Dealing With Loss Later On In Life

Today’s guest post comes from a reader who would prefer to remain anonymous. Her heartfelt email asked for ‘help with how to deal with a loss later on life, where you haven’t got time on your side.’ Your guidance, thoughts and advice are as always so valuable to our readers so please do comment below.

I wasn’t sure whether to contact you or not as I know I am not your target reader, i.e. 25-35 mums to be / new mums etc. but as a long time follower of Charlotte in her early RMW days, followed by RMS and finally RMF, I wondered whether it was worth getting in touch as I have enjoyed each website for various reasons, and I wonder if there are other readers out there like me and I would like their advice.

I have just turned 43 and recently suffered a missed miscarriage. This would be my 5th pregnancy, 2 of which have resulted in gorgeous children who are now 2 and 6. I had my first child at the age of 36 (very easily, fell pregnant within a month) and my second at age 40 (took 2 years with a miscarriage in between). I had always thought that I only wanted 2 children but after having my son in 2015, there was a little niggle in the back of my mind about having a third but with my age it was something I pushed to the back of mind.

Crazily after trying for 2 years to have my son, I fell pregnant with my last baby completely out of the blue, it wasn’t something we planned and to be honest it was a complete fluke, a moment of passion whilst both children were out of the house which resulted in my last pregnancy. At my age, naively I really didn’t think anything would happen despite no contraception (yes 40+ year olds can be as clueless as teenagers it would seem!) but low and behold 2 weeks later there was the little blue line showing that I was pregnant.

To say we were shocked was an understatement, and we both struggled with the implications. I had relatively easy pregnancies (aside from the awful allergies I suffered during both pregnancies) but I had terrible labours and births (both induced resulting in emergency deliveries) so we were extremely worried about going through it again and with my age came the extra worry of chromosomal abnormalities, implications to safety during birth and how an extra baby would factor in with our existing family.

After several weeks of deliberating, we both came round to the idea that we would really love to have another baby. If I’m honest there was never any doubt that I wouldn’t have this baby, but I was so worried about the negative implications for me (not to be a drama queen but I did worry about dying as I suffered badly during both births, especially my first), our existing children, the baby itself, so I really couldn’t see past all the negatives until my GP said to me ‘I really think you really want this baby but you are so focused on what could go wrong (because of my age) that you can’t see any of the positives’. I sobbed the whole way through my consultation with her.

To cut a long story short, I decided that a 3rd baby was what I wanted so booked myself in to see the GP again, booked a midwife appointment etc. Unfortunately whilst I was visiting my aunt in Harrogate I stated bleeding. I just knew there and then that something wasn’t right so when I got home I rang my local hospital and booked myself in to the local early pregnancy unit for a scan. It was there then that they told me that there was no heartbeat, I should have been around 12 weeks but the baby had stoped growing at around 7/8 weeks. I was completely devastated as was my husband. It was a strange feeling as we hadn’t planned this, hadn’t been trying but now I feel so devastated to no longer be pregnant. I know a miscarriage is terrible at any stage and age but when you are “past your fertility prime” I feel it is so much harder as you really don’t have the luxury of time, it really feels like this is the end of the road and that is something that I am really struggling to come to terms with. I guess that’s why I’ve got in touch, I’ve googled ‘older mum blogs’ and there is nothing out there, I’d love to know how older mum’s have got to terms with the end of their child bearing years when they have been trying for more, whether they have continued to try after miscarriage etc. Do you keep trying or do you just resign yourself to the fact that this is it and you can’t have any more babies. Or if they have got pregnant at a later stage in life how do they feel about being an older mum? My doctor was so positive and said that the increase in older mums in the past decade is staggering but it is still a worry. Do I give up or do I give myself another 6 months to try for another baby? Plus another worry is the thought that I would be one of the oldest mum at the school gates, i.e 48!! Unfortunately I have a circle of friends who are younger than me and just trying for their 2nd babies, a couple are pregnant and due around what would have been my due date and I am finding this very hard to deal with, I am obviously happy for them but at the same time so jealous. I know that I am so lucky to have my two beautiful children but I really feel robbed of having another baby, however selfish that might come across.

19 Comments. Leave new

I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I’m 39 and have had 2 miscarriages – so I understand the feeling of time passing very well. I’ve struggled with coming to terms with potentially being unable to have children – but could selling has really helped. If I had any advice it would be that – seek out some professional support. It really helped me to understand what my poor head was trying to process. That and – and it took me a while to understand this – be kind to yourself. Good luck and lots of love X

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Hi Lou, apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve only just seen that my post was posted. Thanks for taking the time to reply and I’m sorry to hear that you have been through miscarriage as well. It really is heartbreaking. I have thought about going for counselling as well just to try and clear my head but haven’t gone yet, perhaps I will. Good luck to you too, hugs xx

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*counselling!! Typo….

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I’m so sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing your story. For what it’s worth, I think you should keep trying for another while. It’s obviously in your mind, you’ve even suggested six months in your post! If you don’t you’ll almost certainly regret it, whereas even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll know you gave it a chance.

As for being older, yes, fertility BEGINS to decline after age 40, and your pregnancies become higher risk. That doesn’t mean that your baby will have these problems – the risks are still low. It sounds as if you’re quite conscious of your age – you even mention that your not in the target age bracket for RMF. I’m 38 and sometimes feel I’m at the older end of the new mums club too. But there are actually more and more older mummies out there – I went to a baby group the other day and there was a lady in her 40’s whose other 2 kids were teens. My husband is 48 and he’s quite aware of being an older daddy. He’s often said things which sound a bit like you. However, the other day he met an old school friend who was telling him his younger girlfriend wanted to have a baby but he wasn’t sure due to his age. My husband told him to go for it and explained some of the positives he thought there were to being an older dad. I was so proud of him! Don’t worry what other people think.(they might not even be thinking it!), do what is right for you.

Good luck whatever you decide. And, if you do add to your family, please do come back and tell us! xx

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Hi Tracy, thanks for your lovely comment and apologies for the delay in replying, I only saw the responses this weekend. I probably shouldn’t overthink everything and just see what happens! Yes I will definitely let RMF know if we do end up adding to the family! Good advice from your hubby too! xx

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I’m so sorry you have experienced baby loss more than once. It is so devastating.

I think you need to be kind to yourself as much as possible- all your feelings are valid and it’s ok to feel them. You aren’t selfish at all for feeling the way you do, it’s a totally natural thing to want another child.

I’m still with your GP. You really sound as though you want a little rainbow. My instinct is to say stop using protection and see what happens. I don’t think putting a time limit on it is helpful for you- adds pressure.

Lots of love to you xx

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Also, and this is a long way down the road, but you are totally within your rights to ask for an elective section due to previous trauma: it is your choice how to give birth, as it is for anyone anywhere. Extra hug x

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Hi Lucy, thanks for your kind comment and apologies for the delay in replying, I didn’t see the replies until this weekend. Yes I think if we were lucky enough to have another one I would definitely go for an elective c-section after the two births I’ve had although that frightens me too! But it is all worth it in the end! Thanks again xx

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How brave to reach out when you are obviously feeling a trauma.
I would agree with reaching out for support. After our failed IVF treatment that resulted in a little blue line followed a few days later by no line, something we had not prepared for. We prepared for failure and we prepared for success but not for this rollercoaster of emotions. We had some joint counselling sessions and it gave us a safe and open chance to talk together but also have some else comment on our feelings. We both were feeling the same loss but we felt it in different ways and it really did help. Good luck and its ok to let HOPE in no matter what our circumstances.

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Hi Jess, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and apologies for the delay in replying as I only saw the comments this weekend. I’m so sorry that you have gone through a failed IVF treatment, I have a friend who went through several rounds of IVF (one successful thankfully) and I was shocked at how much you have to go through so I can understand that you must be so disappointed. I’m glad you that you have also been able to talk this through together with a counsellor. The friends I have told about it have been a great support but I am thinking of counselling too. I wish you all the luck in the world if you decide to go ahead with more IVF xx

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I had a missed miscarriage a few months ago so I understand the rollercoaster of emotions that come with that, and the heartache that goes with it. I’m not an older mum (although I’m not young either!) however quite a few of my “mummy” friends are older, either just or well into their 40s. I hear a lot of talk about whether to try again or not and the implications. While I can only recount these discussions, a lot of it seems to come down to personal discussions – the medical support is there for them, but it is a personal decision whether to go ahead or not. It sounds like the personal decision is there, but the medical issues are preoccupying you. I don’t think anyone can make the decision but you, but I really hope that you are able to get the answers you are looking for. Good luck!!

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Hi Annie, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and apologies for my late reply. I’m so sorry that you have gone through a missed miscarriage too, it is so hard to deal with when it is something that you want so much. I’m still really in two minds about what to do going forward, I am just trying to get on with day to day life and hopefully make a decision either way and be happy with it. I wish you all the luck too as you go through this difficult time xx

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I completely understand about those older mum feelings. I really worry about being the oldest mum at the school gates. My 4 year old starts school September and I will be 40 whereas my mum would have been 28 when I went to school. I always wanted to be a young mum but it just didn’t happen that way, I didn’t meet my hubby til I was 28 and actually I’m so pleased it’s him that I had my baby with. We are still trying for baby number 2…2 years ago I gave myself til 40 for it to happen then call it quits however strange thing happened now I am 7 weeks away from that birthday and still not having a second child by 40, I suddenly don’t give a shit anymore I really want Zach to have a brother or sister desperately that we are going to do anything we can to try and make this happen. My bigger concern now is the age gap between them and whether they will be close. Good luck to everyone and I’ve decided 40 is the new 30 and hasn’t Eva Longoria just announced at the grand old age of 43 she’ll be having her first child (and Hollywood actresses knock at least 3 years off their real age making her more like 46) I’m rambling sorry but I’m just saying go for it and make those younger mums worry that they are the youngest at the gate with all us 40 something’s taking over

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I had a miscarriage at age 38 (I’m 39 now) after trying to conceive our 2nd for 18 months. We decided that was the end for us and I did feel time was against us which just added to the pressure of trying to conceive. I couldn’t face anymore monthly disappointments and wanted to take back control and choose to be happy with it being just the 3 of us rather than spending endless time feeling as though something had been taken away from me. Not sure if that makes sense? It took a long while for me to get over that loss and to adjust to not having another baby as the need/want in me was so strong. I totally understand the feelings of selfishness, I felt so ungrateful for the son I had and was overcome with jealously of others in my baby group friendship circle who are on their second babies. These feelings are normal and they will pass. I am honestly at peace now and life is good. Please believe that you will be ok too, whatever happens for you in the future. Be kind to yourself, I do Reiki and that really helped. Know it sounds a bit cheesy but it taught me to “trust the path unseen” and to let go of trying to control what is essentially a very difficult thing to have control over. I’ve also had counselling in the past, for a different issue but I found it really helpful. I wish you lots of strength and love

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Late replying but just wanted to say I wish you all the very best wherever the path takes you. You’ve been through a lot and there is a lot to process! It doesn’t sound selfish at all to wish for a third.
Wishing you all the very best x

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Hi Helen, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your best wishes 🙂 xx

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Firstly, my heartfelt condolences – we lost a baby at 13 weeks ( I was 38) and it broke my heart. I had my daughter at 36 and our son is now 5 months old, I had turned 40 when he was born. My midwife said that the majority of her cases were women over 38 nowadays, it is very much the norm. You are not selfish to wish for a third baby, you are obviously a loving, caring mother – why shouldn’t you want to have another little one to love? I wish you all the luck in the world, I really hope it all works out for you, whatever you chose. xx

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Having a miscarriage can be very difficult. The emotional impact of miscarriage takes longer to heal. Even if pregnancy ended very early, the bonding between mother and baby can be very strong. But miscarriage is not the end. Go for counseling to help out yourself and your partner. Surround yourself with your family and friends. Be positive.

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Sorry for your loss. It is devastating and difficult to express. Women may experience a roller coaster of emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, etc. But you need to keep hope and faith. Seek a support circle.

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