"You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." -Counting Crows

Why We're Here...

My husband David and I delivered a stillborn Baby Boy that we loved, and wanted. Our first and only son, Logan, had Down Syndrome. Our daughter's smile is a little light in the darkness. She turned one year old three days after our sweet Logan tip-toed away on January 24, 2009. After 2 1/2 years we found out we were having another baby, whom we affectionatly called Rudy. Just shy of 6 weeks we found out Rudy was Ectopic. Rudy was surgically removed on May 26, 2011 delivering another blow to our already broken hearts.

Is the price too much?

"Life is both pain and pleasure.  If this is the price you must pay for the hours you enjoy, is it too much?"  -Paolini (Eldest)

We are TTC...again.  In February my DH quietly, and with an overwhelming look of fear in his eyes, relented.  I won.  I guess.  If being granted the right to proceed into horrifying territory where monsters lurk, waiting to trample our hearts again, can be considered a win.

I thought I'd be happier.  I thought I knew what I wanted.  I thought I had it all figured out and under control.  You see though, now that the reigns have been passed to me, I am frozen with fear.  How much of a price am I willing to pay to find that elusive happy place?  How much am I willing to sacrifice, to forgo?  Who am I willing to sacrifice?  Myself?  Absolutely.  Not a question.  I'd do it again and again and again.  Been there, done that, survived...twice, if you can consider what I've done as surviving...I didn't off myself, so...  I know that in the end, if I get a healthy, living baby, its all worth it.  But what if a hundred die and not one ever lives again?  What if the child is so ill that I find myself wishing that the baby would have died.  [GASP!!]  But in reality I know that my two dead babies never suffered, never felt pain.  Is not my wish for their life, even with horrific handicaps and deformations, pure selfishness?  I struggle with this notion.  But, I have learned to disconnect myself from the reality of the horrors.  My husband?  Not so much.  Then there is the Muffin to consider now.  How will by daughter, who is 4 1/2, handle another dead sibling?  She knows of the other two.  It affects her more than I like to admit.  She mourns for them, cries for them, misses them.  She knows they should be here, and she knows she should have living siblings to fight with and to play with.  She knows of the still birth of another very close friend's child.  She was 3 1/2 when he died, she cried.  I believe she understood.  Am I willing to put her through another trauma because maybe, just maybe, this one will work out?

Most days I feel like a selfish bitch.

This past cycle was our first try.  Immediately I got sick.  I had a fever for 3 days.  I was freaked!  A week later my daughter breaks out in this weird rash, Molluscum is going around.  It can last for 4 years.  I freaked again!  Freaked so bad that I had my baby biopsied.  The spots have faded, Molluscum doesn't do that.  The derm is almost certain it was an allergic response.  Almost.  So, I'm still freaked.  Yesterday I started my cycle, 3 negative pregnancy tests later and one day early.  And get this, I was relieved!  Relieved!!  What?!

And I wonder.  Do I really want another baby, or do I just want control over the decision?  Was that the bigger issue, that I didn't have control over whether there would be another baby or not?  Am I ready for sleepless nights, screaming, diapers and toddlerhood all over again?  With the Muffin knocking on the door of five, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  The old argument that she needs a playmate is invalid at this point, its been too long, the gap too wide.  They will not be playmates.  But I stand firm that people need siblings  (I have 6).  They need someone to go complain to about their parents, and who better to understand than a sibling?  They need someone they can turn to when they don't feel like they can turn to friends or parents.  They need someone to have when we are dead and gone.  And yet, some siblings hate each other.  Some siblings rarely speak and are like strangers passing bye.  Some siblings die earlier than their parents.  My argument is losing its water...

This is it.  My husband said he can't do it again after this.  Frankly, I wouldn't put him through it a 4th time anyhow.  So, if we don't naturally conceive (and soon), or if another baby dies, I'm done.  We're done.  My DH seems to be in a constant state of panic.  Making babies isn't the innocent fun it used to be.  Fear lays there in the bed next to you, stares at you from the corner of the room.  Anxiety screaming in your ear.  Its a wonder either of us can even perform.  Sexy, eh?  Romantic, eh?  No.  Its not.  Its terrifying when you take that leap of faith.  Its terrifying when you put yourself out there on the limb again, waiting to be knocked off of it again.  Waiting for what surely must be the inevitable.  Outsiders don't get that.  "Try again, surely it won't happen again."  Surely.  But we know, don't we?  How many of us have lost multiple times?  Too many to count.  But the outsiders like their ignorance, and why shouldn't they?  But its huge, and its scary.  And each day of those two weeks are spent in a constant state of anxiety.  Am I?  Could this be it?  Please God, let me keep this one!  The turmoil and anxiety that engulfs us during those two weeks of not knowing is insane.  Then the huge let down when we are not.  The weird twisted and conflicting emotions if we are.  Yeah.  Its scary.  You see, even though this is our first official cycle TTC, there have been a few other times...  Times when I prayed one way and he prayed another.  Times when I tried to hide the anger and frustration and disappointment while he tried to hide his relief.  How are we a comfort to each other?  Luckily I am married to a patient, understanding man.  Luckily he can put aside his fears and comfort me in my disappointment.  Because even though he desperately does not want to go through this again, he wants me to have a shot at happiness, or at least contentment.

Though, we all know, one living baby just does not replace the dead one.  If only it were that easy.

How high of a price are you willing to pay?  How many dead babies can you suffer?  In the end, is all of the anxiety worth it?  Have you had another child post dead baby?  What did you do if you and your spouse were on separate pages (or even books)?


belle said...

i have 4 dead and 5 living. for half a dozen years i had one and then would lose one... it was a pattern. one that, by the time i got to pregnancy #8 my announcement to my friend was, "i hope i get to keep this one". i didn't by the way. with #9 the living children were all so old that they fully understood it all. (ages 7-12) they went to every appt with me. they held their collective breath and audibly released it when the baby's heartbeat was located. they counted toes at every ultrasound and got really good at "reading" the ultrasounds too. they didn't believe she was alive until they held her in their arms. they've lost the innocence of childhood in many respects. but i wouldn't trade it for all the world (we were not ttc by the way. she was a miracle baby). because when their friends get frustrated by their younger sibling's crying/annoyingness/general inconvenience of being a baby... my children tenderly pick up their adored and prayed for and wanted baby sister- smother her with kisses, laugh at her, play with her, love on her, soothe her.... in short- they cherish the opportunity to have a crying baby. they beg to be the chosen one who gets to play with her. they understand the preciousness of the gift that she is. they do not take life for granted.

i cannot say what is right for everyone. indeed i dared not even try "one more time". i still do not dare! BUT when the gift was given- it was and is a blessing. our story unfolds with bittersweet details and isn't over yet but good does comes in spite of the storm.

you cannot make the wrong decision. your heart will lead you. and yes, i too understand the feeling of , "how many times can i bury a child and still keep on living?" but every time, i live for those that live with me and one day when my time comes to go home.... i will run. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Beautiful reply. Thank you for sharing.

KenzieRu said...

Hi, I just saw your post. It really hit home, I have the same thoughts now after losing a baby. My son is 3 1/2 and my sibling argument is starting to become words in the wind also. I hope that you have a little peace in your heart. Keep writing, I love your blog.

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