Maybe you are one of the many people trying for another baby soon after your baby’s death. It’s natural, you want to fill your empty heart. Yet you may feel frightened that it will happen again. You will need to figure out how long to wait and what seems right for you. For many parents, the thought of having another baby brings comfort. Others comment that they feel they are betraying the baby who died. The “right” time to embark on this will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Trust yourself about the timing. When a baby dies, well-intentioned people generally try to persuade parents that having another baby as soon as possible is the only answer to accepting that death. If you had infertility problems or other losses it may seem especially cruel. Rather strong attempts may sometimes be made to convince you that healing can only be accomplished this way. But “healing” is actually nothing more than incorporating an event into your life in a way that enables you to live with it in an appropriate fashion. Doing that takes time. You cannot necessarily speed up the process of healing by having or not having another baby. The Decision Not To If you decide not to have another baby and that decision is based upon your own reasons, be secure with the fact that this decision is right for you. If you decide not to have another baby, but you think this decision is based more on fear than on practical considerations, do not hesitate to seek counseling. You will not be the first or the last person to experience this feeling. The Decision To If you decide you are ready to have another baby, it might be helpful to talk with your doctor first. He or she will be able to reassure you that your body is ready for another pregnancy and/or shed light on any necessary precautions that should be taken. It may be helpful to know that experts do not feel that your next baby will be at any increased risk to die suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact, many feel that “subsequent” babies are at decreased risk because the parents understand more about what can trigger a sudden unexpected death. When you become pregnant, you will probably be a little nervous and excited as well as afraid. It is hard to be patient. It’s also unfair to have to wait and go through this all again. The pregnancy can seem to last forever and it may be hard to believe that this baby won’t die too. Building a good support system can really help. Talk with your doctor or another health professional; you can also contact First Candle. Speaking with other bereaved parents who have had another baby. Search within your group of relatives and friends for people who will listen to your fears and not give you lots of unsolicited advice. Reviewing the facts about SIDS/SUID and reducing the risks may also be reassuring. The most uncomfortable period will be the point when your next baby nears the age of the baby who died. It is one of those milestones that must be reached and passed. Once it is, most parents report that their moments of uneasiness start to decrease. Most of all, be assured that you are not the only person to experience this discomfort or panic. Nearly everyone does. You can only do your best in finding ways to handle it. If you find that you are feeling uneasy most of the time, be sure to consult your doctor, other health professional or First Candle for additional help. The Subsequent Baby For lack of a better term, your next baby may be referred to as the “subsequent” baby. This new baby is indeed a very special one, to you and to everyone else. The birth of a subsequent baby can be an overwhelming emotional experience. When you see and hold your new baby for the first time, you may find that difficult memories come flooding back and intermingle with the pleasure you are feeling. The moment can be a mixture of great joy and intense pain. The birth of your newborn represents hope, and a promise of the continuity of life. Joy and sorrow are memories in your life that enable you to know the importance of hope. Many parents have weathered the crisis, panic, and great joy of their subsequent baby. They acknowledge that while it was not always easy and they had to work at handling their emotions, their effort was rewarded by one of the most wonderful periods in their lives.
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