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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bills... billsfan1104

YOu calling it a dead fetus is wrong too. She was almost full term. I thought at 7 1/2 months, it is considered a still-born or a baby tht has died??? Are you that politically correct that you have to refer it to a fetus??

nonmember avatar Anonymous

Well articles like yours with small but terribly significant mistakes certainly aren't helping anything! Proofread much?

jet360 jet360

Did you mean to say seven and half WEEKS?  I don't think you can flush a 7 and half month down the toilet.

nonmember avatar christina

Do you mean 7 1/2 weeks? 7 1/2 months is not early into a pregnancy!!

nonmember avatar christina

Jinx jet!!

the4m... the4mutts

Is it 7.5 months, or weeks? This didnt make sense at all

Taisie Taisie

According to the link posted here in this article, the mother was actually only 7 1/2 weeks pregnant, not 7 1/2 months pregnant. That's a rather huge mistake to be missed by both the author and the person responsible for proof reading before posting.

Anyhow, I feel very bad for the the parents who lost their child, and then had to go through the indignity of being suspected of murder. The whole thing is very sad, my heart goes out to them!

PonyC... PonyChaser

First off, a 7 1/2 month baby would NOT get lost in the flow of blood and tissue. A 7 1/2 month baby is roughly the size of a large banana. According to the article, it was a 7 1/2 week old baby.

But I agree, Bills, I'm so sick of human babies at any stage of development being called a "fetus". We call puppies "puppies" when the bitch is pregnant. We call kittens "kittens" when the cat is pregnant. Why can't we call a baby a "baby" when a woman is pregnant? Oh, yeah. It's that whole dissociation thing.

bills... billsfan1104

It looks like the author corrected herself.  I think she should say that she edited or corrected her article.

amazz... amazzonia

I think at 7weeks it's an embryo not a fetus yet.... That was creepy from her, I understand being upset after a miscarriage but this is just creepy

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