Friday, 29 October 2010

Angel baby

I apologise in advance but this post is a moaning one. I do not intend to offend anyone by it, I am sorry if I do. I am just writing down my thoughts as they come without much thought.

Since we lost Orson I have I have looked at forums for women who have gone through stillbirth and other similar loses. To be honest I don't tend to use these forums much anymore. There are so many sad stories and really what can I say that can help? But one thing I quickly noticed was that women often refer to their babies as "angel babies".

I had never heard of the term angel baby before Orson died. I can't imagine ever referring to him as such and wouldn't want others referring to him as such to me. But it seems very normal to do so on some support forums (not all forums, women on SANDs for example rarely seem to do this and not everybody does this on other forums). To me the idea sparks religious imagery something I am not comfortable with. I am happy for others to call their babies angels or whatever else they like.

I know everybody deals with this loss differently and to many religion is a great help. But I am surprised just how many women use this term.
There was an article about it back in June:
A UK hospital had asked a support group who had provided support information to give to parents of stillborn babies to remove the term angel from the literature for fear of offence. Whilst others may see no harm in the term I completely understand the hospital's point of view. Instead of using the term angel baby why not just say baby and refer to the baby's parents as just that - parents?

To me it is almost like people try and sugar coat it, they don't want to say other words like stillbirth or died so say angel instead. Maybe then it doesn't seem so bad? And it is true I dislike these words too. I hated the word stillbirth to start with but am getting used to it. I think the reason I disliked it so much is simply because I disliked what it meant. The term stillbirth especially I disliked for that reason. I always prefer to say that Orson died in labour, that is what happened after all. But I am getting used to saying stillborn. Strange what we get used to.

My final thought on this is simply that maybe some women say angel baby because that is just what everybody else says. The term is everywhere on the internet, maybe because it is trendy or even normal, people use the term without thinking about what it means.


  1. Although I come from a background of faith, I am glad that you expressed your opinion about this. If I use this term, I think I use it b/c that's how the baby loss culture appeared to describe their babies and I know that even nonreligious people use it too. In my faith, I don't believe that babies are angels in heaven anyways. It's good to hear your opinion so that I can be more cognizant that not everyone wants to hear their child being referred to as an "angel baby." The last thing I want is to deepen another mom's pain.

  2. Patty I just wanted to reassure you and anyone else who reads this that in my case no one who has referred to Orson as an Angel Baby has deepened my pain. It is such a common term. I decided early on that there isn't a correct thing for people to say but that just saying something no matter what is best and really helps.