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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > New to Glow

I discovered Glow in the Woods a couple days ago and have been reading all your stories nonstop. It's comforting to know others are dealing with the same pain and emotions, although I wish none of us had to. My husband and I lost our daughter at the beginning of May when I was 34 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy was easy, not one day of nausea or sickness. My OB/GYN told me I was his "perfect patient", something that still haunts me a bit considering how things turned out. She was our first baby and a planned, very wanted pregnancy. Due to our excitement and the excitement of our families/friends, we had already had 2 baby showers, nursery was ready, clothes washed and in the drawers. The past couple months have been unbelievably difficult, I've yet to go a full day without at least one solid cry. My emotions are so unpredictable and from one minute to the next I can go from being positive/accepting and focusing on the future to a deep dark place wondering why this happened to us and why we'll never get the chance to know our daughter. I returned to work this week and it's good to have a routine and distractions, but it's also difficult to return to my "old routine" when I expected life to be different. It all feels so mundane and insignificant when all I can think about is starting a family and being a mom. I can't help but think this tragedy will be a divider in my life, that every memory will either be "before" or "after" the loss of our baby and will either be "the old me" (joyful, naive, trusting) or "the new me" (weary, anxious, cautiously optimistic).

I know this question has been asked, but I'm hoping to get some updated responses since research/opinions seem to be changing all the time. How long were you advised to wait before trying to conceive again? Right now, all I can think about is bringing home a healthy baby. The thought of being pregnant again is scary and I know it will be different in every way from last time, but the relief in knowing I can get pregnant again and the excitement of having a baby outweighs my fears. My MFM recommended a minimum of 6 months, but it seemed like she was also considering my emotional health. I don't want to take any risks physically, but emotionally I feel like another pregnancy would be part of my healing. We are tentatively planning to stop preventing pregnancy in September which would be 4.5 months after our loss. Does this sound reasonable or does 6 months, nothing less, seem to be the going advice?

Thanks for any responses, my heart aches for anyone experiencing this loss. It's indescribable and although I have supportive friends/family, it's nearly impossible for them to empathize. I hope and pray it's the most difficult thing I ever go through.
June 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAKM
Hi AKM. So sorry that you've found yourself in need of this community (but glad that you've found it). You might not have seen it because it's on the other part of the site, but there's a thread from just a couple of weeks ago with people's differing advice on when to try again. As you'll see, there's a lot of different opinions. You might find it comforting to get the opinion of an OB (or two). I liked to at least feel like I had as much information as possible:

http://glowinthewoods.squarespace.com/ttc-pregnancy-birth/post/2675009
June 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK West
Hi AKM - I am so sorry for your loss but glad you are here. I can relate to so much of what you're saying. I lost my baby at the end of April at 40 weeks (I started the thread that K West linked to), so we're on similar timing. My OB also kept saying I was "perfect" - he couldn't believe there hadn't been a car accident or something else when he found out the baby died. I went back to work 4 weeks ago - and I felt the same way you did - it was so painful to resume the old routine and have nothing change. In the first few weeks, I took it very easy - didn't load myself up with too much work, was gentle with myself when I found it hard to concentrate, and had many quiet cries in my office. And it has become easier - it's still painful, but I'm adjusting and the "old routine" doesn't feel quite as empty as it did before. I also think my life will be marked by "before" and "after" in my head and I have a lot of trouble adjusting to that reality.

As for trying again, I'm not meeting with an MFM until August (still waiting on the autopsy results) and I doubt we'll try again until 6 months because I'd like my body to get as strong as possible first and get back to my happy weight. But - if the MFMs we see in August (I'm setting up appointments with 2) tell us there's no reason to wait, we may consider going earlier. But it does seem that it varies a lot for people and people go on to have rainbow babies without waiting that amount of time. I'm sorry we find ourselves here, but I am very grateful that this community exists.
June 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Oh AKM, I'm so so sorry x

As I'm guessing you'll find when you read posts by others, I understand so much of what you've written. The sentence that plays over and over in my mind is "you've got no reason not to be confident" (said to us at 12wks by a doctor trying to calm a nervy first time mum-to-be). Our little boy was born in March. I should be 37wks pregnant right now. As you said about your "before" and "after", what a terrible 'sliding doors' moment for us to live through: a future where we were meant to be mothers, where pregnancy was this wonderful and exciting thing, and our families were so happy for us, is now no longer the future we have right now. But as you've said, our future can still involve healthy babies - even if the innocence of pregnancy is lost for us.

Congratulations on getting back to work. It may not feel like it, but you are so strong and you are coping phenomenally well. Any challenge you face will feel like a pittance compared to the nightmare you are living.

On your question, we were advised to wait one cycle due to RPOC. Even though it was a uterine infection that caused our premature delivery, physically it was only to make 100% sure everything was back on track that we were advised to wait. It took 3.5 months before my cycle returned though. In saying all of this, we only made it to 20wks.

x
July 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterS
Thank you for your replies - My husband and I had our first social outing over the holiday weekend. We went to a small BBQ and saw friends we hadn't seen for 2 months, before everything happened. I know everyone knows we lost our daughter - some expressed sympathy and some didn't, still not sure which I prefer. The toughest part was a friend passing me another friend's 4 month old baby. I was admiring him from a distance saying what a sweet boy he was and then suddenly she plopped him in my arms and carried on talking. It only took a minute before my eyes welled up behind my sunglasses. Couldn't help but think about how we should have a 3 week old and maybe that would've been her first outing.

SR - I'm so sorry for your loss. Would love to stay in touch with you and compare notes as we are on similar timelines. You're so right in remembering to be gentle with yourself.

S - I'm sorry you've had to go through this. There's comfort in knowing what I'm thinking and feeling is felt by others. Makes me not feel so alone in my grief, as I often feel in comparison to friends and family who are pregnant or bringing home healthy babies.

I'm going to try to follow the advice of our MFM and wait 6 months, I just can't imagine trying sooner and something going wrong. Until then, I'm going to start paying close attention to my body and learning my cycles. Right now it feels like I just want to control as much as possible. I've also scheduled an appointment with an acupuncturist, I've never been but I've read treatments can help with anxiety/stress and fertility when the time comes. I'll share my experience after my appointment next week.
July 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAKM
AKM, I'm so terribly sorry for you loss. I've been away for a period of time and just saw your post. I felt as if your first paragraph could have been written by myself. Or son, Carter, died in February. I was 33 weeks and had a textbook pregnancy. We don't and will never have any reasons that explain whhat happened. I'm nearing 5 months and the days feel a little easier to breathe. But, the feeling of a 'before' and 'after' is still very prevelant. My mind still struggles with my current reality and my heart struggles with what should be my reality.

I had a emergency c-section. My OB told us to wait 6 months. I think both for physical and emotional reasons. I've met with the MFM and she said 6 months as well but did say she's had plenty of patients who conceive before that time frame and do very well. I would have started sooner than now - maybe 4 months but my husband was adamant that we don't do anything that would potentially risk my life and that of a future baby. It's been hard but in hindsight has allowed me really to grieve Carter.

Sending so many hugs your way. I'm so sorry you find yourself here. I found Glow shortly after our loss and read everyone's stories first before sharing my own. These woman are truly supportive and I'm thankful for this community.
July 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenna
Acupuncture is great! I started going maybe 2 months after and I now have regular sessions. It works great for emotions, stress, and can help with fertility for when you do start trying. Sending hugs
July 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenna
Jenna, I'm so very sorry for the loss of baby Carter, my heart aches for you. My husband has the same worries and wants us to follow Doctor's orders to the T, but even doing that does not provide any guarantees. I am so thankful for this community - it's been very comforting to me. When everything happened, I immediately deleted my social media accounts, it was overwhelming thinking about how to let everyone know (which I just thought how silly to be stressing about that) and then it was tough seeing so many pictures of new babies and pregnancy announcements. It has actually been really good to take a break from all that. Glad to hear you've benefited from acupuncture, I hope it will help me too.

One thing I haven't done much of is talk about our baby by name. We were planning to keep it a secret until she was born - I imagined the moment my husband could hand her over to our parents at the hospital and make the sweet introduction. We've since told our parents/siblings and a couple close friends her name, but I think as a defense mechanism I still refer to her as our daughter or the baby. I would really like to change that though. She had a name and we had been calling her by that name since around 20 weeks - it was Emery Taylor. Missing my sweet Emery girl today, will miss her for the rest of my life
July 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAKM
AKM - Good for you for going out to your first social event - they can be so tough, but sometimes good. I probably would have tossed that new baby to the nearest person like a hot potato - and would not have been able to last more than one second before tears started. That must have been so difficult. Our baby doesn't have a name - we didn't know the sex and had a boy and a girl name picked. Since the baby was dead before we found out the sex, it has never felt right giving him a name and using it when it wasn't how we knew him. So we use "the baby" still (we never had an in utero nickname either). We did tell my sister-in-law, so that she wouldn't accidentally use a very similar name for her son that was born last week.

Thinking of you and your previous Emery today.
July 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Oh AKM, Emery Taylor is a beautiful name. So lovely. You know what's right for you - speaking her name to friends, other family, or even strangers may just come easy one day. Take your time. I find myself saying Carter's name all the time.

I stopped all social media. I couldn't handle it. At all. It was instrumental in my healing. I just recently created a new IG account because I heard such wonderful, supportive comments about the loss community on IG. My account is completely separate from my original account - no one knows I set it up. But the women I've met have been so empathetic and comforting (much like here) and it's nice to see their posts and know I'm not alone in the daily struggles life throws at me have the death of Carter.

Sending so much strength your way. Here anytime you want to talk. Hugs.
July 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenna
Oh my gosh - I just realized that I had a typo - I meant to write PRECIOUS Emery, not previous - I am so sorry for that, AKM. Also - I agree that Emery Taylor is a beautiful name.
July 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR