Grieving Mother Cruelly Harassed After Miscarriage

Horrifying 185

bassinetAs if a miscarriage isn't painful enough -- one mother's suffering multiplied when she wanted to have her lost fetus treated with respect. Shayna Spitzack was seven and a half weeks pregnant when she miscarried. Often, in a miscarriage this early in a pregnancy, the tiny fetus is lost in the flow of blood and tissue and ends up accidentally getting flushed down the toilet. But Shayna managed to save hers and wanted to have it cremated. She wrapped it carefully and put it in a box.

Then she called a funeral home (whose director just happened to be married to her midwife). The director wanted to make sure he was following the law correctly, so he called the county coroner, Jeff Baldi. And that's when a sad, private loss turned into a CSI episode.

Apparently the coroner didn't trust Shayna's story. Maybe he's just insensitive, maybe he's watched too much crime TV, but the wheels got turning in his mind and took him to Crazyland. Instead of calling Shayna's obstetrician, who easily could have confirmed the miscarriage, he called the freakin' police.

Next thing Shayna knows, there's a loud pounding on the door. Shayna was expecting the coronor. But it was the police, looking for an aborted or murdered baby hidden in the freezer. Shayna tried to show them the box with the fetus but the waved her off and searched her freezer for the dead baby that wasn't there. The police say the call from the coroner's office made them think this was a possible case of murder. They thought they would find a third-trimester baby.

It all got sorted out eventually. But what the hell! Why did the coroner have to assume the worst when the funeral director called him about treating a dead fetus? What kind of misogynist mindset goes there immediately? It's like he was sitting around waiting to catch some wicked harlot in the act of a late-term abortion! Get a grip, man. That poor woman. First she suffers the pain of her miscarriage, and then she's treated with such suspicion and disrespect. Can we please trust women a little more than this?

Why do you think the coroner was so suspicious after the funeral director's call?


Image via I Should Be Folding Laundry/Flickr

death, in the news, women's issues, miscarriage & loss


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power... powertothekids

agree with am but i would sue the cremate place

Furry... Furrycreature

In some people's minds a baby is a baby no matter the terminology the medical world would use to describe it. Accept it. Anyway that's so sad her trauma was increased. I'm sure it was a misunderstanding but still a cruel one.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Looks like the clear and very simple answer is in the comments. The same confusion probably occurred. Weeks vs months

bills... billsfan1104

Amman, THe author had sai 7 1/2 months at first

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

yes, she corrected it. build a bridge and get over it.

MrsYo... MrsYoung1287

My thoughts exactly ponychaser.

the4m... the4mutts

TMI alert-

Im curious as to WHAT there would be to cremate at 7.5 weeks... i had a misscarriage that stopped devolping at 6 weeks, but i was 10 weeks along. All there was, was a little yellowish fluid pouch, with some "mush" in it...

Maybe the confusion came about by them wondering why she would need to crematin for basically nothing? Im sorry for her loss, and understand that everyone grieves in a different way, but this seems kinda out-there to me, so maybe it did to the coroner too?

the4m... the4mutts

Crematin? Wtf autocorrect?

wamom223 wamom223

I'm sorry Adriana I thought it was the mother that got to decide if its a baby or a fetus.  If she wanted an abortion you call it a fetus since she wanted to bury it you should give her respect by calling it a baby which it was.  You make me absolutely sick to my stomach!  You write this whole blog not realizing you are disrespecting Shayna further by calling it a fetus.

wamom223 wamom223

@Pony-My son was born at 32 weeks and was bigger than a banana.  Not by much but he was bigger.  

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