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This is probably the hardest post I’ve ever wanted to write yet. I am an open person only to a point. I tend to be mostly private and fight my battles in secret. And yet, with Christian’s death and my desire to continue helping other mothers and women, it forces me to be more open that I would normally be comfortable with.
You see, I talk very little about what plans we have for having more children. I avoid the topic with friends and family, not just strangers and acquaintances. It’s an intensely private decision, especially now with Christian gone. I know people are curious, and most are so courteous that they daren’t ask. But this post isn’t really to answer their unasked questions or carry on a conversation about when we start trying to conceive.
This post is mostly for those momma’s that stumble here looking for another voice about what they are doing with their lives and the future of their families. Early on in the grieving process I looked for anything and everything I could find that would tell me another woman’s perspective. I wanted to hear what other parents did when faced with the loss of a child.
I now want to be that voice for other women. To tell my story and my struggles with an extremely uncertain future. It is filled with fear, hope, and trepidation. If you don’t know anything about our story, read about why getting pregnant again is so frightening here, Walker-Warburg Syndrome or How Genetics Suck.
The First Few Months
Within the first four to five months, I would have given anything to have Christian back. That led to desperation, the kind of desperation most parents feel when they lose a baby. Several parents I know of became pregnant within months of their child’s death. A few started trying to conceive within weeks. There is no judgement here, I understand their need to have another child to have and hold.
There was a part of me during that initial time where I would have done anything to be pregnant again. I loved being pregnant. Even with all the worry, stress, and fear for the future because I knew there was something wrong with my little one, I still enjoyed growing him inside me. I wanted those feelings again. I wanted to give birth again. And I wanted so badly to hold another baby. I always knew I wanted that, even though I never knew why until I held Christian. It was magical and one of the best moments of my life.
But even though I wanted another child so badly, I knew I wasn’t ready. My heart, my soul, and my body needed to time to heal. It was a personal decision. I wanted to wait the six months that are recommended after having a cesarean section. The Hubs agreed and we waited until May 6th to start considering it.
There were many times where I told him I wanted a baby. That I wanted to be pregnant again. But I was just telling him my feelings and thoughts and what I was struggling with. We looked forward to May and when we would talk about what happens next.
A New Problem
When May 6th came about I wasn’t quick ready to jump into trying to conceive. I told the Hubs I wanted to revisit every two weeks and reevaluate. But only a few weeks later I found myself in the depths of health problems.
The immediate need was to work on my health and my body. It would take about two months of hard work to heal my body from the extremes of adrenal fatigue. So I decided that we would wait until I was healed in early August to start the conversation of pregnancy again.
In mid-July I found myself with scads of energy and lots of motivation to lose weight and get things done around my home I had neglected for a long time. I told the Hubs I was basically healed and he asked me when we would start trying. But it seemed as if I just wasn’t quite ready yet.
In reflecting on my past pregnancy and what I might be dealing with in a future pregnancy, I realized there was some anxiety I wanted to avoid. During my past pregnancy I struggled with my growing belly and weight gain. Although it seems silly now, I really had a hard time with body image. And now I have struggled over and over to lose weight. I am still over 30 pounds heavier than I was when I become pregnant.
So I realized I wanted to lose some weight before trying to conceive. 15 or 20 pounds to feel a bit more confident and have my body in a place where it would be more fit for carrying a baby.
After visiting with a friend and her brand new baby, I started to have an internal dialogue. It is clear the Hubs is ready to try again to go through a pregnancy, even knowing what could befall us.
But I realized I am terrified. It was hard even admitting it to myself. My desperation from the first few months had subsided to determination to work on the now. That had allowed the fear to creep in and block my desire to be pregnant again.
The risks seemed so great, and my ability to do anything about them is non-existent. Not only could I conceive another child with WWS but my baby could have other issues. I could have a stillborn, a miscarriage… so many heartbreaking possibilities. And I can’t be ignorant of the fact that horrible things happen, I’ve lived it.
So What Now?
I met with my therapist on Monday and I admitted my newest realization. We worked through some of the issues surrounding it and talked about the fear.
I’m on week three of a new twelve week fitness/health system and I would really like to see it through. Especially since the first two weeks really made a difference. (You can learn more about the system here.) So I told my therapist that at the end of the twelve weeks I would give it a try.
Without great risk, you cannot have great reward. And I know that in this instance, it will be a very great risk indeed. And yet, if I put off trying to conceive with every little thing that comes along, I may never fulfill those desires that I know are buried deep in my heart. To hear another baby cry, to hold a baby in my arms, to watch a family grow in our home. And there is no time like the present.
As a wise fictional character once said, “Make now the most precious time. Now will never come again.” – Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of Enterprise 1701-D.