Since M was born I get asked when we’re going to have another. It seems that friends and family seem to feel that having her has somehow reset our fertility issues. It’s been awkward. Often, I shrug it off and say “not now” when really all I want to say is “not ever” and “not by choice”.
S and I had a pretty significant heart to heart after M was born. I expressed concern that I’d like another child but worry that I will not be able to carry. S expressed concern that bed rest wouldn’t be feasible a second time around and that ultimately he doesn’t know if he can handle other losses.
We have no guarantee. It took us 4 pregnancies and 5 lost babies to bring M home. It took a cerclage, boatloads of medication and supplements and 160 days of bed rest to bring this little bundle home. Can I honestly do that again? Probably not.
At my 6 week post partum visit I met with my MFM and asked her questions about future pregnancies. She was very clear that I could carry another child but that I should go into another pregnancy armed with the reality that at some point I will need to be placed on strict bed rest. I cannot even imagine.
We’d love to give M a sibling. But, how can I bring home a sibling when I’m not even sure I can manage to get that baby here safely. With M, we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to forge ahead with trying to conceive. Now, having M home with us I’m terrified that trying to bring home a rainbow sibling will somehow prevent me from being the best mommy I can be.
And the losses. I just cannot deal with another loss. I feel as though I’ve dealt with my fair share and now that we’re slightly removed from trying to conceive I see just how destructive and emotionally scarring that whole experience was for us. I’m scared – I do not want to be back there.
I’ve been swaying back and forth with my decision to be one and done for weeks. I sometimes look at M and think “you’re all I need baby girl” then moments later I get a tightening feeling in my chest and I worry that she needs a sibling and that I’m just not able to give her that. So many very fucked up emotions.
I needed to admit to myself and the the world that we’re 99% one and done. Holding this in and not acknowledging that this is likely where we stop trying is something I needed to do. Admitting to it makes it real but beyond this it gives me the opportunity to accept it, grieve for the family I thought I’d have but never will and accept this new normal moving forward.
Some days though, I wish that the number of children I want to have wasn’t dictated by the fact that my uterus is so fucked up that it kills babies.
I wish that the choice was mine.