Trying Again for Another Baby
In thinking about whether to have another baby, you may be afraid of being disloyal or that you may come to love that precious child less. Every child is unique. Your love and memories will always remain.
You may experience an incredible feeling of vulnerability. You may have come to the realisation that parents are not able to control everything about their lives and the lives of their children. It takes courage to contemplate having another child after a child has died.
“We heard that a large percentage of bereaved parents go on to have another baby. I think this gave us some encouragement too.”1
“The joy of holding my beautiful live daughter was a blessing I thought I would never know again.”1
“It is hard, particularly when you have been through a stillborn and two miscarriages. I thought to myself: ‘This is the last time I am going to do this. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.“1
“From my personal perspective, the joy of having a child far outweighs the grief.“1
“Both our children were IVF. It did happen in the first round of harvesting with two embryos and it ended up being Lachlan and Ashleigh. Then Lachlan passed away and we were confronted with what to do. We are pretty determined that we do want Ashleigh to have a sibling and so we will try again. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, we gave it our best shot.“1
“It’s very hard to invest any hope into another pregnancy. After the first miscarriage I was actually quite silent but with the second pregnancy I was scared and thinking chances are it may happen again.“1
“It was hard going through the pregnancy the second time. You protect yourself. You don’t want to get excited. My wife was stronger than me.“1
“One of the biggest meltdowns I had over the loss of Lachlan was the day my daughter was born. I had subconsciously latched onto her birth as somehow miraculously fixing everything. I thought it would make it all better again. Obviously, when she came, nothing was different other than that she was here with us, and it all suddenly flooded back.”1
Some people decide that for them the right decision is not to have another baby. It may be that anxiety is overwhelming, that there are physical barriers to another pregnancy, that family relationships have changed, or simply that it is not the right time.
“I felt that another child could not close the black hole in my heart.“1
“We tried again and we had two miscarriages after that. I think that also added to how difficult it is at times. It’s the grief over and over.“1
“It was our first and we had being trying for three years and when we lost him, both my wife and I were very scared. We asked ourselves ’ how many times can we go through this and what’s our breaking point?’ ‘We don’t think we can go through this a second time.”
It may be that you have no choice about whether to have another child. This loss of choice can cause additional grief and you might find it helpful to speak with someone else who has had a similar experience and/or a counsellor.
“My wife desperately wanted another child but she was 42 when we started IVF again and it was basically: no egg, no baby. We looked at getting an egg from someone else but then there is the conversation about whether it is genetically your child and all those big issues. There was more loss and more grief, especially after trying and then being told that you are wasting your time.”
“Time isn’t on our side. We met later in life, and would have continued trying if we had more time. After the second miscarriage we felt that time was really starting to get away from us and we also felt guilty about whether we were getting too old for this.”
“She was diagnosed with a genetic disorder and medically it was not safe to go through another pregnancy. There was a 50% chance of mortality but she was stubborn. I had to support her in some way. I told her ‘I want a baby as bad as you, but I am not willing to lose you for it.’ But she went to see several different specialists and everyone told her the same thing. It has got nothing to do with you and what you say. You need to be with her, support her, and look forward to that brighter day.”
Last reviewed: 30/9/20
1. Quote from participants of a series of workshops and interviews with bereaved fathers held in 2015 at Red Nose Grief and Loss, Malvern, Victoria, and Red Nose Grief and Loss offices, Australia.