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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.