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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 > When to give up?

It’s been a while since I was here. But I always come back when I need support....
My daughter was born at 25.5wks in Sept ‘12.
I had a missed miscarriage 2.5yrs later.
Then my beautiful blessed son a year after that in 2015.
And then trying. Trying. Trying and trying.
A trip to a fertility doctor who told us nothing was wrong but given our 2 yrs of trying and my advancing age (39) odds of getting pregnant naturally were pretty much zilch.
And then....pregnant! Just a few weeks after that appointment. It was like a big FU to that doctor and a big hooray for all that waiting.
And now a scan at 8 weeks show the heart beat is way too slow. The baby is way too small. He or she won’t last much longer. I’m waiting for this little being to softly quietly die inside me.
And then deal with another mc.
And after that?
Do I simply count my blessings?
Do I try again?
Do I call it quits?
Am I pushing too much? Will something bad happen? Or will nothing happen apart from my period month after month?
May 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLozza
Apologies for lack of sensitivity and trigger warnings.
May 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLozza

I really appreciate this post. It highlights that this whole “rainbow baby/happy ending” thing can be a crock of shit. Babies don’t effortlessly come about, stay about, or are ever healthy to begin with. Well, for some they do. But we know different. We know there are no guarantees, and we know they can be sick and die or born early and die or go to term and die, etc. Going through one horrible experience is one thing, but to constantly be on the hamster wheel- trying to create this family or this sibling or this dream- while nature keeps throwing it back in your face- can seem daunting. Does it mean you try harder? Only you can answer that. Only you will know when you know. There is a peace is saying “not again”, there is a peace in letting your life take whatever shape it is currently and not try to change it. There is peace in cultivating a life outside of pro creating. There really is- because we do have things to be grateful for and we do find those moments, thankfully. But the nagging, incomplete, “maybe just one more time” side can silence that presentness and gratefulness right away from you. And that’s okay, too. Which voice is louder? Which do you find yourself tending to more? I found, for me, I was not and am not able to say I am “done” (we are same age), but I do keep selling baby things. And this tells me what I am unable to tell myself- I think I am done. I think enough is enough. That said, I wanted another baby badly enough we chose to adopt- and I will not downplay the richness it brought to our life. I’m not sure I’ve helped here- because there really aren’t answers, is there. Just pay attention to your heart. And follow that. You will know when to proceed and when to stop- if you are not ready, it is okay. When you are, it is okay.
May 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterElaina
Thank you xxx
May 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLozza
Lozza, such pain you've gone through. The heartbreak of loss, and trying, and more loss is sometimes too much to bear.
I wish there was a crystal ball where you could see your future to know if there is another baby somewhere there for you if you kept trying. If you knew it would work, and lead to conception and healthy pregnancy and birth, that would be a path you could follow. But there is fear of more heartbreak if you keep on that path and there is no baby. How much any of us will sacrifice in that effort and how much we can bear is so personal. Only you, and your partner, can weigh that for yourselves and decide your path.
I feel I have walked this path too and I am trying to make peace with taking the off-ramp. It's terribly hard to reconcile myself to this and it's not the decision I would have made for myself if I had the choice. I do have a daughter who was born in 2015 and she is the absolute joy of my life. But it was a long road to have her and a long road to try for another after her. In 2013, I lost my son at 24 weeks, and I had 4 miscarriages spread out before him, after him, and after her. I went through IVF multiple times (7. I shudder to think of it). I'm 42 now. My time's up. And I'm trying to come to terms with that. I think of my son daily, even after all this time. And I recount all the losses, the timeline, just rehash it all, regularly. Maybe that's normal? I don't know. But I know for me- I just need to make peace that this is the end of the line, and that it's going to be ok. I do believe I will get there to actually feeling like it's OK. I believe I will always wish that things had turned out differently, and that my son lived, and that my daughter could have a living sibling, but that's just not what happened for us.
The only advice I can offer is for the moment to just grieve for this tiny one you've just lostt. You posted a week ago and I can only imagine what the past week has been like for you. It's terribly hard to think about your next steps when you are in the midst of bleeding and loss. I always felt during my miscarriages that I was bleeding out my hopes and dreams, and I'm so sorry that's how this pregnancy has ended for you. Sending you love.
Elaina, I'm also thinking of you too and I'm touched by what you shared. xo.
May 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChi
I had one living son prior to losing my daughter at birth. I was coming up to 41 years old when my only daughter died. The medical profession pulled out all the stops to reassure me that it was possible for me to go on and have another baby, the babyloss community encouraged me to keep my options open and not to give up, there was still plenty of time left.

However, deep down I knew I had gone as far as I could. I had walked away from my daughter’s birth and death with deep physical as well as psychological wounds. I felt I just had too much healing to do before I would be ready welcome another potential baby into my family. Had I had a good 10 years of fertility ahead of me, the story might have been different. But this is only my story, and I always say to babyloss mums don’t compare yourself to others, not even to other babyloss mums. We all do it differently and in our own timescales.

If you want to keep trying then surround yourself with stories of hope from other babyloss mums who have beaten the odds to go on and have another living baby after loss. If you decide to call it a day, then surround yourself with alternative stories of hope and healing from other babyloss mums who are learning to embrace life without another baby after their loss. Yes, babyloss is an impossible loss to make better or fix, but every babyloss mum deserves a narrative of hope and healing. For a lot of mums that is ‘the rainbow baby’, but the reality is that not everyone gets a rainbow and there are many babyloss mums out there showing there are other options and other choices to be had.

Mango x
June 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
P.S. Thank you Elaina for this line :

'It highlights that this whole “rainbow baby/happy ending” thing can be a crock of shit.'

I love it when babyloss mums come out with phrases like this.It makes me smile and chuckle as well as totally supporting the sentiment. I so value reading these nuggets of truth that also make me laugh and smile. Thankyou for letting rip with that one.

And Chi, I totally get the age thing and the need 'to make peace that this is the end of the line, and that it's going to be ok.' I believe it is possible too.

Lots of love and gentleness to you Lozza as you move through your current loss and grief,

Mango x
June 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
I can’t tell you how many times I was told about someone who “delivered a healthy baby just a year after their loss.” No one understood how painful that was to hear when my 23 week loss had taken me 2 years of unexplained infertility to achieve. I proceeded to have two miscarriages after losing my baby boy at 23 weeks.

There are many times that I want to give up, and I can’t even explain to you why I haven’t yet. It’s a personal choice that can be isolating when people don’t understand why you haven’t had another one yet. Be gentle with yourself and try to enjoy life outside of trying to conceive. I wish you luck and wish I had better advise.
June 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEA