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Just had miscarriage, how do we deal with 3yo who wants to be a big sister?(4 Posts)
We just lost a baby at 17-weeks. The baby had Edwards syndrome so we made the heart breaking decision to end the pregnancy and I gave birth to Alex last Sunday. It's likely that we're not going to try again so our 3yo will not have the sibling that we wanted for her.
She knows the baby is gone and not coming back, but she still keeps asking if she can be a big sister. We don't quite know how to answer this. I've said yes, that she can still do "big sister" things like draw the baby a picture , or I was thinking she could help us launch balloons on the due date/birthday etc. But we've also said that no, she won't be a big sister because the baby's gone. And so we're not sure how to answer her questions.
Also, I'd hoped we could continue to remember the baby, eg at important dates like her birthday and Christmas, but have been told this would be cruel to our 3yo and that I should move on. Is there a balance that doesn't mean she's living in a shadow growing up, but allows us to remember the baby that we wanted but couldn't have? It doesn't feel right to just pretend the baby didn't exist, or hide my grief away.
Any advice appreciated.
Sorry to hear about Alex. Breaks my heart! I always feel that the truth is the best option - no matter how harsh it may sound. Your 3 yo will cope better with the truth than any story.
Also you don't know if you may change your mind, so perhaps you could answer her with 'maybe some day if God gives us another baby. And if not then maybe not.'
Washing you the strength & calm to survive this challenging phase of life.
I am so sorry for your loss. We had a similar problem - not to have to terminate but infertility and miscarriage and a 3 - 6 year old who desperately wanted siblings. We had a dog who was fantastic with her - would sleep on the floor in her room til she fell asleep and play hide and seek and exploring the garden with her so she had company as such. We maintained a close relationship with her similar-aged cousins so that she is now close enough and familiar enough that they can comfortably row! Eventually though I was so heartbroken over the lack of a surviving pregnancy that I realised it was unfair to dh and dd to be "unhappy" with my lot. I decided to accept my good fortune in having dh and dd and forget about a sibling. It was hard but in some ways it was a positive move. We focused on the positives of being an only child (there are many) and even dd eventually announced that she did not want a sibling after all. Phew! (only I did, to our enormous surprise, get pregnant and dd now has a sibling 7 years her junior who she loves very much but I can see that while there are great benefits to having siblings I also realise that the Pros of being an only that we gave her initially were all very real and true and that now she does miss out on time with us, has to make sacrifices re time to herself, share her toys and so on. One is not better than the other but having made that decision to have only one and then to have to re-adjust really re-inforced that with me - if I could've had a peek into a future with a sibling I would have been very reassured that she would be fine as our only baby - though at the same time, I do very much appreciate having my "surprise" baby too)
So sorry to hear of your loss. My daughters have been today asking me when they will have a baby brother or sister. (My eldest demonstrated alarming insight/ nosiness over some ovulation tests left in my bathroom). I find it so hard to answer, I have decided no. There wont be a baby. But I just cannot find the words to explain to them what happened, why I can't/ wont try. I know the answer is no. But I can't find the right words. Hand holding x