You may find it helpful, as well as reading these articles, to talk to other parents and/or to a counsellor.
Red Nose Grief and Loss offer a range of support services to assist you through your decisions and journey. These include counselling, 24 hour bereavement support line, trained peer and family support and support groups. Please contact our 24 hour Bereavement Support Line 1300 308 307 for further information.
Whatever decisions you make, it does not mean you have stopped grieving for your child who has died. Your child will never be replaced, but you will learn to build your life around your loss. A future with new hopes and dreams is possible.
“Time does heal even if you don’t have another child.”
“When Jemma was a born I laughed from my heart again for the first time since Justin died… I found out what healing means when [she] was put on my tummy after she was born.”
“What we needed the most was counselling and support for us with other parents in the same situation. A new baby/pregnancy for grieving parents is not filled with joy and happiness that so many other parents feel… Having other parents around who are either in the same situation or have been through it before gives you some hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“It has been a long hard road at times but for every day we miss our beautiful boy we are faced with another equally adorable child who brings us endless joy. She has helped repair some of the damage of a devastating loss. To be blessed with her has been worth every minute.”
The documentary ‘Regarding Raphael’ screened on ABC TV’s Australian story in 2002, is Vanessa Gorman’s story of the birth of Raphael who was born two years after the death of Layla, her daughter who died soon after birth. Layla’s father, Michael Shaw comments:
“Probably what people really want to hear is, ‘She was sad, she had the baby and now she’s better’, and it’s not how things are. It’s just not how things are, you know. One child doesn’t replace another one.”
“I want the opportunity sometimes still sort of to say ‘I really miss her, you know. I just really miss her.’ And it’s so simple and basic. But I still miss her every day, and I still think about her every day… It can never really be a happy ending when you’ve lost your child because that loss is always there, but it’s a happier reality I guess… Raffie – I feel like he’s given me a future. I feel like he’s given me back optimism in the world and optimism about life. I’m so looking forward to seeing him grow up and seeing all his little milestones and his big milestones… And he’s given me back optimism and joy. Huge gifts.”
This article was prepared using extracts from Another Baby? The Decision is Yours.1 The full text is available online or contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Services on 1300 308 307 for a printed version.
Last reviewed: 25/6/19
1. Bereaved Parents & SIDS and Kids Victoria. (2003). Another Baby? The Decision is Yours: A Booklet for Parents Whose baby or Young Child has Died and are Considering having Another Child. Malvern, Vic.: SIDS and Kids.