The questions have started. It really didn’t take long. Mostly I just shrug them off with a blithe “We’ll see!” But in the past few weeks I’ve had lunch with a couple of friends who really helped me through the dark time between our daughter’s death and our son’s birth, and both times it’s come up. With them, it was harder to shrug it off.
The honest answer is “We want more kids, and I’m terrified.”
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that giving birth to a dead baby scars you for life in the baby department (literally as well as figuratively, in my case, alas). But I still found myself tearing up as I talked with my friends and admitted that we absolutely want another baby, but that the thought of going through all of this again is terrifying.
I do think it’ll be easier to handle the uncertainty this time around, because I have a beautiful baby boy to distract me and I won’t have to deal with those awful feelings that I might never be a parent at all. This time, I’ve got my son, and he’s a precious and amazing gift that I will never take for granted. He also makes the time speed by — without him, as we waited for him, it was so easy for time to crawl. So, there are a lot of things that will hopefully make this time around less daunting.
But it’s still daunting. When my period does come back, I may still have to deal with irregular cycles. The scarring of my uterus and fallopian tubes won’t have gotten any better, and might have gotten worse. IVF might well turn out to be our best/only option. If I manage to get pregnant, I’ll go back on daily injections of Lovenox. I have to face the possibility that I might lose another baby, miscarriage statistics and my history being what they are.
It’s not something I’ll have to face immediately (for one thing, my period still hasn’t returned, hallelujah!). But we also don’t want to wait too long. It took us 2.5 years to have a living baby the first time around, and I’ll be 34 by the time we can start trying again. Biology is ticking along: Advanced Maternal Age, here I come.
For now, I’m content to hang with my amazing son who is getting more amazing by the day (he just started pulling himself up to a standing position this week!). His presence in our lives is so incredible that it feels extremely greedy to hope for more, and difficult to imagine that another baby could be as wonderful. And I won’t lie — as things finally get easier, it’s also daunting to think about starting all over again with a newborn. But my husband and I both want him to grow up with a sibling. It still feels like there’s someone missing from our family. There is no doubt in our minds that we’ll try again, however scary it feels to take that leap.
And as I snuggle my baby boy, and watch him grow bigger and stronger and start to become he independent person he’s supposed to be, one of the things that consoles me about the loss of his babyhood is that there might be another babyhood on the horizon. As excited as I am to see him grow, I’m also not ready to give up being mom to an infant forever. It’s such a special time. I’m sure all ages are special in their own way, but as my baby stretches taller and moves faster and transforms into a toddler before my eyes, I can’t help but yearn to someday have another infant strapped into the carrier on my chest, snuggled into my lap, sleeping sweetly (if only occasionally). What a beautiful time of life this is. How tantalizing to begin to hope that I might get to experience it again.