Thats the term I learned that people use for babies born after a loss. I learned this because only a couple times now have I had the courage to delve into the world of forums and blogs regarding infant and fetal loss. It’s completely overwhelming to me to read of other peoples experiences; each story is just some other version of the most unimaginable event possible. ‘Subsequent children…subsequent pregnancy…’ These are popular topics on support group sites. I have found also that it is something that many are curious to ask Carlos and I about. ‘Will you try again?’ ‘Do you think you’ll have more kids?’ ‘When can you get pregnant again?’ I could see it being interpreted as invasive, offensive, too soon…but it isn’t to us. I interpret it as a way of these people showing how much they wanted us to have a baby too, and they are hopeful we still will want to have more. I interpret it as caring.
Having more children is something that we think about constantly. While Carlos and I talk about it nearly daily I would guess, I will only share my thoughts and my processing. I am an extremely goal oriented and driven person. There are few goals that I have put my mind to that I have not accomplished. I also believe it is healthy human nature to keep moving forward. You break something? You get a new one. You loose something? You replace it. You fail? You try again. I can’t do any of that for Sylvia. Though none of this still feels real, that has been a hard fact for me to get my head around. My body failed me, it failed Carlos and it failed Sylvia. If you were to get in a car wreck and the passenger in your car died and you lived there are many other factors you could blame it on. Another driver, a faulty safety feature of the car, weather…whatever. This though, this was my body. And it failed. I can be told a million times that this isn’t my fault, and there was nothing we could have done. I know that. But at the end of the day, this was my body. And it failed.
Sylvia’s room is exactly as we left it when we went to our final appointment. The gold ‘S’ next to a tiny plant on a shelf, her Leo constellation print I ordered, the empty picture frames that we couldn’t wait to fill with pictures of her and us, the wood plaque we planned on putting her hand prints on, the sheets my mom made from fabrics I picked out, the mobile I made from vintage lace and antique embroidery hoops, her blankets, her clothes, her books…its all still there. I go in the room occasionally and look around and Carlos and I agreed that the door is to never be shut. Those things are hers. That room is hers. How could it ever be for another baby?
Sylvia will have siblings, I know this. And they will know her. We will talk about her to them and share her in all of our future family celebrations, holidays, birthdays…everything. Sylvia made Carlos and I parents. But what we are longing for is the physical parenting that we were robbed of. I don’t know how I will trust my body again. I don’t know how we will make it through future pregnancies without constant panic attacks. I don’t know how we will ever make it through another ultra sound without reliving the terror of the final one we had. I don’t think the world is so cruel that this could happen again, but I don’t know how to keep that thought out of my head. What Carlos and I have in front of us is a long, terrifying, seemingly impossible journey not only in our grieving and daily life, but in continuing our dream of having a healthy, happy family. It will happen though…I know that.