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After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:50 am
by torange
I just had a miscarriage on Saturday and I'm not really sure what I can do with the remains of my baby here in Cambodia. Back home, I would have buried it in our family garden but that's not an option here since we are just renting and we don't even know how long we will stay here.

I'm Catholic and we have already gotten in touch with Fr. Charlie, the parish priest. I asked him if we can do a simple service for our baby and if we can have it cremated. He was already making all the arrangements when he was told by the monks that it can't be done since there wouldn't be anything left of the baby (9 weeks). So now we're back to zero but the service will still push through on Wednesday.

Here are my options but they are not without issues:

1-Still insist on the cremation but maybe add mementos so that there's enough ash to gather.
2-Bury in a flower pot. (But i dont know how hard/easy it is to move plant to/from different countries. And i've never cared for a plant so I'm not even sure where/how to start.)
3-Go home so we can give te baby a proper burial in our garden. (But i dont know how strict the conditions are with regard to air travel of the remains of a miscarried baby.)

I welcome any suggestions you might have.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:11 am
by Lucky Lucan
I'm very sorry about this, it must be terribly painful for you. As far as I know, babies here aren't even treated as babies until they have survived at least a month, maybe because of the dire mortality rates (which have nevertheless improved remarkably over the past decade or so). My misses had a miscarriage a year or so back, and there's not much that can be done about it. I've been to services for still-born babies, which were heart-breaking, as the mother found it hard to accept that the baby hadn't died. As for miscarriages, sorry to be blunt but they just get discarded with other medical waste.
The only suggestion I can come up with is that you find a pretty spot somewhere, and maybe dig a hole and plant a tree on top. Again, I'm sorry if I come across as being hard-hearted about it, but it's just not in the culture here or in many other places to do any kind of service for a miscarriage. Just do what you can, and hope for the best in the future. Life goes on.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:12 am
by Jackal
Have the service and move on.

Forget about cremation/burial. It's a nine week old embryo,not a child.

Sorry to be blunt & sorry for your trouble, but there's a reason pregnancy does not really count until 12 weeks.

Better luck next time.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:43 am
by rebo
Jackal wrote:blah blah burp
Jackal, you get my vote for worst reply of the year!

@Torange, good luck with finding an answer that will bring you peace.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:48 am
by torange
Jackal wrote:Have the service and move on.

Forget about cremation/burial. It's a nine week old embryo,not a child.

Sorry to be blunt & sorry for your trouble, but there's a reason pregnancy does not really count until 12 weeks.

Better luck next time.
I sure hope this reply was well-intentioned, but even if it was Jackat, it's hurtful.

For someone carrying a wanted pregnancy, she doesn't think in terms of how far along the development is; on the very first day she learns she's pregnant, what she has is already a baby. And for most expectant moms, the first twelve weeks already "count". I was aware of the possibilities of miscarriages that happen in early pregnancies that's why I personally didn't tell too many people about my pregnancy but don't tell me it wasn't a child or my pregnancy doesn't count because for me it was and it does.

So please, we are talking about a loss here, my loss, try to tread more carefully.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:56 am
by torange
@Lucky Lucan - Thanks for the suggestions.

@Rebo - I sure hope i find/think of something that will bring me peace and closure. Thank you.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:08 am
by Jackal
I understand, sorry. I was a bit rough.

It's easier to bring across what I originally typed face to face than in text. LL had a rather nice suggestion - that you plant a tree above whatever remains are released. That could give you something to re-visit in future, if you need to.

I'm a father myself, but have tended to not treat pregnancy as "real" until 12 weeks, as it's very uncertain until after that point.

Again, sorry.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:47 am
by nightmare.believer
I'm so sorry for your loss.
I, too, am catholic, so I thought about your situation from that perspective. Catholicism does not condone cremation. If a catholic is cremated, the soul cannot go to heaven until Jesus comes back to earth to judge the living and the dead. So, I would discount this as an option. I think maybe wrap the child in a blanket and have the priest bless the child and anoint with oil. Take the child to a secluded part of the river quietly, just you and your friends and loved ones, and weigh the child down to the bottom of the river. Probably this is illegal. But just disposing of the body doesn't seem to be something you are comfortable with, and a decomposing body is a health hazard.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:49 am
by ricecakes
Sink the baby ?

Struth.

I prefer the tree option.

After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:31 am
by JB 117
torange wrote:
Jackal wrote:Have the service and move on.

Forget about cremation/burial. It's a nine week old embryo,not a child.

Sorry to be blunt & sorry for your trouble, but there's a reason pregnancy does not really count until 12 weeks.

Better luck next time.
I sure hope this reply was well-intentioned, but even if it was Jackat, it's hurtful.

For someone carrying a wanted pregnancy, she doesn't think in terms of how far along the development is; on the very first day she learns she's pregnant, what she has is already a baby. And for most expectant moms, the first twelve weeks already "count". I was aware of the possibilities of miscarriages that happen in early pregnancies that's why I personally didn't tell too many people about my pregnancy but don't tell me it wasn't a child or my pregnancy doesn't count because for me it was and it does.

So please, we are talking about a loss here, my loss, try to tread more carefully.
Why are you going public with this? Most of us went threw miscarriages and abortions (well, our wives) and many people, mothers included don't think a fetus is a baby from day one. My actual wife went threw one abortion and two miscarriages before giving birth last week, this is quite very common.
You are making a big drama out of a hurtful but acceptable one, you are keeping your fetus like a relic because you won't let it go. You are craving for rituals and symbolism. Just put your 3cm fetus in a matchbox, buy a small tree and bury the matchbox in the countryside under the tree.
You will never forget your miscarriage, it will still be painful, but you can do nothing about it so be strong and stop all that drama.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:50 am
by v12
Though very painful, realize nature, the body, does have the best options to decide about livability of the fetus: It would never have become a full grown baby. What happened was the best, given all circumstances. Painful, though unavoidable.
Your situation happened to me to, though only after 6 weeks, over 30 years ago and I did never forget it.

Maybe find yourself a memorable location in the Cambodian country side, where ground disturbance is unlikely for the next 10 years or so and bury the fetus with your own ceremony.

Condolences.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:12 am
by ..
torange wrote:I just had a miscarriage on Saturday and I'm not really sure what I can do with the remains of my baby here in Cambodia. Back home, I would have buried it in our family garden but that's not an option here since we are just renting and we don't even know how long we will stay here. ...Still insist on the cremation but maybe add mementos so that there's enough ash to gather.
I feel for your sadness. If I may, you could sacredly keep the cremated remains of your unborn child in one of those stupas located on the Khmer Buddhist Temple ground. The Khmers have rich stories about unborn fetuses in their culture.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:15 am
by starkmonster
I took a dead dog of mine to my local wat (out of town) and they buried it out the back near the other shrines used to keep ashes. I think I gave $20 to the monks, but they didn't ask for it.

They already kind of knew me as I go to that wat sometimes with my wife and they come to our house for blessings and things, but I got the feeling it wasn't a big deal. Obviously there's a big difference between a dog and an embryo but might still be worth a try.

Have you asked any Cambodians what the standard operating procedure here is?

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:55 am
by Jessb52
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, I hope you can get things 'resolved' (as best as you can).

Here's something for the other board members who are appear to be a little insensitive over this. This is from Jason Manford, a British comedian, written in response to people having a go at Gary Barlow performing at the Olympics so soon after his wife had a still born child.
Person D writes:

“It’s not quite the same as losing a child who’s actually lived properly though, so why are people making out like it is? If the kid was like 5 years old it’d be 100x worse!”
Jason Manford replies

Yes, read it again, someone did, not only think this, but also wrote it down online. I mean, where does this end? So you love a child more the older it gets? When is the cut off point? What are the maths behind it? Do we love our ten year olds twice as much as our 5 year olds? When they reach twenty does our adoration double again?

From the follow up posts of Person D I can see that he is neither a father, nor a lover of children but still, what a very odd, inhumane and heartless thing to think and write. I suppose it goes back to the argument of when does life begin? I personally think it begins when you and your partner decide that you want this child. And that is when love starts too. I mean it’s obvious that for a mother, the bonding process starts sooner than for a father. The mother goes through all the emotions, the cravings, the pains, the sickness, the worry, she feels the kicks, the pressure on her bladder, her swollen feet, her baby brain, her body changing, her mind changing, the nesting, the tears and the laughs that come during the 38 weeks. She is the one who can’t get comfortable in the night, who is cold when everyone else is hot and hot when everyone else is cold, who is trying not to waddle, who is still doing too much when she should be resting, who is doing her pelvic floor exercises and who just wants a healthy baby at the end of it.

But the Dad is bonding too all this while. He is scared, he is worried, both for his baby and his wife. From the moment his wife comes in with the ClearBlue, he is on it. He is thinking about the extra mouth that needs feeding, he is wondering where he is going to get the energy from to go through it all again, he is wondering how long he can afford to take off work, he is worried for his wife, he wants to keep her happy, but she’s crying and throwing up and keeps leaving the key in the door, and he comes home from work and she’s up some step ladders, 7 months pregnant putting up some curtains and he shouts, scared that he could lose them both at any moment. He goes to the hospital with her, he hears the heartbeat and his eyes fill with tears, partly with relief but also with ultimate pride, that this woman has done this for him, has given her body, and mind and maybe even her career so that they can, together, bring a child into the world.

He rubs her feet, he makes her tea, he does his job and then comes home to look after his family, he holds her hair whilst she is sick, and he tells her that she doesn’t look fat even though she obviously does because there’s a baby in her womb! He kisses her tummy while she sleeps and he sings songs to this huge bump with his baby inside. And all the time he worries. About the future. Will he be a good Dad, will the child be healthy, will he do the right things and set good examples, will he be as good as his Dad and will the child love him as much as he loves the child.

And together the future parents plan. They paint rooms, Blue or Pink, or keep it neutral because they want the surprise on the day. They buy cots, and clothes, and bedding and nappies and cotton wool balls and one time he’s out and he sees an outfit that says “Been inside for 9 months” and he buys it because it makes him smile, and he knows his wife will smile too. They go to the hospital and they see the baby on the screen and they hold each other’s hand and smile and he tells her how brilliant she is and she says she couldn’t do it without him.

They discuss names and she makes lists, they buy a buggy and a car seat and then the big day comes, and she shouts him from the other room, or calls him at work and says ‘it’s happening’. And even though he’s prepared, even though the bag has been packed for weeks and he’s worked the quickest four routes to the hospital, his mind goes blank and he doesn’t know where he is for a minute. Then she helps him, they do it together.

They get to the hospital, they’re way too early but the contractions have started, and they will go on for the next few hours. She can’t get comfortable, she walks, she sits, she kneels, she perches. He paces and he watches, and he rubs her back and he holds her hand. The contractions get closer, the midwife tells them both that the baby is on the way and then they’re off, after 9 months of waiting they’re finally going to get to meet their new baby. He gets dressed up like George Clooney in ER, and she smiles even though she is in the most pain she has ever been in her life. They go in together, the excitement is tearing through his body, as the pain tears through hers.

And then the moment comes, they’re both waiting to find out if they’ve had a little boy or girl. They’re waiting to find out who they need to look after for the rest of their lives, who will one day look after them when they can no longer. They’re waiting, hoping, praying that this little tiny helpless human being, will keep them awake for the next few months, will cry in the night and will need changing every 5 minutes. They wait for the cry and for the midwives and doctors to turn to them and say “here’s your baby guys, well done……”

And then, nothing.

Nothing. For the longest time. Nothing.

But then, Person D, it’s not quite the same as losing a child who’s actually lived properly, is it?
From http://www.jasonmanford.com/the-gary-ba ... et-idiots/

Oh, and whoever said that abortion is the same as miscarriage: you're a fucking idiot.

Re: After a Miscarriage

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:48 am
by violet
I'm not catholic and I'm not a mother so I can't offer anything in way of a suggestion of how to move forward.
Have you spoken to your embassy regarding the matter - they might be able to give you some information that narrows down the choices or directs you in a particular way.

Sorry for your loss.

I'm going to delete my rant at the clueless posters (the worst of those posters' posts now deleted). Some threads shouldn't be hijacked by debate, personal opinions on anything other than the question posted, or by rants.