Many people think that the decision to try to have more children after a loss is an easy one. It isn’t. This whole idea of conceiving or adopting even after a successful rainbow baby experience is challenging. For this reason, some parents never conceive again. The mental and emotional anguish is an indescribable feeling that some just don’t want to chance.
Who could really blame them though? Sometimes parents don’t agree on that next step after a loss. One is ready to jump right back into the deep end, while the other would rather relax on the lounging chairs surrounding the pool. Both parents tend to have very logical reasons for their desires.
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The absolute last thing on my mind after the death of our son was having another child. The thought alone of being pregnant again made me light-headed. I was just trying to figure out how I to continue being a good mother to my first child. I walked around in a haze, even after returning to work and gaining back some normalcy. Simply going through the motions was a tough enough task. Being pregnant again would only add confusion to chaos; yet, it happened.
Exactly five months after I delivered my son stillborn, I learned that I was pregnant again. I was mortified. I couldn’t believe that I was once again responsible for carrying a baby and keeping he or she healthy. Fear instantly took over and consumed me. When I told my husband, his reaction was everything that mine was not. He was relieved. It was like he was slapped with a happy stick! The news of my third pregnancy seemed to have this effect on everyone, except me. There wasn’t the instant attachment that I experienced with my first two pregnancies. That lack of enthusiasm only led to a flood of guilt. I went to dark place during that third pregnancy for a while. Guilt still surrounding me about Wyatt dying. Fear of history repeating itself overwhelmed me. Guilt over not celebrating that pregnancy like the others covered me like a blanket.
It wasn’t until about halfway through my pregnancy that I began to free myself from the shackles that bound my heart. I knew that my husband was nervous throughout the entire nine months, but his simple joy really forced me to shake off the pressures that I had placed on myself.
I did not know that history wouldn’t repeat itself, but Patton deserved more than what I allowed. What I did know, with certainty, is that Patton would be our last. There was no way that I could do that again. My husband agreed with me, and I did what I could do medically to prevent future pregnancies. I have no regrets about that. In the beginning, he did, but he’s coming around.
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My rainbow baby was sent to me on purpose; however, there were times that I wondered what would have happened if the divine intervention or simple biology, whichever you believe, hadn’t taken place. Would I ever have been ready to intentionally try again? I beyond thankful that we have Patton. He has enough personality packed into his stout little body that he just might have a little of his angel brother in him too.
Photo Credit: Heather Welch
I am a mother of 3 boys, a wife, and a teacher. Anytime I get to talk about my sweet Wyatt, I know he is smiling. I want the conversation about child loss to not be one that we are scared of. We can learn so much from each other by talking, writing, or simply just being with one another.