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Last night I was struck with this strong feeling of having become pregnant… and if we did, it would be a girl.

I have so much guilt and fear over this unsatiated desire to have a second child. I have a second child, he’s just not here – what am I supposed to say?
At first I was terrified at the idea, but now… This is so much more fucking complicated then you can ever think it would be. There was no question about trying “again” after my miscarriages. This time is just so much different. I’m terrified what people would think. I never care about what people would think; a friend suggested this is because everyone would be rooting for it, and maybe that’s the part that bothers me.

I found non-latex diaphragms online, but went through a day’s worth of shit just to hear it might take me weeks to get it all organized. I have to do all the ordering, all the phone calls, all the pick up because doctor’s offices don’t normally carry non-latex fitters. Plus, no pharmacy will order them. It’s all just crap. While I am sitting on hold for 20 minutes I was thinking, “Why am I even bothering?”. I hate the non-latex condoms: they hurt, they make me rash, and it makes sex completely unenjoyable.
Two nights ago I told Curtis that the non-latex caps, without spermicide, have something like a 14% failure rate. That seems like a lot by comparison to condoms. As I read that, I thought, “That’s just fine!”. It’s okay to get pregnant, even if it happened two weeks after starting it’s usage…
Curtis said that’s because by using birth control and “Accidentally” getting pregnant I can rationalize with myself that I wasn’t trying, so it’s okay, I’m not trying to replace him and I’m still honouring him. By using nothing, I’m playing with fire and admitting that it’s okay to want “another” baby. I put this huge amount of guilt on myself just thinking about it all, so for it to have been an accident, I have a reason not to dig myself deeper.
I know he’s right, but I can’t let it go. I feel that it’s so wrong to be even considering it, even for a second. I can’t even say it out loud. I don’t think there ever is a right time to ‘try again’ after childloss, even if you wanted to. Still I feel like I want someone to tell me exactly when and where I can let the guilt go and be okay thinking about it.

Is this just “empty arms” and I don’t really want a second/third child at all?

Seven weeks seems like such a long, long time right now.

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26 Comments

  • I have never lost a child in this lifetime. I feel strongly that I have lost them in previous lifetimes, or at least that I was tuned into my mother’s losses (6 babies), because that was a strong fear I had for my entire pregnancy. I even hallucinated that I had lost him, after he was born. πŸ™ It was the worst feeling I ever felt. I couldn’t stop crying.

    I think you’d be fine with the non-latex thing. David and I use no protection, just the “pull out” method, and we’ve never gotten pregnant, except the one time we didn’t use it- and something is better than nothing.

    Based on your previous entries, I think you do want a 2nd/3rd, you’ve wanted a 2nd/3rd since before Jericho- he couldn’t have changed that. You always wanted a big family, since I’ve been reading you.

    Have you considered just not telling anyone that you’re pregnant the next time it happens? Of course your mom and Curtis would know, but no one else would have to- they all live far away. That way you wouldn’t feel any pressure, and you could just go through the pregnancy without any expectations. When it got close to the birth, say, 8 months, you could tell people- they’d understand.

    These are just ideas… I don’t really know if they help at all.

    • admin says:

      The withdrawal method is playing baby roulette, in a way… aside from the fact that I’d find it extremely frustrating (for both, I would think. On a personal note I find that one of the more satisfying aspects of lovemaking) I wouldn’t use it as reliable birth control.

      I didn’t want a huge family… but I definitely wanted 3. Curtis wants 4, with the last a bit of a ways from the first three. I could do that.

  • Heather what does have me concerned is your poor little body. A c-section takes a while to recover from. How long do you have to recover before you get pregnant again? I worry about your taxed and bruised uterus.

    • admin says:

      Any scar tissue heals, there’s no reason to think of it in any other way. All that’s reccomended is 6 weeks, unless you’ve had a vertical incision (I haven’t) which is around 3 months. If you’ve had massive surgeries or an incredibly traumatic wound, they suggest not inside a year… but that’s rare.

  • altarflame says:

    I sat here snuggling Jake and skimming my friends’ page. He was smiling as I came to this, and smelling good, and as I read it and held him close my gut reaction was to fly to Canada and share him with you. There is some confused part of me that feels like if I could just let you hold him and nurse him it would all be ok – we could lay forehead to forehead with him in between us :/ But I know that however close, he’s not really what you’re missing, and it’s a ridiculous notion to offer to let you borrow him…still, I was absolutely aching to do just that, when I first heard your sad news.

    Every child is a miracle, a gift, an amazing and life-altering entity to it’s parents. Tempest, Jericho, and whoever else comes your way. I know nothing I say can make it ok for you, inside yourself, but I truly feel it is completely right for you to become pregnant again. Now, or a year from now, or 10 years from now. You’re liable to end up feeling guilt when you hold your next one in your arms, that you ever doubted the “rightness” of conceiving them…I wish you peace with your son’s memory, and courage to love “another” as freely as you deserve to.

  • Last night I was struck with this strong feeling of having become pregnant…

    What was your gut reaction at that moment (aside from fear)? Excited happiness or disgust? I think if you were thrilled for a moment at the thought of being pregnant again–thrilled for that fleeting moment before you had the chance to check yourself–then you are meant to have more children.

    I believe my words on this topic may come across as more opinionated and less flexible than most of the other responses to your post; this is because I have had an enduring and intense feeling since even before Jericho was born that you are meant to have more children (perhaps a shared intuition between two born-mothers.)

    You don’t want a second child… you want a third child. Your second baby died, and the loss of Jericho was more tragic than I can adequately describe in words. You will never stop loving him and missing him; he will always be your precious baby boy. But there is a third sole out there whom I honestly believe is meant to be your child. Loving your third child (or fourth, or fifth) will never negate the love you have for Jericho.

    The guilt you are feeling is completely understandable and very natural, but I will pray that you don’t allow that guilt to keep you from making decisions that are the best for you and your family and future. I believe that if Jericho could talk to you right now, he’d have this to say: You are a born mother–Mother of Tempest, Mother of Jericho. How lucky for Tempest and Jericho to have been born to one of the most loving, compassionate, intensely caring mothers in the world. Although the tragedy of Jericho’s death runs deep and will never stop hurting, the tragedy would be compounded if you did not pass on your special gift of motherhood to another child, a sole who is searching for your warmth.

    Still I feel like I want someone to tell me exactly when and where I can let the guilt go and be okay thinking about it.

    I don’t believe that anybody except you has the honest right to answer this question… but, still, I want to say “now” and “wherever you happen to be”.

    • admin says:

      Reading that brought me to tears… in a good way. You’re a good friend.

      What was your gut reaction at that moment (aside from fear)? Excited happiness or disgust?
      I actually wasn’t afraid at all at the time… Initially it was just a warm and happy feeling. The guilt and fear didn’t start until today when I started thinking about it again.

  • I play with the same fire you’re playing with.

    I’ve never had a successful pregnancy which brought me to a whirlwind depression and I decided to pretend to be childfree since it’s easier to not want something you can’t have.

    You’ve got a gift, Babs. In spite of the possibilities of gestation due to the reproductive problems you’ve told me about you can have babies. You are meant to be a mother because souls are attracted to you to give them a physical body. Jericho is not dishonored because you’ve loved, enjoyed, mourned and remembered him. He is still close to your heart and he always will be. He is and always will be a part of your family and he is obviously close to his big sister that was able to help him communicate to you.

    For some reason, I think it’s Jericho wanting to come back, but that may just be me. Him communicating to Tempest and you wanting another child just seems a little too coincidental. Either way, he will always be your first son and you know it.

    You’re a fantastic mother, Babs. Don’t let anyone or anything let you think otherwise. You’re the one who helped bring the hope of motherhood again and Tempest is just such a wonderful person. She couldn’t be herself if you didn’t let her and you’ve given her the freedom, the same freedom given to Jericho and any other child you may have. I’ve always had so much respect for your mothering instincts, even when I was just a wee lurker. πŸ™‚

    I may have gone off on a few tangents but you’ve understood things about me people work at so I hope you get what I’m going for. hahah

    • admin says:

      I do, and thank you. πŸ™‚

    • “I’ve never had a successful pregnancy which brought me to a whirlwind depression and I decided to pretend to be childfree since it’s easier to not want something you can’t have.”

      I completely understand this comment. Fully. Even now that I am pregnant (after 13 years of struggle with infertility), I still can’t wrap my head around this… gift… I’ve been given. I never reveal to anyone the secret joy in my heart. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. *sigh*

      • You shouldn’t have to hide it. To tell you the truth, I’m so very, very happy for you! Congratulations πŸ™‚ I guess it just wasn’t time yet until now. πŸ˜€

        Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop because it won’t and enjoy what you have because you shouldn’t have to look back and think,”Wow, why was I so anxious?” but I definitely see where you’re coming from. I can’t wait for it to happen to me one day because it’s so… forbidden.

  • well i don’t see anything wrong with it, and i would likely feel the same way if it was my life.
    you have this quote on your user info page – i don’t remember it but something about women who are born to be mothers will be….i think that is true and this is just YOU. nothing dishonorable about that at all.

  • 1) If you want I can order non-latex condoms from Amazon and ship them to you. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The post office is two doors down from my office.

    2) You’re a mom. The reason why Jericho was conceived in the first place was because you and Curtis wanted a child. That perfectly natural and joyous cycle was brought to completion in a way you didn’t want or expect. Doesn’t change the fact that you & Curtis want a child, and you long for a child, and you desire a child.

    3) Jericho was no accident. No matter how many children you have (adopt, foster, etc.) Jericho will always be your first son. There is no replacing him, and anyone who suggests such a thing either lacks in compassion & understanding or simply doesn’t know how to phrase their comments/questions/statements.

    4) Your next child won’t be an accident either. Whenever that child comes, it will be loved and wanted. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If you got pregnant tonight nothing would change.

    5) If your heart tells you to wait, then wait and don’t be afraid to do so. Know there are people out there who support you, and who eagerly await the blessing and joyous news of a new baby in your arms, no matter when that day comes. Because when it happens, Heather, a whole world of people will be holding their breath to see the joy for you, Curtis, and Tempest.

    • admin says:

      πŸ™‚ Thank you.

      Re: Condoms. Honestly I hate them. A lot. They completely take all the enjoyment out of sex for me, which was why I was on the phone for four hours regarding the non-latex diaphragms.

      I didn’t mean to imply he was an accident… I was speaking in the terms of my guilt. It’s not technically an accident, more like a planned surprise. If I can disguise it as “oops, guess the birth control didn’t work” then I don’t have the guilt of trying.
      We were not-not-trying with Jericho, and it was the first official month of not-not-trying that we conceived him.

      • *nod* I was more referring to you & Curtis talking about an “accident” to conceive making it more OK in your head. I know Jericho wasn’t an accident. There’s a big difference between avoiding pregnancy and being open to whatever happens.

        I’m so sorry you have this heaviness in your heart. The decision to have a child shouldn’t be a landmine of grief and guilt. πŸ™

  • I don’t think the feelings you express will ever go away entirely, but it is okay to have more children. It’s also okay to NOT have more children. Having another child or ten will never take away from how much you love and miss Jericho. You are not replacing him with another child; it seems to me like the ultimate way of honoring the birth of any child. You saw what a wonderful little girl Tempest is and you wanted another child. You saw what a beautiful blessing Jericho was and what an honor it was to have him in the physical world for even a moment. You see the joy and beauty you can create and to want to continue that is more than okay. I think you have too large a heart to be resentful if another child were conceived, but I think it is important to your emotional health that you are content with the idea for more than a few days. You know that no matter what happens or what you decide, you have people who love you and will support you in any way we can.

    • admin says:

      Thank you…
      I’m having a hard time coming to terms with these feelings and trying to separate them from mourning, to find out how valid they are. Not to say they would be invalid, but… maybe just not clear to me.

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