Tuesday, May 17, 2016

So, what are your "plans?"

I've been asked this a few times recently.  Once by a good friend (totally acceptable), once by Dr. B (totally acceptable, especially using the guise of birth control to ask), once by a coworker (completely inappropriate).

My short response?  "It's complicated."

Like every single thing in my life after losing my daughter, it's complicated.

I have three kids, but I only get to raise two of them.

I don't feel my family is complete.  But is it because we will never be complete, because we will always be missing one?  I know that no matter how many children I have, I will never feel the way other moms get to feel, when they look around their kitchen table or in their rearview mirror.

I know I will never feel "done."

The thought of going through another pregnancy makes me want to vomit.  I'm not talking about having to pee every hour or not being able to drink.  I'm talking about constantly wondering if my baby has died inside me.  I'm talking about waking up in the middle of the night, terrified that my baby's heart stopped beating while I've been sleeping.  I'm talking about worrying that every kick might be his or her last.  I'm just not sure I have it in me to do it again.  And the idea of facing another loss?  A miscarriage I could handle.  Another stillborn child might destroy me.

Lydie's death has changed me, and though I don't worry about not having a guest room like I did before, I still can't fathom paying three grand a month for daycare.  I wouldn't be able to afford to work. (This is not a joke).

Not to mention, I am really quite busy and stressed with my two living children and all the projects I take on to honor my girl.

But still I find myself wondering, as Bowie grows out of her hand-me-down clothes and I place them in a tub: will we use these again?  Or should I just get rid of them now?

Obviously, clothes are not the issue here, though the tubs do take up a lot of space in the basement.

I wish I knew if this was my last time for all these "firsts," as Bowie sits up, eats solids, itches to crawl.  Sometimes I wish I could look around the dinner table, with Lydie's candle burning brightly in the center of it, and stop wishing for more and instead start trying to be grateful for all that I do have.

So, what are my plans?  I don't know.  I don't know if we'll try for a fourth child.  I don't know if we want one more.

In an uncomplicated world, I'd want one more.  But in an uncomplicated world, my dinner table would be full, and this would be a moot point.

I know that it is okay not to know right now.  But I don't know when I will know.  I don't know how we will make this decision.  I worry that if we don't make a decision soon, then my age and time will make that decision for us.

And I still find myself wanting more of the love.


BLM friends, I would love your thoughts here.  Your families will also always be incomplete. So, how do you know when you're "done"?

6 comments:

  1. In my own experience, you just KNOW. This is it, I'm done, I can't do it again. You will always be missing Lydia. No matter how many living children you have will it be enough?
    I had several miscarriages before my daughter was born alive/healthy. I have a few more miscarriages after my daughter and then a still born. I knew in my heart I wanted to be done and I was terrified of what could/would happen. my husband he was DONE. My doctor told me that it was up to me what I wanted but may be I should take some time. I knew my family was not complete but could not wrap my head around trying again. I actually was already pregnant with identical twins at the time we had several meetings with specialist (i just didn't know it and know one tested). When I did find out I was terrified.
    I knew all the things the could go wrong and I was terrified but I also knew the it did not matter what happened it had to be my last pregnancy. It just had to be. Completed family or not it had to be the end.
    You will make the decision and work to be good with whatever you decide. Wishing you peace in whatever happens.

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  2. It's complicated for all of us. I knew I was done when my second rainbow almost died and the doctor told me minutes later inside of me and "she would not be here." That was the answer to a question I couldn't have answered myself.

    But the superficial (and important) issues with finances and having my hands too full and never actually wanting more than 2 kids before (and getting three... sort of). It's so hardddd.

    I'll never feel complete, but I do feel done, but not by my own accord.

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  3. As you probably know, we have had this discussion many times in our house, too. We know that my placenta issue is probably going to repeat with another pregnancy, and that terrifies me. We would be counting on a doctor to decide to deliver early, just as we did with Henry. But as my wonderful husband points out, we do know the issue now, so isn't that an improvement over the last pregnancy? (He swears he is good with whatever I decide, but I think we know which side he falls on.)

    I always planned to have two, so I feel as though I have to be settled now. I've had three. I get to raise two. Except do my plans from five years ago matter if I feel so unsettled?

    I find myself constantly hoping that another loss mama will have a fourth because then I would feel less crazy having a fourth. Anybody want to go ahead of me?

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  4. As I near the end of this pregnant with my rainbow, and my anxiety is at an all time high, I too wonder if I can do this again. The "plan" was always to have more than one child, and if we take home our son, will our new "plan" be to take home more than one living child? Can we afford the medical bills again? Can we afford taxing our mental health to the limit again? Can we afford to have our world come crashing down around us again? I don't know. I'm scared to answer any of these questions with a yes or a no. I'm scared as hell to look too far into the future, to make plans, to hope for too much. I'm sorry I can't help answer these questions, and I'm sorry that I'm not the only one asking them.
    XO

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  5. Oh, this question. I wish I could call it done with one living, breathing, amazing baby. But my heart yearns for another. What a tough choice. Keep us posted on what you are thinking - we are all here for you.

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