Trying again. Another baby. The next pregnancy. Your rainbow.
Such short sentences but they hold so much emotion: fear, anxiety, desperation, excitement and hope are just some of these. It is nearly 8 months since my first and only child Maisie was born and died. 8 months of should we try, shouldn’t we try, am I ovulating, where’s my period. It is exhausting but trying this time, it is different to the first time. I want to share with you how I have found the last 8 months and my feelings on trying again.
After Maisie was born I was desperate for another baby. I asked my husband how soon we could try again, he wanted to wait a few months and I was devastated. I needed one it was a primal thing a desire deep inside me. But what I now recognise I wanted, was to replace Maisie because I didn’t want to be 4, 8, 12 weeks pregnant I wanted to be 21 weeks and I wanted it now. It was like I had pressed pause on my pregnancy with her and I wanted to be able to catch back up and press the play button.
The last 8 months have been hard physically, mentally and emotionally. I have only had 4 cycles. I have lasting physical effects from giving birth prematurely including new intense ovulation pains, long cycles of up to 3 months and incredible, excruciating periods. These are just some of the physical things for me to consider when it comes to trying again. The physical is the easy part. The emotional side is the stumbling block.
Fear and Anxiety
When you lose a baby your next pregnancy's path is already laid down before you, the story is already written, it will go wrong. You cannot imagine or envision it possibly going right and being able to come home from the hospital with a live, healthy baby. For me, with Maisie being my first child, I don’t know any different. I get pregnant, my baby dies. So why would I want to go through that again? Why would I want to give birth to my baby for them to die again? Why would I want another grave?
Trying again is not always about being ready for another baby.
This is something I only felt at the beginning. Over time I have had this replaced with a peace and acceptance that, when the time is right, we will try again and it will happen. It may take many years for us to both be ready and to fall pregnant but I know that one day it will happen again.
Excitement and Hope
These are the emotions I struggle with. I have not felt these at all. I often compare trying again to a set of scales. On one side you have fear and on the other you have hope. When hope outweighs the fear I know I will be ready.
These emotions are all very complex and deep. I feel that I can only give a slight glimpse into what I go through each day in trying to decide when the right time is to try again.
So next time you see me don’t ask me about trying again. Don’t tell me you're ready for me to have another baby because it’s not about you. I am not ready. Talk to me about the baby I already have. Don’t brush her under the carpet and ignore her. One day I will tell you that we are having another baby but it will be just that: another baby, a different baby, not the same one, not the same pregnancy and not the same experience. Next time I will be different for I am changed, maybe next time I won’t tell you for months, maybe I won’t tell you until (IF!) the baby arrives alive and healthy, maybe I will pull you closer and lean on you more. Who knows? Not me. All I know is you have to let me do this in my own time.
Trying again is part of the grieving process and this cannot be rushed. Don’t push me, support me.