Saturday, 22 January 2011


In those weeks after pPROM but before Orson died I had time to read about all the possibilities. I tried not to read too much about loss but of course I occasionally did. Often I would stop because it would just make me too sad.

I read enough to realise that women often take photos of their dead babies. Something that I don't think we tend to do when an adult dies. Presumably because adults already have lots of photos taken throughout their life but a stillborn baby has never had any photos?

After Orson was stillborn the midwives took some photos for us. It is a standard thing in our hospital, maybe a standard thing in most hospitals? If you don't want the photos then they keep them in your records in case you change your mind. They gave us four photos. S also took a few photos on his phone, as did I, my favourite was one of me holding Orson. It was the last time I held him when I was saying good bye. Of course I was crying uncontrollably so thankfully S took the photo so you just see Orson and my arms holding him whilst he is wrapped in blankets. I like it because it shows how big he was.

We thought at the time it seemed a bit morbid to take photos and I suppose it is. But I am glad I have those photos. Admittedly I would never put them on display and the only people who have ever seen them are me, S and Orson's grandparents. I don't look at them very often but when I need to I do. I find myself gazing at the photos trying to see a resemblance to M, S or me.

I imagine that a lot of people don't even realise we have photos. Why would they even think about it? Until you have been in that situation why would you think about such things?

I know there are whole businesses out there which can help take photos for parents who have just lost their baby. They take professional photos so you end up with great photos which will be much better than the regular hospital ones. Sometimes the photos will have both parents in too and look much like any other family photo. It never occurred to me to see if there was such a company where I live. I do not regret that, I like how our photos are personal.

There are other companies and people that offer services you can use weeks, months or even years after your photos were taken. They will do pencil drawings of your baby photos, or paintings, or engravings. You can even have your baby's image on a necklace. I would never want to wear a necklace like that, what if a complete stranger saw it and asked about my baby? I really am not that comfortable talking about Orson. Maybe as time goes by I will change my mind, we will see. Right now I am just happy we have a few photos to look at when we want to.

1 comment:

  1. Every parent is different about her baby's pictures. Those pictures appear to be very meaningful and precious to you. We had to shrink the picture of Joey's face the nurse took for us. A photographer minimized the facial picture so that one could barely see her nose which is like mine (: I enjoy looking at 21weeker pics now (ppl must think I'm crazy) but I am so fascinated with the resemblance young babies have.