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Feeling sorry

by Joanna Durst
SIDS Parent, and Librarian for the National SIDS Council of Australia

Zoe was our first child, arriving after many years on an assisted conception programme. She died at 8 months 12 days in 1991. When we wanted to get started on another baby a nurse told us that we would have to wait because we weren't finished grieving. (Of course, she would know better than us what we should do.) When we went to the boss doctor, he said "That's none of our business. YOU decide what you want to do, we're just here to help you achieve the family you want." Such relief! But as soon as we walked out of there I felt that same sense of wanting to say sorry to Zoe. For me it was a terrible sense of betrayal. To her, to her memory. How could I want another child? I wanted her. I wanted her back. And I wanted her back now. Not another child. But I did want another child, as well as her.

I guess I still feel that betrayal sometimes, even though I love my son more than anyone else. I've got him because I don't have her. It's different from guilt. Very sad. How could I want another child? How could I not?

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