Haunted By Dead Baby Thoughts

There is one lingering after effect of RPL, one which I don’t believe I’ll ever be free of. While infertility robs us of our innocence and steals our belief in fairy tales and happily ever after’s, RPL  goes a step further. It teaches us that worst case scenario’s DO happen. It teaches us that we can expect the worst. It robs us of that natural human ability to think – “that will never happen to me”.

This message of anticipating and expecting the worst because the worst will happen was reinforced with every miscarriage I suffered.  And in the end, with each pregnancy, instead of thinking – “we’re going to have a baby!” I started thinking – “I’m going to have another miscarriage!” Because that is what RPL and pregnancy had taught me!

Then we were selected by a BM and I held my breath waiting for the phone call to tell us they’d made a terrible mistake and had phoned the wrong couple and we weren’t selected. Then we met our BM and waited to exhale anticipating her negative response to us and telling our SW’s that she’d made a mistake and we weren’t the couple she wanted. Then I stood in a daze in the delivery room, so overwhelmed by the anticipation of something going wrong that I was unable to live in the moment and fully immerse myself in the experience of watching Ava’s birth.

When we brought her home, my mind was dominated by two thoughts – SIDS and/or that our BM would retract consent and we’d have to give her back. When our 60 days ended, I still was disbelieving, until we received the final court order.

And slowly as Ava grew, I got lulled into a sense that everything was going to be ok.

But lately, those feelings of doom have been sneaking back. First there was the shocking passing of a fellow bloggers baby, suddenly and with no explanation just after birth. That was followed shortly by me stumbling across a blog of a couple who’s 4 month old baby had past away while sleeping and in the care of the day nanny. Then someone innocently started a thread on an online support forum about when to stop using the Angel Care monitor. I confidently stated that we had stopped using ours a few months back because Ava kept rolling off the sensor mat and activating the alarm and because I’ve become so in tune with her and my 6th sense had kicked in so strongly that I could hear her breathing from our bedroom, I can hear each time she turns over or makes any sleeping sounds without the baby monitor. I think all Mom’s experience this, you are just so tuned into your child, you miss nothing?

Somebody responded to the thread stating that they had a friend who’s baby had past from SIDS at 17 months and so they were going to keep the monitor and sensor pad on for as long as possible. And then somebody else responded stating that they also had a friend who’s baby had past from SIDS at 18 months!

Add to that, I watched Miami Ink on Wednesday evening and there was a guy having a portrait tat done of his baby son who had past away from SIDS and what do you get???

Me! Feeling totally overwhelmed by dead baby thoughts! Sneaking into Ava’s bedroom at all hours of the night to check if she’s still breathing, I’m even considering putting her sensor mat back in her cot, even though the bloody alarm goes off all the time, at least I’ll know she’s still breathing.

I REALLY HATE that RPL had done this to me. That I can’t go through life thinking that that will never happen to me, that I am assaulted by worst case scenario’s. That I see danger in even the most innocent of scenario’s! I HATE it! I HATE what it’s made me!

And now on a different note, here is my very much alive, totally cute and gorgeous 14 month toddler having a blast in the bath. I’m trying to learn lessons from her, I’m trying to live in the moment and to find joy in even the simplest things in life, like sitting in the bath with some bubbles on my head!

Finding joy in the simple things!


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  • Reply suestuart

    Oh Sharon I’m so sorry you are having such terrible thoughts. I must admit that I was also paranoid about SIDS and am still using the sensor pad, and plan to for some time to come. Katy has a large cot, but I put her pillow (wedge) about 2/3 of the way down (as she always creeps to the bottom anyway) and I put the pad slightly further down. That seems to prevent it from going off unneccesarily.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    I relate 100% Sharon! For me it is even worse than just the past lurking , because we are confronted with the reality of the fragility of life every single day at work, and there are days I want to grab my kids and have them scanned from head to toe! I look at my kids and they seem so precious and so vulnerable, and I know I cannot protect them nearly as much as I want to. But then one can’t life live in perpetual anxiety, so I trust, and I pray and I hope like hell they are OK!

    March 10, 2011 at 9:52 am
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    I can understand why you feel that way. We’ll always have our infertility battlescars won’t we. I hope at some stage the feeling eases.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:42 am
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Oh Sharon, I am sorry. Unfortunately, I do understand and I am in the same situation. I hate it ! Makes me feel I constantly have to battle not to give in to the fear of worse case scenarios. It is very stressful and when a worse case scenario happens, I feel almost relieved. Awful. Sick ?
    I hope we will somehow get better with time but honestly I doubt it. It seems like in one way or another, life experience makes a person rather fearful instead of relaxed. Elderly vs child’s innocence. …
    Your little-big-Ava is too cute for words !

    March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am
  • Reply darylfaure

    I keep having dead mommy thoughts! I am so afraid that something will happen to me and I won’t be around to see Dylan grow up.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    Hi Sharon, I know, it’s terrible. That’s why I’m so hesitant to stop using the damn mat! I’m ever so sorry I posted about it on the forum as it actually made me feel worse. And I also watched Miami Ink and it made me so sad that this stuff really happens to people. All the anxiety I felt while TTC and with the miscarriages was the reason why I suffered with PND for months after Claudio was born. I was so anxious all the time when he was so little, I was so afraid that something would happen to him. It’s getting better though as he’s getting older, and he is a healthy, strong little boy. Sorry my post caused you to feel anxious again. Love the pic of Ava btw! xxx

    March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Mash

    What is RPL?

    I’m sorry to see that you feel this way. I’ve realised that it never ends, even when you have children, the fear of losing them will probably continue for the rest of your life. I know. Fat lot of help I am! But I guess that’s what motherhood is all about, the instinct to protect your child at all costs. And when you’ve been through losses like you have, that’s only going to be magnified.


    March 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    I hear you! 3 weeks before the 2nd birthday, I still have the mat in the cot. Luckily, we don’t have many false alarms, so I have kept it. It mostly only goes off when I lift her out and forget to switchit off. It doesn’t seem to matter if she rolls off it.
    Anyway, it is terrible that we have to live with these fears, but I think it is very common. Nice to know I am not alone in that!

    March 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    So sorry that you’re having these thoughts! And you know what? I didn’t know that SIDS could happen after the first few months.

    P.S. Glad Ava is better 🙂

    March 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply jonesee3

    First official delurk here, just to say that I can appreciate where you’re coming from because of the effects of RPL. It sucks. I’m just ending our home study and seriously, every thing seems to have a ‘dooms day’ spin on it at times. It’s hard to believe in hope.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They’re very real. I hate that we ever had to experience loss in the first place….life would be so much different!

    March 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm
  • Reply To Love Bella

    you are not alone in these thoughts. when Isabella sleeps through without us hearing her moaning in her sleep, I wake up thinking awful things. i lie as still as i can, waiting for a noise (too scared to go into her room!!) and when i finally hear a peep over that monitor, i exhale. not realising how i’d been holding my breath.
    when i had my last m/c at the end of 2009, i simply took it in my stride – been there, done that, got the tshirt, tracksuit, running shoes and HAT. i guess i kinda expected it to end that way?

    March 11, 2011 at 6:59 am
  • Reply wiseguyomoshiroi

    I am unable to comment here without logging into WordPress.

    Anyways, I know atleast two stories that have scared the safety lights out of you, and painfully enough, I know that one of them is me.

    I pray that these thoughts are firmly unfounded. We can’t stop thinking, ever. But atleast our worst fears should never come true.

    Ava is a beautiful girl.

    March 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm
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