How to Use the Directory

Welcome to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Directory. This blog is maintained by volunteers to act like a "telephone book" for blogs dealing with the loss of a baby. It is open to anyone who has ever lost a baby in any way - we do not discriminate by age of your baby or circumstance of your loss. If you think you belong here, then we think you belong here.

When you submit your blog, it is manually added to the list, so it may take some time for it to appear on the list. When you submit your information as requested below, it is easier to spot those emails that have been redirected into the spam mail.

Blogs are listed by category of loss. This is to help you find blogs that deal with circumstances that may be similar to yours. That being said, it can be a moving and healing experience to read the blogs of people who's loss is not similar to yours. You are welcome to read any of the blogs listed here.

Though there could be literally thousands of categories of loss, we have created 4 broad categories: before 20 weeks, after 20 weeks, after birth, and medical termination. Please note that most blogs dealing with extreme prematurity are listed in the "after birth" category even though the gestational age might suggest a different category.

As a warning to those feeling particularly fragile, many of the blogs listed here discuss living children or subsequent pregnancies. In the sidebar links, those blogs are usually marked with an asterisk(*). However, the circumstances of individual bloggers will change, and sometimes the listings do not get updated. It is possible to encounter pictures of living children or pregnant bellies on the blogs listed here.

We also have a list of resources (books), online links, and online publications that you may find useful. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the full listing of links.

We are so sorry the loss of a beloved child has brought you here. We hope that you will find some solace within the community that has gathered.
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Monday, October 29, 2007

Handle with care

Handle with care
October 6, 2007
Sydney Morning Herald
Kate Benson and Bellinda Kontominas.

Karina Jensen was halfway through delivering her dead baby at Sutherland hospital when a midwife handed her funeral brochures, suggesting she read them between contractions because "we have other people with live babies that are our priority".

After holding her daughter, Amber, for less than two hours, Jensen said farewell on advice from a midwife who wanted her "cooled at the morgue because it's better for the post-mortem" - only to find her dead baby then spent 10 hours alone and uncovered in a corridor of the busy maternity unit.

"It was a horrifying experience," she says. "Amber was right outside my room all night and I didn't know it. My husband, Jack, found her. She had been born at 9pm and he had left to go home about midnight. He saw her in a crib in the hallway and thought she'd be taken to the morgue soon. But the next morning when he came back she was still there in the corridor, with mothers walking past."

Jensen says she spent all night listening to other women in labour and the piercing cries of newborns, before discharging herself the next morning.

"It's such a small thing, but being in the maternity ward that night made a painful process that much more painful. It rubbed salt in my wounds."

A day later Jack Jensen received a phone call from a staff member at the hospital asking him to bring Amber back for a hearing check as they had "rushed off" before it could be done. Stunned, he replied: "Our daughter is in your morgue. If you find out that she can hear anything, you give us a call and we'll come get her."

But their agonising experience does not ring true for all parents.

Fiona van der Plaat's first child, Nicholas, died hours after birth at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 1998 and, even though she spent five days on the postnatal ward with mothers and newborns, apologetic staff gave her a room of her own as far from the sound of crying babies as possible.

Van der Plaat and her husband, Paul, were allowed to hold Nicholas for as long as they needed after his death. They were given photos of them as a family, a lock of his fair hair and prints of his tiny hands and feet. For days afterwards, midwives would bring Nicholas back from the morgue so relatives could meet him and find closure.

"He had had a post-mortem but they had dressed him in a knitted cap and a blanket so we couldn't tell and they were very encouraging that we should all hold him," van der Plaat says. "It was an extremely painful experience but we couldn't have been treated any better."

For Michael Grosvenor, those emotionally charged weeks after the stillbirth of his daughter, Amelia, left him with little time to mourn. Funeral arrangements and phone calls had to be made to inform family and friends of the couple's loss, but he says he and his wife, Suzanne, were treated with great sensitivity at Calvary Health Care, formerly Hurstville Private Community Hospital.

"You couldn't fault them. The nursing staff went beyond the call of duty, and one even came back to see us on her day off," he says.

The Grosvenors were given all the time they needed with Amelia. Their family and close friends were allowed to visit at all hours and midwives comforted and supported them. More

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