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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 > seeking friends to weather pregnancy after disaster

This will sound like the writing of a crazy woman... but if you're currently being driven mad by the spectacular rollercoaster of grief, worry, fear and anxiety that can only be brought on by a pregnancy following a stillbirth, I would like to know you. I'm 11 weeks today and nine months out from our baby's death and birth. We have three living children and we've all been blown to pieces by this. I've let go of any hope of experiencing that normal expectant joy I've felt before. My hope is to just endure the best I can and hold this one alive.
I'm a wreck and have made the decision that I will keep this pregnancy a secret from everyone around me for as long as possible. I just can't bear the thought of
August 3, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterks
Dear KS. Gentle congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm so sorry for the heartbreaking loss you have experienced. Although I am not yet pregnant, we will be trying again when we reach 6 months from the loss of our perfect little baby girl, who lived only one day. I am anticipating the terror. It has been a roller coaster! I experience moments of perfect acceptance, and then I am consumed with guilt — I'm overwhelmed, and feel sure I've been cursed. I can't imagine ever going through that again, but the desire for a living baby in my arms is enough to force me to push on. Please, I would love to hear about your journey and be here to listen if you need to share your fears. I am counting down the days until I can get pregnant again, but I am terrified. It know nothing will ever be the same again.
August 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEloise's mom
Hi KS... i wish i was that far ahead to share this journey with you. Unfortunately i just experienced a stillbirth last week. But i am counting down already it feels like. How long did you wait to try again?

Eloise's mom.... when will you hit 6 months? I am trying to find hope for the future but my whole world is shattered. I am counting the days and seconds already to try again. Of course I will not try to soon to give my child the best chance this time around
August 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSavannah Smile
I am so sorry you've had to join this sad person club. My heart breaks for you and your family. I have three living children who were all blown to pieces by the loss of our baby boy. My husband and I had to jump through the additional hoop of having his vasectomy reversed. Something we had done very thoughtfully in during our loss pregnancy. Like everyone else we imagined that our fourth pregnancy would result in another happy, healthy, beautiful baby. Innocence lost in the worst way. We were able to plan for the reversal in April and I fell pregnant again in June. But these last few weeks have been a constant emotional ricochet between grief, terror and the tiniest most fragile hope that I feel I have to keep in constant check in order to protect my poor, broken heart. I was happy to be relieved of the desperate waiting and the constant worry that I wouldn't be able to conceive again but it only took a day or two for that happiness to curdle into true fear. I see a therapist weekly as an individual and with my partner. My kids are all in therapy too. It has done us some good but the only thing that brings me any real comfort is talking with other mamas who have endured the heartache of stillbirth. I really struggle to relate anymore to women who worry endlessly over benign things like free range vs. organic eggs and which kind of sunscreen to use. It all feels like the worst kind of horseshit to me and I have No. Patience. For. It.
I feel like a spectre haunting my own life sometimes. I am trying not to become bitter, jealous or ungrateful and it is hard. mostly I carry on and function because the alternative is, what? Lie down and never get up again. Take to the hills like a true crazy lady. I'd like to do both or either many days but my family has suffered so much pain and loss... I guess my hope is that by living and continuing to do my best whenever I can that I will heal. it feels like a longshot.
I know that if I am going to get through this pregnancy I will need the support of women like me. Unfortunately, I have been put off of traditional support groups because I have no stomach for the religious platitudes many of the women I encountered draw upon for comfort and understanding. This is a strange thing to say for me as a observant Quaker. I believe in an afterlife and the teachings of Jesus, I just can't abide the whole "God has reasons" approach to grief at the moment. Those poor mothers are suffering just as bad as I am and do not deserve my anger or judgment. I just can't help myself right now.
I am open to talking to anyone about their lost babies no mater where they happen to fall in their pregnancy arc. But I must say that, so far, twelve weeks into my 5th pregnancy everything is worry and fear. Our baby died ten months ago so things are still very raw for me. But I've chosen to go forward. Mostly because of my age. I'm 35 and I felt I did not necessarily have the luxury of time.
Thank you to anyone who reaches out. I have found connection is the best medicine for me.
peace and comfort to you all
August 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterks
My dear friends, I am so sorry to meet you all in this way.
Savannah Smile - I am so deeply sorry for your very recent loss. I understand very well trying to find hope for the future, and while you might not see it yet, it will come in slivers of light. We will be trying again in December. I was told to wait until I 'feel ready', but I'm not sure I'll ever be ready in the way I was before. My husband and I met late in life, and I just turned 35. After losing my little baby daughter after only two days of life, I felt (feel) desperate to hold a living baby in my arms. I'm terrified of another loss, and I feel so guilty, but I don't want to be ruled by fear. I want to use this fear — to flip it on its head to have a deeper and more profound love of life. I'm not there yet, but the goal itself is a comfort. How have you been coping? I'm reading a book right now. If you can get your hands on a copy, it has been a guiding light. It's called "Healing Through the Dark Emotions" by Miriam Greenspan. If you ever need someone to talk to, I am here.

KS - I could have written this post myself. I find myself grinding my teeth, listening to what sounds like trivial complaints from other mothers. I also can't swallow the "God works in mysterious ways" rhetoric, although it's mostly because I am so uncertain of my own beliefs. Anger flairs up and nearly chokes me. I want to lash out and cry and scream. It's so unfair. I am so sorry you have to go through all of this. Please keep us updated through your pregnancy?
August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEloise's mom
Hi there. I am right there with you. I am 10 months out from the loss of my baby boy, born still st 38 weeks with no explanation. I got pregnant 3 months after, miscarried at 11 weeks. I am now 12 weeks pregnant and just on the verge of telling people, but now I know there is no point at which I will feel safe. Anything can happen at any time. It’s terrifying. My mantra to myself is “different pregnancy, different baby, different outcome”. I’m trying to believe this, to let hope shine through the fear. Thinking of you all on your difficult journeys.
August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Hi KS- I find myself needing support from other ladies who have been through this turmoil as well. It doesn't make sense to me that a life so precious and pure would be taken away. I felt like I was right at the finish line and someone stole my prize. My hands are empty. My older sister had her first child at 33 and her twin boys at 36. She had a relatively normal pregnancy. My mother has 4 daughters... normal pregnancy. The only thing I thought about 2 weeks ago is how scared of labor I was. I had NO IDEA this was a reality.

I was truly blindsided.... and now my daughter is gone. NOW WHAT? I get flowers... a whole lot of condolences, and texts. I just want my daughter to be honest. And now the feeling of wanting a child is more than it has ever been before. I never tried to have a child before... now it is all i think about. The doctors tell me 6 months to wait (however at my check up I am going to ask if that can be reduced to 4/5)... but i feel like that is forever and a day away.

I would love to continue to hear about your story... success stories give me HOPE

Emily--my baby girl was stillborn at 38 weeks as well. I wanted to wait 3 months... but I am think more towards 4-5? But that will put us at around the due date/birth date of our little girl. I love that mantra. My husband said something to me last night. Told me that we will have to be strong for our future child. After all it is a different baby who is innocent in all of this. He wants me to still enjoy any future pregnancy. I am not sure how that is even possible.

Eloise's mom- I will check out "Healing Through the Dark Emotions" I just read the synopsis and it looks like a great read especially for me me during this trying time. Why did you choose 6 months? For medical or person reasons? What will you do to pass the time? That is what I am trying to map out now. Because right not days/weeks/months seem like eternity. One thing I do know when I get pregnant again. I will embrace EVERYTHING about pregnancy. Sickness/aches and all. I WILL NOT COMPLAIN!

August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSavannah Smile
Savannah: "I felt like I was right at the finish line and someone stole my prize. My hands are empty" Oh, I feel this so strongly and I am so so sorry for your recent loss. The emptiness is brutal and overwhelming in the early days, weeks, months. We were told by our OB to wait 6 months to try again, but felt that desperation of not being able to wait. I knew from the day of my son's birth that I wanted another baby, even though I was 39 years old and sure all along the pregnancy that this would be my last baby. Other people in my support group were told to wait 2, 3 months with similar (vaginal) deliveries, so I really think doctors are using subjective judgement more than really judging your individual risk. That being said, the first pregnancy after the loss was awful in every way, and I feel more grounded now, having "waited" or been forced to wait 9 months instead. The best advice I can give you is to take care of your body however you need. For me it was lots of soups, teas, comfort food, acupuncture, solitary walks. For some people EMDR helps with the trauma. It's an event that you will hold in your body for a long time, so try to be patient with the healing process. Another source of support I found was this website: and the writing workshops on grief that the founder, Megan Devine, runs. Again, I am so so sorry you are living through this experience. Please reach out if you need...
August 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Dear Savannah - After the death of our baby daughter, we left the hospital shell-shocked and broken. The only thing I knew for sure, for ABSOLUTE SURE, was that I wanted to get pregnant again as soon as possible. My husband did some research and was very upset to learn most doctors recommend waiting 6 months before ttc after a c-section. Some doctors say 9 months, but I've learned that is usually only if you are trying for a VBAC. I was also reading that some doctors say 18-24 months....but they mean in between births. When I finally talked to my doctor about it, bracing myself for the worst news, expecting her to say 9 months, she told me wait 3-4 cycles if I am ready. I am not trying for a VBAC and will be scheduling a c-section for 37-38 weeks. We were going to wait until February, but now we are counting down until December. Did you have a cesarean? If not, you can probably start trying within 3-4 cycles. If you did have a cesarean, you can ttc sooner than 6 months if you are not planning a VBAC. Speak to a few different doctors, and follow your own heart.

I was/am in agony! How do I fill the time? Before I was pregnant with Eloise, I wasn't even sure I wanted kids. Life had so much meaning without...but now? Now that I have gazed upon her perfect face and felt her little fingers grip mine...well. Life has no meaning. Not without her. Time came to a complete stop and is only now picking up again. Today she would have been a month old, and I am sitting in nature, writing again. I am listening to music again too(although it often makes me cry) and I am spending time with loved ones. My husband and I are planning a get away together in September, to drink beer by the fire, and hike the rolling misty hills of Scotland. We want to write letters to Eloise and slip them into the ocean waves.

I am no expert on this. I am only a little ahead of you, and everyone has a different journey, but I promise you, it does get easier. Time will fill itself. Before you know it, you will be ready to start trying again and only a little while after that, you will be holding a beautiful rainbow baby in your arms and your daughter in your heart.

I totally know what you mean. This next pregnancy, I won't just wish it away, trying to get to the finish line. I am going to relish in it. I will smile every day and whisper to myself "I am pregnant". I will sit in silence, allowing peace and love to surround me.

Savannah, one more thing: go and get yourself a sunstone. I have a sunstone pendant now. Sunstones combat fear and bring joy into your life. You might need a talisman.

Sending you my thoughts and prayers, from one mother to another.
August 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEloise's mom
KS - I'm at 35 weeks now and about 15 months out from the loss of our baby at 40+5 during early labor. It's been a long 35 weeks. I expect the next four will feel even longer. We didn't tell anyone until after the 20 week scan and mostly kept to ourselves before then. Even at the 20 week mark, I didn't want to tell people, because I was afraid it would make it more real and that I would then feel the burden not just of their excitement and happiness (which I wasn't ready to share) but also their anxiety for us, and the expectations of people. Fair or unfair, all of that made me anxious. We decided what worked best for us was not making a big (or any) announcement, and when we told our families and close friends, we made it clear we aren't ready to celebrate or to count anything yet, so while we're glad they can be excited for us - to let us come to that in our own way and time and talk about it when/if we want. That's worked pretty well for us. Most days, I've been fine - my anxiety definitely has increased in the last trimester, but it comes and goes and I've managed to mostly just take each day as it comes.

As someone on this board said to me on a bad day (sadly, when I come here the most) - the days can be long but the weeks are short. Try to keep your head down, find distraction on the good things around you and enjoy the good news as you get it, and not get ahead of yourself with the anxiety. Pregnancy after loss is definitely not an easy path, but if there's anything this board shows - it can be done and survived and there can be joy in it along the way too.
August 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSR

I feel the exact same way as you do. Before my little girl, pregnancy was the furthest thing from my mind. NOW... Life is COMPLETELY empty without her. I am incomplete without a child at this point.

I did have a Vaginal birth. My follow up appointment with my MFM is at the end of the month. I am anxiously waiting for my period first just to know my body went back to normal. How long did it take for your period to come? Once my period comes... I will then ask her about when I can start trying. I am praying that it will not be hard to get pregnant. I really don't know because my little girl was a surprise.

It sees like everyone says 6 months.... but i am hoping to start trying in Dec/Jan if i can. (6 months for us would be Feb 1) I guess we will have to use condoms for now (but to be honest I don't think my husband wants to use them because deep down inside I think he wants to try when it is "naturally right"

I am in the process of trying to fill the time. We are taking a trip in September as well (our anniversary is in September) So I am looking forward to that getaway. Also, I plan to start booking a few runs and work out classes to keep me busy throughout the fall. Honestly, I am just passing the time until I can keep trying.

I will check out the sunstone Idea. I love things like that.... Also, if you would like to keep in touch about our journey please let me know. I can share my number/email :-) I would love someone to go through this process with. Sending my love and prayers back to you as well.

When did you conceive again after your loss? What did you do to pass the time of this pregnancy, as I am sure it is high stress/anxiety?

August 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSavannah Smile
Hi Mamas. I'm sorry for your losses but grateful to read your posts. Thank you. We lost our son at 38 weeks on May 30th. I got my period back about 6 weeks later and am waiting for the next one. I'm certainly preoccupied by thoughts of being pregnant again and our midwife told us that 3 months would be a fine amount of time to wait after our vaginal birth. I consulted with an MFM also and she said that the 3 month suggestion didn't have much scientific grounding and that we could try when we felt ready. I did see my doctor for a regular check-up and my iron and other blood work looked fine. Best wishes to you all.
August 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOllie's Mama
To Savannah Smile, and to the rest of you lovely people. I am so sorry to have met you this way, but if anyone would like to stay in touch, is my throw-away email address (not that I don't trust anyone on this site). If you would like to email me, we can exchange numbers for texting for facebook or whatever you are comfortable with. Savannah, I can't believe how similar our situations are. I would very much like to keep in touch and share our journey. I think we will need all the support we can get.
Good luck to you all on your journeys. I will keep you in my prayers.
August 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEloise's mom
I'm gratified to see all the activity my original post has generated. Could it be that I am not as solitary in my grief as I had imagined? It would seem so. I get on with my days and deal with all of the pressures of mothering and modern living. I gave birth to our poor, sweet, beautiful boy on October 27 and what did I do? As soon as they released me from that hospital I went straight home and finished sewing my living children's Halloween costumes. It has felt vitally important throughout this nightmare that I not just collapse into the pain and withdraw. My family has been a great anchor for me but it has also been very demanding to live and function out in the world among normal people while most days inside my head I feel like Grendel's mother prowling and wailing inside the cave of my heartbreak. That has not gotten better or any easier with time. I cannot believe that we're approaching a year without our precious Mosey. Milestones are terribly hard and, so far, holidays are ruined. I just do my best, you know?
I want to be talking to and falling in love with the baby I'm carrying now but my heart beaten up that i can hardly even acknowledge this pregnancy to myself. I am so looking forward to holding another living baby but I am more afraid that this will all just turn to pain and horror like last time. I do not know how I will get through this... How does anyone? I mostly feel like I've lived my last good day. And the world is moving on without me. The real me never left that hospital bed.
i can be reached at Reach out if you think we can be a help or comfort to one another.
August 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterks
I lost my 20 year old son in a car wreck in March, and discovered that I was pregnant with my second child only two months later. I was shocked and I felt like God was revealing a sick sense of humor by disrupting my time to grieve my first born by laying the stress and anxiety of being a single mother on my shoulders at a time when I was being bombarded with so much loss that I hardly felt confident to maintain, let alone determine my capabilities to care for another life.
I am worried that this baby will be robbed of his own moment in the sun, while my family and I are stuck under rain clouds of grief. I have noticed how little interest I have in bonding with other babes in my family circle, and could not bear to curse my son with a future of being raised by an apathetic mother.
September 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Bennett
My son died shortly after birth, I then had a massive hemorrhage (HELLP) and nearly died myself. I was in ICU for several weeks and wasn´t always clear about what was happening. Just the same I remember once I found out that my uterus had been saved, I immediately wanted to have a another baby. I am in my early 40´s and Giacomo was my first child. I remember two months out feeling like having to wait was cruel. A pregnancy for me will be high risk and I live in a country where surrogacy is illegal and adoption is nearly impossible. Just the same, I very much felt like I physically needed to fill the void as soon as humanly possible. It has now been four and a half months. I sought second, third and fourth opinions. The doctors who saved my life said I could try again at 3 months, but others said 6 months or more and my family is too afraid to lose me for me to consider it. Just the same, as time goes on the easier it is to wait. All I have ever wanted is a baby, there is nothing that I have not done to make that pregnancy happen. I was so in love with him from the second I knew. I work in the field, so it has also been my passion my whole life, and I am reminded of it every day at work. But suddenly, I am okay with waiting a bit more. I feel like I want Giacomo to have the experience of being my only son, my only child, my only pregnancy- even though he is gone. I do want another baby. All I have ever wanted was to be a mother. But I still have days when I almost want to just try to get him back. In fact the other day I got angry at someone who said "Well you can have another one right?" And I remember thinking "He wasn´t a puppy, I don´t just want another one". I think I am afraid that if I have another loss, I won't find the strength to get back up again. I am also honestly afraid to get sick again, and even die this time. But I am equally afraid to try to live the rest of life without a child.
So I guess what I am saying is that I know the waiting seems impossible, I was truly obsessed, it was all I could talk about- but the waiting does get less horrible, and time actually does pass.
November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Maria