Opinions wanted on TTC timing

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Opinions wanted on TTC timing
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 8:12am
RELIEVED to find a board with other women sharing this heartbreaking experience. I am feeling very lonely at times. Owen Spencer, my precious baby boy, was born an angel at 39 weeks on 7/23/12, just 5 weeks ago. He was my first pregnancy which was average/normal. My doctor was planning on letting me go past 40 weeks. We discovered he died due to a cord accident. He was a perfect baby! I'd like others' opinions on when I can be physically healthy to TTC after a full term stillbirth. I know another baby will not replace little Owen. I am not mentally there yet, but I've always wanted children...PLURAL. My husband is worried about TTC too soon and putting myself at risk for miscarriage or a pre term baby. I'm 26 years old and have been married for 2 years. We want a family. Thanks, Julie
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2009
Sat, 02-09-2013 - 7:35pm

Hi Julie,

I am so very saddened to hear of the loss of your beautiful baby Owen!!!!!! My heart hurts every time I hear of another baby who has gone to heaven too soon. You and your husband have my most sincere sympathy, and I know your pain.  Be good to yourself right now and take time to grieve.

I know your heartbreak; my daughter Charlotte died at 39 weeks and 3 days and it was an absolutely PERFECT pregnancy, and I had already had a healthy boy who was almost 4 when she was stillborn. I found out at an ultrasound that she had passed away but she was alive at a stress test at 11 pm the night before, so she died at sometime during that night. We later found out that I had a silent placental abruption: an abruption with no bleeding, and we did not know anything was wrong. It was shocking and heartbreaking and I was so worried about having it happen again, but I got pregnant 4 months later and had another baby girl 13 months after Charlotte died. Abigail was born healthy and strong, and nothing can daunt her! She is a force to be reckoned with; "Miss Personality", as we call her; fun, sweet, and sometimes a challenge! But every time she tantrums (she is 2.5 years old at the moment) or cries, I remember how badly we wanted to hear Charlotte's cry and never did, so it is easier to take the bad moments with the good. We just try to always remember how blessed we are, despite how embarassed I might be in public when she throws a whopper of a tantrum (!) or frustrated as I was in the early days with sleep deprivation and a jealous 5 year old brother. :)

Charlotte was just not meant to be, even though that reality hurts so very much, and every time I see her picture my heart hurts and I just can't believe she is gone. But Abby is healthy and she was conceived 4 months later (I tried from two months after but was too stressed out, I think) and I had the most stressful and worrisome pregnancy ever (and she turned out sweet, adorable, healthy, and smart: totally FINE and NORMAL!). And yet, I had 3 years of rest between my first pregnancy with my son and Charlotte's pregnancy, and I was in the best health ever when I conceived her. I had a naturopath and homeopath working with me, and ate so well, had detoxed carefully, supplemented, ate organic, etc. but it still happened despite all of that. I honestly think there is nothing we can do but just try to trust and do our best, and what will happen will happen, no matter what. That is THE hardest thing to accept!!!! But no matter what we believe (what God, what religion, no religion, etc.) it is the same process for everyone. We just have to try to be as calm as we can despite how sad and worried we are (and your next prengnacy will be hell, sweetie, no matter how hard you try not to stress), but we are all here for you on this Board and these ladies were my saving grace the whole time until Abby was born safe and sound. 

So in a nutshell, doctors will tell you all sorts of different things, and my doctor said we could get pregnant right away if we wanted, but recommended that since we had an autopsy done that perhaps we might want to wait and see the results, just in case it was something genetic. I am glad we waited for the results, and they came about 2 months later. It was not genetic, so we got the all clear and it did calm me down quite a bit knowing that it probably would never happen to me again (a crazy 1 in 100,000-ish kind of thing, this silent abruption, but not sure of the number exactly; stillbirth is 1 in 100, and placental abruptions are quite common, but usually, as my doctor said, mom and baby are fine and survive. In my case it was a wierd thing and no one knew anything was wrong though our poor Charlotte bled to death inside me). I was going to wait longer to lose more weight but we just decided that we were too darn sad and threw caution to the wind and went ahead with it. I was much happier for the first month (though still grieving) and then after one month, the anxiety hit; I have never suffered from anxiety in my life, and it was hard!!!!  But God blessed us with a beautiful sister for Charlotte and we were so thankful. Now we feel our family is complete and I don't think I can go through another pregnancy again, but that is just me. 

You are in for a long road, but it will come to an end, and you can have a healthy baby in the future. No matter how sad you are now, you will laugh again, you will be happy again, and just visualize yourself holding a new perfect, LIVING baby!!! Imagine it, never stop, and I will be praying for you that you will have a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Hang in there. And don't feel guilty grieving for Owen; that is your right, and no one understands unless they have gone through it. People are going to say some downright STUPID, hurtful (not on purpose), DUMB things that are going to make you so mad and upset, but remember that no matter how hard they try, they just don't get it and won't be able to because they just have not been through it themselves. Even my own mom could not understand why I could not calm down in my pregnancy with Abby and try not to stress so much. It was hard hearing that from her, but she just was not in my "shoes" and try as she might, just could not get it. WE ALL GET IT! WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT! :)

God Bless you, Julie. I will be thinking of you and praying for you (and little Owen).....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2007
Sat, 09-01-2012 - 8:22am

Hi Julie,

I'm so sorry about your little Owen.  I'm sure he was beautiful.  You are welcome to tell us about him anytime - I know how much you are missing him every day.  I'm glad you found us and I hope your physical healing is going well - the emotional healing takes a lot more time.

The timing of TTC is a big question mark and if you were to ask five physicians you would get five different answers, mostly depending on how long they've been practicing (the older ones will tell you to wait longer, typically).  My doctor told me to wait two cycles to ttc after our first baby was stillborn and was not very supportive when shock of shocks, we found out I was pregnant after one (it took us 8 months to get pregnant the first time so I fully expected that again - surprise!).  I was terrified that I'd done something wrong, but my new baby at risk, but 9 months later at 37 weeks my little Andy was born and he is now 4.5 years old.  There isn't a magic number and that is hard - accepting that there are no guarantees.  You've had your bliss in pregnancy taken away and now you know more than you want to about what can go wrong.  While that is a daunting prospect, there are things you can do to help the anxiety, and extra monitoring you can ask for to get extra reassurance.  Having a supportive physician is great, but not something that is always easily found - many of them just don't have the experience needed to help someone cope with this type of situation, so they shy away from talking about it.

There is a range of experiences in terms of when people get pregnant after a stillbirth and I don't think there is really any data suggesting that a certain amount of time improves outcomes.  It's tough...you have to go with your gut, and know that you will never be 100% ready - this is one of those situations whne 90% ready has to do and the rest is on hope, faith and the knowledge that you are a survivor and your strength with carry you through.  I'm happy to tell you more about anything you want to know - just ask away.

Big hugs,