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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eupeptic eupeptic

Embryo is the term used during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Fetus is the term used after the embryonic stage until birth. A baby is a human (or other animal) infant.

Also, free will (or viewed from a different perspective, acceptance of everything as it is - no judgment, condemnation, etc.) applies to everyone (it's the most enlightened attitude and way for us to treat everyone else). As such, telling other people what they should and should not do (or what views are right or wrong) in life (or judging them) is imposing your will (or judgment) upon them (which results in you not being as enlightened as you would be if you were to choose to be accepting, forgiving, and non-judgmental. Read the Conversations with God series of books by Neale Donald Walsch for more detail on this).

bills... billsfan1104

Emma, that wasn't necessary

Jessica Mason

The author says "Shayna Spitzack was seven and a half weeks pregnant when she miscarried. " Weeks people, not months. The author is not the one that needs to proof-read....

laris... larissalarie

Maybe the coroner was suspicious because who cremates a 7 week baby? That's incredibly odd.

And if they didn't investigate to make certain a newborn want being discarded and that was actually the case, them everyone would be outraged that nobody looked into it and just cremated a baby without liking into it first. I swear, the authorities get reamed by the public no matter what they do. People shouldn't be surprised when there isn't anyone left who's willing to be a public servant.

nonmember avatar Reality Check

She wanted to cremate an embryo? Good Grief. Can't imagine why the cops would want to look into it! I'm sorry, but that sounds weird. If I were a coroner, I'd report it too. It sounds suspicious.

bills... billsfan1104

Jessica, for the 2nd time, the author at first said 7 MONTHS. THE AUTHOR CORRECTED HER MISTAKE. 

nonmember avatar Mandi

Who are we to judge how this mother wants to honor the remains of her baby? Although not common, I think that it's wonderful and respectful that she doesn't want to flush her baby down the toilet, no matter how small he may be.

Naomi Guiney

dang cant none of yall read it clearly says 7 and half weeks in the article

jessi... jessicasmom1

eh creepy to say the least  

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