Trigger warning: This article contains content about pregnancy and infant loss.
Losing a family member is never easy, but there is nothing that compares to losing a child. No matter if your baby was full term and died after birth, you miscarried or anything in between, the loss takes a huge part of you and you may want to memorialize your experience. Here are a few ideas for displaying or creating a memory of your lost child.
Create a memorial display. Take a shelf and frame a picture, an ultrasound or baby picture and the first blanket, hat, outfit or anything else you have that belonged to them in the hospital, if you got to meet your baby.
If you never got to meet your baby, you can still easily create the memorial. Use ultrasound pictures and if you got close enough to the date that you bought anything, include a first outfit or the newborn outfit your older child had you wanted to give the one you lost.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800"] Via Getty Images[/caption]
Create a scrapbook with all the memories. Ultrasound pictures, belly pictures, and newborn pictures can be included if you have them. Make sure to include hospital bracelets and other hospital items.
If you never met your baby, ultrasound pictures and the hospital bracelet from your visit to the hospital when you started bleeding. Write how you felt at different times during the pregnancy and write a letter to your baby
Host a farewell party for your baby. It could be a funeral or wake or it could just be a celebration of the baby's short life (if you lost the baby as an infant). Invite close friends and family and have a very small, intimate gathering.
Write letters to your baby on their would-be birthday. They don't need to be long and they can be kept locked in a box, but it will help to get feelings out and be very therapeutic.
Do something special on the due date every year to celebrate the life that isn't there. Many do balloon releases, but those have been found hazardous to animals and especially birds. Think of different things and invite the same family members you would have invited if they were having a birthday party every year. You could even go out to the grave site (if they were buried) and decorate it on their birthday.
There are many other options, there is nothing that is off limits when it comes to grieving such a severe loss. For anyone who has lost a baby, how did or do you celebrate? Do you do balloon releases or did you have a funeral? Let us know your experiences (if you are comfortable sharing) in the comments.