Mom shared images of her miscarried baby & made us look at grieving a loss in a whole new way

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A miscarriage can be one of the most devastating experiences in a woman's life. Everyone grieves in their own way, and choosing to see your baby can help you get closure. A Missouri woman named Sharran Sutherland went above and beyond that option after her baby boy's heart stopped beating 14 weeks into her pregnancy.

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Doctors were ready to label Sharran's dead son, who she calls Miran, as "medical waste," and dispose of him. However, the mom of 11 did not let them move forward. Although the U.S. doesn't consider a fetus a baby until it is 20 weeks old, Sharran felt that she had a "real baby," and chose to take her son home. The grieving mom went on social media to post pictures of the baby that would have been due in October, and the images have gone went viral.

Doctors encouraged Sharran to have a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure when they discovered that her baby’s heart stopped beating in April.

According to The Sun, she refused to have her baby “come out in pieces” and opted for a natural birth.

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Sharran then had the choice to have the baby disposed of by the hospital or send it to a funeral home, but she came up with another option.

Sharran then had the choice to have the baby disposed of by the hospital or send it to a funeral home, but she came up with another option.

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She was angry that her baby was being called a fetus and medical waste. “But I also felt like a funeral seemed extreme,” The Sun reported that Sharran said. “I didn't know what to do and I was faced with this decision. My husband and I discussed burying him in a planter box filled with hydrangeas that would grow each year and come back to remind us of him, and we thought it was a great idea.”

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Sharran and her husband, Michael, took the baby home and preserved him so they could have a chance to grieve.

"When I got home [from the hospital] I made saline solution and I put him in it and I put him in my refrigerator," she said. "I know that sounds morbid to some people but I didn't want him to decompose or smell. I didn't know what else to do. We weren't ready to bury him yet.

"We had him almost a week. In that time I was able to get his handprints, take his pictures, hold him, grieve to an extent. But I had that time with him which I think really helped a lot."

It was obviously a decision that many people won’t understand, and Sharran is well aware of that.

Sharran was shocked to see how developed her baby was.

"Looking at him, holding him in my hand, looking at how perfectly formed he was: I was amazed," she wrote. "I just couldn't believe how perfect everything was on him. His ears, his tongue, his gums, his lips. I couldn't believe it."

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Sharran pointed out how lonely it feels to grieve a miscarriage vs. a baby who dies after it is born.

"A woman goes through it alone and I believe that's because other people don't recognise it as a human, as a baby,” she said. “This isn't just about a woman grieving over her baby and not being able to give her baby life, it's about not recognising that this is a baby. It's just a tiny baby."

Miran was in the refrigerator for almost a week before Sharran and Michael felt ready to bury him.

Sharran still found it hard to let go. “I wanted to just keep him in my fridge,” she said. “I didn't care if people thought it was morbid--I wanted to keep him there forever.”

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Sharran says she did not share the photos and write about her son for political reasons.

"I think because I shared what he really looked like, and because I shared my view [on abortion], I know some people say I've turned this into a political thing which wasn't my view or hope," she said, according to the Daily Mail. "'I hoped that if he could help someone who is contemplating and thinking about abortion, if a woman can see and have all the information in front of her, then she can make a better choice. Even if she still goes through with it then at least she knew. I wasn't trying to shame women who have had them."

Sharran claims that her post did make a friend cancel plans to have an abortion. "I couldn't believe that he had touched somebody," she said. "I had hoped for it but if it was someone that close, it was amazing. I thought, if that's all Miran's life was meant to do, then so be it."

Topics: miscarriage