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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.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > TTC after loss: How long did your doctor tell you to wait?

We lost our baby boy at 40+5 in early stages of labor (I think - felt at least one strong kick when contractions were starting but no heartbeat when we arrived at the hospital 4 hours later) almost 6 weeks ago (i've previously posted as "S" - but realize there's another S posting so will change for clarity). It was a vaginal birth. We have no idea as to the cause - there was nothing obvious when the baby was born (not an obvious cord accident, placenta looked fine, baby appeared healthy), and we're waiting for autopsy results but we've been told not to expect any answers. I'm wondering how long those in similar circumstances were told to wait before TTC. I had previously read that doctors recommend waiting 18-24 months between pregnancies - but my doctor suggested that we could try again in 6 months if we wanted (we haven't decided if we will yet). This would have been my first and I'm worried about waiting too long as I will be AMA for any future pregnancies and if we want more than one those risks keep going up.
June 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
After my stillbirth, my husband and I figured we'd wait a year to TTC. I saw MFM about eight weeks postpartum and he said there was nothing to stop me from trying right away and that the odds were actually better sooner rather than later due to risks associated with advanced maternal age. We ended up conceiving six months post loss, miscarrying, then getting pregnant the cycle after that. I'm currently 17 weeks. My loss was at 37 weeks, unknown cause despite full autopsy and clean bill of maternal health. I was 33. I know a loss mom whose son died around the same time as mine who was advised to wait a year. Hers was due to placental abruption.
June 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMom2htb
We also lost our son most likely in the early stages of labor. All we know is that when I got to the hospital in active labor, his heart had already stopped, and the doctors hypothesize that he died sometime that same day, but they are not sure if it was just a few minutes before we arrived, or a number of hours. Autopsy results revealed very little--their best guesses are some type of very recent bacterial infection or cord compression during labor. At our six week follow-up appointment, our doctor said we could pretty much start trying again, but my body had other ideas, and I did not get my period back for a number of months, and then it took us a couple months of trying. One thing that the doctor did strongly recommend was waiting until we got all test results back, because if they had found a specific cause (blood clotting disorder etc) we could then take necessary precautions. Good luck.
June 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDA
My doctor recommended 6 months to wait to try again. I had to wait at least three due to needing bloodwork done and could not be pregnant for it. It was done at 3 months after our still birth at term. No reason given for our baby girls passing either... we waited and got pregnant at 5 months and then unfortunately had a blighted ovum misscarriage in Dec but got pregnant before my cycle came back in January and are 23 weeks along now.
Go with what your doctor recommends. They know what your body went through and if testing is needed etc. My doctor wanted us to wait the 6 months so not only physically I would be ready but more mentally had worked through some of our grief.

Good luk. Take your time and try not to focus on it. Takes the fun out of it :)
June 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStill0517
Hi SR, I think this falls into one of those categories where no one really knows and you end up having to balance all the different risk factors. We received two slightly different pieces of advice: one MFM suggested 6-12 months, and the other suggested at least 12 months. After an uncomplicated birth with a healthy baby (oh, don't we all desperately wish that we were in that category), I think current advice is at least 12-18 months, but that's assuming that the mother is breastfeeding and looking after a newborn. Those of us who find ourselves here, often didn't have the chance to breastfeed, but have had to go through all the trauma and grief of losing our babies. For those of us who are older, all this also has to be balanced against the risk factors of AMA. So I think this is partly why there's different advice - it depends on how much weight doctors give to these different factors. Something that people have told me, and I think it's helpful (although difficult), is to remember that a few months of waiting really won't make that much difference in terms risk factors from your age but can make big differences in your body's post-partum recovery. Sending you gentle thoughts and comfort.
June 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK West
Thanks all - it helps to get a perspective - I'm so sorry that you all are here to provide it (and that any of us are here at all). I had my 6 week postpartum appointment today. Although the autopsy results aren't back yet, my doctor said the placental exam indicated that my placenta was very small (less than 10th percentile). He recommended that we should not try for a minimum of six months and not until we've consulted with an MFM and I've been tested for clotting disorders. I had started measuring small at 38 weeks and had an US that week to check for IUGR (they said everything was normal) - I would have thought they would spot that the placenta was so small but I am trying very hard not to dwell on what ifs. I do know the risks of stillbirth or problems happening again go up with placental issues so I'm now feeling really anxious about risks of future pregnancies. Our appointment with the MFM isn't until August so I guess I'll have to try to stay off the internet, resist the rabbit hole of what happened in the past and what this means for the future, and focus on my physical and mental health in the here and now.
June 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
I experienced the same thing. My placenta was in the 10 percentile. My little ang was stillborn at 38 weeks. I'm currently 10 weeks post partum. My doctor said I can try again when I'm ready. I'm terrified to try . I'm heartbroken...
June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKene
Kene - I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby and that either of us is here. It's interesting - when I read 10 weeks, I thought to myself - that is so early. And then realized I'm not quite 9 weeks postpartum myself. I guess time has warped a bit for me - I almost can't remember what it was like "before" anymore so it seems like it must have been forever. Like you, I'm completely heartbroken and, at this point, not ready emotionally (or physically) to try again. We will see a perinatologist in August (maybe two) since we still don't have the autopsy results back, and take it from there. For now, I'm taking it one day at a time (some days are good, but others are so so sad), trying to focus on my health and my husband's health and emphasizing the things in our lives that bring us joy. Even when I was still in the hospital and hadn't yet delivered, my doctor was immediately talking about the "next one" and I felt very overwhelmed by that. I'm not sure if you feel the same way. Good luck.
June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Hi angel mamas - just wanted to add another opinion since I met with another OB/GYN yesterday. This doctor advises waiting 3-6 months after a late term loss or stillbirth. We are 2.5 months out from the loss of our daughter. She said, physically, my body is healed but it's important to be emotionally healthy as well. I can't help but feel self-conscious when I talk about the desire to have another baby soon, but she said I'm not the only one who feels this way and that it can actually be part of the healing process. She did an U/S to look at my uterus and could tell I was about to ovulate and the uterine lining was a normal width. It was encouraging to confirm things looked healed/normal in there. Sending love to all of you.
July 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAKM
Do any of you worry about what people will say if you conceive right after? I am three months post loss. And I am not trying to conceive but I am not trying to prevent it either cuz on one day I am desperate for it on the next I am terrified. But I do wonder if I will have to face undue criticism. My sensitivity level is pretty high right now. Not sure I could manage always defending.

Also I know its superficial but what effect does to close pregnancies have on your body? I have just gotten back to working out (mildly due to a CS). I don't know how motivated I am to try exercising if I plan on putting back on the weight soon enough...
August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMrsAntoine