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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 > Deep Soul Work

Dear All,

I want to be honest about something here. I have found the non ttc section of online babyloss communities difficult to be around. That no-one wants to be here, that there is very little traffic this way, and that this intensifies the loneliness and isolation felt if you find yourself here has been painful for me to hear as a non ttc babyloss mum.

However, I have come to realise that this is also a place on forums where we sit with the deepest self-questioning and doubts of our babyloss. As painful as it is to be here, I find that I cannot walk away from this space. It has its own sacredness, its own wisdom and yes, its own beauty. It is dark, it is overwhelming, it is a place of deep digging and searching. For me this is a place where deep ‘wise woman’ soul work is going on.

I want to say thankyou to all you beautiful and courageous women who sit here and hold hands in this space where no-one else wants to be.

Lots of love and gentleness,

Mango x
June 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
Thank you for posting this, Mango Mummy. Your posts have been a comfort to me because they are proof that someone is out there (though circumstances here are mixed - I can't say I'm currently trying or not trying to conceive - I can only say I'm in that limbo-ish state of not pregnant again). But you're right. This place is dark and overwhelming and I find my soul doesn't have much to say just yet. But my heart can say thank you for you patience and perseverence in posting. It's good to see that at least one soul here has found a voice in the deep work.
June 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJ
Thankyou J for your reply - much appreciated x

I have come to learn that there are many babyloss mums out there with no baby born after loss. Unfortunately, they just don't stay around that long in the non ttc side of babyloss forums, because even the non ttc sections of forums still tend to have an underlying ttc focus. Your phrase 'limbo-ish state of not pregnant again' seems to perfectly describe the non ttc spaces for me.

So when a babyloss mum finally arrives at that place where they know there will be no more babies in their post loss story, there is a tendency for them to say goodbye and move on, so we often don't get to hear these stories. Still Mothers is the only dedicated community I know of so far (re: 'Still Mothers' thread).

Lots of love and gentleness to you J as you navigate your way through the darkness.

Mango x
June 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
As someone who struggled with infertility after loss, I always struggled where to post my emotions . I was still TTC but with extensive measures due to secondary infertility. I found the TTC thread painful to read at times because so many were pregnant there. When I was trying and failing so intensely I just needed separate space. It seems as if there should be a separate forum for infertility and those who have stopped their TTC journeys totally . While infertility is often a reason some stop TTC, I think the emotions of choosing to not TTC consciously vs . giving up because you just can’t go through the treatments and stress anymore are different?

I do love that you point out that there can be other things that bring joy again, other than a rainbow. I too learned to play an instrument . My therapist had me think of all the things that I/ we could do without an infant in tow. The idea that there can be healing without a rainbow is something I hadn’t thought. In many ways I related my ability to heal only to being able to have another baby. It took many years for these two ideas to separate. I needed to realize that on one shoulder was the loss of my daughter, and on the other - infertility. That they were separate things I needed to grieve and fixing one would not fix the other. I think your message is important and helpful. Thank you.
July 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Thanks Kim for your reply. I appreciate your honesty and reflections here. And thanks for sharing about learning to play an instrument post babyloss (I’m not the only one!)

I agree with your observation that there needs to be a separate space for those wanting to carry on TTC-ing and struggling with infertility post loss and those who have decided to no longer TTC for various reasons - I think they are very different mind and body spaces to be in. These more specific need spaces do seem to be springing up in the FaceBook community, but not so much with forums.

After much reflection, I have come to realise that the babyloss community is as much a babygain community as it is a babyloss community, and I believe it always will be. The internal and external pressure to have another child (whether by TTC or by other means) after babyloss is phenomenal. However, I have to say that I am very grateful that a babyloss community, which is only a relatively recent development, even exists in the first place.

Mango x
July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
I wanted to get a feel for how Glow in the Woods got started, so I have gone back to the first year (2008) of the Front Page in the archives section.

I came across this great article about 'Darkness and Light post babyloss' that spoke to me of that felt darkness that has been alluded to in this thread here, so thought it would be useful to link it in. It's written by someone called Janis who was part of the first core group of contributors 10 years ago:

Thank you Janis for your sharing your thoughts and words here at Glow all those years ago,

Mango x
July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy
Your 27th July 2018 post was written the day I cremated my daughter. So now you know ive been in this for 9 1/2 months.
I posted in January in the not TTC section, I think, with the title being 'I don't want a baby anymore' . This idea has become more evident as time goes by due to many factors but the main one being 'i feel that part of my love for her would be invested in a new pregnancy'. Maybe this is still a premature feeling and will grow and evolve into a stronger statement like 'I'm happy with just my living son and angel daughter'.
I admit that I too feel a little overwhelemed by all the 'having another baby will help end grief' statements. As you have said 'an underlying TTC focus.
I love the 'deep wise woman soul work' expression used, it just hit me and makes my energy vibrate as I feel that its so empowering. So much more than just having another baby without asking profound questions and waiting for the seeds to grow before fully understanding the answers.
Its great that this community exists. Its a great starting point from which we can all go different ways to new experiences.

Love and light to all you mamas. (Or mamanges as the French say - maman (mummy) + anges (angels) = mummies of angels).
May 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMachaela
Hi there again Machaela,

Yes, I remember connecting with you in your thread back in January.

And yes, I too found it both overwhelming and confusing to encounter such a dominant TTC focus with babyloss and grief. There is grief and then there is TTC, the two are different processes for me, and I believe one doesn’t cancel out the other. It just doesn’t work like that.

I was an older mum when I lost my baby daughter and I’d also sustained physical injuries from the crash c section that was performed to try and save her life, so going on to TTC was not an appealing option for me. My mind and body needed time out to heal without any other demands put upon it and so I moved into wise woman space instead.

The absence of a physical relationship with my daughter has been an exhausting grief at times, but I have invested in other ways of nurturing my relationship with her that are deep and meaningful to me. I am a mother of an earthbound son and a spirit-bound daughter, and as the years go by, I find myself gaining confidence in both of these relationships with my children.

There is no right way to go, but there is more than one way to go with all this. Sometimes, we need space to sit and consider our options and sense what is true for ourselves.

Love and gentleness to you as you find your way with your Mamanges journey,

Mango x
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMango Mummy