When your baby dies, you actually lose two things: your unique baby, with his or her name and all the qualities that belong to him or her. But you also lose the future you had in mind with a baby.
Your baby is not coming back and you’re going to have to learn to live with that sadness. You will never forget your baby and you will always carry him with you.
However, a future with a baby might still be a possibility. Your desire to have a baby doesn’t stop when your baby dies. That’s why most parents are very quick to talk about another pregnancy. Don’t worry about that being ‘wrong’. It’s perfectly normal and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Most mothers who become pregnant again experience this pregnancy as very stressful. It is therefore essential that you are well counselled in this pregnancy, both physically and emotionally. It is important that you are listened to and are given what you need. What that is is different for everyone. One mother might like to be guided by the midwife, the other prefers to be under observation in the hospital. One prefers to be at home, the other wants to discuss a planned caesarean section. Everything goes, as long as it feels good.
A baby born after loss is called a rainbow baby. The rainbow stands for happiness, but a rainbow only appears when it is both sunny and raining. In this way, the loss of one or more babies is never forgotten.
A lot of parents want something from the deceased baby to appear on the birth announcement card. You can mention the name, place a poem that refers to your deceased baby or do something with symbols, e.g. a rainbow, a star, a butterfly. Here you see examples of birth announcement cards for rainbow babies.
The book “Altijd een kind tekort” (“Always one child short”) by Jeannette Rietberg is the handbook for pregnancy after baby death. In this book you’ll get tips and advice, many experts will talk to you, but most of all you’ll gain understanding. Understanding your fear, insecurity and guilt. It is nice to “get in touch” with other mothers who have become pregnant again. Many mothers do like the contact, but do not like to do a pregnancy course and participate in the midwife’s group consultation. What do you say in a circle of happy, carefree pregnant women? “I am 28 weeks pregnant and our first baby died at birth”?
Pregnant after loss. It brings so much joy and hope but also so many fears. “What if it goes wrong again?” “How does this baby feel about my grief?”. And then you get all kinds of comments and well-meaning advice from the outside world. “Isn’t this too soon?” “How nice that you’re over it already!” “You’ve got to enjoy it.”
In America, they give these mothers a name: PAL mom (pregnant after loss.) They made a nice movie about it.
Unfortunately, not everyone is given the chance to get pregnant again. Some have already gone a long way to a pregnancy and it ‘doesn’t work again’. Or the mother’s age plays a negative role. It can also happen that it has been discovered that your baby has died of an inherited disorder and the chances of it recurring are high. Becoming pregnant is certainly not a foregone conclusion and brings with it a lot of uncertainty: “What do we do when our baby has this disorder again? “Do we end pregnancy then?” “Can we handle that grief again?” “Are we eligible for embryo selection?”
Read more about heredity and the possibilities of pregnancy here.
Pregnancy course for women who are pregnant after loss region
Vlaardingen area, starts 10 May 2019.
Blog by Juliette who is pregnant again after the death of Félice.
Blog by Evy who’s pregnant again after losing Liv.
Blog by Eline, who had a healthy daughter after her deceased son and is pregnant with her third.