My baby was stillborn six months ago. I have all this stuff from my baby shower. I have no idea what to do with it. What should I do with it?
First of all, I’m so sorry for your loss. There is no “right” way or “wrong” way to handle presents for a baby that was stillborn. Some couples hide the presents as these were gifts for their baby and serve as painful reminders. Other couples will return the gifts. Sometimes, the gifts are put away (by a family member or friend) and if the opportunity to parent a rainbow arises, this brings up the difficult question about what to do with them. Some people feel like they can’t have a new baby use these items as it betrays the memory of the baby that was lost. Others like the idea that their rainbow will get to share something with its sibling. I suggest that you and your partner talk about what makes the two of you the most comfortable.
Dr. Julie Bindeman is a clinical psychologist specializing in reproduction and parenthood who has worked in outpatient settings, private practices, and universities, including Marymount, Johns Hopkins, and Loyola.