Dear Parents,

This delivery wish list was written before the birth and death of our anencephalic daughter, Kristina- I was scared of what she would look like, I was scared of "losing it" in the delivery room. .1 was scared of a lot of things. The worst time in my life was walking into that hospital knowing it was time to say hello and goodbye. Since this was our fourth child, I wanted to let my caregivers know exactly how I felt and how I wanted to be treated at this dramatic time. That's why I wrote up the wish list. I hope it will help you prepare for your special hello/goodbye day. Looking back I would have grabbed her right away to feel her life. She did move a couple times in my arms but she spent her first five minutes in the warmer before we held her. I was afraid of death but I'm not now.

Remember, it's just a little helpless baby, your baby, that you will never replace nor forget.

You are not alone,

Kristina's Mom


NOTE FROM PARENTS: We wish to be treated like the other parents. Acknowledging the labor, delivery and especially the child's existence is the most important aspect to us. For us and for our Kristina, that she not be treated as a freak but as our beloved daughter. We ask that the medical profession see beyond the physical and tragic aspects of our child's existence and provide for us the same excellent Care as usual allowing only for time to grieve alone and with family and close friends- Thank you all for helping us through this difficult time

1. To be treated as a normal albeit induced labor and delivery-Prostaglandin gel for softening of cervix before pitocin induction. Parents do not want to be sent home to wait.

2. Entrathecal for the Mother plus at request any other pain killers. Mother wants to remain alert through labor.

3. Permission for immediate family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins) to visit during early stages of labor and at the request of or with permission of parents after delivery.

4. To have every action taken by attending Doctor and staff upon the mother to be explained to the mother and father FIRST, Unless, of course, there arises some emergency.

5. To have a nurse or social worker periodically give updates to the waiting family (i.e. how far dilated, position of baby, etc.) plus encouragement and tissues available in the waiting room.

5. For the labor and delivery staff to be as non-judgmental as possible and accepting of our need to treat our daughter like any other newborn - with some dignity.

7. Sonogram before delivery to determine position and to let attending doctors call orders on how best to deliver baby. Since a 50/50 live birth chance does exist the goal is a live baby that will be allowed to be born and die with dignity. Judgment call with a "wait and see" attitude given to doctors and nurses as whether to tell parents of loss of heartbeat before birth.

8. Cesarean Section has been discussed yet ruled not necessary in this case by the parents.

9. Parents be able to videotape early labor and up to delivery with open option on taping the birth. The doctor may request a "stop tape" during any procedures they don't wish recorded (i.e. episiotomy) but please give an "OK" when taping may resume. This is for personal use only. The video camera will be on a tripod controlled by remote or by the nearest person.

10. At delivery, an emergency baptism to be performed by the baby's grandmother. It will take 15 seconds or less and will be done alongside delivery. The first recognizable part of the child to emerge will be quickly baptized. The doctor is NOT expected to stop delivering the child as this baptism is being performed. In the event the grandmother is not able to be present in time for the birth, the nearest person will be requested to perform this emergency baptism procedure: while water (of any kind) is poured onto the body say the words, "I baptize you, Kristina Marie, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen."

11. Immediately after child emerges, that every effort be made to detect a heartbeat (if one is possible) and suctioning for respiration. Parents would prefer a simple statement from the doctor at birth like "I'm sorry, Kristina didn't make it" if the baby is determined to be stillborn or "We have a heartbeat" or a 'She's breathing" if that is the case.

12. Clamp and cutting cord to be done by nurse or doctor immediately, quickly and as discreetly as possible. This was our child's only lifeline.

13. Immediately after delivery may be a time we, the parents, need to be alone. We know the mother needs to be cleaned and any stitching done but if possible we request some "alone time" with the baby after the mother is stabilized.

14. The rules are that crying is allowed at any time and any expression of grief is appreciated and accepted as a great comfort to us. Even humor.

15. That our priest be present immediately after delivery to formally baptize and confirm Kristina Marie and/or give last rites.

16. That the attending nurses and doctor(s) remain for a short service in the delivery room if the baby is stillborn or any staff who can reconvene upon the time of parent's choosing for a short hospital service.

17. Parents request a private place to bathe the baby and possible help in wrapping her to present her to her siblings, and family. Pictures and videotaping are wanted at this time also. We request she be quickly wiped, given a cap for her anomaly, wrapped in a blanket and have the nurse describe what she looks like to the parents before she is handed to her father first.

18. Mother would like to have the blue nursery bassinet if it is available for the baby and that the baby be called by her name at all times, Kristina. Mom wants baby to stay in the recovery room with her at all times. We realize this is another variable depending upon the baby's time of death and the condition of child.

19. Keepsakes requested - Bassinet card, blanket, hats(2), routine newborn picture shortly after birth. Fetal monitor tape from labor, i.d. ankle bracelet, blood type, hand and footprints, locks of hair.

20. Husband to have option of spending night(s) with mother in her room.

21. Explanation sheet on milk suppression measures and an explanation as to where the baby's body will be kept overnight, or until parent's release body to a funeral home.