Well. It's 5 months today since I went in to the big city hospital to say goodbye to my sons. I knew this month-i-versary was coming up, but it didn't occur to me until a few minutes ago.
As C noted in his recent post, our new normal is evolving, and I am starting to feel the ice thaw a bit. I have started (just barely) to do school work, and for the second day (woo) in a row I'm hacking away at the laundry threatening to take over our bedroom. I'm checking things off lists, and the squalor in which we have been living has started to become irritating to me -- I find myself cleaning and cursing the mess ("how can we live like this?"). So, I guess, I'm starting to awaken. The old me is starting to walk around in this new life. First shaky steps upon waking, inconsistent, but forward.
And so I find myself thinking about future child-bearing and child-raising. All at once I find myself incredulous that I could have even thought that I could be a parent, wanting a child with all my heart, scared to death that we might not have one and scared to death that we might.
It feels so odd to think that if all had gone according to plan (oh, I make me laugh) we'd be parents of twin boys right now, bleary-eyed from lack of sleepy, but likely celebrating every day with them. I can't even picture it. It seems like another life, another world. Even contemplating having one feels like some fantasy or a dream. Like, what were we thinking? Us? Parents? Come on. Welcome back to reality. Fucking reality.
And yet. Having had the tests that show my fertility (or lack thereof) is maintaining itself, at least in relation to the march of time across my ovaries, I have begun to think that maybe we could try again to have a living child. And here's the progress: It doesn't send me in to a panic every time I think about it. The idea of pregnancy? Well, yeah, there's a little flush, a little racing of the heart (all the problems getting pg, all the potential problems once we get pg, if we get pg). But there is also anticipation. Maybe we could get this after all. Maybe we could bring a child into the world, into our home.
The idea that we might not makes the pulse race, too. Or, like there's this huge lead balloon suddenly expanded in my chest. All the things that could go wrong in a future pregnancy, surviving another loss of this magnitude. It also leads me to those thoughts about "what were we thinking trying to have a child?"
My brain never stops. Endless cycle.
There are a number of deadbabymamas who recently have become pregnant, some who are trying, some who are waiting to try. Some still who don't know if that day will come at all, that day that they would try again and risk another loss. To be perfectly honest, I am so happy for the women who have conceived again. I really am, but, I feel something else I can't quite put my finger on. Part of it is awe for their bravery, part of it is recognition that I am not there yet, emotionally. Part of it is sad for me, because I want that excitement, too. Of course, I know that so-called excitement is fraught with fear of more loss and pain.
I have pulled back just a little, commenting less, taking time to reflect instead of speak, on these blogs. I hope you know that I wish you well, but I do need to figure out a way to manage conflicting thoughts and emotions** that come with it for me. I'm still there, reading, just quieter and, perhaps, from a slightly greater distance.
How do you know when it's time to try again? Is simply that your body has healed? Is there some sort of process -- emotional, psychological, something else -- that you've completed internally that tells you, yes, it's time? Or is it simply that you feel strong enough to balance the risk of loss with the potential joy a new life could bring?
I don't quite know how to think about this. Maybe I'm trying to structure it more than it needs. And, as my (and my husband's) healing progresses, the answers will make themselves known.
When we first knew we were losing the boys, both of them, I thought to myself, "Well, that's it. We're done. I can't do this again." Then, I couldn't wait to try again. Then, just the idea of trying made me panic. Now, usually it brings on varying levels of anxiety.
How did you know it was time to try for another child, a living child? How did you know it was time to stop? I'd love to hear your thoughts about these and the above questions.
** This is not to say I don't want comments from you -- I do. I'm only trying to say why I may have pulled back a bit.