Families mourning pregnancy and infant loss hit with costly bills

Last year, Lauren Dill lost her son, Simon Augustus, four months before his due date.

“My midwife came in and she said here is a perfect little baby without a heartbeat, and those words are just etched into my memory,” Dill said.

She had what is called a “silent” miscarriage, possibly caused by a blood clot in the umbilical cord. She was induced and spent the next nine hours in labor.

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Lauren Dill with CBS News’ Anna Werner

CBS News


“I knew that once I delivered him, I wouldn’t have long before I had to say goodbye. It was hard,” Dill said.

Not long after, the medical bills started pouring in for ultrasounds, medical tests and parts of the labor and delivery not covered by her insurer. The couple’s total out of pocket spending was some $4,500, more than the cost of her other son’s full-term birth.

“I am paying for the delivery of my baby who had died, and that’s hard,” Dill said.

It’s not uncommon for women to have out-of-pocket expenses for miscarriage procedures because costs for vaginal deliveries, C-sections or surgical D&Cs can vary depending on the location, level of anesthesia and different co-pays and deductibles. But for grieving families, it’s often too much.

Alex and Jodi Laughlin lost the baby girl they named Noelle in the seventh month of pregnancy. She lived just 32 minutes. Then came the insurance company denials for two in-utero surgeries performed to try to save the baby’s life, costing some $42,000. They fought the bills, but paid $5,000 in the end.

“You come back with a box of belongings and no baby. And you come home to bills. That you are getting out of what you’ve just been through,” Alex Laughlin said.

They now have a 1-year-old daughter, but are setting up a foundation called Noelle’s Light to help other families.

“We know that it can be a really, really difficult road,” Laughlin said.

Lauren Dill has two other children, but said the loss of Simon never goes away.

“We don’t want to forget him. He lived and he’s part of our family,” she said.

Learn more about miscarriage from the March of Dimes.

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