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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.

not ttc | infertility after loss > That's not going to happen here

I posted this to my blog in September 2012 and it still holds true and I just kind of wanted to share:

I've wanted to write this post for a while but how to go about it. I'm not eloquent, and I know it. My posts won't touch some body so much that they'll think about it for a long time. I'm just blogging this here and throwing it out there.

Last week my SIL announced her first pregnancy and it got me to thinking about blogging and pregnancy and pregnancy loss blogs. The majority of loss blogs have a certain 'timeline' they follow. Loss, TTC (or adoption), and new baby. It made me realize that my blog? It's not exactly like most other loss bloggers out there.

There's no 'more' that is going to happen. I'm not going to announce suddenly that I'm pregnant. There's no adoption story going on, our family is complete. This isn't what I want not by a long shot. I would give anything for another child but it isn't going to happen.

I don't think having a new child replaces your loss and anyone who knows me knows I wouldn't ever assume such a thing. However, there is a type of healing that I think parents get when they have another child after a loss. Maybe it's a renewal of hope or just a certain kind of light that comes back into their lives.

That's not going to happen here. So if you follow my blog and are wondering when or if.... let me tell you now. It's not going to happen. I'll still be sitting here singing these same old stories and wishing for more. It's not bad to wish and want as long as it doesn't drag you down into a pit and the majority of the time it doesn't.

As a whole I love my life and I love my children and I'm happy (save for suffering from severe anxiety) but still sometimes?? Yes. I stop and stare at babies in stores and I want it so badly. I look at all the baby clothes and I feel such an intense and powerful want.

Then I shake myself and go about my life. I mourn these children I'll never have as I mourn for Calypso and I wish I could make a wonderful announcement on my blog. I wish you all could take the journey with me to another child.

But wishes don't equal real life. So I want you all to know, I'm here for you no matter what. And I live vicariously through all of you who go on with new babies.

My girls often say they want a sister or a brother but.......

That's not going to happen here :(
May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMissingmySweet
Thank you for sharing this. I relate so much to this post.
May 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJo-Anne
Thank you. I needed to hear an after loss script that doesnt end with, "and then we had our rainbow baby." Thank you.
August 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
It's not going to happen here either. No happy postscript to losing a son at 18 weeks 1 day. No happy ending to years of infertility treatments. There will be no more as my fertility doctor kicked me out on Friday March 2nd, 2018 because I am too old so he is refusing to treat me unless I buy anonymous donor a cost of 30,000 per treatment. It was a cold and surprising ending to a very sad and life-altering 8 years.
March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMissing 5
I too ended my baby making days with my baby daughter dying at birth. I found myself astonished that one of the first things I was asked when I held my dead baby in my arms was 'Are you going to try again?' In my grief stricken and traumatised state I replied with a big fat 'No, I think I'm done'.

My family is far from complete, I have one living son and I have a bond with my dead baby daughter that continues to grow, but largely goes ignored or unsupported by society at large. Grief, trauma and honouring the bond with your deceased is BIG stuff. I know of no other arena where the solution offered to these complicated processes is to blatantly suggest having another baby as the solution. I do understand very much that rainbows can offer people hope and comfort and purpose. But quite frankly, I now find this dominant rainbow post babyloss script unhelpful and annoying. It makes it harder to find your own personal way through an already horrendously complicated and isolating experience.

I applaud all those who find the determination to go on and have more babies after babyloss, I really do wish you all the best on your rainbow journey, but it's not for everyone. There are other equally valid and courageous ways of moving on with our lives after babyloss, whether divined by choice or by circumstance.

I will always feel the brokeness of this type of loss, but I'll be damned if I'll settle for my life somehow not being able to find some lightness and brightness (re: my 'Sunshine without Rainbows' post) again without another baby.
March 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
This is my first post on the forum after years, although I've been writing on the front page. I too am angry and bitter about the subsequent pregnancies. We lost our daughter in July 2013, two days before she would turn three months old. I have a son who was three and half at the time. After months of going back and forth, I took out the IUD I had had inserted after my daughter was born, since I didn't want any more kids at the time, and not in my worst nightmare had I thought she would die. Trying started. Every month brought disappointments. Infertility treatment started, with Clomid and timed sex and two IUI-s. Nothing worked. My RE suggested IVF. We couldn't afford it. I turned 40 in the end of 2016. In March of 2017, I conceived, and miscarried. Since then, we've just been taking things as they come. No effort, but no prevention either. Nothing so far, and I'm 41 and three months old now.

I've given up hope. I'm not at peace yet, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that is okay. Aside from my new normal, there's now a broken, bitter, torn new me. Who is heartbroken for her daughter, bitter about infertility, and happy with her living son. Every single mom who I met on Glow and offline when Raahi died has had subsequent children. With the exception of my dear friend Jo, who's written above. In many ways these pregnancies make things even harder for me. You see, when non-loss folks have kids, it's easy to hate them. They're from a different planet anyways. But when loss moms get pregnant easily, it makes me feel like I'm broken beyond repair. I wish them well, and understand their struggle, but somehow they are at least close to being redeemed, and I am not. I've dropped out of two offline support groups because everyone got pregnant, and suddenly the focus of the groups changed to any average pregnancy support group. I rarely visit Glow even, because of this. I know it's not healthy. But it's the new me. And I'm trying to be okay with her, with her new anger, new bitterness, and new happinesses. Yes, my son, who adores kids more than any other child I've seen (including his friends whose siblings are all his sister's age), will be a forced-single child in a country where an average family has three kids. Yes, he will always be a bereaved big brother. But he'll always be her big brother, and is a happy little eight year old, and I'm blessed to have him. I will be angry, bitter, judgemental, mad at the world for reproducing like rabbits. But I will be the best mom I can be for him. That has not changed, never will. That is the forever me.

Thank you for this thread. I'm glad I'm not alone. We all know how much it feels that way everywhere else. Love to all of you and your children.
March 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMrittika
Hi Mrittika et al,

I only recently started using forums as a source of support. Before that, I had accessed face to face support groups and babyloss telephone support and befriending services instead. I am now 7 years into my babyloss. It was rather a strange experience to encounter all the emphasis on angel and rainbow baby talk that seems to be very unique to forums for some reason. I never encountered this in the other arenas of babyloss support I had engaged with. I found I've had to hold my ground and find a way for it to not stop me connecting with the larger issue we all have in common, which is that we have all experienced the heartbreaking and unbearable pain of babyloss. The truth of the matter is that with or without rainbows the void remains and at some point we all have to learn to move on with our lives as best we can carrying that loss with us. I really don't believe having a rainbow baby is a cure all or makes it any easier. There are plenty of rainbow stories out there alluding to this reality. This doesn't mean our lives are over, no way! I for one believe there is some sunshine to be had along with the bitterness. It can be a bittersweet journey; it doesn't have to be one or the other.

One of the things I have decided to do is to not marginalise myself to the non ttc/ loss after infertility section of these forums. Our stories are so much more than that. It could also be a corner where we hold each other's hands to find other ways of connecting and moving forward, and celebrating the fact that we are finding other positive and enriching ways to move on with our lives. Perhaps, one reason we don't hear so much about this side of it is that people feel like you do and leave their forum days behind them. My 'Sunshine without Rainbows' post still has no comments and I'm beginning to think that the sorts of people who may share these kinds of stories just get fed up with all the rainbow talk and disappear so we don't get to see them.

In the meantime, I continue to 'bridgewalk' over to the other corners of these forums to say 'hi, I'm here' and steer the conversation in other directions other than the 'must-have-rainbow-baby' talk. I am happy to report that I have made some lovely connections with other people, some of whom I don't even need to know what conception status or identity they belong to. We just meet in the moment and find other things in common about how we cope and how we view the world through our unique babyloss lenses.

I would love to encourage you to stay and stand your ground, seize more control of the babyloss narrative, and please do share some of your sunshine moments along the way, so my 'Sunshine without Rainbows' post gets past the nil comments point. We need a sense of diversity, a sense of choice, and a strong plurality of belonging in the babyloss community. There are plenty of empty spaces for us to fill.
March 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy