Answering for our behaviour after the death of a baby

I can’t add much to what is already said, except that I understand something of what you’re going through.

Given that you can’t get 10 Dopers to agree on just about anything, the unanimity of opinion on this thread should be taken as a strong indication that you’ve made the correct decisions.

And why you didn’t specifically address this issue, let me add that you needn’t worry about the kitty should you decide to try again. During my wife’s pregnancies, we had between 2 and 4 cats in the house, various ages. My job was to care for them, and we had no problems whatsoever.

May you find some comfort from this thread.

I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. I can only hope that your friend can plead temporary insanity. Like maybe she didn’t know what to say and got started on something she though she sounded like an expert on and couldn’t quit. I hope. Anyway, don’t listen to her. The abstract thought of what goes on during an autopsy and the knowledge of what really happens are two different things. Having a medical background means you know exactly what would happen and could not bear the thought of it. I couldn’t either. Do not apologize. Do not make excuses. You did what was right. As for future pregnancies and questions - well, you may or may not be paranoid. Having an autopsy is not the end-all to questions on future pregnancies for you. I wish you good luck should you decide to become pregnant again, and support should you not. Hug Callie for me.

Having a script for the future is an excellent idea. The threads I read like this in the past had excellent suggestions for what to say to people, ranging from polite rebuff to verbal napalm.
Here is one example; here is another.


I have not gone through what you have. At the same time I have gone through some tough times.

Listen to what the others on this board have said. A true friend would ask what you feel to be right and then support you. If your friends start questioning you on your decisions tell them that you and your husband decided that it was the right thing to do. If they continue to question your decision tell them that it is not open to debate. If your friends keep on tell them bluntly that “you are hurting me, not helping. If you keep this up I will not talk to you anymore.” Be blunt, true frineds will stay at your side.

As far as the kitten goes, good for you. Cats, I have three, are a comfort to most people. They are little bundles of joy.

By the way, I was and still am crying after reading your story. I wish there was something I could do.


I’m sure I’m repeating what everyone else has said, but I want to make sure you have heard this message loud and clear
If you are doing what you feel is the right thing for you to do, then you are doing exactly the right thing for you.

There are no rights and wrongs, and you don’t have to “answer” to anyone else. I fully understand why you don’t want to have an autopsy done, and can’t understand why anyone would try to make you feel like you should have it done.

I also know that life is good when you have a little kitty around to love, and in this sad time it will be good for you to have a sweet, cute, playful little critter that you can take care of. In return you’ll love your little Callie (I love that name!!) and cats don’t ask much more than that. You’re a perfect match for each other.

Don’t listen to other people. This is your grief to spend how you choose. No one else can make decisions on the right or wrong way to go about it. “I’m doing what feels right to me” might be a good phrase when people start butting in offering their opinions on how you should be reacting. Take that phrase, and beat them around the head with it.

My deepest sympathy to you, and heartfelt wishes for healing for you. And give your little Callie some belly scratches for me :slight_smile:

I think your friends need to answer for their behavior.

My condolences on your loss.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

your friends are being somewhat insensitive, you can replace “somewhat” with “very” if you want to.

adopting the cat was a very positive and wonderful action on your behalf. don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise.

and as the autopsy would have been for YOUR benefit, YOU weighed up the pros and cons and made an informed choice which:
a) was YOURS to make
b) was right for YOU.

ignore the negative comments. it’s nobody else business.

A father sending positive thoughts your way.

This was found in a Pit thread, but I still think its a great solution.

“Why did you get a cat so soon?”
“How kind of you to ask! I noticed your Fluffy has grown quite a bit since he was a puppy, what have you been feeding him?”

And bonus points for supporting the Humane Society. Shelter animals are the best.

DePahre, you and your husband have my condolences.

I’m so sorry for what you & your husband have gone through, admire your strength, am pissed at the selfish views of the friend and wish you all the best in what the future holds. My most sincere condolences.

First and foremost, I would like to offer my condolences and deepest sympathy over the loss of your son Eric.
Your friends? Well, yes, they are being rude, and they should knock it off, but maybe they just flubbed, albeit horribly. It’s so hard to know the right things to say in a tragic situation, and some people are hopelessly bad at it! Maybe surround yourself by your most supportive friends, and give yourself a break from the naysayers until you are stronger.
With regards to the woman who insisted that you should have had an autopsy because of possible genetic factors, if the situation looked like it most likely had involved genetic complications, your medical team would have steered you in the right direction in terms of blood tests etc. Since they didn’t seem to think that an autopsy would reveal much, I would tend to trust them. I’m sure you did the right thing for you.
And for the kitty, I agree with TVeblen. You did not get the kitty
to replace the baby, and YOU know that, but that’s a ridiculous accusation to make either way. So what if you had? It would matter not to the cat. I’m sure most pound critters would prefer being a warm, loved, well-fed replacement to euthanasia!
You sound very strong, admirable, and down-to-earth to me, quite frankly.
Good luck and supportive thoughts to you and your husband.

My condolences on your loss and best wishes towards the future.

I’ve always discovered that when you are shocked by what someone has said inappropriatly “I beg your pardon?” said with all of the “I can’t believe you just said that” in your voice you can muster works well. If they persist, then “I’m fail to see how this is any of your concern.” (For the truly dense, you may have to follow this up with “I have to leave now” or "I have to ask you to leave now).

My condolences to you on the loss of your child. I lost my first at 39 days old, so I know what you’re going through.

Unfortunately, our culture does not believe in reticence and MYOB anymore. We’re so used to seeing others peeling their lives open for public consumption that we can’t understand the notion that some things just aren’t our business.

I’ve had to deal with a lot of intrusive and unwelcome remarks since I lost my son. Some of these came from family, and others who should know better. I learned to blow it off. They mean well, they think they’re helping, but they’re not. A lot of it is that they don’t know what to say. Combine that with the above paragraph, and it makes for a hurtful comment.

In time, I learned that if I wanted to avoid questions, I shouldn’t bring it up. Right now, I know it’s all fresh and everyone knows about it, but eventually, as you work through this, the remarks won’t hurt as much, and your friendships will normalize. In the meantime, though, I’d suggest Compassionate Friends or a similar group. They are a lifesaver.

My e-mail is below, if you need to talk.


After thinking it over for the past few days, and reading all of your replies, I’ve been able to put my second guessing to rest. Common sense told me that we had indeed made the right decisions, but it’s difficult to ignore the little doubting voices sometimes. The support and kindness of everyone who’s replied so far went a long way towards shutting those voices up. There should be a stronger phrase to express thanks, as ‘thank you’ doesn’t feel like quite enough, but it’ll have to do.

Oh…and one of my friends called this morning to apologize for what she’d said. Not knowing what to say at the time did indeed contribute to the comments she made. I haven’t heard from the other friend since, but my guess is that she’s embarassed, being the sort to speak first and realize her mistake later.

Callie sends everyone purrs for all the belly scritches and nuzzles she’s been getting while I read over the replies. :slight_smile:

Manda JO, Green Bean, TVEb, and a host of others have already said everything I would, and said it better.

But I still wanted to say I’m glad you’re feeling more at peace now about how you handled things. Mourn Eric in your own way, and it’ll be the right way. And keep lovin’ that little kitty. :slight_smile:

::scratches Callie’s chin::

I am so very sorry for your loss.

RE: Friends who say these things that mean well, but are pretty clueless. It is often a case of they don’t know what to say but don’t have a grasp of the ‘edit’ or ‘hold thy tongue’ button (which does not happen until you are 90, so I am told. Humility in this department is a daily lesson for moi.

The next person that says you are replacing your Eric with a kitten, say with a straight face, " We have already started an IRA and College fund for ‘Boots’. By the way, have you gained weight?"

Sorry, when people say dumb things, I shoot from the hip. Dear God, some people are just so moronic…
Do not second guess yourself. You did what was right for yourself at that time and considering the emotional roller coaster you both were riding, I agree with your decision. Second guessing yourself will only make everything worse in the long run. Bringing it back up and beating yourself with that mental whip will serve no good purpose in the future.
Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you.

I am very sorry for your loss. You and your husband have my deepest sympathy.

As for your grief, there is no correct way to mourn. Do what you need to do and to hell with anyone else. If they don’t understand it or don’t like it that’s too damn bad. If it makes you feel better and helps you to come to terms with this loss, that’s all that matters.

Again, you have my deepest condolences. I bid you peace.

My condolences for the loss of your son.

I think Callie is the luckiest kitty in the world…:slight_smile:

i am so sorry. i will keep you, your husband, and your eric in my prayers and thoughts.

your location indicates that you are in canada. i am shocked, i thought canadians were known throughout the world for their manners. it seems like a few of them did not get miss manners memo on “how to be a friend through tough times.”

i will join the chorus in saying the comments were way out of line. it is amazing what people will say when they don’t know what to say.

i understand your no autopsy decision.

malenka sniffs the screen and says hi to callie.