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Can't have another baby – how do you deal with the loss?

By February 17, 2009 - 9:36pm
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I've battled endometriosis, ovarian cysts and fibroids for years – three major surgeries later I've lost my ovaries and can no longer have a baby and feel like I've lost so much. Don't get me wrong I'm grateful that I was blessed with one child and there are so many women out there that can't even have one. I know how blessed I am, but it doesn't stop the loss I feel any less. We've tried to have another child for over 10 years and did get pregnant but I had a miscarriage (that was another major loss in my life) and now I have to accept that we will never have another biological child together again….it's heart breaking.

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EmpowHER Guest

I am a mother and feel very blessed, however it is still heart breaking to realize that you can not have another child. I am saddened by this and don't know how to deal with this loss of future children. I know that there are others who don't have any children and I will never understand their pain, but still I hurt.

January 13, 2010 - 8:10am

Island Girl,
I am very sorry for your loss. Everyone's grieving process is very different, and requires time (and sometimes professional assistance). Do you feel that your partner, friends and family are providing the emotional support that you need?

In addition to the wonderful responses you've received so far, here are a few resources that you might find useful:
- How to Cope with Infertility provides some great suggestions on how to handle tough questions/comments from others, as well as how to let your family and friends know how to help

- Resolve or The American Fertility Association (AFA) provides options for Support Groups in your area, where you can connect with other women or couples who are going through similar loss. You can also ask your doctor or clinic for recommendations to individual or group support groups; these groups may meet in person or online.

February 19, 2009 - 2:46pm

Island Girl, no wonder you're feeling the loss so deeply. This is really recent for you.

This was a huge loss, and you're just a month into it. You're grieving a dream that had a lot of individual pieces -- to be pregnant, to carry a child, to give birth, to be a mom again, to raise a child made by you and your husband. Of course you're having a tough time working your way through it.

You sound like a thoughtful, giving soul, however, and I have no doubt that if you foster or adopt, the moment they place another baby in your arms, you will be nearly as joyful as you would be if it were biologically yours. Take care, go easy on yourself, and when some of the hurt subsides, you'll be able to see what comes next.

February 19, 2009 - 9:55am

Thank you all for your kind words of comfort and support.

To answer a few questions my miscarriage was in 2002 and never did get pregnant again after that. My last surgery was in January 2009 and I lost my right ovary (lost my left ovary in 2007) which is why I'm emotional and feel the loss so strongly.

We've talked about adoption for years but always held out on hope that we would have our own. We are very opened to adoption and even becoming foster parents, but right now it's just about healing and moving on.

I see adoption or foster parents in our future... and as Anonymous mentioned our love needs to flow and their are so many children out there that do need a loving home.

Again - thank you for listening -- it's great to have a voice where others can share their experiences and support.

Island Girl

February 18, 2009 - 9:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

Island Girl: So sorry for you having gone through such a painful process.

A good antidote for feelings of loss for me has been to go do something for other people. Use the love you would have given another child for other people (including the possibility of adoption as others have mentioned). Your love needs a place to flow.

February 18, 2009 - 5:13pm
HERWriter Guide

Island Girl

I agree that it's heart-breaking and it has nothing to do with valuing what you have now. I know you value the child you have very much, and it's natural that you'd like to experience it again! Very natural!

Like Virgina said - have you considered adoption? I understand how pregnancy and giving birth can really bond you to a child and how getting to witness nine months of the growth of your own child is incomparable to anything else! But then again, a baby is a baby. And they all need your love and nurture, whether they have your DNA or not. It's an option to think about.

I'd love another child, and I have several. It has nothing to do with not valuing what I have, or the children I have. I think it's because I loved pregnancy (yep, even all the horrible parts, although we forget all that which is why I remember it so fondly!) and loved having a newborn to nurse and hold all day long. So my question is not why I'd want to do it again - it's why not?!

Anyway, it'll never happen (I still hold out that somehow, someone will know how I feel and leave a baby in a basket by my front door, ring the bell and run off! I think I've seen too many Lifetime movies...) but I really understand how you feel. It's a stage in life that is really hard to let go of.

You are not alone in how you feel.

Have you explored other options, or is a biological child your desire?

February 18, 2009 - 1:56pm

Island girl,

What a tough time. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

Loss is loss, and while you're good at seeing yours in perspective, you're still grieving one that's quite large for you. It takes a lot of time to work through something that hurts so much.

How long has it been since your miscarriage, or since your last surgery? Is this something that is very current?

The fact that you have, and love, and are grateful for the biological child that you do have is wonderful, but it doesn't change the fact that you now have to readjust your hopes and expectations for the future. It's one of the most difficult things we have to do in life, and it doesn't happen quickly.

Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was the woman who identified and wrote about the five stages of grief. She originally wrote it about people who had a terminal illness, but later applied it to any major loss in a person's life, including such things as divorce, job loss and infertility. Her five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. People don't necessarily go in that order or experience all five stages; they might also go back and forth between the stages as they heal. What you're feeling are the repercussions of a very real loss, and it's understandable that you're grieving it.

Don't be too hard on yourself. This is where you are right now, and it's exactly where you should be. You'll know if and when the time is right to look for other options.

February 18, 2009 - 9:45am

Dear Island Girl, sorry you are going through a tough time. I can relate to your concerns and desire to have another child. I had 5 miscarriages, one of them was alive for 4 hours but could not sustain life. After months of grieving and attending support groups, I get pregnant again and had to stay 5 months on bed rest, all sown up too! I was beyond myself as I was finally able to fulfill my biological, maternal role for the first time. Two years later I was surprised with a second pregnancy. Despite all the risks my body presented, I held the pregnancy by staying on bed rest again for 5 months. I was blessed a second time but it was not an easy journey.

Motherhood is a state of mind and many women want their own biological offspring. But it is in the willingness to give love, nurture, etc that we can decide if it is really necessary to have your own biological product. With so many kids in the world longing for a loving home, have you considered adoption? If you are driven by a desire to give love and nurture a child's live and not just a maternal instinct that you wish to satisfy, adoption could be a good option to consider.

February 18, 2009 - 12:23am
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