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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 > honest

so here is me, being as honest as I can be. I am scared it has 4 months since my son Sawyer was still born at 37 weeks , I am and am not ready to try again. i miss my son every day my 3 1/2 year old daughter speaks of him often, misses him becomes sad in regards to him. again blatently honest i dont want to hurt her again, i dont want to hurt again, im afraid for my possible future child and the fear that if its not a son i will be disapponted. I'm afraid I may burden that child with the hopes and dreams that I had for Sawyer. I'm not necessarily looking for advice or reassurance but more of a reality that I'm not crazy, hoping in some way shape and or form, that what is normal ( for what is normal to a mother of a stillborn) anymore that ,this is a normal feeling, fear, anxiety, gulit, pain is normal. again I have found comfort in this place when it seemed I would never find comfort in anything again and I'm thankful for that.
July 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyers mom
I am so sorry that you find yourself here and without Sawyer - four months is still so early. Everything you say that you feel sounds completely normal to me. I lost my son five days past his due date over two years ago - which both feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. For the first six months afterward, I very much felt the way you describe about trying again. I was worried I couldn't be the parent that I wanted to be and that because I lost my son, any future child would be affected by that - burdened by my increased anxiety, or somehow conflicted about their place in the world. And I worried I would be disappointed if I didn't have a boy, but that if I did have another boy, he would feel like a replacement. From my perspective, it's very normal and healthy to think through those issues and feelings and work through them. For me, he was my first so I can't speak to the issues with siblings though I know others here can.

I can tell you that after nine months, my husband and I felt ready to try again and felt like we were in a place where we could be the parents we wanted to be. We had a daughter 10 months ago - when I look at her, she is so wholly her own person and a delight and my hopes and dreams for her are what I would want for any child of mine but she is her own person. I think my husband and I will try again - if we do and if we have another baby girl, I think I will be a little sad if it is not a boy and I never have the chance to raise a son, but I will give myself the room to feel that feeling and move on and enjoy getting to know another awesome little girl. And I can also tell you that my anxiety has been higher than I expected - I think because I lost my son - and I decided to see a therapist to make sure that I do my best to be an emotionally healthy parent and not to burden my daughter with that anxiety, while also recognising and giving room to my own experience and feelings.

I think recognising that it could be an issue for parenting a future child is a sign that you will try hard to make sure it isn't. Sending you strength and love - be gentle with yourself and know that in time you will get stronger.
July 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Thank you for sharing your experince , it helps and gives me piece of mind.
July 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyers mom
Dear Sawyer's mum

I am so sorry for your loss. I know what you're going through. I too lost my son 6 months ago and we are going to be ttc soon. I worry about how to handle another pregnancy around my 3 1/2 daughter. She was so involved with M's pregnancy and a few weeks after he died she made a Valentine's card for him and asked if we could go and get him. I can't imagine what it will do to her if we lose another baby or worse.

I totally understand you about wanting a son. I also want a son but I'm also worried about replacement child syndrome. The other day it dawned on me that if M hadn't died we wouldn't be having another child. This other child would never have existed.

I guess I just wanted to say I hear you and you're not the only one who feels that way. You're not crazy. You're as normal as a Medusa gets
July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterM's mum
I too was not planning on having another child if Sawyer was here . Thank you so much for sharing!
July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyers mom
I read your post and it hit home... I am sos very sorry for the loss of your precious baby and I wish I had a good advise to offer you... it's been 7 months since our twin baby girls got their wings.. they were born prematurely and Emmanouela lived for 25 days and Michaela for 39. Our girls were our miracles after 4 rounds of IVF. As I am not getting any younger (41) and we would love to have a living child we are thinking of pursuing IVF again.
Thoughts like yours are always on my mind... if we were lucky to fall pregnant and have a living baby how will i react towards him/her? Will I always ask for my twin girls? If I have a boy will I forever say "if our girls were here?". Will I be happy if I have a boy? If I have a girl am scared that I will constantly compare and say "how would our twins were going to be at this age"?
I am scared that I wont love him/her as much as I loved our girls. And of course there is the possibility that we may never fall pregnant again and that breaks my heart even more :-( if only life was not as cruel
Wishng yo the very best of luck and living baby in your arms soon xxx
thank you for sharing with me and your words of encouragement, I greatly appreciate it!
July 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyers mom