The last moment together with your child ...
Your child lies lifeless in your arms, the moment of getting acquainted and at the same time saying goodbye, has arrived. Maybe it will take a few days before your child is buried or cremated, perhaps this moment is very close ... In both cases it is very important that you say goodbye to your child in a good way, because you can never repeat this moment again.
We can imagine that at such a moment you can not think clearly anymore, that you feel that everything as a film passes you by.
That is why we have tried to collect as many ideas as possible. You do not have to address all these ideas. Saying goodbye to your child is, after all, a very personal matter.
Hugging and holding
Seeing and holding your deceased baby is very important for processing your grief. Look at your child extensively, let every detail well through to you, take your time. Count his fingers and toes. Look at his beautiful ears or that funny nose. Cuddle him and keep him nice to you. Stroke his hair and give him little kisses on his cheek. These are the last moments together with your child. Try to enjoy this despite the immense sadness.
Last moment - last care
You can indicate whether you want to take care of your child yourself or if you want to help with the last care. Of course you can also outsource it completely.
Try to do as much as possible the actions you had done if your child had still lived.
Talk to your child while you are washing him, stroke or lubricate him with baby oil, dress him up and perform any religious acts.
You can put your baby on his own clothes and put a cuddle with him.
Reproduction: at home or not?
It is possible to have your child brought to your home. This may seem somewhat creepy but it can be very beneficial and familiar. If you choose this, a cooling element will be placed in his bed. The big advantage of being home is that you have your baby close to you, so you can spend some time together. You can look at him, touch him, sit with him, talk to him, take pictures and anything else you want.
Family and friends can possibly also say goodbye to your little angel.
Make as many pictures as possible of your child. Perhaps you think at the time that you will never look at those photos, that it will hurt too much. Or maybe the thought of photographing is not at all right now. But for this child there is no 'later' so this moment is all you have to record, now make sure you will not regret it later.
Take photos of your child with his dad, his mum, sister or brother, perhaps with other family members or loved ones. Photos in his bed, detail pictures of his fingers (his hand in your hand), eyes, feet ...
Do you not have a camera on hand? Buy a disposable camera, if necessary, but take as many photos of your baby as possible.
The time to take beautiful pictures of your child is limited. The skin of your child may discolour, soften or even let go a little during the days. Black and white photos can be more beautiful than color photos at such a moment.
Print hands and feet
Make ink prints or gypsum prints of the hands and feet, this can be done easily with any water-soluble paint that is available. You can frame and hang these prints at a later stage. The prints can also be used for an annonce card. Many parents experience these prints as a precious memory.
Does your baby already have hairs? Cut a piece of hair off his head; if the hairs are too short for scissors, you can also use a razor blade and carefully shave off the hairs. You can put these hairs in a medallion and around your neck - with a long chain, the medallion is close to your heart. On the other side of the medallion you can, if desired, place a photo of your baby.
You can also store these hairs in other special places, but keep in mind that the hairs are very fragile.
Take an extra strand of hair and store it in (for example) a safe. When something happens to the hairs (for example when the hairs are in a medallion and you lose the medallion), you always have a spare tuft of hair.
Try to keep as many things as possible from your child. The socks he has worn, the hat on his head. The navel clip, his name band, his first cuddly toy and clothes he might have worn, a diaper, a bottle with a teat, everything that makes it tangible.
It is important that your child gets a place of his own within your life, a name of his own. Share your grief with family, friends and other loved ones. They too are sad and want to share this with you and support you. Talk to each other, name your child by his name, make him part of your life and give him an identity.
Writing prevents the risk of forgetting
These days will pass you by as a film. Everything has to be arranged and in between your sadness also needs a little attention. It is therefore not surprising that the first days after the death of your child, a lot goes along with you. Therefore try to keep a diary, if necessary only with key words. In this way you can read everything again and you will not be left with that one unanswered question of: 'How did it go again?'
Celebrate his birth
Hurray, he was born! His birth is a fact! Even if your child is no longer alive: he is born, he is a part of you and he will always be with you. His birth will remain inextricably linked to your life. Therefore celebrate his birth too. Why should not you eat a biscuit with mice?
Let others say goodbye too
It is important to let family and friends say goodbye to your child. By involving others, it is emphasized that he existed, that he was your baby and what he looked like. This facilitates talking about your child at a later date.
Do not forget any sisters and brothers. They also looked forward to the birth of their new baby brother or sister (nephew or niece). Children generally deal with this very well: they can have more than you think and feel some things flawlessly. Try to explain it to the children as well as possible, be honest and do not make things too complicated.
You can make a reminder book of your child. In this book you can paste all kinds of tangible memories. Consider, for example: photos, his name card in the hospital, letters and cards received, drawings from other children, keeping a diary, copy of the birth declaration, copies of his medical file, hand and / or foot prints, a lock of hair, et cetera.