My head was all over the place in the days after she died, I can just about remember asking if we could have another baby just the day after she died.
It must have sounded cold-hearted like I had tossed her aside. I guess it was a (strange) reaction to the situation. I needed to know I could make sure my body worked. We wanted her so much, wanted a baby so much too. There was nothing about a replacement.
What Emotions Did You Feel?
We made the decision to have another baby fairly soon, but we weren’t going to try, but we weren’t going to protect either. It happened a lot sooner than we were expecting. When the positive pregnancy test came clear, the first question was “What have we done?” We were happy, of course we were happy, but it wasn’t the happy we had felt before.
It was fake and real all at the same time. Fear settled in very quickly; you see not only do you have the fear of living through another death of our own baby, of losing another baby the way we did. But weeks of seeking support on forums brought you to a whole new world of reasons for why babies die – some with no reason at all. There was absolutely no innocence, no ignorant bliss; with both the viable pregnancies after Melody I knew very quickly I would never be able to enjoy a pregnancy again.
That enjoyment was stolen from me, from both of us.
We were absolutely terrified; we had a wonderful consultant (actually both of the consultants for each of the two after babies were great). I couldn’t let my bumps rest for too long, I felt myself poking and prodding all the time; I could barely sleep through fear of rolling on them. I suffered Hyperemesis during pregnancy anyway, but the stress of these pregnancies made it worse, making it unbearable.
Having a pregnancy after a loss needs a lot more support than what is provided currently. The support is very hit and miss, that isn’t fair. Our worries didn’t stop once they were born, actually they didn’t stop even at the five-week milestone; for this reason I don’t call our girls rainbows, or at least not because of being after a loss, more for the difficult pregnancies.
What To Do When Your Friends Become Pregnant?
As much as you don’t want to hurt the feelings of your friends, as their baby is as important to them as your child is to them. But if you need to distance yourself a little, then do so protecting yourself is a massive part of self-care, looking after your mental health. Being around babies isn’t often easy, but there is also a strange stigma surrounding bereaved parents and taking children.
No idea why, but we don’t want your child, we just want ours.
It is okay not to be happy for your friend, speak to them but make sure not to create too big a wall between you and your people.
I still struggle a little bit with holding other people’s babies, and I know people take offence to that. But I was never a play “pass the newborn” type of girl anyway.
What Advice Would You Give To Someone Who Is Anxious About Becoming Pregnant Again?
We went into our pregnancy fairly quickly after her death. I have to admit that I wish we had left it a little bit longer. Grieving whilst trying to keep your baby alive, the stress was unbearable. Those two pregnancies after her had to have been the most challenging times outside losing her I have ever been through.
It sounds very cliché, but it really is not for the faint-hearted. As I explained earlier, you do know a lot more of the negative sides of pregnancy. You need to make sure you have decent health care support, which includes every single person you meet throughout – from the consultants to the sonographers and midwives. Having misery caused by a lack of empathy can just add to the stress of an already difficult pregnancy.
Talk to your partner, have friends, family or even an online network to support you, you really cannot do a pregnancy after loss alone.