I think it’s because things feel like they’ve settled down here that I’ve been having thoughts of wanting another baby. We feel more grounded as a family: we have an awesome babysitter who comes 6 hours/week so I can go to the studio, we’re more financially secure, Wifey’s work schedule is more manageable, and A. gets more wonderful every day.
For me, it’s not necessarily a logical thing to want another baby; it feels more biological, or hormonal. Or something. I’m having baby urges again. It’s hard though, because the exuberance of the urges is tempered by the thought that I can’t get pregnant again (because I might have the same complications as last time, my liver could shut down and I could die).
Last night I had a dream that I had just found out I was pregnant. I was giddy with joy, but then I would remember the warnings of the liver doctor, then happy again, back and forth. I was walking down a street in a foreign country (Spain?), and there were women singing on the side of the street. I was wondering excitedly, “I wonder if it’s a boy or a girl?” And just as my mind formed the word “girl,” my favorite girl name came as the next word in the women’s song. I was sure it was a sign that I was having a girl, this would be my S. I was light with joy.
I’ve had an ache in my heart all day, because this won’t ever happen. It seemed so real; it is not that crazy a thing: to already have a beautiful child and then to get to have another. I won’t ever be pregnant again. It was such a beautiful dream. It felt so natural. I felt so at home with the feeling of having a baby girl growing inside me.
I’m haunted with the thought that maybe there’s some way I could get pregnant again and stay healthy. Maybe my complications in my pregnancy with A. originated with the placenta, as opposed to originating with my body. The doctors acknowledge that this is a possibility, but maintain that there is no way to know. It could have been the placenta, and I could be fine next time. Or it could be that my liver shuts down when I’m pregnant. If I were to get pregnant again and my liver started shutting down, it could be at 27 weeks, or 34 weeks, or 16 weeks, or 23 weeks. The baby would have to come out and most likely struggle in the NICU for months, and be at risk for many many complications we were so fortunate to have dodged with A. I would hopefully survive and hopefully my liver would recover after 3 months of steroids.
I’m totally on board with the logic that it is not worth these risks.
Wifey would probably do splendidly pregnant, and yes, we are lucky that there is another uterus among us. She has never had the subconscious/conscious/bodily urges to be pregnant. She’s also not sure she wants another child. Which is totally reasonable. She’s (I admit, rightfully) terrified of increasing the chaos in our life. She agrees that it would be doable, it’s just that our resources are thin. Our place is just barely big enough for the three of us, our income just barely enough, our time with each other and for ourselves is already stretched thin. It’s the logical thing to enjoy the settled feelings we’re experiencing now with our little family, rather than throw it into upheaval and invite more unknowables.
I still often feel like I can’t believe I was really pregnant. We had a pregnant friend over last night who is having a great pregnancy, and she looks perfectly healthy and totally wonderful. I guess even if I never looked like that, I was still pregnant. Our pregnancy was terrifying most of the time, but I was still pregnant. I was swollen and not beautiful, but I was still pregnant.
August 2007, didn’t even know I was pregnant yet:
Just a few weeks pregnant, already nauseous and zonked.
20 weeks, Christmas
21 weeks, January 2008
27 weeks 3 days: February 9th 2008