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A New Baby

Parents worry about the health of future children, and another pregnancy is an anxious as well as happy time. There is no right time to get pregnant,and for some people healing and the return of confidence comes much sooner than for others. Parents must decide according to their own individual circumstances.

Conception can take place soon after a termination or a full term delivery. Some couples ‘try’ to have another baby without delay, and older women may decide time is a luxury they do not have. Other couples need to wait until they are ready; and for some parents, for whatever reason there will be no other baby, and the baby with trisomy may be their only experience of parenthood.

‘Although another baby will never, and should not, replace Kate we both feel we wanted her so much that for the sake of her memory and for her sister and for ourselves we will try again, but always in my mind is the worry that I don’t know if I could cope with the loss of another baby if things go wrong. We have been told we will be sent for early tests in London. I hope we have the courage to try again.’

‘I was 41 when Beth (who had Trisomy 13) died, and 42 when Daniela was born, both by Caesarean. My gynaecologist gave me the all clear to get pregnant again, and I realise I was very blessed to have a healthy baby girl only 11 months after Beth was born.’

‘I had a further miscarriage two months ago, and I do doubt my ability tohave babies as I seem to be surrounded by women producing healthy babies. You get quite jealous that they breeze through 9 months and you wonder when you will lose your baby and worry the whole time.’

‘After Joshua died my life felt very empty and I began to consider another baby. We went to see a geneticist to have our own chromosomes tested and to discuss what the chances of another baby with chromosome abnormalities were.’

RENEWED SADNESS

A new pregnancy brings renewed pressures and sadness for the baby that died. Ante-natal screening must be considered, but whatever the advice you do not have to undergo invasive testing unless you wish to do so.

‘I refused to have the AFP blood tests as I did not feel they would be helpful to me, my consultant was quite surprised by this. I was very nervous when I went for my 18 week anomaly scan. It was this scan which had first hinted at Joshuas problems.’

‘When my son was born we were thrilled he was healthy, but as he developed normally we realised how disadvantaged our daughter had been with all her problems.’

‘During my next pregnancy I had every test that was on offer. Each brought temporary reassurance but I would then worry that the next one would show that something was wrong. It wasn’t until my baby was born and was so obviously healthy that I allowed myself to relax a little.’

‘I was lucky and my second child is healthy. I have a very different attitudeto his, and others’ lives though. Just as parents of babies with serious problems know they may only have them for a short while, I feel that evenfor a ‘normal’ person, each day is a gift and an experience to be thankful for.’

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