As I am currently on my second period since delivering Avalon, I have of course been thinking a lot about the next pregnancy. Fertility was never my issue, so for some of you I know that’s hard to hear. I got pregnant on my second really good try, pretty amazing actually, so I’m not anticipating a long struggle with conception (although you never know). It’s carrying a pregnancy to term that worries me more than anything, and having a live birth. Basically, bringing home an alive baby is something I find incredibly daunting.
At first I thought that I would experience a second pregnancy as purely a terrifying experience. And for the most part, it will be. Lately, however, I’ve been having a change of heart. I’m remembering the time I was pregnant with Avalon as the only time I spent with my daughter. I’m remembering that as her life, rather than her “pre-life”. Putting aside for the moment the politically charged “when does life begin” question, for me, and I’m sure most baby loss moms, life for my daughter began at conception. (And I am pro-choice, so there ya go.) I had a relationship with my baby, I saw her as my child, my daughter, and a member of my family. I loved her with a mother’s pure love. She existed. I spent time with her, listening to her on the home doppler, feeling her kick, resting my hand on my belly planning things for her future and enjoying knowing she was there. I spent time with her watching her on ultrasounds (luckily I got more time watching her because of my hospital connections), I saw her little personality, her movements. I reveled in her every milestone, every development, every new organ or sensory ability. I took pics holding the fruits or vegetables that represented her size that week. I carefully recorded each week of my pregnancy in a book so she could read it with me someday.
What if I lose the next baby? Won’t I regret never having spent time with him or her? Yes, I’ll be 100 times more afraid than the average pregnant woman. But shouldn’t that just be more of a reason to spend as much time with my son or daughter as I can? Not take each day for granted? I may be less vocal about being pregnant, more reserved (much more) about planning a future. I may not want a baby shower (until after the baby is born alive) and I may not gush plans or accept gifts before the baby comes… but Avalon’s sister or brother will be my baby, and I suddenly WANT to enjoy my time with him or her. With the doppler, taking fruit/vegetable pics, looking on ultrasounds. I will send any baby I carry all the love I have, so that I know for sure he/she spends his or her entire existence surrounded by love.
These thoughts give me the strength to go on, and try again. Although I sometimes see images of a graveyard full of my babies… and this thought haunts me to no end.
3 thoughts on “thinking about next time”
When I was about 8 weeks pregnant, I made a conscious decision to stop restraining my joy. It felt scary alright. Infertility makes a person cautious, so I didn’t share the news widely or buy anything. But I took to heart this quote that a friend sent: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength.” And despite the eventual loss, I don’t regret a moment of the joy and sense of connection with the baby. Those memories are exactly what keep me moving forward now. I hope they bring you strength, too.
You are amazing.
I’m trying to learn this too. Dreading the worst won’t make the worst feel better if it does happen. I need to take it one day at a time. One foot in front of another. It’s terrifying but whatever happens I’ll be okay. You will be too.