The dreaded question for all of us moms who have lost. It's not that we don't want to have a healthy baby in our arms, it's just we want THE baby in our arms. That baby was loved, wanted, needed and we TRIED hard to keep him here. So at every stage of grieving and healing, we receive this question differently...
My (true) answers to the question at various points...but I never had the courage to say:
First few months after loss... "No, I am not trying again, I have TRIED and succeeded, but my body failed me in protecting him. I am not replacing him with another child! He is the only one I want right now and besides, I almost died...hello? are you serious??? Do you see the other babies and pregnant women? I do. Every single one of them and it pains me to see them. I wish I were still pregnant, and then I would have my baby boy still. I don't want another one. I want my Ethan."
6 months after loss... "Sure, I would like to try again, but this void I am feeling is so tremendous, and just when you think I should have moved on, I feel like the pain has just begun. No, I am not trying again, because I just cannot bear the thought of my possibly dying and the thought of going through that again. Would you seriously want me to be like this again in another year? No thank you. I would love to have kids, but I can't even imagine caring for one in this deep black hole of darkness I live in. Besides, the babies I see are so full of life and I cringe to hear them. It HURTS so bad!"
one year post loss... "They say the first year is the hardest. I tend to agree, but the longer it passes, the most disconnected I become. I feel numb and by the way, my doctor told me to wait two years before trying again. I'm just not going to think about it for a while. Right now, I will just look at my nephews and pretend they are like my own. Sometimes it really hurts me to see them because someone else is able to achieve pregnancy and healthy children without trying. I may never try again. I know that is not what you want to hear, but the fact is that was one LONG year. Imagine being without your child for one year and see if you want to try again. Not so easy is it?"
one and one half years post loss... "Oh MY...this second year is taking forever, I am so ready to move on and get going on having another child, but the doctors orders says to wait. I am not willing to go against anything my doctor tells me because I am so fearful that the same thing will happen again to another child. I miss him terribly, but the pain is starting to diminish. I realize he will not return to me and another child will not replace him, but no, I guess I am not yet ready anyway. But, waiting sucks!"
two years post loss... "yes, we want to try again, but we have to make sure all our ducks are in a row. I will check out several doctors and ask their opinions and research hospital policies and let's try to give it a go. I desperately want to be a mom of an earthy child, I am still so very scared. Not ready to die at 28 years old. Ummm....maybe not yet. I guess we will just check in with each other each month and see when it is time. Not yet. Too scary. BTW, do you remember my son's name, the one who died? You haven't mentioned him in a LONG time...His name is Ethan and yes, I love to talk about him! It doesn't hurt as much except when he is forgotten."
two and one half years post loss... "I am ready but hubby is not. It's scary you know, for him to lose both his son and then to think it is possible to lose another baby plus his wife. I have dealt with the grief up front and personal and though I know I cannot grieve certain aspects until I face the time frame, I feel like I am healing finally. Hubby however is unable to grieve the loss of his wife. I am different. I am forever changed by the scars. I cannot be carefree anymore. That's ok with me but he is struggling. I understand, but just wish he were on the same page as me. I will wait for him because this journey to parenthood is a joint venture and I want what is best for my children. We will wait. I will reluctantly."
three years post loss... "OMG, my baby boy is three! This is my most favorite age. Oh, he would be talking and getting into everything and asking why? all the time. I grieve that. I would have been talking to my hubby about trying again for another child even if Ethan were alive today. Children are such a blessing from God and I can't wait to raise my own. Why is my hubby not ready even yet? He is not, and to tell you the truth, I am getting real angry that I have to wait for him to plan my future with my family. Hubby just lost his job and that is now his new excuse for not wanting to try again. You see, this question is so loaded. No, we are not gonna try again and I don't know if we ever will. Let's see if this marriage lasts anyway."
Three and one half years post loss... "Hubby is coming around. Wise counsel suggests that we are hypercritical of the timing and perhaps letting go and letting God is the best decision. I agree and finally the hubby agrees at the same time! Though, collateral damage has occured in our marriage and we will have to work hard to get things together. The excitement outweighs the fear and that is usually the recipe for trying again."
Three and one half years plus two months post loss... "Yes, we are trying again. Have been off birth control for two months, but a new adventure awaits us. I am not yet ovulating. Can't get pregnant without those eggs. I didn't anticipate at any time that I would face infertility. Boy, do I miss my son, Ethan. Perhaps he wants to be an only child? IDK, but we are ready together to do this and yet again my body is failing me. I am trying to stay positive and not jump to conclusions, but here we are again Lord. Yes, we are gonna keep trying, but it may take several different types of trying to get a healthy baby to us, but please don't judge us in the process. No longer fearful of another pregnancy. I never thought that would EVER happen -- that I wouldn't be scared. Must mean we are healed...or at least forgetting how awful it once was. Regardless the excitement has driven out the fear = time to continue trying! Say a prayer for us and thank you for all your previous prayers."
Anyone else out there who have been here and have their (true) responses to this dreaded question? Please comment and share and become a follower of this blog.
BTW...still no period since getting off birth control, but tests continue to be negative for pregnancy.
Lord, thank you for this opportunity and bless those well meaning friends and family who ask us hurting moms when we are gonna try again. In Jesus' name, Amen