When a baby dies, many parents think they’re the only ones with that experience. How can you live on with this loss? When you become pregnant again, the sun slowly begins to shine again. As your pregnancy progresses, you regain hope and a little confidence in a happy ending. You cannot and do not want this to happen to you again. But then it goes wrong again. How can this happen? Surely this lightning cannot strike you twice?
After the loss of a second baby, the loss is even greater. For the second time you have become parents of a very wanted baby, but you are left empty-handed again. The entire scenario plays out again. Unfortunately, you are an expert in an area that you don’t want to be an expert in. You meet the funeral director again. The script comes back on the table and you often know exactly what you want and certainly what you don’t want. Some parents want exactly the same thing, others choose a totally different farewell. It’s much bigger because they want to introduce more people to their child or it’s much smaller because they can’t cope with facing so many people or having to cross the threshold of the crematorium again. Whatever you choose, there is no wrong way to do this, as long as it feels good to you.
Sometimes it turns out that your children have the same genetic disorder. Perhaps the first time you were told it was bad luck and that nothing would stand in the way of a new pregnancy and a healthy baby. Sadly, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do you lose your newborn baby for the second time, but the future suddenly looks very different. The chance that the next child will also be ill is 25%. At the same time, percentages and statistical probabilities don’t tell you anything anymore, because it happened to you for the second time.
All kinds of feelings pass through your consciousness: the intense grief for a second child that is not there, anger and disappointment in your own body, anger at the doctors and/or midwives for not intervening or intervening too late, gloom when you think about your situation, uncertainty because you do not know what the future will look like. Are we going to try again? Do I dare try again? Does my partner dare to try again? Do we want to inflict all that again to any brother or sister that’s already there? These are all questions that can’t be answered easily.
The most important thing is that the second child who died has also become part of your life history. Consciously taking time and space to give this child a place in your family is important.
"The loss of our second baby was so unreal. You've already been through it once, and you don't really realize that it still can happen again. Because if I knew it was going to happen again, I might not have taken the step to get pregnant one more time. The loss of our first child was intensely sad. Not only because what we had hoped for is no longer there, but also everything that comes at you in the hours and days after the bad news is overwhelming. Do we want to hold the baby? Do we want to take pictures? Do we want to take the baby home? Will he be buried or cremated? There's a world opening up for you that you had no idea about and didn't want. At the same time, and in a very cruel way, the organization around the loss of a second baby is easier. The script is ready. The process is apparently easier, but the grief is all the more intense, as my friend put it. With the loss of a second baby, a piece of hope for the future has also been lost. Is it going to be okay? "
Esther, mama van Luca*, Julia, Emma* en Lina
"I felt very much alone after losing Job and Lisa. After the first time, you realize that you are not the only one who lost a baby during or right after pregnancy. You probably know several people in your direct or indirect environment who have experienced a similar loss. Things are different when it happens to you a second time. Then the group will be less numerous and you will be more alone. How do you explain to someone that you have lost a baby not once, but twice? "
Tamara, mother of Job*, Lisa* and Hannah