Previously titled 9 Ways to Honor a Baby that Never Was.
Losing a a baby is one of the most difficult things that can happen to a family. Not only are you losing your child, but you are losing your hopes, dreams and plans for your life. Whether the loss is from SIDS, stillborn, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, chemical pregnancy, or fetal abnormality, the pain is very real. Some women find other may minimize their pain. My miscarriage (you can read the full story of my miscarriage here) was devastating to me. Although the pregnancy wasn’t planned, we grew excited about the prospect of starting a family and how our lives would change. I cried for weeks after losing the baby. The pain eventually lessens, but it never fully goes away. Almost 2 year later I still tear up thinking about my baby, and his due date is still a hard day for me. I found some solace in honoring my baby and having a physical reminder in place.
The following article contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small commission if you purchase something at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy.
9 Ways to Honor a Baby Lost Too Soon
There are many beautiful options on the market to honor a lost baby. There is a style for almost everyone. For jewelry that is more discreet, birthstone pendants or rings or an engraved piece are the way to come. Both commercial jewelry stores and big box retailers (such as WalMart) should be able to accommodate this. There is also a wide variety of memorial jewelry options. Hollyday Designs has a selection of memorial jewelry that can be customized with ashes, hair, placenta, breast milk or other items. Miscarriage Jewelry on Etsy has a wide variety of custom jewelry as well including bracelets, charms and keychains.
A little more permanent, a tattoo can be a great way to symbolize your love for a lost child. This is one of things I ended up doing, and I have a beautiful reminder of my child. My tattoo is a palm tree symbolizing the conception (As I was in Florida on my Honeymoon) with the words Tu Me Manques – meaning you are missing from me. Tattoo ideas can range from baby feet, names, dates, quotes or even portraits. Make sure to choose an experienced artist as this is something that you will keep with you forever.
Plant a Tree
Many people find comfort in bringing new life into their home in a different way. Planting a tree or flowers is a great way to do this. Ashes, the placenta or other items can be placed underneath the tree upon burial.
Create a Garden Shrine
Similar to the above, but one step further. Create a quiet resting place you can go to quiet your thoughts or visit your little one. Plant plants that remind you of her, get a statue or dreamcatcher. Hang widchimes or harmony bells in the tree. Create a space you can retreat to when you need it.
Mollybears is a beautiful organization that creates custom teddybears in the weight of a stillborn baby. Many families find comfort in being able to hold their babies. MollyBears can be purchased for $20, however the cost of the bear is much higher than that. Donations are accepted on their website to help provide families a low cost bear.
Dedicate a Star
Dedicating a star to your little one is another wonderful option. No matter where you go, it will always be up in the sky shining down on you. Prices start at US $54 at the Star Registry.
There is a lot of healing power in written word. Try writing your feelings down in a journal or or write a poem. Speak to your little one. Speak to yourself and your family. Write however you feel is healing.
This certainly isn’t an option for everyone, but often doing acts of kindness for others can help heal our own pain. Producing milk? Try pumping and donating your breastmilk to NICU and formula intolerant babies through a milk bank. This takes time and dedication, but some women find the act of sharing their milk very cathartic. Other acts of charity can be healing as well, such as donating time to a soup kitchen, church or other needy family.
Losing a baby is always difficult. If you are going through a loss, please don’t isolate yourself. Talk with other people. There are many forums and facegroup groups online for women and families going through this. Treat yourself kindly, and remember even though it hurts now, it won’t always hurt this bad.
Have you or a friend or family member experienced the loss of a baby? How did you honor your child?
Jessica Coon says
I made a shadow box, a picture collage, and a Shutterfly book.
That’s a beautiful tribute to your baby. What did you put in your shadow box?
Jamie Mouw says
I stamped five sets (the number of miscarriages that I’ve had) of tiny hands and feet in pretty parchment paper. Hand calligraphied a bible verse under them and framed it. It is in my hallway. It feels good to be able to explain, when people ask about it, that it is in honor of my babies that are now in heaven.
That’s such a beautiful tribute to your babies. I like that it’s displayed in your house for others to see. For me, I find it nice when people mention or talk about my baby – it’s a nice reminded that I’m not the only one that remembers.
I had a miscarriage when I was 10 weeks pregnant and had the privilege to hold my fetus/baby. I made a nice looking “coffin” from paper, wood heart and feathers, and buried next to a tree near the forest I go to meditate and renew energy. Now this place is more sacred and dear to me.
That’s so beautiful. I wish I had had the chance to hold and bury my baby. I love that you can go visit.
You are so strong. I lost my child just 3 weeks ago. I was 13 weeks and 5 days. I feel such guilt because I was in shock and scared and alone. I was asked if I wanted to see my baby and I said no. I wish I had. I am in such a dark place and feel guilty to even smile or laugh. I pray all the time for God to help me. This Group and their stories do help me
Honestly the “never was” part of this title is really tripping me up. My baby most certainly “was”. He was stillborn at 5 months gestation, but he was a very real baby that I gave birth to and held.
Thank you for your feedback, and you are very much right. Particularly since this is one of the hurtful things people may say after someone experiences a loss. I was trying to title it something that would capture many types of pregnancy loss, but this still may not be the title. I will reconsider what else I can title it.
It was like a dream when the doctor called me an told me sorry. My baby was 8wks and 2days. I love your post and it made me happ. I can really connect to him.
Kristyna Hanson says
Am I the only one who thinks saying “the baby that never was” is incredibly disrespectful? I’m sorry to be mean but just because my daughter was born still and did not live to take a breath does NOT mean that she “never was”. I birthed her, I held her, I kissed her and took pictures of her. She very much so “was”. I’m pretty offended that you would suggest anything different.
Thank you for your concern. I am in the process of reworking the title as others have expressed concern as well, but at this time haven’t settled on a title that can encompass multiple scenarios.
I’m still trying to find a way to honour my baby. We didn’t know the sex. We didn’t have a name. No ultra sound picture. No cute foot prints. No holding the baby nothing other then 2 lines on a test and almost 18weeks growing in my belly.
So I do understand the phrase the baby who wasn’t. Because for so many this baby wasn’t. And for everyone else this baby never was never will be and is nothing more then a thought I shared months ago.
I agree, it makes sense even tho all of our children in all of our hearts, our babies were and are a little person. I dislike when people tell me, “it wasn’t your time” or “everything happens for a reason, try again next time” that’s more insensitive in my eyes than saying my baby never was, it actually burns just as bad I guess.
I am getting a tattoo with one of my favorite book´s quotes “You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them¨ from The Little Prince. I never knew I was pregnant, I never felt anything during my pregnancy, never gained weight. everything in my life was pretty normal, last December, the 27th to be exact I gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. I was 37 weeks pregnant, I saw him and I held him in my arms, he was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and even though I never knew I was pregnant, I love that little baby more than anything in the world, we named him Gabriel, and I live everyday doing my best trying to make him proud of his mommy.
I delivered my son on Feb 1, 2017. I was 21 weeks. We held him, named him (Nicholas) kissed him and rocked him. We had him cremated and I have a cremation bracelet with some of his ashes. My husband and I plan to get tattoos of his hand or footprints on his 1st birthday.
I would still like to do more. I have to figure out what to do on his due date which is June 15th and I’m not sure what to do.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
I would love to see a picture of your bracelet. Memorial jewelry is such a beautiful way to carry around a piece of him with you everyday. I have a tattoo memorializing my lost one. It’s nice to have something to look at since I don’t get to see him everyday.
If you’re interested, I have another post on honoring a lost pregnancy on your due date. I have found it helpful to relax on that day (I stay home from work) and tend to a few plants I planted in their honor.
I honour my baby boy many ways but the biggest would have to be my support group on facebook. I set it up in memory of my son. A place to bring people together so they don’t feel alone. I offer monthly personalised edits in honour of other baby’s gone too soon in the group and also my instagram page. I also have a book with the names of baby’s taken to soon and their special dates (angelversays/birthdays etc) and I create a picture to honour and remember them which I post in the Facebook support group or on instagram on their special day. I do it all in my sons name x
That’s such an amazing way to honor your baby! I found it very healing to write about my experience, and helping others heal as well.
Please feel free to post the link to your support group on facebook (if it is open), so others can find it. I would love to even link it on my original article.
I got a tattoo when I lost my baby last March…
We lost our baby girl at 22 weeks on August 12th,2017 . We named her Peyton. We got the chance to hold her for a few hours until the funeral home came to get her, we had her cremated and get her ashes back tomorrow. My husband and I plan on getting tattoos, but I still feel like she deserves something else besides a tattoo. We do plan on spreading some of her ashes where we got engaged and our favourite vacation spot.
I got a tattoo in memory of both my babies
Ember Alese was due on June 30th, 2017 and she was stillborn on June 29th. Although she was stillborn and I am still grieving so much, I am thankful for pictures. We had a wonderful photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep come and take beautiful pictures of our daughter and family. I have a shadow box with her foot print, handprints, a clipping of hair, and the blanket we wrapped her in. I have a necklace with her name, birthdate and birthstone. I also bought a Molly Bear, but I think what I cherish most are the pictures. I have them hanging on my wall and a photo album. I’m so thankful for NILMDTS for coming and taking the pictures so we will always be able to look at her and remember what she looked like. I would recommend anyone in a similar situation to have the pictures taken. I know how hard it is to say yes and have someone taking pictures in such an awful time. I know how hard it is to look at those pictures afterwards, but I also know that I would have regretted it if I had said no.