Lost my only child, struggling to cope with pregnancy anouncements

(11 Posts)
anais2403 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:41:39

My daughter died in December suddenly, of a heart problem we didn't know she had. She was 17months old, so gorgeous, so wonderful, so lovely. Her death was pretty traumatic - but I suppose any child's death is.

My husband and I are tight. But life is sad and painful.

We don't know whether what she had was genetic, it's a possibility and we're waiting to get test results back. I am also anxious about having another baby and coping with the anxiety that brings. But while we wait for results, we try not to think about these things as far as possible, they're outside of my control.

I also have found all the happiness around pregnancies (and weddings) very difficult. All this hope and happiness that's promised, which I feel we have been robbed of. I also feel jealous. I try to be happy for my friends, but I am also very sad for us.

My coping strategies so far have involved work (not too much, just enough to fill my days), exercise and seeing friends. But on top of all of this, I've just broken my ankle and I'm sofa-bound. So work opportunities are limited and obviously I can't do any exercise. We moved a few years, and close friends in our current home town don't have kids (though most want some and will have some in the next few years), which means we can socialise a lot and we enjoy that. It's not always easy to talk to them though because they are not as close as friends where we used to live...

I am an open person and I tell my friends that I'm sad for me, but happy for them. But mostly, I don't see them (can't remember the last time I saw a pregnant person) and I am filled with anxiety about seeing them. But I also don't want to loose friends. One friend was insensitive one too many times - sure she didn't meant it - but I've stopped seeing her.

Any words of wisdom? Any similar experiences? Any suggested coping strategies? Any articles / books I can read to help? I'm sure people who gave birth to sleeping babies will have lots of wise words... help!

KittensOnAPlane Sat 25-Jul-15 20:43:15

I'm so sorry for your loss, i cant imagine what you are going through - i dont have any experience, but just wanted to give you a hug

RandomMess Sat 25-Jul-15 20:45:05

Sorry for you loss, it's still very recent, it takes a long time flowers

zippyswife Sat 25-Jul-15 20:57:29

I have no words to help you but I'm just so sorry to hear about your little girl flowers

PinPon Sat 25-Jul-15 21:07:47

So sorry for your loss. Your grief sounds recent and raw, which must make it more challenging to see others in situations you'd hoped for yourself.

Would it help to be gentle with yourself, and allow a little more time? Your reaction sounds normal, a protective mechanism to stop you feeling hurt. I expect that you will feel better about being around pregnant friends in the future. Just give it time.

cathpip Sat 25-Jul-15 21:22:28

I am so very sorry to read about your dd, the pain is indescribable. My dd age 3 died in April 2014, 10 days after I had had our second son, it was unexpected and destroyed what should have been such a happy time. I hated pregnancy announcements esp ones were families were going from 2 to 3 children. Oh and the only wedding we have been to since was lovely but heartbreaking as I knew that I would never see my dd in a wedding dress, I made it to 9 pm before we made our excuses and left.
I have found myself to be a lot less tolerable of people, life's to short..... I have a number of close friends who I can open upto easily and my sisters are very supportive, but we live at opposite ends of the country.
I have found exercise to keep my anxiety and stress under control but at the moment am pregnant and am struggling so much with being pregnant and worrying that history will repeat itself. Oh and the lovely comments from strangers "are you trying for a girl" and "never mind three boys is lovely" when quite frankly all I want todo is scream at them that I have a daughter but she's dead....but they don't know that and after I broke down in the supermarket of all places I started seeing a councillor, she has described me as a pressure cooker and at the moment I'm boiling over rather than just simmering gently, she has helped me keep afloat if you get what I mean.
There is also a thread on the bereavement section that has helped me enormously, all the ladies on there have lost children so understand everything that you are talking about.

Mermaidhair Sun 26-Jul-15 08:20:32

I think you need to be gentle with yourself. What you are feeling is completely normal. I lost my gorgeous dh last year, so I can relate to the jealousy. We also lost a baby during pregnancy and it was so so hard watching pregnant friends. Jealousy and sadness for me, but happiness for them. You just need to allow yourself to feel the feelings, although they are painful. Time will ease it slowly, it will always be there but you do get a lot better at dealing with it. Maybe you can try some counselling and talking to people in similar situations.flowers for you and my sincere condolences.

fabuLou Sun 26-Jul-15 08:25:48

Sorry for the loss of your lovely girlflowers

WoodViolets Sun 26-Jul-15 21:14:05

I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. I know the pain is incredible. My 6-year-old son died suddenly in February.

I, too, find "happy" announcements, birthday parties, etc, to be very difficult. It isn't as though I am not happy for other people, but rather that I can't bring myself up to that level of happiness or enthusiasm. I have avoided the things I could (parties, get togethers), and people have been understanding.
Some friends have been very supportive, and have been helpful to me, but others, perhaps just not knowing what to say/how to be, have drifted off.

Be gentle with yourself. You need time to mourn your own way. I'm sorry about your ankle -- being outdoors has been ... not necessarily a big help, but somewhat soothing.
I enjoy reading, though anything too upbeat can be jarring. I have enjoyed reading things by Ann Hood (she lost her daughter at 5 years of age) -- Comfort (non fiction) and The Knitting Circle (a novel), as well as The Obituary Writer (novel).
Rebecca Goss's young daughter died (heart defect), and wrote the poems in Her Birth about her. www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/07/rebecca-goss-poet-forward-prize-shortlist

Talking (or communicating with online) to people who have experienced this kind of loss has been a way to keep sane.

Best wishes to you. I am so sorry, and will keep you in my thoughts.

anais2403 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:47:57

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. They are much appreciated. It's particularly reassuring to hear people tell me it's early days and perhaps very normal feelings. People in the real world don't give me this impression.

I used to follow the other posts, Cathpip and I remember reading about Pippa. I think of you often.

I am so sorry to hear about your son WoodViolets. What is your son's name?

These events are all the more difficult as it is often old friends getting pregnant, getting married, etc. And when they don't know what to say / how to cope and they drift off, it feels like a bit of a double whammy... to cope with loosing Sophie and friends being rubbish.

Thanks again so much x

WoodViolets Mon 27-Jul-15 13:25:39

Thank you -- his name is Dominic.

I know what you mean about having to lose friends is just more loss on top of it all.
I have found that some people, like not so close friends, or acquaintances, sometimes step in and become even better friends in time. I hope you have some support.

Take care of yourself.

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