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Having Subsequent Children

by Nancy Eckert

My husband and I lost our third child, Cory Steven, eleven years ago to SIDS. As parents of two other children, having a third wasn't exactly "old hat", but the sense of nervousness just wasn't there. However, when the happy little carousel we were riding for Cory's 13 weeks of life slammed into the brick wall that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, we got nervous again real quick. Every couple is different when it comes to making a decision about another baby, but my husband and I knew immediately we wanted to have another as soon as possible. As Debbie Gemmill has said, it wasn't an effort to REPLACE Cory, but to fill up some of the hole in our family that his death had left. It took a couple of months to conceive again (and we knew we were lucky it didn't take longer). It was like I was a first time Mom all over again. Every little twitch or pain, everything I ate or drank, every environmental change I experienced all took their toll (emotionally) on me. Of course, I had always taken care of myself during my prior pregnancies, but since no one could tell me why my son had died, I felt "suspicious" about everything.

My husband helped me a lot during this fourth...and final...pregnancy because of his absolute faith that "lightening wouldn't strike" again. I expected it to strike again every single day (I felt so vulnerable), but HIS conviction was what I held on to.

Every SIDS parent I've spoken to over the years, who went on to have other children, has been VERY nervous with their "subsequents", but we all seem to muddle through the pregnancy and first year in spite of ourselves. For my husband and me, we felt an easing of the worry when Cody passed the age Cory was when he died, and it eased a little more when he passed the six month mark and so on until he was a year old. Then it seemed that we went back to what might be called the "normal" parental worries...It has been harder, probably, for me to not hover over our kids, but I've had to make the conscious decision to loosen the apron strings as their ages permitted. Unfortunately, we can't protect them from everything...

Anyway, I hope some of this helps. Again, the ultimate decision about when to have another child (or even IF to have another child) belongs to you and your mate. You should not feel pressured in any way from well-meaning friends and family....

I wish you the best of luck...

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