I don't want to talk about him). And the more you talk about her, the more you bring her up, the more you show how proud and in love with her you are, the less awkward it will be with people and the more normal it will be for everyone when her name comes up in conversation.

    Again, I am so sorry that you are joing us here, and please know that we are here whenever you need us.
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    Me: 32 DH: 33  High School Sweethearts  Married 5/28/2005
    DS1 born 6/5/10 at 40 weeks via emergency c-section due to fetal distress and IUGR caused by placental insufficiency
    DS2 born still 8/28/13 at 32 weeks via emergency c-section due to a complete placental abruption - cause unknown
    Baby #3 on the way, EDD 2/29/16.  Originally twins, but we said goodbye to Baby B at 8 weeks.
  • *ticker warning*

    I am so, so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. We understand how you feel and are here for you. I too experienced that elephant in the room feeling with coworkers and even friends/family. It does get easier with time, but be gentle with yourself. 


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  • I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter Lillian Wren. I think it is very normal to feel guilty, even if it is not your fault. As mothers, we feel like we are supposed to protect our babies, but sometimes, there's nothing we can do.

    Work can be difficult. When I went back to work, nobody really knew what to say or do. I agree with PPs, if you feel comfortable, talk about your daughter. I think some people don't say anything because they don't want to upset you, but if you take the lead, they might feel more comfortable. Loss can be such an isolating experience. And I think we tend to isolate ourselves more because we don't want to make other people uncomfortable.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about trying to forgive your in-laws right now. You need to focus on yourself and your healing first.

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers 
    BFP #1 DS born 10/16/12 at 39w6d
    BFP #2 DD lost 11/17/14 at 17w2d
  • Thank you everyone for your thoughts, kindness and advice. 

    I will continue to try and be patient and understanding of my co-workers actions and that it might just take them time before they can talk to me, but it is hard. There are a few people that do talk to me, not always about Lillian or what happened but at least to say hi, how are you, or acknowledge that I am there. I am ok with that and appreciate them. The real hurt has been the people that won't even look at me. For those people it has been difficult to start a conversation, even to just say "hi", and I have tried to approach them gently. At first I thought I must be imagining it but after three weeks I have come to accept that they are in fact actively avoiding me. I have written an email explaining a few things about what I am going through, how I acknowledge this is tough for people and that they might not know what to say/do, and gave a few tips/links from websites and my therapist- but got no response, not even from my supervisor. With the group being so small it has been difficult to not feel the sting so I am now just trying to be patient and give them time as I don't know what else to do. 

    I have brought in some photos of Lillian for my desk and have a photo mug with her feet and name on it that I use for coffee/tea. I have also two different necklaces that I wear for remembering her, one with a photo of us holding her feet and another of a bird (since her middle name is Wren). No one has mentioned them, even when I know they have seen them, but I did this for me as I love having reminders of her near me at all times and it does make being at work a little easier. 

    ikrystal I am so sorry that anyone ever blamed you for what happened, my heart breaks that you had to experience that. 

  • My heart breaks for you. I too lost my daughter at 40 weeks. No labor had started, but no heartbeat could be found. I just KNEW after a few minutes of searching for it that my little girl was gone. I don't feel like there are any words that can make the hurt go away...but please remember there are so many of us who have suffered this pain and you are not alone. We all walk in the same shoes and we all have the most beautiful kind of angels. Allow yourself to grieve as much and as long as you want. As far as coworkers go - I think they are just afraid to say something that may hurt..because there is nothing like a mother losing her child.

    P.s. I wonder what you think about a career or office change? A fresh start? When I lost my daughter I threw myself back into my degree in Psychology and then focused on helping really helped heal me to help other people..and animals.
  • I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl, Lillian. Going back to work is tough. We spend 40+ hours each week with these people and (depending on your work environment), you do become close. I went back slowly--working on the weekend when no one was there. Then I did a few evenings starting at 3pm, when I knew I would only see a few people.

    I work in social services, so who better to have large, warm, comforting things to say then my fellow social worker colleagues, right? Wrong. I, too, felt like the elephant in the room and even my best work friends could barely look at me. They texted and were supportive when they learned of our loss, so I was not prepared for feeling ostracized. I think they avoided me, because they didn't want to make me cry at work. (I'm a crier!)

    I work with very few males, but of all people to approach me to express how sorry they were to hear of our loss it was the 3 men in my unit. My work BFF/cube mate was at her desk when the one guy approached and hugged me. Later that evening she texted me and apologized for not saying anything my first day back. That opened the conversation to how it made me feel and we have quite a strong "grapevine" at work, so the next day was a lot different.

    Eventually work became the place I felt most comfortable, as I was avoiding social outings with friends left and right. Give it some time. If you have a good friend or two, tell them how you feel and hopefully the grapevine will work more effectively than an email--though had I received your email, I would've been extremely grateful! Great idea. Honestly, before experiencing my losses I might've been one of them? Big hugs to you, my dear.

    TTC since 10/2010
    IUIs # 1-5 = BFFN
    IVF # 1(July 2012) = BFN
    IVF # 2 (November 2012) = BFP (MIssed MC D&C @ 8w3d on 1/10/13)
    IVF # 3 (June 2013) = BFN 
    IVF # 4 (September 2013) = BFP Fraternal twin boys! (Loss at 21w6d due to IC on 1/26/14...devastated.)
    3/21/14--TAC (transabdominal cerclage) w/Dr. Davis in NJ
    IVF # 5 (May 2014) = BFN
    FET (August 2014) = BFN

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  • @Maybe Joleisa I am also a social worker, you'd think our coworkers would understand how to handle someone grieving...but it's totally not true!! When it's personal and close to home, people have no idea how to react.

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