Saying Hello / Saying Goodbye

Inevitably, the day comes when you say hello and then goodbye. My heart hurts just thinking about it. It's a day filled with emotions, both painful and wonderful. There is nothing like the feeling of looking at the sweet face of the little one you've loved so much. It's such a beautiful and wonderful moment when you say "hello my love!" When that hello is followed by goodbye, your heart and soul rip in a way that no one else will ever understand. A deep wound is formed. A wound that will never go away. The place in your heart just for your baby. There is so much pain when you have to say goodbye when you want so badly to keep them. I wish with all my heart no mama or daddy ever had to do this <3.

The following are suggestions. Do what's best for you and your baby. 

As you prepare for Hello:
~Create a very specific birth plan. Talk openly and honestly with your care team so everyone clearly understands your wishes. Include things like: possible interventions, the people you want present (or the people you don't want present), your desires for pain relief, and anything else that's important to you on that day. Once you have it set, print it out and keep a copy with you at all times (you may not know when the day will come).

~Prepare for labor. Personally, we took Bradley classes. There are many options. Find the one that will work best for you.

~Make or buy a special blanket for your baby. You will cherish it forever and, because you hold your baby in it, it may smell like him or her and provide a small comfort as you grieve later.

~Buy a special outfit you want to dress your baby in. Buy a few different sizes, just in case, including preemie. If it's early in your pregnancy, there are lots of websites with very tiny outfit sizes (Something Precious). Don't worry if you don't have one - most hospitals will provide one.

~Bring any special books, toys, and other items you'll want for photos and special moments with your baby.

~Contact Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ahead of time, and then keep the contact information with you at all times. (You can include it in your birth plan). Again, many hospitals will do this for you - just ask.

~Contact MissingGRACE. Explain your situation. They will send you a gift basket with lots of beautiful items just for you. They also have a folder of very helpful information that will help you during the time before and after the loss.

~Be sure to bring a camera and, if possible, a video camera.  Have someone specific (family, friend, nurse, etc) whose only job is to record your time with the baby. Make sure a video camera is set up to record your time with your baby. You'll want it later, believe me.

~Decide which funeral home you'd like to use and make arrangements with them. 

Saying Goodbye:

~Call NILMDTS and be sure your video camera is set up.
~Name your baby
~Ask for warm blankets from the nurses to keep your baby warm as you snuggle with them.
~Bring a special lotion or essential oil for your baby. It'll be a special time to massage their precious little body and the scent will remind you of them forever.
~Give your baby a bath.
~Dress them in a special outfit. And change them a few times too, if you'd like.
~Sleep with them.
~Take all the time you need. Don't let anyone rush you.
~If you have other children, allow them to hold, kiss, see their sibling. Let them see your emotions and talk openly with them about what is happening.
~Take time to focus on every part of your little one and take lots of photos. 
~Rock them, sing to them, read a special story to them, kiss them, and love on them for as long as you'd like.
~If possible, take a hair clipping, make hand and feet molds (many hospitals will provide them, or you can buy them at craft stores or here.), and make hand and foot prints.
~Allow all emotions. It's okay to smile and laugh, it's okay to cry and hurt. Just allow them as them come.  You may even just feel numb. That's okay. If you baby has a visible deformity, you may feel shocked by it. That's okay too, just take your time.
~If you would like friends and family to visit, give them time to meet your little one, but also have someone whose job is to get people out of the room if you're feeling overwhelmed, or if you just want some alone time with the baby. 
~Depending on your faith, have the baby baptized, or anything else spiritually important to you.
~As you prepare to leave the hospital, ask for any/all items your baby had or used that you can keep. 
~Go slow and take your time. You can't have this day back.
~Have something to hold when you leave the hospital. A teddy bear or blanket can help as you leave without your baby.

Again, I'm so very sorry you have to do this.
Keep reminding yourself, "I'm doing all I can. My baby knows how much I love them". <3

If you've had to say Hello and Goodbye to your baby, what advice/suggestions do you have?

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