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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.

parenting after loss > How does it feel to have another?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some of your views. I lost my little girl at 8 weeks old and am now thinking I may be ready to try again for another baby. Me and my husband both think it's time and want to try again. Can you let me know your experiences of having another baby, the pregnancy and once their here.

I know I am going to be worried throughout the pregnancy but do you feel guilty and how do you cope when you first have another baby, does it bring up lots of emotions?

Thank you
C x
August 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC
C, I'm so sorry about your little girl. To answer your question, at least a little, my subsequent pregnancy was very stressful but overall uneventful. I was high risk because of the placental abruption that killed my daughter, uterine anomaly, and being "old." I saw a regular Ob and a maternal fetal medicine specialist throughout (I basically saw at least one of them a week). I delivered via scheduled csection at 37 weeks. My son is healthy and thriving (he's 8 months now). The c section for us was healing after the induction we had with our daughter. It was so chill and relaxed. At the beginning, I was hit often with these huge waves of grief and joy. Joy that he was here, nursing, smiling, everything and grief that all the firsts shouldn't have been the months since, I've also learned to give myself permission to be frustrated, angry, tired etc because sometimes parenting feels that way and just because my daughter died, doesn't mean I can't. It's a tough balance because I think the grief messes with you a bit and tells you you that you shouldn't...but when you've been up every two hours and nothing you do helps, it's normal to feel those of the things that has helped us being in touch and having friends who are parenting after loss.
August 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Hi AB, That's how I thought it would have felt so I'm glad to know that I seem to be preparing for the right feelings although, can you ever really prepare. We have our first group session of parents who have lost coming up in September and hope that can bring us some friendships with people who know what we've been through. My brother also had a still born child a couple of years ago but he hasn't had any since.

I understand completely when you said about the allowing yourself to get frustrated because I've already had a chat with myself about trying to appreciate every moment, even the hard ones but that's not going to be realistic 100% of the time. I had a planned c section last time and the consultant said to aim for a VBAC next time but I think I would feel a lot more comfortable and I'm control with another planned c section.

Sorry for your loss, sending love and hugs x
August 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC
I lost little miss s 28 weeks into my pregnancy. I was lucky to get pregnant at my first IVF after the loss, 4,5 month after our loss.
It was a stressfull pregnancy, high risk due to stillbirth and no reason found, bleedings until week 24/25. I went to the hospital every other week to get scans, the only thing that kept me kind of sane. I went for an extra scan at week 28. and an exstra at the same date that we lost little miss s. That date I was a wrak.
I wasn't prepared for the birth, but then again that was a quite a hard one.
After, I struggeld with my health, and was not able to connect with my new girl in 7-8 weeks.
The important thing is to allow your self to have all those feelings that may come, you are allowd to feel stressed out, afraid, happy, sad etc
My main struggel now is how to handle the kids that is little miss s' age... That's hard.

I'm sorry you lost your daughter.
August 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterScandinavian endo-girl
Hi C,

My rainbow recently turned one, and I have been reflecting on her first year. For me, it was another hard year, I think much harder than I anticipated. I guess a newborn is hard work as they are, but I didn't factor in the added layer of emotions that surrounded me. Definitely keep being gentle on yourself as there is a pressure to 'love and appreciate' every single minute. The pregnancy was difficult but not impossible, and my husband and I agree that for us it was the best decision for our family. Our rainbow has brought us so much joy, and helped to heal our 2 older daughters so much. Sending you good wishes for your journey ahead.

August 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
C, I am so sorry for your loss of your baby girl. My husband and I lost our first little girl at 33 weeks after pre term labor. We are now 28 weeks pregnant with our rainbow daughter. I didn't anticipate it to be easy but didn't understand the emotions that would come from it either. There are the obvious stresses with any pregnancy but I think once you've lost a child those stresses become heightened. I've had to learn to take each day at a time and not be to hard on myself. The guilt is there, the worry and everything else you can imagine at the same time as grieving the loss of your little one. There was no better feeling seeing the pregnancy test flash "pregnant" but the emotions that come with it are not easy. If you remember to be gentle with yourself and accept everything that you feel you will get through it. I've had to do meditation as much as I can as well because it helps to think positively and less about everything that could go wrong. Sending you love and light!
September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal
Hello C,

I am so sorry that you lost your sweet little girl.

My case is a little different as my son was born almost 5 years after his sister was stillborn. I think the time has helped in some ways, and made no difference in others.

I had a lot of anxiety during my pregnancy, being much older and developing complications did not help. Thankfully I was scheduled to have non-stress tests on a regular basis toward the end of my pregnancy and encouraged to come in for one whenever my anxiety levels got too high.

Sometimes I will be hit with an overwhelming sadness that my daughter should have had all the joy and wonder and discovery that my son is experiencing now. It's still hard to see little girls her age. She should be starting kindergarten. I still don't know how I will talk to him about her. As much as he has healed us, and he has, he is also a solid and real reminder of what we lost. Does that make any sense?

I sometimes feel haunted by the first-hand knowledge that he's not guaranteed to survive. He's healthy as can be right now, but so what? I think most, if not all parents, have anxiety about losing their child. But to know for sure that the worst can and does makes things harder. We have to struggle against the urge to over-protect. I need to resurrect a very helpful mantra I got from this board, "Today I am pregnant." and adjust it to something like, "Today my son is here." I've made it sound much worse than it is, in reality I'm pretty good at taking the anxiety and using it to make sure we seize the day and have as much fun with him as we can.

Those are the things I deal with, having a rainbow baby. But really, on a day-to-day basis I'm loving it. I'm totally in love and sappy about it. My former self would be horrified at my Facebook feed these days lol.

Wishing you all the best,
September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristy