The Time Ahead
Facing the days head after the loss of your precious baby can be quite overwhelming of how to cope, how to get through another day and where to start. You may have lots of questions and there might be many uncertainties in your mind. Here we have shared some information from other families who have walked this road before you. There is certainly no right or wrong way to get through the days weeks months and years ahead. We wish you gentle days and want to remind you that we are always here.
Everyone's journey is a very unique experience one that you can work through step by step drawing on the support that is around you.
Leaving the hospital and going back to home can be very difficult and confronting. Bringing many emotions to the surface. The part of actually walking out of the hospital with such empty arms is heartbreaking in itself. Many tell of going home and even with having family, friends and or loved ones with you, still feeling very alone & lost. Facing the reality of all the plans, hopes and dreams you had for your baby can be heart wrenching.
Know that these feelings are very normal. You might find it helpful to talk to someone, tell someone how you are feeling, write down your feelings, join a support group maybe an online support group so you can share and express yourself right when you are feeling the need to talk. Connect and share with someones who understands.
You are most welcome to call us Phone 1800 824 240 free call bereavement support line
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You may have a nursery or special room set up for your baby. A room that you would have put a lot of thought and love into setting up. The room may feel so empty and be quite hard to go into or walk past. Your baby's room may also bring you some comfort and you might find yourself feeling quite to close to your baby in that room. It is a normal reaction to feel this way, if you are having a hard time with making decisions about what you are going to do with your baby's things and your baby's room please reach out and talk to someone close to you about your thoughts and feelings.
Here is a list of other families shared thoughts feelings and ideas.
- You do not have to pack up your baby's nursery or belongings.
- You might like to spend time in your baby's room.
- If you do want to pack up the room, you might want to do it alone or you could ask your partner, friend or relative to help you.
- You might like to only pack up a few things?
- You might like to keep some things?
- No one should pack up your baby's belongings or nursery unless you ask them to.
- Is there some items you want to take back to the place of purchase?
- If you do want to you might want to do this yourself or ask someone to do it for you.
- Even in the time ahead you may still like to keep your baby's things, you do not have to get rid of them.
It is important to know bereaved parents deal with their loss in their own ways in their own time. A very unique individual journey. There is no right or wrong way. We encourage you to go with what feels right for you.
"Everyone who has had a relationship with your baby will suffer some form of grief" Diane in memory of ~Emily~
"Its been five & a half years and all of my baby clothes are still hanging in ~Kyal's~ wardrobe & I can bear to part with them. Jayne in memory of ~Kyal~
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You can find a list of further support groups, networks and resources that are available across Australia on the Australia Wide Support Services page
The program offers many bereavement support services Australia Wide
If you are wanting to talk with someone who has experienced the loss of a baby & are there to listen, you can contact our support line.
1800 824 240 free call bereavement support line
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New Baby's You might be worried and anxious about seeing, holding or even being near baby's or pregnant women. Even just to hear a baby crying can be quite distressing. Put yourself first, protect your feelings and emotions. It is ok if you don't want to attend a baby shower, or visit a new baby and parents in hospital or attend a child's birthday party. Please remind yourself to put your feelings first and do what feels right for you.
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The loss of your baby can often put a significant stress on your relationship with your partner. You have both experienced such a sad loss and the time that follows can often be full of good and bad days. Know that this is normal, you can not expect that everything will always be as it used to be. This does not mean you don't love each other, you are both going through something parents should never have to.
We often find that father's are trying to be the 'protector' of their partner- making sure she is ok, whilst trying to deal with their own loss. They may also be in charge of reading through paperwork and making funeral arrangements. It is important fathers also get the love and support they need.
Parents have told us:
"Our relationship became stronger than ever, we relied on each other so much"
"We argued a lot, i think there was so much we didn't talk about when we should have"
" I found it so difficult with he returned to work, the feeling of being alone in the house was really hard"
" We talked more than we ever have before. i saw a side of her i had never seen before"
"We both went to counselling, we were sceptical in the beginning but it really did make a difference"
"We parted ways about 12 months later, we both just didn't cope with our loss, in the end we knew it was the best thing"
" If we can get through this, we can get through anything"
It is important to try to talk with each other and express the way you are feeling.
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Bereaved Parents often tell of how the comments and things said to them can be so very insensitive and hurtful. They also tell how some situations are very difficult and emotional.
One of the most common questions you may be asked is "How many children do you have" or "is ......... your first baby?"
The way you chose to answer these questions is entirely up to you, answer the way that you know is going to make you feel the best, not the person asking. If you do let people know of your loss be prepared that they may want to ask more questions or not ask anything at all- which may be hurtful & upsetting for you. Also know that each situation is different, sometimes you might feel up to answering that you have had a baby that has passed away or sometimes you might not mention it. Don't feel guilty about this, your response will very much depend of the timing and the way you are feeling.
Possible responses might be
- "Yes, I have 3 living children and 2 in heaven"
- "............. is my first living child, i had a baby .............that passed away"
- "Yes I have .... children" ( including the number of all of your children)
- " No I don't have any living children"
Pre warning of generalised comments that are often said by others
Often people say space fillers or cliche's to a bereaved person in the hope they are helping them but often they are not. Below is a list of these types of comments which you may hear from others.
- "At least ........ didn't suffer"
- "Time will heal"
- "Life goes on"
- "I know how you feel"
- "You should be over it by now"
- "Its Gods will"
- "These things happen"
- "...... is in a better place now"
- "Don't cry, be strong"
- "It could have been worse"
- "..... wouldn't want you to cry"
- "There are others worse off than you"
- "Everything happens for a reason"
- "You're not the only one"
- "It wasn't meant to be"
- "You can have another baby"
- "Was gods will"
- "You are young, you will have another baby"
- "Their is always IVF"
- "Everything happens for a reason"
You may come across some of the above comments, these can be hurtful and terribly upsetting. People often mean well but say the wrong things. Try not to take these things to heart, as hard as that is, it will only bring more stress to you at a time when you don't need any added stress.
Know it is ok to respond to people with they way you are feeling about their comment. It is important that we educate people that the loss of a baby is significant and the heartache that comes with it is something that is just not going to go away.
You may also find it helpful to tell people what your are thinking & how you are feeling. This helps to give others a better understanding of what you are feeling right now and hopefully helps to alleviate insensitive comments and being placed in difficult situations.
Pre warning of difficult situations
- New pregnancy announcements
- Baby showers
- Birth of new baby's
- Hospital visit of new baby
- Being asked how many children you have
- Certain dates of pregnancy
- Age comparison with other babies/ children
- Milestones.. first Christmas, first birthday etc
You may be faced with attending events or celebrations that you just don't feel up to attending. If this is the case, don't attend. If you know attending will only leave you in tears or feeling worse, then it is not worth going. Generally, people will understand.
We have come to hear many stories from all too many bereaved parents and they often talk of how those close to them and even acquaintances often just don't know what to say. It seems they then say nothing and do their best to avoid you or say the silly comments or put you in the difficult situations. They may want to take your pain away or help fix it. If only they could know that "it cant be fixed" but if they could just be there for us, being considerate & acknowledging our baby's could make all the difference.
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After the loss of a baby many have told how their initial instinct is to want to fall pregnant again. Although this may not be advised medically or from family/ friends the choice is ultimately yours. Some may not be able to conceive again and may feel they need extra support in their time ahead, please do contact us.
A new pregnancy can be a stressful time for anyone but after losing a baby you always have that extra feeling of what if it happens again. Many explain it that you are robbed of your innocence. In most cases women will go on to have successful pregnancies, however for some a second or subsequent loss can leave you with a feeling of disbelief.
Please know you are always entitled to the very best of extra care. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor for more regular check up's, ultrasounds or tests. You may very well need much reassurance throughout this pregnancy. If these things make you feel just a little more relaxed then it is well worth it.
Common Reactions to a new pregnancy
- Mixed emotions- being excited but so very scared at the same time
- Feeling happy- creating a life is very special. It is ok to feel happy!
- Being very fearful - that something will go wrong with this pregnancy
- Feeling anxious- of what the outcome will be or waiting on test results
- Feeling frustrated- often explaining to people your previous experience/s can be very hard
- Having difficulty in having faith / trust that things will be ok - even if this pregnancy does not have the same diagnosis of your previous pregnancy and loss
- A feeling of being overwhelmed. There are so many things to consider with a new pregnancy
- Feeling impatient- You just want to have your baby now, waiting 10 months seems like an eternity
- Guilt- for those that may be around you that continue to have problems conceiving.
- An amazing feeling of being in tune with your new baby and not taking life for granted
- Possibly still being fearful even once your baby is born safe and alive
Through out your time of being pregnant remember that you might have good days and bad, there will be days where you are happy to go out and buy baby things and other days where you just can't face it. Know that this is ok. It is important you seek support if you need it from your partner, family and friends.
The program has an online pregnancy after a loss support group (Pals)