pregnancy

'Like Chrissy Teigen, I understand the primal urge for another baby after losing one.'

This post deals with stillbirth and miscarriage, and could be triggering for some readers.

The primal urge to have another baby after losing mine outweighed my fear of facing more grief and heartache.

Pregnancy, and trying to get pregnant after the loss of a baby, is terrifying. It’s like holding your breath underwater when all you want to do is exhale. 

Grief, hope, fear, and love combine in an exhausting mish mash of heightened emotions. 

It’s petrifying and I can understand why anyone who hasn’t experienced this first hand would question why you’d want to expose yourself to more potential anguish and heartache.

Watch: Chrissy Teigen explains her high-risk pregnancy. Post continues below. 


Video via Instagram

The answer isn’t simple, nor is it the same for everyone, but after my baby boy Miles was stillborn, the primal urge I felt to hold a living, breathing, baby of my own again surpassed all logic, overrode my anxieties, and screamed the loudest. 

It didn’t feel like a choice, it was something I instinctively knew I had to do.

Chrissy Teigen who tragically lost her baby Jack in October 2020 revealed recently that she is “deep in another IVF cycle to save as many eggos as I possibly can”. 

She is hopeful that they will be able to “make some strong, healthy embryos” and begged people to stop asking if she’s pregnant, “because while I know it’s said with excitement, good intentions, it just kind of sucks to hear because I am the opposite of pregnant."

And that’s just it really, not being pregnant when it’s all you want to be really sucks. 

Like Chrissy, I went through natural labour to deliver a much-wanted child. I was six months pregnant when I was blindsided by stillbirth.

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Then abruptly, I was dealing with the usual postpartum challenges, but with no baby to bring home, just a deep aching hole in my arms where Miles should have been.

My desire to have another baby wasn’t to replace him, as no baby can ever replace another, but to try to fill, or perhaps mend the hole in my heart which remained raw and open. 

To be given the chance to write another chapter in my book of motherhood and be able to shower a baby with all the affection and wonder I had ready and waiting for Miles. 

I didn’t want our story to end with heartache- to heal I needed to feel the hope and joy new life brings.

I’m sure many thought I was mad to try again. 

We were incredibly fortunate to already have three beautiful living children and Miles had suffered a rare brain haemorrhage in utero – we didn’t know if this would happen again as no cause could be found. 

So why would we risk facing this heartache again? Losing Miles utterly broke me, it was something I couldn’t contemplate going through again, but what I couldn’t contemplate even more was not welcoming another baby to my brood, and I feared if I didn’t, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.

Trying again is a leap of faith as sadly, wanting to have another child doesn’t always equate to being able to, and getting pregnant again doesn’t guarantee a full-term pregnancy or a living baby. 

One in 10 parents face infertility, one in four pregnancies are lost to miscarriage and every day in Australia, six babies are stillborn. 

Optimism and naivety are thrown out the window once you’ve been through baby loss and navigating the natural ups and downs of hormones, cycles, anticipation, and potential disappointment is daunting and overwhelming.

Again, it’s easy to think why would anyone put themselves through this? For me, as hard as those challenges were, I knew that the constant ache to have another child would remain and that for me was harder to cope with than the idea of going through loss again. 

We were incredibly lucky to fall pregnant with Tom, our fifth baby soon after losing Miles, but it wasn’t until I held him that I could finally let out that long held breath, knowing he was ours to keep.

Image: Annabel and Tom. Supplied.

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I know that many aren’t as fortunate as us, and for a multitude of reasons, medical or mental, or emotional, another baby simply isn’t a possibility. 

I am forever grateful we were given the chance. I was told by many that I was brave to try again, but for me it wasn’t bravery, but an urge so primal, so unable to be suppressed, that I was willing to go to any length to have another baby. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that Miles sent Tom our way.

Annabel Bower is the author of Miles Apart, a heartfelt guide to stillbirth, miscarriage and baby loss and the founder of the Miles Apart Foundation which donates copies of the Miles Apart book to hospitals across Australia to support families leaving hospitals with empty arms. Miles Apart is also available to purchase at www.milesapart.online and Booktopia. 

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

Feature Image: Supplied.