TFMR Advice

lovea work in progress

First of all, please accept my most heartfelt condolences that you find yourself here. There is no lesson more painful to learn than the cruelty and unfairness of life. What follows are things that helped me before and after the termination. Trash or treasure!

I had a D&E at 18 weeks. It was three day procedure – her heart stopped on Day 1 and I was dilated, Day 2 was more dilation, and Day 3 was the evacuation. I’m only sharing things that worked for me personally, so if you are faced with L&D, I have no experience there, just with the grief.

  • Have a clean house. I had no motivation to clean at all after my DX, and the house was so disgusting that I found myself wanting to spend all my time at my in-laws clean house. DH realized that this was not healthy and wanted to make the house a safe and comfortable environment for me, so he cleaned the entire house. By himself. I KNOW! I just sat on the computer, in a spina bifida/TFMR research coma. I think it helped him as well – he has the stereotypical manly attitude of wanting the fix things, and cleaning the house really helped my attitude. I did take all of my laundry to a Washy-Dry-Fold service, and that was amazing.
  • Comfort food – Stock up pre-made food. Don’t count calories. Just make sure that you have “food” that will be easy to eat. For me, it was Jello, Pop-Tarts and Popsicles. I personally didn’t even want to eat, so if were expected to feed myself, I would have wasted away.
  • Throw Away clothes – I wanted comfortable clothes, but I didn’t want my favorite lounging pants to be ruined with an association with the termination. I went to Kohl’s and bought cheap PJ pants. I wore underwear, t-shirts, and socks that I was already planning on either throwing away or donating. I don’t have any of those items of clothing anymore. I did buy myself a nice purple robe that was really nice to wear around the house. It was comforting, and holds no bad memories for me.
  • Baby-free television distraction – Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was a godsend. Not a single baby! I also watching Zoolander, The Mighty Boosh, and other funny shows. Even if your intended tv show is safe, be aware that stupid Hallmark commercials can attack at any moment. Luckily for me, my husband is an IT nerd, and he has stripped all commercials from our television sources.
  • Be pro-active with anti-anxiety medication
  • Be proactive with pain medication
  • Ask for hand prints/footprints before tx
  • If you need one, ask about an autopsy. You may find that you need to wait a few more weeks
  • Ask if cremation is an option.
  • Don’t be afraid to fight insurance companies.
  • Make sure you have someone drive you. DH drove the first two days, but the last day, the in-laws drove us so he could sit in the backseat of the car with me.
  • Make a memory box.
  • Talk to someone else who has had to terminate for medical reasons, even if it’s just on a message board.
  • Get an amnio if you even think it might be important later on.

4 thoughts on “TFMR Advice

  1. Thank you for your writings, and i’m so touched by what you say. Its so terrible to know these things that we know.

    We lost our precious baby girl in March (TMFR at 22 weeks). D&E was not an option for us, labour and normal delivery was the only option. For others in this situation, i would add to your list:

    Make as many memories as you can when you see and touch your baby. Photos – you can never have too many, rings and your hands in the photo with your baby’s hands or feet show scale. Get hand and footprints, casts of hands and feet (I did not do this and so wished I had), pictures of you holding your baby, even if your baby has physical problems, make those memories even if they are difficult, because once that time is gone, it does not come back.

    Things that our daughter touched have become very precious items, so maybe take some special things to hospital with you, a touchstone is a source of strength – i had a rose quartz heart that was given to me by a friend. Maybe some special jewelry, a blanket to wrap your baby in, a very small teddy or two.

    And one other thing that was so sad at the time, but we are so glad we did – the day before tx, we went out for the whole day, took our daughter to some of our favorite places, and did “family” things. Again, created some memories.

    We also named our daughter before tx, and told her her name, and spoke to her a lot about us and her, and why we were doing this.

    • Thank you for the suggestions! I still have much to add – it takes a lot of out of my to write about everything, but it’ll get done.

      I love your suggestions!

  2. Sorry to say, but Mother Teresa was a nut job, a hypocrite, and anti-choice. She traveled the world and glorified poverty while flying private jets and living in posh, Vatican-paid hotels throughout her life of avowed poverty. I don’t know why you would quote such an anti-choice hypocrite here.

    • Do those things make the quote any less meaningful? That’s how I feel about my termination, that I did it out of love. I’m pretty sure that she would be anti-choice, but that’s not what this page is about. This is page is about how to get through TFMR, which is something that most women do out of love for their child. It hurts.

      Mother Teresa gives me no comfort, but those words do. After a week of being called a “murderess” and “slut” in person and on this blog, it’s a nice reminder that I did what I did out love of for my daughter.

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