Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Russian Roulette

It's getting to be about that time when people start asking THE question. You know the "When are you going to have another?" question. Linus is now over 1 year old and honestly, I'm not getting younger. So, when?

The thing is, it's not a question I have an answer to. Instead my response usually involves two great big letters: I-F. As in, IF we have another.

My initial hesitations towards having another baby involve some of the usual- Would I love another quite as much as I love Linus? Of course, I know I would. I'm a second child and I know I was loved as much if differently than my older and even younger brother, so that's not really it.

Another hesitation involves my being able to handle it. I will be the first to admit that Linus rocked my world. I am a person who likes to have control of most everything and Linus completely changed that from the very early days where his colic and hatred of the car had me in tears. Now, there are days that I'm lucky if we have clean clothes to wear. (OK, that's an exaggeration but I have been known to return from the grocery without the main ingredient for more than 2 of my planned meals.)

However when it all comes down to it, my biggest hesitation is one many people do not share. My biggest hesitation in having another baby is fear. I am terrified. The 9 months of pregnancy with Linus were the most terrifying of my life. Yes, I know, every mother worries but not every mother worries like I worried. Not every mother has my history. My history filled with so much joy followed only a few weeks later by such devastation.

Before becoming pregnant with Linus, I suffered not one, not two, but three miscarriages. Three times where my heart was completely shattered. The excitement of entering the ultrasound room and anxiously awaiting the first look at your baby only to be faced with an uncomfortable silence is an immeasurable pain. Miscarriage mommies know that the sign, about how the ultrasound technician cannot provide feedback, is meant for us. The tech doesn't want to deliver the bad news, they let the doctor do that. However, if you have a normal healthy pregnancy, they are more than happy to chat.

It is this pain, this history that is my greatest misgiving towards ever trying for another. I just don't know that I can do it again. Not when I have one healthy, beautiful child already. It just feels like I'm pressing my luck, playing a game of Russian roulette with my emotional well being. I just don't know that I can go through that again.

So in the end, the answer to THE question is usually a vague, "I don't know, maybe someday."


Jeannie said...


Having had 2 normal pregnancies, followed by a miscarriage while on vacation 3000 miles from home, and then a twin pregnancy with the loss of one of the babies at 3 months gestation, I completely understand your anxiety. I have to say that even though the pain was immeasurable, seeing and holding that perfect baby at birth is so worth all the pain you go through in the beginning. I have my faith in God and know that I will once again see my angels that are awaiting me in heaven. I don't know how people go through painful losses without a faith in God. I know 2 very godly families who have tragically lost children and they have stood so strong amidst their suffering. The decision is yours and Adrians alone. No one elses. But try to seek guidance from your Creator who can guide you in your decision.

Chelsea + Jonathan said...

The good thing is, it's completely and totally up to you guys to decide! Don't take crap from anyone about your family! This is my new motto.

I guess I go with the idea that you really never know what will happen as far as medical things and terrible things. I could be a ticking time bomb for all sorts of cancers, you know... No one really knows what or when bad things will happen. But luckily lots of good things happen too.

Make decisions according to what you guys want and need and everyone will be better off for it. :)

corrie said...

I like to think that, statistically, my misfortune with pregnancy is behind me, and I won't have any more problems. Not necessarily true, I know, but it also helps to know that we endured the sadness and would surely do it again on our journey to our complete family. When YOUR family is complete, though, is yours and Adrian's decision alone, of course. While child #2 is pretty much a foregone conclusion for us, we are really playing it by ear if there could be a third. So much depends on your experiences, I think--the pregnancies, the personalities of your child/ren. We originally thought #2 would closely follow #1, but Lily just turned out to be a sort of kiddo that needed most of our attention for a little longer.

I think you guys will know over time what will be best for your family. And you'll be right!

To Think is to Create said...

You have every right to feel this way, so just feel whatever you want to feel. You are courageous and brave and will know what's right when it's right.

I have not experienced the loss that you have, but almost all of my friends have. It's profound, and meaningful and of course would make you worry like crazy.

Perhaps some day you will be ready, the fear will subside enough for you to want to add another to your precious family. Until then, let yourself feel and heal and grow. Hugs...

canape said...

I get this. Sometimes I think, "I have enough to love right now."

Susie said...

Oh Abby, I didn't know. I'm sorry. I'm sure now that you have a beautiful boy, it makes knowing what you lost all that more painful and what you could lose even more fragile.

And I also understand how having a one year old can make the idea of having another child completely unnecessary. We didn't even think about having another until our oldest was two and a half.

Nichols Family said...

Abby, I think that people are so rude to ask! It's none of their business...like it really affects their life! I know how painful a miscarriage is and for you to still attempt pregnancy after 3 is sheer courage. I think you have a perfect family - the three of you!