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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 > Wanting advice from older moms about trying again

My husband and I recently lost our son at 37 weeks 1 day. He developed a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome where pieces of the amniotic sac strip off and entangle the baby. They usually wrap around a digit or limb and the baby might be born without a finger or leg but in our case the band wrapped around the umbilical cord and he died. We are in the depths of grief.
Wallace was my second baby; I gave birth to a healthy girl in November of 2017. Because I had an emergency C section with my daughter, I ended up with a C section with Wallace, as I could not be induced because of the threat of uterine rupture and my labor wasn't progressing well on its own.
I am 38 years old and have now had 2 C sections. My husband and I really want a second child. I'm wondering if any other older moms can share their pregnancy stories after a loss, particularly if there is anyone that had a quick turn around from a loss to another pregnancy. My OB told us to wait 6-9 months before ttc because of the C section. Given my age, that makes me a little bit nervous, though we did not have trouble conceiving the other 2 times. I'm not in a great rush to get pregnant again as I am still very sad about our loss but am also anxious about the future and would love to hear about other people's experiences.
September 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWallace's Mom
Dear Wallace's mum

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Wallace. I lost my son M in December 2018 due to early onset preeclampsia. He was our second child. I am in the same boat as you. I am 37 years old and have had 2 c-sections. My doctor told us to wait at least 6 months and we will be ttc next month.

Age, the c section factor can all be issues which compound an already stressful situation. I think you should take as much time as you need to heal and try again when you feel ready. I vascillate between wanting to wait and this overwhelming urge to hold a living baby. I do take consolation in the fact that there are older mom's in their 40s who have had successful pregnancies.
September 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterM's mum
I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet Wallace. My story is a bit different. We lost our first (a girl) at 28 weeks just over five years ago. Our son is 3.5. We’ve decided we’re done. I’m almost 40. My husband was there before I was but it boils down to this: I don’t want another baby. I miss my daughter, I always will, but I don’t want to be pregnant again and I don’t want another baby and I’m at peace with that. Sending you peace and love as you work through this. It’s hard! I recommend checking out the thoughtful discussions at not ttc/infertility after loss. They are real and thoughtful. Xoxo
September 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Hi Wallace's Mom. I'm so sorry for you loss. I love the name Wallace! I wanted to respond even though it's been over 6 years since my last living baby was born. I had a daughter born by emergency c-section when I was 34 (in 2008). Then I had 2 miscarriages, a daughter who was stillborn (in 2012, when I was 37), followed by another miscarriage and my last living baby, born in 2013, less than a month before I turned 39. I felt so old when he was born, and I was so stressed out during my pregnancy, not only because of my history but also because of my age. But there are lots of women older than me who have had perfectly healthy babies, and now that he's in grade 1, I see lots of moms who are younger than me, some the same age as me, and some older. All our stories are so different, but I know that for me, and my family, I'm glad we kept trying until he got here. We had decided, after all the loss we'd lived through, that if he didn't make it we were done, and I really believe that would have been the case. In the first trimester I had bleeding and I was 100% sure that if I miscarried that pregnancy I was done. I think there is something in us that knows. Just as AB knows that she is done and doesn't want another baby, I knew that I did want another baby. But I also knew what my limit was. If I'd lost my 5th pregnancy in a row, I would absolutely have been done. The hardest thing, I think, is that it's always a leap of faith; it's always beyond our control. Ultimately, I think, it's a question of what the deepest parts of you want and what you and your family can endure. There is nothing easy about pregnancy after loss and the decision is so dependent on what you feel: trust your gut and be so, so kind to yourself.
September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJLD
Thank you to M's mum, AB, and JLD for your replies. I am so sorry for your losses. I will think of your sweet babies as you have thought of my Wallace. M's mum, I wish you luck on your journey of ttc and I hope sometime in the future we are both celebrating living babies. AB, I appreciate your decision to not go further and eventually my husband and I might also reach that decision if things don't go well. And JLD, thank you for sharing your story; I'm so glad your last pregnancy did not result in another loss. You are right that there are many moms older than me that have healthy babies. When I was in the hospital after Wallace died I just kept saying "I wish I was 10 years younger." My age may play a role but it also might not, as your story and others reveal. I know I want to try but I also know I can't control what happens.
September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWallace's Mom
I remember wishing the same thing, Wallace's mom - desperately. Doing the math constantly, thinking, if I get pregnant now, I'll be x years old when...It's exhausting, and it feels so unfair, and worse of all for me, was that I felt so guilty about being old. I was constantly thinking, 'if only I'd not done x, I wouldn't be so old,' or 'if only I had done y, I wouldn't be so old.' It's an insane amount of pressure we put on ourselves and have put upon us. I wish you some moments of peace amidst it all.
September 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJLD
Dear Wallace's Mom,
I'm sorry to hear about your dear Wallace. Losing one's baby is such a terrible ordeal. To add the stress of C-sections and age factor makes it even harder.
I haven't had a C-section so far (both our stillborn in 2012 and our 2nd baby in 2014 were vaginal births). So I don't have much experience/advice on that. If your doctor told you if you wait 6-9 months it's OK to try again, I think it means you can do it, if you decide to. Our bodies usually heal faster than our hearts.
On the other hand, I hear your doubts regarding maternal age. I turned 40 this summer and got pregnant around the same time. So I'm now also in the 'older mom' group. Yes, there are statistics that more things may go wrong after a certain maternal age. However, if you read the stories of people on this site, who have had the worst ordeals, you'll notice that whatever happenend didn't neccessarily happen because they were older. Unfortunately, we have no control on nature. We can only hope to be advised about what could go wrong and be followed closely, and benefit from all science and medecine can offer us, but in the end, we never have 100% control. So please don't put pressure o yourself for this. Grieving a baby and being there for your daughter must be already difficult enough.
Sorry for rambling. I just wanted to add that it took my husband and I a long time to decide whether we should try for a 3rd time. There are a few posts on here about making the decision, that helped us see different points of view. We finally decided to try for 1 year, and if it didn't happen we would be done. We conceived after 6-7 months, and we hope all will go well. But like JLD says, if I were to lose this pregnancy, we'll probably call it quits.
Pease take the time to heal and grieve, and when you feel you and your body are ready, you may decide how to move forward.
Wishing you all the best,
EYR
September 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEYR
Thank you for sharing EYR. I'm so sorry for your loss and happy to hear you are pregnant. I wish you all the luck in the world on this pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with Wallace I had decided it was my last pregnancy because of my age (and other things too--career, etc.) but of course I never fathomed losing him. I also never imagined three pregnancies. So I think a lot of what I am going through is adjusting my expectations as I change my mind about those things. It's a process. And as you describe, if things don't go well or as we hope there will probably come a time when I will be done. There is of course no way to know now what will happen. Listening to other's journeys is helpful so thank you for sharing yours.
September 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWallace's Mom
Hi Wallace's Mom,
I'm glad you find my ramblings helpful :) It's helpful to write things down and share with people who understand, so here's a bit more...
You know, I also never considered I'd have 3 pregnancies! It took us 10 years to decide for our first pregnancy, it was well planned. We had figured if we want 1 or at most 2 children, we'd still have time before we are over 40. Of course things didn't go as planned :(
Then we were very lucky that things went OK for the 2nd pregnancy, we're really grateful. I had to be on bed rest for 6 weeks before our son was born at 38 weeks.
I have to admit it took us 5 years to decide that we could maybe give this another try. Apart from the fact that we're really scared of another loss, and all the emotional baggage we carry from our stillborn son, we also had similar reasons to hesitate: we both work full time, and although I like my job and it's not over-tiring, it's still a full day at the office; our son isn't a big fan of independent play, and we aren't big fans of screen time so a lot of our time is devoted to him (willingly, but it's sometimes difficult); and lack of family nearby for breathers; possibility of another bed-rest, which would be even more challenging this time with a pre-schooler and of course my age (dismissed by my OB)...
So as you can see from AB's post above and mine that we all have lots of things to consider. Like you said, it's a matter of deciding your priorities and adjusting your expectations of life.
I really wish you peace of mind, and the best of luck if you're to try again in the future.
September 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEYR
I'm so sorry about the loss of Wallace. It has been a long time since I've come to Glow, but thought I'd chime in to offer support on trying after loss in your late 30's. My first son was stillborn at 37 weeks when I was 37. I have since gone on to have two healthy boys when I was 39 and 40. Honestly, the first pregnancy after loss was difficult emotionally, but I don't think there's any other way, at least I didn't know of one. I hope that you have peace and you have some gentle moments coming your way.
October 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMonique
Thank you so much for posting Monique and for thinking of Wallace. I'm sorry for your loss as well. Reading your story gave me hope. Hopefully good things lie ahead.
October 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWallace's Mom