Thursday, April 23, 2009

trying again

Noah was born still on August 30 and I had a positive pregnancy test in the first week of December. I got pregnant during my second full cycle. Part of trying again so quickly for me is that I am 40 and I was terrified about not being able to conceive again, as well as being frightened that if I did conceive that the baby might have chromosomal problems due to my "advanced maternal age". I kept imagining months going by and my last good eggs being flushed down the toilet. For me, I had to get pregnant as quickly as possible.

So now I am 24 weeks pregnant with an apparently healthy baby girl. Her nt/quad screen was excellent despite my age and her level two ultrasound looked great so we are fairly confident that she does not have any genetic problems.

That said, this pregnancy, except for burying our son, has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I cry daily for Noah. I cry almost daily for the safety of our daughter. I ask daily - "God do you know I can't bury another baby?" I ask Barry daily if he thinks God knows (he is a little tighter with God than I am). I beg almost every waking hour "please keep my baby safe."

It hasn't helped that there have been complications with this pregnancy that I did not experience with Grace, Chet, or Noah's. I had spotting and low/dropping progesterone from weeks 7-9 so I was placed on prometrium until week 14. Then about a month after that bullet was dodged, our daughter developed a seriously irregular heart beat. I literally spent the two days before we could see the maternal fetal specialist planning our baby's funeral. We were ultimately assured by two specialists that the arrhythmia is benign, but I struggle to take comfort in assurances. Even something as inconsequential as an anterior placenta feels like a curse to me because it makes it difficult for me to feel her move.

One of the only things I really know for sure is that, whatever the outcome, I can not put myself or my family through another pregnancy. At the same time I can not even begin to express how truly grateful I am to be here - to have life, potential, hope growing inside of me again. Like my experience of mothering our Noah, as crushingly painful as it is, I would not trade this time with our daughter for the world.

And then there is my Sybil-self. She says things prefaced with "when Joninah comes...." She buys clothes for her, designs her birth announcement, and plans her welcoming shower. She lets herself imagine the sweet moment of her birth and the tender release of nursing her for the first time. She dreams of spending Noah's first birthday picnicking at his grave site with this girl-baby nestled in her arms. Sybil-self is almost as innocent as First-pregnancy self was. After all, how could it possibly happen again....

When it comes to trying again - jump right in or wait awhile - in my opinion it doesn't matter. Babylost mothers never ever forget what it was like to have their child die inside of them. We have a rare and brutal knowledge. It is in our bones. That we have it in us to hope is a testament to our strength.

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