If you miscarried, would you name the baby, hold a funeral?

TV reality mom Michelle Duggar recently miscarried in the sixth month of pregnancy. She announced that she plans to name the baby as well as hold a funeral.

I know many people feel strongly about the Duggars choosing to have so many kids but I don’t really want this to be about beating up on the Duggars. (They’ve just lost a baby for goodness sake!) I wanted to discuss the ideas of naming a baby that you have lost and on holding a funeral.

From The Huffington Post:

“The risk of miscarrying in the first trimester is 15 percent, according to  Dr. George Macones, an OB-GYN at Washington University in St. Louis but in the second, it drops to just one or two percent. Conceptually, at least, it would seem that the farther along you are in a pregnancy physically, the more difficult it would be to cope with the loss emotionally. But studies don’t support that assertion.”

“Women themselves will say, ‘How can a loss at 20-plus weeks be the same as a loss at six weeks?’” said Emma Robertson Blackmore, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has studied moods during pregnancy, post-partum depression and the effects of miscarrying. “But research says the level of symptoms and impairment is the same.”

“Though Duggar was six months along, the move on her part to name the child and hold a funeral service is both common and even beneficial, according to Robertson Blackmore.”

“Some women just can’t bear the thought of doing either. The shock is so much that they’re almost in denial, whereas others feel it’s very important to recognize the baby. A name literally names it. They can really let the grief process take its normal course,” she said.”

My mother had a miscarriage very early in her second pregnancy. I believe they just took the fetus away and that was it. My brother had been born about a year earlier with a congenital heart problem and was very ill. I think she had to keep her focus on the baby that was alive and needed her help.

To my knowledge I haven’t had a miscarriage. I think if I were six-months along I absolutely would want to name the baby and hold the baby and have a burial for the baby.

If you’ve had a miscarriage how have you handled it? Is there a point in the pregnancy where it becomes more important to see, hold, name and bury the baby?

63 comments Add your comment

Techmom

December 12th, 2011
12:28 pm

@K’s mom I’m guessing one will become a stripper and another will be flunkie, drop-out druggie and there will be at least 2 books in the next 10 years. I could be wrong but just based on statistics, certainly one or two of them will stray.

K's mom

December 12th, 2011
12:32 pm

What I really hope is that they become educated, career women who travel and live a good life. They have already raised someone else’s children. But I can see the stripper, drug addict angle ;o)!

Uh, these...

December 12th, 2011
1:00 pm

…last few comments are pretty much straying off target – and at Christmas, too…shame on you…

TXMom

December 12th, 2011
1:21 pm

I miscarried my first pregnancy very early on (7 weeks – I literally found out I was pregnant and miscarried within a week of each other). At that point, the baby really didn’t look like much, and we did not name him/her or have a funeral. However, if I had been as far along as Mrs. Duggar was, I may have decided differently, especially if I was far enough along that I already had a name picked out, knew the gender, etc.

Techmom

December 12th, 2011
1:21 pm

@Uh, these… if you’ve hung out on this blog before, you’d know that we never stay on topic! Plus, it’s after noon and there’s another blog if you want to stay on topic.

JATL

December 12th, 2011
4:10 pm

@Jesse and K’s mom -I agree! In that litter of kids (is it even a litter at this point it’s so big?) there are bound to be some gay kids and some kids who decide there’s more to life than wiping poop and snot and breeding over and over and over. I only hope the cameras are still on when it happens…

Uh, I was...

December 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

…doing my best Motherjane imitation…

K's Mom

December 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

@JATL, I had a fabulous career and wonderful single life and because of that I am a much better wife and mother. I feel like their kids are being robbed (especially the girls). I hope if one or more do “stray”it is to do something great with their life and not “get back” at their parents.

@K's mom...

December 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

…”and because of that I am a much better wife and mother” – says who?

Ash

December 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

I personally just went through a miscarriage, I was 10 weeks and I was/am devistated. Everyone needs their own time to heal, some people need to do name and bury their baby. If I knew the gender of my baby, I would name it too and I would have buried it if I had the option. I think it helps move on. Some of the world doesn’t see a miscarriage of any type much to grieve over, but until you have gone through it and felt emotionally attached, you can’t judge their decision. It doesn’t matter how many children you have, it is hard. The Duggars do believe that they will be able to be with this son or daughter some day, why shouldn’t it have a name?

WillowRose

December 13th, 2011
11:51 am

I think if the baby developed enough for you to know whether it was a boy or a girl, then the baby deserves to be named. And a memorial service would be good for the family to seek closure.

[...] December 14, 2011 0 Comments If you miscarried, would you name the baby, hold a funeral? said Emma Robertson Blackmore, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has studied moods during pregnancy, post-partum depression and the effects of miscarrying. “But research says the level of symptoms … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

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December 18th, 2011
2:19 pm

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