I’m always conscious of writing on Still Standing Magazine about my children who came afterwards. Of my rainbow babies.
About half of women who have a stillbirth go on to have another child. But of course, not everyone does.
And Still Standing is for all of us who are grieving a child, whether the child was lost in utero or as an adult. So I’m writing this post knowing it will hurt so many of you, but also so I can be true to where I’m at, coming close to 10 years since my twins have died.
Trying to get pregnant after losing a child is hard. Emotionally hard, not just physically hard, although for me it was that too. Knowing when it is time to stop trying is hard.
I think for many women after a loss, there is always the sense that someone is missing.
Even though we know another child won’t replace the one who came before, there is always the sense that there’s room for another. Many of these complex emotions are what I was trying to get at when I wrote Joy at the End of the Rainbow: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Loss.
When I was struggling to get pregnant after the twins died, when I was having one miscarriage after the other, I found myself angry and frustrated at existing pregnancy advice books and websites. It seemed every single one of them assumed I was a first time mother! And, naturally, none of them address my difficult emotions around being pregnant and having another baby.
I didn’t want to be pregnant! I wanted to be done, with a baby in my arms. It was terrifying being in the ultrasound room, because I didn’t want to find out I had lost another baby. Yet at the same time, I was desperate to see so I could see for myself that this baby had a beating heart!
Why did all the pregnancy guides assume I was going to be happy? And would I want to bring friends and family to the event, or have a “gender reveal” party? UGH!
So feeling frustrated, I wrote a book of my own. I interviewed six fabulous, courageous women throughout their own pregnancies so I could get a broader range of experiences. And I ensured the medical information was valid and current and the best available research on pregnancy after a loss. I hope you like it. And if you like it, I hope you’ll recommend it to a friend, or your doctor, midwife or nurse.
This post first appeared on Still Standing Magazine.