Dragging My Feet on Trying Again

I’m curious whether any of you have ever felt this way.  Before we were pregnant with our daughter, and then again after her death, I was laser-focused on getting pregnant as quickly as possible.  I was temping, I was charting, I was using OPKs, I was doing everything I could to time things properly and maximize chances of conception.  This time around feels… different.

I want another living baby, very much.  Therefore, I want to be pregnant again.  And rationally, I realize it makes sense to start trying now.  It has never been easy for us to get pregnant, and it probably won’t be this time either.  I’m 34, so Advanced Maternal Age is staring me in the face.  If we want another kid, there’s no time like the present, clearly.

But… our son is still so little.  Our breastfeeding relationship is still going strong.  He’s only just started reliably sleeping through the night.  I’m enjoying the mommy-daddy-baby triad and am not eager to upset it with another little one, even though it’s absolutely what we want for all three of us in the longer run.  Starting over with a newborn sounds exhausting.  Being pregnant again sounds exhausting.  Heck, even getting pregnant again sounds exhausting — getting pregnant with my son was an exhausting and heartbreaking almost-2-year-long haul, counting everything we went through with my daughter.   That’s part of what makes me eager to get started sooner rather than later, but it’s also a big part of what’s making me reluctant.  I just can’t imagine going through it all again.

So, I’ve been dragging my feet a bit.  Just last night my husband asked… isn’t this the week?  And I was surprised to realize that it was, and I just hadn’t really been on top of keeping track.  But he’s keeping track, apparently!

Are we really ready to get back on this roller coaster?  I know that another living baby in our family will be more than worth it in the long run.  But it’s been a LONG run to get to where we are now with our son, and it’s daunting to think about going through it all again.  There’s also my tenure clock lurking in the back of my mind.  If all goes as planned, I’ll submit my materials about a year and a half from now.  Another baby between now and then would practically require me to push back that clock.  But since it’s probably going to take us a while, it still makes sense to start now so that ideally our pregnancy will be timed (ha!) so that my due date would be shortly after I submit my materials.  So there’s the gamble about trying to time it so that it’s soon… but not too soon.  But I also fully subscribe to the mantra that there is no good time for a baby, and that the potential pitfalls of waiting too long are far more dire than the pitfalls of moving back my tenure clock a bit… or even than not getting tenure at all.

Maybe it’ll be easier this time.  Maybe we’ll surprise ourselves and get pregnant quickly without intervention (unlikely, but possible).  Maybe I won’t lose another pregnancy.  Maybe the Lovenox will just inject itself every day.  Maybe we’ll get a magical easy newborn (ha).  Right now, it just looks like a lot to handle, and I’m tired (but not newborn tired, thankfully!), and I want to enjoy my son, whom I love to the very depths of my soul and with whom I never feel like I get to spend enough time.  I’m sure this ambivalence is normal.  But I’d love to hear any thoughts about how to get past it.

In other news, S continues to delight.  He’s walking and climbing all over the place these days, and starting to communicate.  No clear words yet, but definitely several expressive gestures that he uses in different contexts (I won’t call them “signs” because they’re not the official ones that I’ve been using with him, but he has clearly developed his own signs — instead of “all done,” for example, he’ll grab the front of his high chair tray with two hands, and just this morning he also did it when he wanted to get out of his jumparoo.  It was very clearly the same communicative gesture in a different context, and it was so cool to see that he is actually putting together the pieces for communicating with other humans!).  He’s big into blocks and wheels and gets delighted whenever he manages to balance a thing on top of another thing.  He’s very snuggly and pretty social and loves to hang out with our friends and family members, or walk outside and just look at the world and touch the bushes and trees.  I simply can’t get enough of him these days!  Having another little one to watch grow up has to be just as great… right?

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18 thoughts on “Dragging My Feet on Trying Again

  1. jwhitworth7

    I can definitely understand your fears and I think these are common fears of all moms who want to add another family member but that fear is probably amplified for loss moms. I think I almost had the opposite reaction. I remember talking to my OB about when it would be safe to start trying again at my 6 week PP appt. And it’s funny because when that time came my husband was eager too. I laughed when you said yours was keeping track because mine was too! I think for us we were kinda like “what are we waiting for” since we knew we wanted to attempt to have at least one more successful pregnancy. We were concerned with how long it might take and what if another early loss occurred. I was shocked how quickly it happened and perhaps even more shocked that everything has been fine from the beginning. I wish you the best of luck in deciding when it’s time and I do hope the entire process is an easy one. I’m so happy to hear that your little man is flourishing!

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      It’s so interesting to hear that you were eager to get started on Luke’s sibling! I totally recognize that feeling — it’s how I’ve felt both times that we were trying to get pregnant before… but this time, I’m just not feeling it. It does help to keep in mind that it went so quickly and easily for you this time around — I mean, you totally deserved an easy experience after everything you’ve been through, and I’m glad you have gotten one. I think part of it is that the “most likely” scenario of how things will play out that’s running through my head (try for six months, go back to RE, more testing, possibly tube removal surgery, then IVF) just sounds so daunting that I don’t want to deal with it. But maybe we’ll get lucky like you guys have been! If I could just get pregnant quickly and have an uneventful pregnancy, that doesn’t sound so bad. I wish I could believe that that’s going to happen.

      Reply
      1. jwhitworth7

        Ugh. Yes that does seem very daunting and I can totally see where that would be a process that you wouldn’t be eager to start especially with a toddler and a career. You also totally deserve an easy journey and I do hope that’s exactly what you get!

  2. RJ

    I get it. We totally want another but the idea of trying again seems so daunting. It gives me anxiety to think about it. I don’t know what the answer is and I hope to also see what others have to say on the topic. Good luck with whatever yo decide and I hope it happens quickly and everything goes smoothly.

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thanks, RJ. I hope the same for you! I hear you on the anxiety… it feels like a bit of PTSD… after all we’ve been through, it’s just so hard to imagine going through it all again! But I guess it’s like the mantra from my pregnancy with my son: new pregnancy, new baby… it’s all new, and there’s not much reason to believe that history will repeat itself, at least not exactly.

      Reply
  3. Dani

    Awww great update!!

    As for getting on that TTC train…I feel similar to you – I would love to wait a few years, but like you I’m 34, and what if it takes more than another 2.5 years? I want to enjoy Aviana but what if TTC-Ing consumes me like it did without her? I don’t want that at all!

    I wish it was all simple and obvious! I hope your decision becomes clearer soon ☺️

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thanks, Dani! It’s nice to hear that there are others in the same boat with the same conflicting feelings. I’m so glad that things with Aviana seem to be going so well for you — at least it’s easy to enjoy these little ones now that they’re finally here, and it gives a chance to imagine what we might be able to enjoy with another little one in our lives! Good luck to you as well.

      Reply
  4. agnes

    This is me too. I want another one, but I really don’t want another pregnancy loss. And there is no guarantee that won’t come. I finally feel like I am getting my life back, and my body back and the thought of dealing with a loss as well as a baby, and the rest of my life, is terrifying. I honestly don’t feel that it’s fear driving my decision, but more so the knowledge that things don’t always work out, and the need to be okay with that before we try again. I am 36, and we are considering just doing an egg collection round, even though we have gotten pregnant naturally the previous times, just to have something in the bank and take off the pressure of time.

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Oh, yes — you’ve put it so well: it’s not fear, but rather first-hand knowledge of the many ways that things can go wrong that makes it so hard to be ready to try again. And yes, we have to be OK with those possibilities before moving forward. That’s an interesting idea, to do egg collection to take the time pressure off. Good luck figuring out what’s going to work for your family — it’s so very hard!

      Reply
  5. margen

    Hello! Even though I’m a longtime reader of your blog, I’ve never really commented before. As you can probably guess, I’ve had a bumpier road to motherhood than most: it took three years until we had our daughter in February 2016. We had two early miscarriages. First conception was easy, but after each miscarriage it took approximately a year to fall pregnant again. Anyway, like you, I very much wanted another child but was dreading pregnancy and the newborn period, which I found to be emotionally and physically draining. What helped me warm up to the idea and start getting excited about it all was an attitude of “Let’s get this done”; since another child was something that we both wanted so much perhaps it would be better if we focused on it, rather than leaving it lingering, with so many “ifs” influencing our life decisions. That was probably a good thing, since I surprisingly got pregnant right away. Of course I can’t be sure how I’d felt if it took longer to conceive and I understand that the prospect of IVF does not make things easier, but maybe you could leave that on hold until the desire really kicks in? My doctor seems to think that after a successful pregnancy the body becomes more fertile since it now knows what to do. I’m not sure if his claims were just words of encouragement or there is research backing them up, but they prove true for me and I sure hope they prove true for you too!

    PS. I hope I was clear, English is not my first language.

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      It’s lovely to hear from you, and I’m so happy for you that it sounds like you’ve had an easier path with your second living child! And what a long road the first time around — it seems so cruel that it can both take a long time to get pregnant, and then after a miscarriage you have to start all over again… multiple times! I’m so glad that your daughter is now with you and that you have another little one on the way — it makes me happy to hear these sorts of success stories. How far along are you now, and how are you feeling about this pregnancies after both your losses and your healthy pregnancy?

      I’m working on the “let’s get this done” attitude — I’m basically there. I think part of it is that trying on our own feels like wasting time (since I doubt it’s going to work), but it also feels necessary to do it so that we’ll be ready to escalate with the RE on a timescale that isn’t too long from now. I’m getting there, slowly. I do think it’ll be fun to “try” on our own with no expectation of success… will be a good chance for my husband and me to reconnect, without a lot of pressure (since I don’t actually think it’s going to work, I can relax a little rather than being all uptight about timing things perfectly).

      Best of luck to you with this pregnancy, and it’s very nice to hear from you!

      Reply
      1. margen

        I am ten weeks now, still a long way to go. I’ve had terrible anxiety throughout my pregnancy and for several months postpartum, fretting over pretty much everything, so I expected a similar experience when I fell pregnant again. Yet, for the time being, I feel calm and even positive. My healthy, happy, boisterous toddler does not leave me much time to spend ruminating on worst-case scenarios, and I also cannot tolerate the thought of going back to the dark hole I spent so much time in. I’m not even sure that this is due to a more positive, healthy attitude or it’s just another way of handling fear through avoidance, but I sure hope it lasts!

        I can totally understand what you’re saying about how it will be fun to try with no expectation. After spending so much time trying to have a living child, then being pregnant and then recovering from labor, no stress and no expectations sound just about right!

        Thank you so much for your kind wishes. I wish you all the luck in the world, you deserve it!

  6. hopingforatakehome

    Being 39, turning 40 this year I definitely don’t have the luxury of taking my time to decide. As much as I would love a younger sibling for Baby O, I think I’m a bit more on the “no” side right now. My husband is currently a bit more on the “yes” side. I find it so hard to wrap my head around the idea of more losses and potentially another difficult pregnancy, while trying to take care of a (okay I will say it) toddler and be there for her. But I think how sweet she would be as an older sister, how much she adores babies and kids, and I get teary putting away the clothing she outgrows, thinking this might be our last. So I don’t know. I hope you get some clarity soon. xo

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Oh, that is rough. It must be so hard to feel close to the fence but leaning towards different sides of the fence for you and your husband. Having another child is such a momentous decision — and it’s ultimately one that may or may not be within your power to decide. You really don’t want to rush into it, but you also can’t wait. Oy. I hope you get some clarity soon too!

      Reply
  7. Erin

    It took me 3 years, and three early MC’s to get pregnant successfully with my daughter. After she was born, we didn’t waste any time and stopped using protection when she was 6 months. I got pregnant that month (fertility does seem to be increased soon after a successful pregnancy) and had my son when my daughter was 15 months old. It was madness and chaos for the first 9-10 months, then a drop easier everyday. Now they’re 2.75 and 1.5 and I wouldn’t want it to be different. They play together and laugh at each other and look out for each other. But that first year was HARd, in every way. Good luck deciding! I hope you get pregnant unaided, have a healthy pregnancy and baby, and the decision is made for you (wouldn’t that be the best)!

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Wow — that must have been wonderful and a little bit terrifying all at once! I’m so glad things have gotten easier for you — I can’t imagine having another baby… next month. Oy! It’s great that they play so well together! And thanks for the good wishes — I can only hope I’ll be lucky like you. 🙂

      Reply
  8. andthewindscreamsmary

    I always imagined myself with two, but it is tricky thinking about it realistically. McLovin is still so young right now so it still seems faraway, but once he hits 1 year I think I will feel more pressure. I too am 34 and given it took us almost three years after our first loss to have a hapealthy living child, I would be 37 if we had to relive those experiences. My husband would be 41. It’s just hard to picture living through all that again. Would it be easier because I have McLovin now to love on? Would it be harder because I’d have to care from him and possibly be emotionally fragile? I don’t know which way it would go. I guess nobody ever knows. But I do think about it and the thought of trying again brings many mixed emotions.

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Gosh, yes. And as glad as I am to hear the stories of people who experienced infertility and loss and then went on to have quick and uneventful subsequent pregnancies… it’s hard to believe that that’s the norm. I love that it happens, but I can’t count on it happening to us, you know? I imagine that if you guys got some closure on the reason for your previous NT abnormalities, it might make it easier to decide — that way you’d know how likely it was to repeat. I think you’re right that nobody ever knows how they’ll feel in advance. You’ve got at least a little bit of time to think about it, though. McLovin is still a pretty little guy.

      Reply

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