Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Big Question: If and When to Have a Baby

The question should I have a child is one that some people ask themselves and some don't. There are those who know, have always known, what the answer is. And then there are the ones who are never given the opportunity to ask the question because the decision is made for them. Others go back and forth and back and forth until they finally make a choice but even then they never feel entirely sure.

We asked ourselves and the answer was yes. Or perhaps I should say that the answer was the Babby, because she is the answer come to life.

Then we asked ourselves again and the answer was also yes, at least until my miscarriage really drove home that we didn't have enough money coming in to support my staying at home.

(And that's without the usual luxuries like cable and dining out and new clothes and so on - stay tuned for a future post about when staying at home really isn't an option.)

The neonatologist who was assigned to my high risk twin pregnancy felt strongly that we'd be back soon. I suppose that after a miscarriage a lot of people do want to get pregnant again as soon as it's healthy to do so. I did. I do. But it wasn't to be. I sometimes wonder if the neonatologist ever wondered what happened to us.

(2011 really was a crumbum year.)

Now the question of if and when to have a baby has come up again. Maybe it has something to do that we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of the day we found out the twins were dead. Which is also my mom's birthday. Sorry, mom.

People around me are pregnant again or thinking about getting pregnant or taking cutesy Christmas pictures with their multiple kiddos. Not meaning to remind yours truly of the big... gap in our household where there ought to have been more people. Maybe it's weird that I still feel like there's a hole where twins ought to have been in our family.

Is that terrible?

Of course, it's no longer as fun a question as it was. I imagine myself pregnant and never, ever looking at the ultrasounds so I don't have to see a dead silhouette, just in case. I work now, outside the house. I haven't gotten the go-ahead to work from home exclusively. I can't even begin to fathom maternity leave - not that I could afford it, since two in daycare would be one too many to pay for on my salary.

And then I think that maybe sticking with one will let us give her every possible advantage in life (that we are able to at our income level and with the help of family) versus possibly struggling a bit harder to provide the best possible start for two.

Meh, true story: It's all excuses to avoid having another miscarriage, really. Pregnancy will never again be fun like it was the first time around.



  1. After the horror of our first pregnancy and then the "normal" pregnancy with Pea (overseen by high-risk perinatalogists, thank heaven) which turned into a nightmare and almost-horror for both of us, I was totally shocked when one of the doctors suggested we'd be back just as soon as Pea said her first "Mama." It still blows me away. Sure, that may be their normal business, but holy crap, I don't know if I could endure the terror of something going wrong for nine months. (Or being on heparin all those months.) Or falling in love with the baby and then having to give up all the dreams.

    My conclusion is that those doctors REALLY shouldn't say "you'll be back soon, "that they have no idea how much that hurts.

    I think it's normal to feel the hole. It reminds me of all the angelic deceased children depicted in Renaissance+ family portraits; of course they're part of the family and part of you.

  2. Gosh Christa, I can't pretend to imagine what you've been through, but I feel your pain through your writing. *hugs* Your fear of another pregnancy ending badly is more than understandable... but don't wait for a 'right time' to try again if you *do* want another baby. Just go for it. Money and that practical stuff will all work out. You might not feel it, but you are *so* brave. x x x x

  3. I'm sorry about your difficulty with all this. I had a miscarriage and it was the worst pain I've even felt. I hope that you find peace and much, much happiness soon.

    Pregnancy was miserable for me. While there is nothing dangerous or risky about me getting pregnant, I'm quite certain that it won't be happening again. When I see pregnant women, I feel intense jealousy and sadness. My husband and I have decided that we will adopt, but that costs so much money that my 18 month old girls will probably be in school before it happens.

    God always has a plan for every family and I have no doubt that He has a plan for your family to feel complete.

  4. It's hard for me to respond to this post without feeling like a heel (being nearly 6 months preggo after all). But your words resonated with me especially the line "the decision is made for them." Back story: in Feb I had a miscarriage. Before that we had decided that one was enough for a lot of reasons (I could stay home indefinitely, we could provide her the best advantages as in organic foods and the best schools). The miscarriage opened my eyes. After I lost that baby, I knew I wanted one more child. We went back and for about the when, but then the decision was made for us again. we were both surprised and a little taken aback. I say all this because I agree with Sandra. we ask God for the things that we want and he provides us with what we need

  5. Pregnancy after miscarriage does suck. I had a hard time believing I was going to have a baby until about week 38, and at that point, I still hadn't really fully prepared myself for a live birth. But it happened, and she is quite a feisty little one.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, and I wish that you could be blissfully ignorant. But since you're not, all you're left with is taking this one day, one hour, one moment at a time. And breathing all the way, holding the hands of people who will support you through it, in 3D, and in virtual space.

  6. You're right. They are just excuses. I think you can make it work if you want to. I am also aware of how annoying it is of me to make a statement like that.

    BUT I do know how hard it is to live in fear. You're right that it will never be the same again. My second pregnancy was miscarried as well... then I had two kids... then another miscarriage, then another two kids. As much as I tried to ignore the "maybe it will happen again" feeling, I couldn't ever completely shake it.

    I think that if we as women talk about this, though, it makes it easier to bear. It's much harder to keep it inside and feel like nobody understands when statistically, if you have any more than 1-2 kids, you WILL miscarry at some point. It makes me wonder if they should warn about that at some point in the education of a girl?

    I STILL sometimes look at my kids and think "oh my GOSH you're alive!" And sometimes, at random moments (like when someone says "can you believe you did this 5 times?), I'll think to myself, "I have 7 kids!" Which it true to me because I really believe that they are mine in the hereafter (but that's a completely different conversation!).

    Here's the thing: God's timing is tricky. And even if we get a "yes" feeling on something, it might not mean exactly what we think it does. It might mean, "yes, but later" or "yes, but things will change because it's a yes and then it will turn into a no, but that will actually work out better for you". We just never know! But what I do know is that God blesses me and that he blesses YOU and that he loves us :) We're all learning so much from this life. We are becoming so empathetic, enlarging our capacity to help others... the list goes on and on.

    Christa, you're a thinker (that's one of the highest compliments, in my mind)... and you're awesome! I know things are going to work out for you!

  7. I didn't really get over my miscarriage until I got pregnant again. It's almost creepy how thoroughly I got over it, too... Seriously, I spent nearly every waking moment thinking of the baby lost and thinking that I'd never have kids, blah blah blah. Then, I got pregnant again and I wasn't even nervous about it at first. I got nervous in the second trimester, and then I settled down again once we reached viability. Now, I'd have to look at a calendar to even be sure of the date I miscarried. As long as you're wondering about more kids, this miscarriage is just gonna haunt you. I say go for it sooner rather than later and get over this hump.

  8. Wow, thank you for all your kind words and shares and advice everyone! It warms my heart!

  9. I'm running more than a bit behind, but just wanted to comment that I think you nailed it with "pregnancy will never again be fun like it was the first time around." I've said it before, but I really think it's true, that loss of naivete and a gut-felt belief that everything will be fine is another form of loss.

    I am thinking my lucky stars that I have such an amazing OB (I actually found your blog through a comment on an article she wrote on pregnancy after loss) and her willingness to help both physically and psychologically. She let ME pick when my next appointment would be today..


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