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Trying for another baby after losing a child

(27 Posts)
AL01 Fri 03-Jun-11 11:35:14

Hello. I'm new to this forum. My younger son died very suddenly, we think of SIDS, a few months ago at the age of 19 months. As you can imagine, we're all devastated.

Before he died I had wanted to have another baby, but my husband thought two was enough. Now we have both agreed that we'd like to try for another.

We discussed this at the hospital where DS2 was born, and were told we should wait until we are over the grief. Obviously this is never going to happen, and I'm not particularly young.

I know that a new baby won't be the same person, and I don't want to replace DS2, but our future now looks so different, and we need to find a way of moving ahead with that. Even DS1 wants us to have another baby.

Has anyone else been in this position? How long did you wait to try? Were people judgemental if they felt it was too quick? Did you have post- or even ante-natal depression linked to it?

I'd be really glad to hear from anyone who has faced this.


sh77 Fri 03-Jun-11 13:33:46

So very sorry for your loss. I lost my DD very unexpectedly a day after she was born. She was my first child. There is no right or wrong regarding trying for another child as grief so personal. After about 2 weeks, I was thinking of trying again as I was so desperate to hold my baby again. DS passed away in April 09 and I became preg in Sep 09 after trying actively for three months. Unfortunately, I had a MC at 9 weeks. This intensified my grief massively but with hindsight, I realised I was not mentally or physically ready for another baby. People did say to me it was too early and that annoyed me but they were right. I decided to take time out and finish my studies, work, travel. Gave it another shot in May 10 but had a v early MC in June 10. Again preg in July 10 and now have a beautiful 3 month old son.

The latest preg was very nerve wracking and stressful at times but I had amazing support from my high-risk ante-natal team. I did not want to be anywhere near the hospital where DD died. I based my hosp choice on the expertise of the consultant I wanted and was lucky to get him. I have not suffered PND since his birth but I do think I had some form of mild depression ante-natally. Saying that, having lots of hosp appts helped as it meant I had milestones to reach every 2 weeks. Post-natally, I have had the support of the CONI scheme (google CONI FSID) and a councellor (who I don't need any more).

I do feel like having my DS has helped me massively to move on as my energies are devoted to him. He looks a lot like his sister and that is a wonderful thing. I never felt he was a replacement and I think of her every day. 2 years down the line, I still cry for her.

If YOU feel ready go for it. There won't ever be the right time. Hopefully, you will get preg quickly but there is the possibility it could take a few months. I was obsessed about getting preg when we were actively trying eg monitoring fertility, looking for preg symptoms, timing etc. It was stressful and painful when the preg test was negative.

Wishing you all the very best.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 03-Jun-11 13:53:44

I am so sorry you lost your darling son. there is a bereaved mothers thread on here that you may find a great help, it's nice to feel you are not alone and that what you are feeling is ok and normal. Please come and join us, or even just lurk.

I lost my firstborn son when he was 18 months old and became pregnant with my second son the following month. We weren't trying, but we weren't not trying either. It was an emotional pregnancy. Were we trying to replace our son? Were we having another child too soon? I knew in my heart of hearts that the answers were no, but there were still dark times which my midwife handled really well. Talking to other mothers who had been through the same on here helped a lot too.

No one can tell you if having another child now is the right thing to do, or not. Only you and your dh can decide that. There will always be ignorant people who will think you are trying to replace your son, but who are they to judge in this situation?

From memory you are not more likely to suffer from PND.

Having our ds2 really did help us heal. He is his own person and in no way a replacement. His arrival was something to look forward to and celebrate at such a dark time in our lives.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do xxx

Mishtabel Fri 03-Jun-11 14:34:04

I'm so, so sorry for the loss of your little boy. I lost my first born DD many years ago (almost 18) to SIDS, and my heart truly aches when I hear of people who have recently had this horrendous experience. 

Just wanted to say that I really don't think anyone would judge you for wanting another baby, and that the vast, vast majority would wish you nothing but future happiness. Actually I think many wanted us to have another baby thinking that in itself would make me 'happy' again, as they had such a hard time knowing how devastated I was. 

We started ttc again straight away, and perhaps at the start we did want to replace our DD, but really, who could blame us? It ended up taking about a year for a successful pregnancy (mc along the way), and by the time my next DD was here, I knew she was her own little person and loved her madly in her own right. Of course you must do what feels right for you, that is all that matters.

I wish you all the very best, hope you are getting lots of support, and wish I could give you a RL hug xxx

PS. I didn't have PND as a result, but have heard it can be linked, and as such they do screen you for this

AL01 Fri 03-Jun-11 20:13:56

Thanks, all of you, for your kind words. I know we have to do it at the time that's right for us, but I just don't know when that will be, and I guess we won't know until we do it.

I think I'm still in total shock. He wasn't at all ill. We put to bed a perfectly healthy toddler, and when I went to check on him he had died in his sleep. We still haven't been given any cause for his death, and it is looking increasingly likely that they will say it was SIDS.

Thinking about a future pregnancy is really partly a way of coping, as well as really wanting another child. It gives me something to think about - I really relate to sh77 and getting obsessed about temping etc. But it is something else to think about, and it is keeping me eating well, which I really haven't felt much like doing.

Best wishes to you all.

sh77 Sat 04-Jun-11 16:46:44

Please PM at any time if you need any advice or someone to chat to. I learned so much when trying to get preg and throughout the preg itself. Having losing DD after a day, I cannot imagine what it is like losing your child after 19 months.

Have you thought about bereavement counselling? I was dead set against it in the aftermath of DD's loss as I thought I was coping. When I had it during the preg, all sorts of things came out. It made me feel a lot worse in the short run but am glad I had someone neutral to talk to.

tyler80 Sun 05-Jun-11 17:08:01

First I'm so sorry for your loss. Whilst not having any experience of losing a child myself, my friend died in her sleep age 19 and saying goodnight to a friend and then finding her in her bed the next day never to wake up is something that will always stay with me. I can't imagine if it was my own child. I really struggled with the lack of a cause - her pm gave no indication of a cause.

I think wanting to move on and look to the future is perfectly normal and healthy. My OH lost his little brother age 11, his parents went on to have two more children and he's always said that nothing helped, he says that when his sister was born it was like he gained a sister and got his parents back.

TooImmature2BMum Sun 05-Jun-11 20:45:31

I think the only people who can decide when the right time for you to have another baby is are you and your DH. My baby died during labour 3 months ago, and most of the health care professionals said that it was our decision when to try again. As it is, we are waiting because I have been referred to a renal specialist following an abnormal blood test. All I want is to conceive again and I just need a clean bill of health before starting to try. I think that being told to wait is counter-productive - you may decide yourself to wait, but it should be entirely your own decision.

KarenHL Sun 05-Jun-11 20:55:34

Sorry to hear about your little boy. Our little boy died around an hour after he was born, this past December. We are trying again, with no success so far (but then it took us 18m of trying to conceive him, so it might take a while). We have been given no advice at all on when to try again or what will happen if we try again, apart from a test at 11 weeks (he had a genetic problem) - although we'll have to see if that actually happens in practice.

If it feel right for you and your partner, I'd go for it - I would ignore anyone who says anything judgemental. I too, worry that people might thing it's too soon, or that I'm trying to replace Allan. Yet I, and all those I know of who have lost a child, know that we're not trying to replace our children because that is not possible. All the reasons our family had for wanting another child are still there, even though he is not. We will never forget him. Our little girl is desperate to be a big sister.

gingegirl Sun 05-Jun-11 22:49:39

So sorry for your loss. When I had my son 2 years ago I got sterilised at the same time I was only 27, and drs didn't really want to do it but I explained I only ever wanted two children and they gave in.
Sadly almost five weeks ago we lost our beautiful son just a week after his second birthday, and I have been regretting getting it done!!
It's not that a new baby would ever replace Oliver but I think the urge to hold a baby of my own again is overwhelming!!
It's not going to happen for me but if you and your partner feel you would like to try for a baby then there is nothing wrong with that!!!
Nobody knows you better than you yourself and only you would know when the time is right!!
Thoughts are with you!! Xx

AL01 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:54:30

Thank you all for showing such kindness and understanding. I'm so sorry to hear of your losses too. It's helpful to be part of a community that shares this experience, but I wish so much that there were fewer of us!

I think I went to the hospital appointment prepared for them to say that we should wait, but I really feel that's not their decision. As several of you have said, it's not to try to replace Olly - that will never happen. He was such a big personality and a loving, funny little boy. But we need our future to be bigger than it looks at the moment. There will always be an Olly-shaped hole, and I don't want anyone to fill it. But I need the space around the hole to get bigger so that we have some new hope for the future.

We had these words by Dietrich Bonhoeffer at his funeral, which I found so helpful because they express that we shouldn't expect ever to get over loss.

"Nothing can fill the gap left by someone we love, and we should not attempt to find anything. We must simply endure and hold out. That may sound very harsh at first, but at the same time it is a great comfort, because as the hole that he has left remains unfilled, so the connection with him remains. It is wrong to say: ‘God, fill the hole.’ God doesn’t fill it at all. Rather he leaves it unfilled, and in this way he helps us to maintain our true communion with our loved one, even though it is painful."

Best wishes to you all.

sh77 Tue 07-Jun-11 12:03:03

Thank you for sharing the reading. "Simply endure and hold out" - so very true. The two years between DD passing away and DS arriving, it really felt as if the pause button on life had been pressed. Lots of good things happened in that time but I found it hard to feel real joy about anything. Only since DS arrived does it feel like life has resumed again, somewhat.

zeno Tue 07-Jun-11 13:48:55

Hello AL01. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.

Our dd died suddenly and without explanation aged 4. For a long time we were told it was SUDC - sudden unexplained death in childhood - the equivalent of SIDs for older children. Seven months on we were told c.o.d. was acute viral myocarditis.

There is an organisation called SUDC based in the US. Look them up if you would like more contact and support from other families who have walked the same path. They have support groups who discuss things like whether and when to have another child. I found them very very helpful.

We sort of missed out the decision bit as I was seven months pg with dd2 at the time. So, naturally, I don't think it's reasonable for people to say it's too soon. Do what you feel you want and need as a family.

Take care of yourselves.

AL01 Tue 07-Jun-11 18:50:21

Hello Zeno,

And I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. The initial suspicion was myocarditis for us too, but we haven't yet had any confirmation of it, and from what the doctors are saying, I think it's likely that we'll end up with SIDS diagnosis, at least for now.

It's such a horrendous shock, isn't it? I put a healthy and happy boy to bed and he never woke up.

I honestly don't know how you can have coped being seven months pregnant. It's such a stressful time when all else is normal. But what a blessing as well to have another little girl.

Thanks for the advice about SUDC. I have looked at it. It's so hard telling people that we think it was SIDS because everyone thinks it only happens to children under 1, and also because there's so much on what you can do to prevent it - which of course we did - that you feel like you really failed to look after your child, although in some cases there is just nothing you can do.

Best wishes.

tyler80 Tue 07-Jun-11 19:43:27

There is also the UK charity Cardiac Research in the Young who provide bereavement counselling after sudden death.

My friend who died also had an elder brother who died in his sleep age 18 months which was at the time recorded as SIDS. It was only after investigations into her death decades later that they realised that he was probably affected with the same condition. I can't imagine the pain her mother has to deal with, living that nightmare more than once.

I hope you manage to reach a decision you feel at peace with.

zeno Thu 09-Jun-11 18:38:53

Hi AL01,

there are so few people who know what it's like to lose a little child so suddenly, it's a very isolating event.

We have been assured that there was nothing we could or should have done, and that even had she been at hospital when it all happened she could not have survived. I think there is some consolation in that, in the sense that it means we can't reasonably go on feeling that we failed her.

I worry about the effect on dd2 of the shock, the trauma, and the ongoing strangeness of having an older sister who died. Nothing to be done but to continue trying not to be fucked up about it.

Feel free to pm me if there are things you want to chat more about.
Take care.

Comedyworks Sat 18-Jun-11 15:17:14

Hello - I am new to mums net - we lost our son very suddenly a few years ago he was 2 and a half and had an undiagnosed congenital condition. I had a huge urge to have another child very soon - not to replace but to try to help us heal - six miscarriages later I am still trying to do that. It is such a personal decision one that nobody else should ever criticise you for - although sometimes that doesn't stop them!

StrangeGlitter Wed 22-Jun-11 21:02:04

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm not sure there is a 'right time' to try again. After our twin sons died my husband felt we should wait before starting IVF again, while I was in such unbearable pain that I felt that if I didn't have the hope of another baby to live for I would simply fall to the ground and die.

Our sons were born prematurely last September. Seth died after two days and Oscar died after a month and a series of medical errors, having never left the NICU. DH felt we wouldn't be strong enough to handle it if we had another tragedy, but I thought no amount of time would help, and time was not on our side - I am 35, have only one fallopian tube due to a previous ectopic and needed IVF to conceive our precious twins.

In the event a small miracle occurred: I fell pregnant naturally in December and am now 28 weeks, just a little further along than when the boys arrived. It has not been an easy pregnancy (some bleeding early on, risk of another premature birth) and there have been moments when I felt I couldn't handle it, so I wouldn't say that I can give straightforward advice.

But for me I was so devastated that I genuinely felt I had to make a choice between living and dying, and having another baby to fight for has forced me to be strong and battle against despair. This baby deserves a happy family too, and the best way to honour the memory of Seth and Oscar is to go on to be the happy family that they will always be a huge part of.

No one has been judgmental that I'm aware of about our being pregnant again so soon, though some people advised against it beforehand.

Although everyone's grief is different, my own experience and that of other bereaved parents I have spoken to is that the real soul-devouring agony lasts about 3-4 months and after 6-8 months you slowly start to feel like a functioning human again. This doesn't diminish your loss, but means that you begin to adjust and find moments of peace and joy in the world again.

Do what you and your husband feel is best - I wish you luck and happiness for the future.

mummy4411 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:17:26

hi im so sorry for your loss, i lost my daughter on 25th of june she was 7 and a half weeks old and we still havnt got a cause of death, i so badly want another baby and i am in the same situation as you. (all that gos through my head is i want to be a mum)

woollyjo Wed 06-Jul-11 07:45:45

Gentle thread for pg mums who have been to hell and back and need a place to fret/rant/vent & wibble

Some of you here may find this a handy thread. The first one was started when I fell pg 10 weeks after delivering my second daughter still born at term. I couldn't wait to try again and we were lucky it worked out but it was a tough pg.

Just be wary that some folk see your subsequent pg as a 'cure' for the loss of your child, I came across alot of - are you better/over it now? no, never will be, never can be and if I had 10 more children I'd still miss her and see the gap she has left in our lives.

Wishing you all well xx

sh77 Wed 06-Jul-11 15:22:12

very true woolly. even those nearest and dearest viewed my second child as my first. hurt like hell.

smallbutperfectlyformed Sun 25-Sep-11 12:50:02

wollyjo and sh77 - I just lost my first baby (10 days old) - and thinking about the future now whilst reading on here...... couldn't agree more with your comments. Can easily see how any subsequent children (if and when!) could be viewed as my first.... but no, i had my little boy and he'll always be my little boy even if i had him at 24 weeks - and totally missed out on everything that is meant to happen - infact, don't even really know what is meant to happen in full term pregnancy!! but still - will never be forgotten!

Makes me realise that any other pregnancies (that may or may not happen) could be really interesting...... and there will always be more to them than 'everyone elses' second pregnancy......


janedoe25 Thu 29-Sep-11 21:17:51

smallbutperfectlyformed I am so very sorry to hear about your baby boy. He will always be your first born and you will carry him forever in your heart. My baby girl was born asleep 7 months ago at 41 weeks and we are now ttc, it will be a long hard journey but so worth it when we get to bring Zoe's brother or sister home. There is a thread over in conception where we are all in the same boat for when you feel ready.

yasminrrrr19995 Wed 14-Sep-16 09:54:20

Hi, i am very sorry for the loss of your child, such a hard thing to go through. i lost my little girl this June, she was only 17 days old. she had a condition called Spinal Muscular attracy which is a genetic condition. me and my partner tried very hard to have her and when she got taken away from us it was heartbreaking at the least. it has only been almost 4 months since she passed away and one moment i 100% felt the need to get pregnancy again and hold a baby as i just felt so empty and hopeless without my little girl. but after going to counselling i have realised that its not another baby i want, i just wanted her.. and i thought by having another baby some how she would come back (sounds silly but my head was all over the place)- i couldnt deal with the fact that i would have to live without the most important person in my life for the rest of mine. I have decided to put off having another child for atleast a few months, if not a year or so.. until my head is where is should be.
if you ever need someone to talk to please feel free to message me at any time, i know how hard it is sad so heartbreaking.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 14-Sep-16 18:05:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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