Friday, December 12, 2008

Unable To Hold Or Pick Up An Infant

Since my baby died I have been unable to pick up or hold an infant. Now that I'm due with another baby, I'm afraid I won't be able to hold my own baby after he/she is born. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to help me. Did anyone have a similar problem?


  1. Well, I wouldn't necessarily say that I couldn't hold another baby after my baby died - but I didn't because I didn't want to. It probably sounds a little silly, but I kind of made a pact with myself that the last baby I had held was mine, and I wasn't going to hold another baby until it was his brother or sister. Besides, I think I would have cried so hard trying to hold anyone else's baby that it wouldn't have been safe ;)

    So I don't know if this is any help, but it's not all that unusual to not want to hold another baby after losing one - and that holding the sibling is such a wonderful joy that you'll probably want to scoop him/her up in her arms as soon as he is born, even if you don't think so now. (7/30/98)

  2. My two cents is to go find a baby and hold it. Someone wrote a phrase on here "power through" that is what I did, my favorite thing in the whole world is babies, so I made myself hold them-a week, a month, after my baby died. Now I am back to babysitting for my friends, no it isn't easy, but what ever will be again? For me it gets easier, most days.

    I ask myself, what will be more painful, ignoring all my very best friends with little babies, and shutting off another source of support and joy, or facing the anguish of holding a baby for a few seconds. I picked the latter. So far this approach has worked for me. (7/30/98)

  3. I wasn't able to hold another baby until we had our subsequent baby (which was born 2 years and 10 days after our baby's birthday) and for some strange reason after she was born, I wasn't able to let go of her. I begged to have her with me the first night in the hospital and the nurses wouldn't let me. When we got home she was in my arms or my husband's arms almost 24 hours a day for the first few days. (7/30/98)

  4. I don't think that it is all that unusual to feel like you cannot hold another child after [within the same year or so] another child dies of SIDS.

    I'm not trying to offend anyone, but I found it hard to engage in the process that would create one. I was THAAT afraid of having a baby!

    After my baby girl died, a good friend had _her_ baby six days later. A LITTLE GIRL! I didn't hold thaaaaat baby! I had the thought at the time that __I__ killed little girls, so kept away from them as much as possible.

    In February 1987, another good friend had a little girl. I struggled with going to the shower, made it--barely. I tried keeping my distance to protect myself. On Sunday, at church, both the husband and wife were busy doing stuff and they just HANDED her to me.

    I thought, "Oh my GOD!!! I will end up KILLING _THIS_ one. I just know it!!!" I panicked! But I held her. [Musta been a masochistic moment] I 'pushed through' the moment. I sat very, VERY still and watched EVERY BREATH that this child took in and released. Relieved at each one I noticed.

    As I held Johanna, I prayed for her to live a really looong life and that her parents never knew this hell that I was living in, one day at a time.

    Another good friend had a little _girl_ just _two days_ after what would/should have been my baby's first birthday. That one was hard for me.

    [There was a real baby girl born that year in my circle of friends. Lots of crappy baby showers to go to. Sorry. I just don't "do" baby showers. I send gifts. It has got to be someone pretty special for me to go.]

    My friend was really going to have her baby girl on 4/6/87--SHE told her OB that he could schedule the C-section for the 8th. "Why?" he asked her. "Because that's the day that should have been my best friend's daughter's first birthday. Her daughter died because of SIDS in September, and I think that having to annually 'celebrate' my daughter's birthday on that day instead of her daughter's birthday on that day is too much!! If you've got a problem with that, get me another OB."

    That's just the way that she is. She is a true gem in my life!! BTW, she feels the very way that I do about showers. At her daughter's shower, I didn't want to go, but ummm, sorta HAD to go, since it was a shower for her daughter. I kept looking over at her and we both were thinking, "When's it all going to end?"

    It's not that I'm a totally ungrateful slob, I just don't really like the whole "HaPpY!" experience of birth protocol. It drives me crazy.

    When my other children were all born, I was apprehensive about holding them. I was apprehensive letting them sleep. I was apprehensive about going in while they slept and "finding" them.

    I just caught myself, two days ago, bounding into the room that my baby's cradle was in, ANGRY as hell [for no apparent reason], and I went over where she was. She was sleeping like a perfect little angel! Here I was. Angry. Why? I had to do a lot of soul searching.

    I knew I was not angry at or with her. NEVER!! She's just precious!! That's what she is. Just precious. Why was I soo bloody angry for?

    THEN! Dawn breaks through the cloudy recesses of my mind, I was angry because, if she was dead, there'd be hell to pay!!

    It's bad enough for me that, out of all my baby's after my baby, SHE is an exact replica of how my baby looked. Her personality is exactly like my baby's. Her _sleep_ pattern is exactly like my baby's. She even sucks her thumb the exact way that MY BABY did it!!

    For crying out loud!!!! NOW, [duhhh!] I finally understand why I was/am angry when I go in to get her. Why I'm angry when 10am rolls around and my heart panics for a moment. Memories of finding another little, wonderful, precious ray of delightful sunshine dead in her crib. Too much. . . . . .

    Gotta go. Am crying at the thought! Gotta go an 'hold' my little 'sack o' tatties'. Didn't realize that I'd come here, do this.

    My thoughts are with those of us that absolutely HATE baby showers, baby stores and isles in them. Those of us that aren't all that giddy to rush right in and hold the first baby we see. I wish I could meet all of my 'family' here. I wish we could just hug each other for a reeeaalll long time, just 'til the pain subsides.

    Thinking of you! (7/31/98)

  5. When my subsequent baby was born four years after my baby died I just wanted anyone to take him away so that if he was to die it wouldn't be in my house with me being responsible (??), I can remember passing his pram when he was asleep and thinking Not "is he still asleep" BUT .."is he dead yet" I think I just wanted him to go live with other people and come back at a "safe" age.

    Now I just think "It's a wonder he isn't dead yet!!" because at the terrible twos he is a perfectionist....including flushing half of my baby's memory box down the toilet. - I love him really. (7/31/98)

  6. I can relate to how she feels. I can hold my one girlfriend's baby, but he is about 8 months older than my baby was. I will not go near a new baby. I cannot handle it. I have a cousin whose son is about 2 months older than my baby. I remember when he would be by me, and look up at me and want me to hold him. I can honestly say I was disgusted that he thought I could hold him. And he has no idea what is going on.

    I get jealous if I see my grandma holding this baby- I think everyone is different. I think the only thing to do is wait for her baby to be born and do what is right for her. I know I do not intend to hold another baby until it is my baby. That is just how I am. Everyone is different in how they react to things- but I have a strong feeling that since it is her own baby she will be ok with it. I have not had another baby yet, so I can only tell you what I think. Maybe she could practice with a life like doll, sounds sort of silly, but maybe it would ease the transition. (7/31/98)

  7. I didn't want to hold another baby, or be anywhere around another baby. When I was pregnant, I was thrown a surprise shower and couldn't stop crying during the entire thing.

    During my labor, the birthing staff called in the hospital counselor to come talk to me. That was wonderful. We talked for several hours while I labored with my subsequent. Getting those fears out in the open did wonders. I was terrified to hold my baby but I couldn't NOT hold her. I didn't want her out of my sight. I also didn't want to be left alone. We did monitor our subsequent and it gave me great piece of mind despite the false alarms. (10/11/98)

  8. When my baby died, my sister in law had a baby 28 days younger than my baby. I didn't want to NOT hold him, but I didn't really want to hold him either. But, because he was my nephew, I MADE myself hold him, at first, when the Mom was there to take him back if I needed it. I thought I would "work" myself into it, but one night, her daughter became very ill, and she could find no one else to care for her baby while she went to the hospital. So about a month after my baby died, I cared for her baby, who was now the exact age my baby was when he died. I stayed up most of the night holding and rocking that baby, and crying, and singing lullabies with a cracked voice. It hurt SOOO much. But you know, the next morning, I didn't have a problem picking him up, and I didn't have a problem often after that. And even when I did, I KNEW the feeling would pass, and I would make it through it. After all, I had survived the loss of my own child, what could be worse??? (7/31/98)

  9. I found out I was pregnant about 3 months after our 7 wk old daughter died from SIDS. I too had an awful time seeing other babies or holding them. I was also scared I would be unable to handle holding my new baby when she was born. I was so scared that I would lose her too and was scared of getting "too" close. A friend of mine had a baby two months before I was due and I forced myself to go see her and hold her. It was very hard but also so very nice to have a baby in my arms again. After that started looking forward to holding my baby but of course I was still scared. Our new daughter was born May 23, 1998. She was born 5 days before Alauna's (the daughter we lost to SIDS) first birthday would have been. Our new daughter will be 7 months old the 23rd of December and has been such a joy. Yes there have been many fears and still are but the joy of having her far outweighs the fears. I just keep having faith that she will be safe and we also have her on an apnea monitor, which has been great for us. These are not for everyone but for us it has allowed me to sleep because I was afraid I would be unable to due to my fears of finding her not breathing. (12/22/98)

  10. I moved within 2 weeks, my pictures will always be on my walls, on planning the services people are will and will help where ever necessary, I picked up every baby I could the first time was the day of my son funeral, my best friends' son is 10 days older than my son, it helped me more than I really knew. (5/3/00)

  11. At first, I avoided babies like a plague!! I avoided EVERYTHING that went along with babies, including baby showers that I was 'required' to attend. [In my circle of friends, there were a few of us and if I didn't show up for the shower, it wasn't understood, just looked down on. Since that time, the circle has become bigger and I feel like I have the freedom to not show up now if it is pain city for me to go.] When I did go to the baby showers, I took my camera and 'hid' behind it. That make sense? It was my 'shield' against pain.

    The women that would ask me to hold their babies-I tried excuses or the being busy--or looking like I was awfully busy. I acted like I didn't see them coming or hear them when they spoke to me. I was, for the moment, selectively hearing impaired.

    I shocked myself a few times and asked to hold a baby, then, turned around and held my breath while I held them--I still thought that I killed baby girls at that time. There were a lot of little girls born after my baby's death. It was freaky!! (7/23/99)

  12. I had the same problem. Only I couldn't even be around babies. My son died September 1996 & the first time I was around a baby & actually held her was September 1998. I went about it by volunteering to work in the church nursery & the woman in there w/ me was informed of my circumstances in case I had to leave. It wasn't so bad...a little teary eyed, but wasn't too bad. (5/21/00)

  13. I lost my baby girl on June 1, 1996, and found out I was pregnant again in March 1997. I was extremely upset and angry. I wasn't sure I was ready to let go of my baby girl who had passed away so suddenly. I also felt that God gave me a second gift to be loved, held, and nurtured. I knew that once my baby was born that the maternal instincts and God's grace would guide me through my nervousness, and in fact did. The first time she cried after delivery, my heart was lifted, and I think yours will be too. (6/8/00)

  14. My baby girl would have been 32 years old On Sept 1st. I somehow managed to raise 2 children after but I was detached, not letting myself truly love them until they were of what I considered a safe age. How sad is this? I sort of held back, and I missed the best part of their lives just "babysitting" them until it was safe, marking the days off in my head. Now I have 2 grandchildren and 1 on the way and I am here seeing if there are any new ways to prevent SIDS as I am feeling scared all over again! (Happens with every baby) I can’t share my fears with them as I don’t want to scare them so they can’t enjoy their baby. And guess who cares for the grandchildren when they are working...yes it’s me. Loosing my baby scarred me for life. Time has healed the pain but didn’t take away the fear, even after 32 years.

    1. Paying attention to the smaller things will help like making sure the child does not suffocate from anything that is too soft, and by making sure that they are not layed on there stomach but back.
      Pierson Camps