Pregnant after a Loss

Telling siblings TW: children and loss mentioned

1inthehopper1inthehopper member
edited October 2016 in Pregnant after a Loss
DD is 4.5 and I'm 7w6d pregnant. She never knew about my previous pregnancy that was ectopic- she only knew I was sick and the dr did surgery to fix my tummy. It was a hard time on her because we had various family staying with us helping out through 2 rounds of methotrexate and the surgery, and she was so confused as to why people were always there and why I was in bed nonstop. 

Now we are debating when to tell her about this pregnancy. I have a followup ultrasound this week at 8w3d and if all is well we are trying to decide when to tell her. Since she's old enough and smart enough we can't tell a bunch of family and friends before her or she will could accidentally find out from someone else. We've already told parents and a best friend. My MS is so bad that people are starting to figure it out. We obviously want to share this amazing news with her as soon as is reasonable. She already asks why I have a sick tummy so often.  Our hold up of course is if we tell her and then lose the baby. Explaining the loss to her would be heartbreaking. 

What are your thoughts on when is the right time to tell the siblings? I know it's a highly personal decision for each family but I'd like to hear your experiences.  Thanks! 

Re: Telling siblings TW: children and loss mentioned

  • My daughter is only 2.5 and while we are so excited to tell her I've been holding off, because as you know I keep getting "bad" news at each appointment. Originally, I was going to tell her at the 12 week mark but decided not to after getting less than optimal results. As of now I'm only going tell her once my concerns and worries are done. I'm hoping that will be at the 20 week mark. Plus for me to be comfortable telling her I would need to think of a good way of explaining possible bad news.

  • My situation is different because I had a late-term loss. DD obviously knew I was pregnant and that she was getting a sister. She had a rough time after the loss but understood that her sister had to go to heaven. When I got pregnant again we waited until 12 weeks to tell her, she had just turned 4. You know your daughter best. Kids understand much more than we give them credit for. And after my experience I feel like there's never really a safe time during pregnancy. 


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  • I love that analogy @MWoodside!
  • @MWoodside, I think that is the most beautiful explanation for a little one. I've never heard it put that way before. ❤️
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  • We lost our baby at 37w4d. We don't know why, but his heart quit beating. My 3.75 yr old DD knows that babies sometimes die and that's sad. We decided to tell her about this one last week. I am almost 7 weeks now, and she herself said out of the blue, "I love this baby, but if this baby dies I will talk to the next baby."

    There is no "out of the woods" for me. 8, 12, and 16 weeks are meaningless after such a late loss. So, I decided that she could know now and if we loose baby she can process it. We all made it through the loss of her brother, so if something happens, we can make it through this.
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  • Thanks for sharing with us, @semicolon I'm sorry for your loss. It's such a balance- shielding the littles from unnecessary grief and confusion yet knowing it's not possible to protect them from everything. My mom died 5 years ago ( before DD was born) and we talk about Gma often so she unfortunately already knows more about death and heaven then most 4.5 year olds.  I guess we'll see how our ultrasound goes Wed and then play it by ear. Thanks, all 
  • Of course. We use the garden analogy,too. We found it in a loss book.

    You can nourish a flower, but some buds just don't bloom.
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  • I have no experience telling siblings as my son is only 20months so he doesn't understand. I do however have experience being the sibling being told.  My mother had a 24 weeks loss a year before I was born, a 28 week loss when I was 2 1/2 and a 34 week loss when I was 5.  My sis was born when I was 7.  I don't really remember my first brother's death but I do remember my 2nd brothers.  My mom was in the hospital for a week because she had to deliver him by C-section.  When she came home I asked her where the baby was and she told me he wasn't coming home and that he was sick and was in a better place.  It was still hard for me to understand because I remember them telling me about a sibling and showing me how to hold him using my doll.  My parents joined a support group and would bring me along to meet the other families too.  When my mom became pregnant with my sister I remember her being extremely sick in the beginning (it was around easter time).  I remember my parents telling me after my kindergarten graduation that I was going to be a big sister again (my mom at this point was due in late dec so she was about 14 weeks).  I did say back "please make sure you bring a baby home this time." As a 6 year old this is innocent but as an adult I can see how hurtful this was.  My mom still reminds me how much it stung.  Kids can say the darndest things sometimes and as adults we just have to understand the lack of filter.  Since between my 2nd brothers loss and my sisters pregnancy they figured out the issue that my mom was having.  This meant that my mom's pregnancy this time around was very high risk with tons of appts and steroidal shots because they were planning on my sister being born anytime between 32-35 weeks.  My parents explained that mommy wasn't going to be able to do many things that she was normally able to do.  She was on home bed rest most of the time and was then admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks and my sis was born at 35 weeks. They explained that she was going to be little and in a special crib with a lid on it.  I went the hospital and they told me I couldn't hold her until she came home.  When she came home 2 weeks later she was perfectly healthy and I was able to hold her and help out as much as I could.  I think my parents did everything the best way.  They were very honest with me and told me everything I needed to know.  I was always a nosey child so I guess they figured if they told me I wouldn't have to ask.  Never underestimate how much a child knows.  Especially now a days.  With technology and everything they see on TV a 4 year old today knows so much more than 30 years ago when I was 4.
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