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Precipice

March 20, 2009

I stare at my packet of birth control pills – just a few days left.  I can renew the prescription and start another cycle, or (and this is a very big ‘or’) we can start trying.

There are several reasons not to.  I still need to lose more weight to be in a healthy range, and believe you me, I don’t enjoy huffing and puffing as I reach the top of the staircase at work, or the top of the hill on my way home (though I think I need to give myself lots of credit for climbing stairs and walking home in the first place).  My thyroid levels seem to have stabilized, but it wouldn’t hurt to wait for the next blood test to be sure.  We were told we could try again 8 months after Teddy’s birthday, and it may be better to wait the full eight months (and a couple extra weeks) instead of jumping at the chance now, a couple of weeks early.  Added to which, perhaps we should wait until N finishes his dissertation, until we know for certain that we have jobs next school year.

And then, there’s the amount of terror involved.  What if we lose another one?  Such a small sentence, such a giant fear.  After finding out, at 29 weeks, that something was very wrong with my baby, there is no point in any future pregnancy, no magic trimester or week, when I can feel sure that all is well.  And so many of my fears assume that I can get pregnant again, but what if I can’t?  What if Teddy was our one magical, lucky miracle of a chance and we don’t find that out until we open ourselves to new possibilities of hurt?

And yet…

I want to start now.  Hell, I wanted to start trying again months ago.  I want to mother a living child, to give the most amazing gift I can to the world (even though I suspect the world is treacherous and fickle).  I really do want to know what seven months looks like, to know more of what I’m missing.  I want the milk in my breasts to mean something good instead of something heartbreaking.  I want to be trying when our nephew is born so that his arrival won’t hurt quite so much.  I want to be pregnant with N’s sister, who is already at the end of her first trimester. I desperately want to hold a child in my arms who doesn’t need a ventilator to breathe.

There’s a lot of wanting, in this post and in my last, and I know that it’s all connected.  I don’t expect another child to heal me, but I think having one might help me heal.  I’m still trying to untangle that one.

Are these reasons enough?  It’s a scary, disheartening world – melting polar ice caps, starving people who aren’t starving for lack of food so much as for lack of will and effort to get food to them, war and crime and greed and violence and hate.  I think the answers to so many of these problems lie in children who are loved and brave and kind, who are taught that they can shape the future into something better, but it’s still a daunting, serious thing to bring a child into the world – not just for me, but for whoever that brave child might be.

I think about these things, perhaps too much.  I know that any child of mine, of N’s, will be loved and cherished.  We are both ready to love and cherish him/her.  But it’s a giant leap of faith to take, a giant affirmation that I’m willing to trust myself and the universe again, at least a little bit.  And my faith is tattered.

I stand on the edge, for now, taking in the view.  But I’m tired of waiting and nursing my grief.  I want to step off the precipice and see if I fall to the rocks or fly.

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4 comments

  1. I had all of those same reservations before we started trying again. I was determined, my husband less so, and I just couldn’t wait any longer.

    Now that I’m pregnant, the same reservations are still there. Did we make the right choice? Can I really handle the possibility of another loss? I don’t know.

    What I do know, is that if and when a living child comes home from the hospital, it will all be worth it.


  2. Go for it Erica. We’re all here to support you.


  3. The act of creating and having a child is the greatest act of hope I know. I think it’s 100 times that after we have lost a child. I think you will fly when you jump off, Erica.


  4. Trying to get pregnant is the biggest leap of faith, we all know that better than anyone now. Sending you love.



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