Envision yourself giving your baby to Christ.
This may sound unusual, but many women have found peace in actually envisioning themselves placing their babies in the Savior’s arms. This mental exercise seems to take some of the fear out of death, and gives comforting assurance to the parent that the baby is in good hands until they are together again.
Cherish the memories of your pregnancy and your baby.
Try to remember the happy times in your pregnancy and the positive and loving feelings you have for your child. As was previously mentioned, some women struggle with the issue of whether the baby existed. Even when a baby is lost through stillbirth or infant death and a memorial service is performed, the brief life of the child can seem like a blur to many parents. It then becomes important to them to have proof that their baby did indeed exist, and to concentrate on happier memories. As one mother explains, “We all find it so important to ‘gather evidence’ to prove our child’s existence and the impact it had on our lives. Whether that means completing a baby book for the lost child, writing poetry to the baby, or collecting mementos from the hospital, it is important for others to know that this was a child that was lost.”
One woman who had a stillborn daughter kept a special box containing mementos of her daughter’s birth. Contained in the box were the hat put on the baby following her birth, a corner of the blanket she had in the hospital and was subsequently buried in, and pictures the hospital took of the infant. Explains one mother of a stillborn son, “I thought it was morbid and disgusting when a friend of mine had a stillborn child and had the picture of the baby displayed. But that is exactly what I am going to do with the pictures of my son. He is as important to me as my other children, and not a mere memory that I would like to forget.”
Following her miscarriage, one woman put together a special book containing writing she had done including a letter to the baby, ultrasound pictures of the baby, and other special pictures and thoughts she had collected that were a comfort to her. “This was the most significant experience of my life,” she observes, “and I want to remember it in a positive way and have some memorial to my baby.” Other women find comfort in planting a tree or a flower to memorialize their baby, or by having the birthstone of their baby set into a piece of jewelry they can wear. Finally, one woman explains the necessity of selecting a headstone for her stillborn daughter’s grave: “It’s the last thing I can do for my daughter—I’ve got to have that headstone.”
Put an obituary in the paper.
This is a statement to the world that your baby lived and died, and that its life was—and is—important to you.
Keep a journal.
Many people find it helpful to record their feelings in a journal. Oftentimes people feel uncomfortable telling others all of their thoughts and feelings, and writing them down is a great way of expressing them. It is important that entries be honest and not try to be “noble.” This is the only way that difficult emotions and issues can be worked through. A journal can also be helpful after the crisis is over. It can be surprising and gratifying to see your progress since each entry was made.
Seek spiritual guidance.
If you have doctrinal or spiritual questions, or are in need of comfort, seek helpful books or writings from the prophets or other Church leaders. If you need help more specific to your individual situation, seek counsel from your bishop.