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Medwatch: Babies honored through Remembrance Tree at CCMH

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 8:01 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Getting pregnant and having a baby is a joyous time for many, but it can also be a difficult time for those who experience loss. October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Comanche County Memorial Hospital is remembering the babies who passed and their families.

1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy. Connie Bond, the women’s services nursing manager at CCMH, said the staff at the hospital is impacted by each loss.

“We want to honor those moms and let them know that their babies mattered, and they continue to matter,” Bond said.

One way they honor them is through a remembrance tree. It was set up outside the cafeteria for a few days. CCMH team members, along with those in the hospital, remember the tiny angels by writing their names, the date they lost the baby, or its gender on a butterfly or heart.

“We’ve been keeping these in our unit just for us to say we remember our losses as well as our babies we send home,” she said. “This year, we’re going to offer these moms, grandmas, aunties, whoever it is, to pick these butterflies and hearts back up, so they can take those home.”

Bond says no one is alone in this.

“My mom and dad lost their first baby,” Bond said. “They found out a couple days before she was going to be born that there was no heartbeat. It was back in the ‘70s, so not every hospital even had ultrasounds. They had to drive from Duncan to Lawton to confirm that the baby was gone, then drive back to Duncan for the induction.”

Bond said she always knew she had a big sister growing up.

“We celebrated birthdays and Christmases,” she said. “We went to the cemetery routinely. We were always putting out flowers, always taking care of her grave, so it wasn’t a shameful thing for her.”

Going through loss, no matter when it happened, is different for every mom because everybody grieves differently. She said some moms find healing by sharing their story.

“There’s counseling services in the community, grief support groups, and now there’s social media,” she said. “So, those support groups are out there as well, and if needed, don’t be afraid to say I need something more, something like an anti-depressant to help you get through that period as well.”

She said to help them cope, the staff meets and discusses any losses they may have had during work. Bond said the staff also goes through a class called “bereavement through sharing” that was purchased by a family that lost a little one. They wanted to do something in honor of their child and help others who may go through the same thing.

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