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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Ashley Frost

billsfan... 7 and a half WEEKS. Not months.

nonmember avatar Laurie Palmer

@billsfan. You must not have read the article very well. She was 7-1/2 WEEKS pregnant. She was treated horribly. To face the loss of a baby-to-be must have been so sad, but to be treated like a criminal was outrageous. I wish her the best and hope she is able to accept it with time, and if she chooses to, try to have another baby.

nonmember avatar Argh!

I was going to say thank you to Courtastic, but clearly no one wants to read all the comments--billsfan, I agree that there should be a mention that the article was edited after the fact, but then there wouldn't be people commenting to say THE EXACT SAME THING AS FOURTY-OR-SO PEOPLE BEFORE THEM!

jostock jostock

that is so sad..

nonmember avatar Brandy

First off many of you misread this article, it clearly states 7 and a half WEEKS at the beginning of it, no where does it mention months. Maybe before attacking the author some of you need to read better!

Sirena Johnson

Look, the coroner did what he had to do. Why? People are sick and do things like kill their babies and then call to have them cremated. I know we, especially as moms, don't want to consider this as an option.. but seriously, have you ever watched the news? People do effed up stuff and the coroner was just doing what he had a "gut feeling" was the right thing to do. My heart SO goes out to the mother who lost her baby and then in turn had to deal with even more stress and the humiliation of being accused of harming her own child.. but sh*t happens. What if the coroner DIDN'T do what he did and it turned out she was a murderer..? He loses his job and credibility and possible prosecution for not "checking further into it". I do think that, like the article states, he could have first called the woman's doctor instead of the police though..

kelti... kelticmom

When the article was first published last night, the author stated that the baby was 7 1/2 MONTHS! After everyone pointed it out, she went back and changed it to WEEKS. So everyone chill the fuck out and get off Billsfan's ass.

Godde... GoddessBaker

So did she fix it? because I read 7 1/2 weeks. I didn't see where it said months. Anyway, with all the craziness going on these days, you've gotta realize a coroner probably sees some pretty screwed up stuff. Yeah, the coroner may have over reacted, but  you gotta think about all the moms who kill their kids and teens having babies and killing them lately... this person may have felt like they had reason. I don't think they did it to intentionally cause the mother grief.

Dennis Mitchell

some of you idiots want to learn to read?it says weeks not months

Candy... CandyBram

Even at 7 weeks, it was a baby.  I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks myself and if I had been able to salvage the little one for a proper burial, I would have.  This poor woman was handling her grief in her own way and I think she should be applauded, not have her motives questioned.

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