On being afraid.

October 31, 2011

*If you’re family, I’m asking you skip reading this post.

 

 

 

After Friday’s post, something didn’t set well with me. Yes, I love how my life is. I love it being just us and Bella. I enjoy the freedom I have to work and write.

But saying those are my reasons not to have another baby isn’t quite accurate. I know I’d be able to continue to write no matter what life throws at me, because I love doing it. I know I could carve out time to work, to cook and clean. It would be a challenge, but when I had Bella it simply took finding a new routine.

So what is it? I have pondered this question far longer than that post, but this weekend has had me thinking on it every moment of the day. Last night Sam and I talked for hours on having a second. What held me back? Why do I feel this need to try to put it off or think of every excuse in the world why I shouldn’t? Do I really not want any more kids? What about that he does? Why do I know I could, in a moment, have that longing for a baby but I won’t let myself?

Then I realized what it was.

I’m afraid.

Being pregnant is total lack of control over my own body and the reaction I have to it. I can’t guarantee I won’t be sick again. Or have preterm labor. Or end up with a very sick little one. Or have PPA. All of this makes me very nervous, because it wasn’t fun the first time around. If I could have someone tell me, “Oh no, that only happens with first babies! Never with the second,” I’d probably be working on my 3rd right now. 😉

There are no absolutes. At least, with knowing what will happen again. It could very well all happen again. Kim had PPD worse with the second and third. I know people who have hyperemesis every time they get pregnant.

Living in fear because of what happened the first time around isn’t something I’m ok with, but neither is throwing caution to the wind and “hoping” everything turns out swell the second time. I read this comment by Anne Marie and it made so much sense:

So, you know me, I made a decision. I have an appointment with the top OBGYN in the city next week. It’s for my yearly exam (sorry men that read this) but also to talk with a doctor that specializes in PPA/D and high risk pregnancies. I’m going to lay it all out and see what she says, having my medical records in hand. Whatever she recommends; be it counseling, or tests, waiting, or no more kids – I will let that information form our decision.

I owe this to myself, my husband, and Bella. I need to be a whole, healthy person, mother, and wife during and after a pregnancy.

Sam would like to expand our family. I am letting my fear of last time hinder that. While it’s my body, this is also something we decide together. I will not look at him and say, “no more” or “let’s try” without having information on how we can be better prepared.

So I can’t honestly say I don’t “want” to be pregnant again. I just don’t want to be afraid or go into it blindfolded with my fingers crossed. I’m doing my part to make the best choice for us.

I may never be able to control what happens to me during or after a pregnancy. But I can control the knowledge and comfort level I have to make the decision, and then accept the outcome knowing I did my best.

35 Comments

  • To BC or not to BC. And to find a midwife.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    […] And then with it out – the question remains of what’s next. Do we use FAM for prevention? […]

  • Daneilia

    November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Cheering for you doll. I hope that you find peace in all of this and you can figure out what your next step is going to be. I would be lost in all of this trying to figure it all out. Don’t let fear control you, you make the decisions in the end and you are incredibly strong (just look at everything you’ve endured in the past). Hopefully you’ll have another child in the future, cause Bella sure is adorable and you’d have another cute baby 🙂 Plus, you can brag that your husband wants you to have all his babies lol. But in the end its all about you being happy and healthy and you know that because you’ll be the one to go through all of the changes. I’m sending out big prayers for you and your little family doll. {{hugs}}

  • The Warmth of Good Company | Preconception health, anxiety & depression, and childcare. Do Not Faint

    November 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    […] family’s well-being (not just Baby’s), and she made the decision to acknowledge her fears about another pregnancy and go out and get the information she needs to combat that fear. Now, Diana and Sam, like Nathan […]

  • Ali

    November 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    This got me to realize that though I’ve never said it out loud, I am afraid of having a 2nd too, but for different reasons. I am afraid to lose the super strong bond I have with my son because there is no way to maintain this level of attachment and care for a newborn. I am afraid of the guilt I may feel for our relationship changing and for the different (and in my mind right now) less strong/attached relationship I would have with number two. There I said it. Now maybe I can move past it! I’m a new reader and I am loving your blog!

  • Desi

    November 1, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I definitely relate to this post…maybe not for the exact same reasons, but I have some major fears about a second. I think its amazing that you are seeking out guidance and preparing yourself. It sounds like its exactly what you need 🙂

  • etosia

    October 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I got pregnant with Rylin while on birth control. I had a great pregnancy, labor, etc. I enjoyed it all so much I wanted to do it again like a kid wanting to go another round at the fair but then Rylin got colicky, and still won’t sleep in her own bed, I got laid off, and love being a SAHM but don’t think we could afford it with two. And I can not possibly imagine taking time & attention from her to give to another baby. I know that sounds terrible & I know I would love another baby just as much but all I really want is Ry. I also don’t want to it again because I’m scared that the experience won’t be as easy or enjoyable. I would be scarred to death to knowingly attempt to get pregnant & flip life as we know it upside down. So I totally see where your fear is coming from because you just never know. Thanks for posting the past few posts and being so open and real!

  • Shell

    October 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Pregnancy can be a scary thing. I’m sort of glad I wasn’t online much when I was pregnant with my first two- b/c I was in the dark about a lot of the bad.

  • Brooke

    October 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

    This is such a brave, honest post.

    The loss of control, both in pregnancy and afterwards, IS scary. And using only your first and only experience of pregnancy and that crazy first year as the benchmark for other pregnancies is a tempting reason to say “yeah, no, no more for me thanks.” It’s awesome that you’re finding the strength to dig deeper, to see what else you can do to have a new experience, a hopefully more positive experience for the next one.

    Even for those of us for whom pregnancy & post-partum was relatively “easy,” it’s still scary… it’s like going back into a house you’ve already experienced to be haunted. You can be braver, knowing what to expect, but it’s still scary going in. (A little Halloween metaphor…)

    (This comment brought to you by the words “only” and “experience.”)

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      This was like everything I wanted to say wrapped in a neat little package. Thank you – for understanding and for always knowing exactly what to say on here.

  • Heather G.

    October 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I will be praying for you and your family as you go through this journey. I will be praying for peace for any decision you come to!

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you Heather. So thankful for your prayers.

  • Alyssa

    October 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I love you, D.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      <3

  • Kate

    October 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Be sure to ask him/her about potentially using the estrogen patch after delivery. I don’t know if it’s indicated for PPA but apparently it’s been successful at reducing rates of PPD.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      I had no idea about that but I certainly will. Thank you for suggesting it – sometimes I feel like there are many things that go overlooked in the PPD/A process.

  • Anne-Marie

    October 31, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I’m so glad I was able to offer support, and I think your idea is a good one. I felt absolutely joyful after I left my appointment with the doctor who told me exactly what *risks* I would face. She didn’t tell me how to control anything or exactly what would happen. (Not even when I clearly stated that I wanted this information! Apparently, and MD PhD does not make her a fortune teller.) But making an informed decision and saying “OK, those are risks I am willing to take” felt really good.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Oh, to have a doctor that could see the future. 🙂 I agree – it is so much easier for us to make a decision based on rational facts and a Dr’s advice rather than on, “OMG it was so awful last time.” Thank you so very much for the links to that site as well.

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    October 31, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I love how your are preparing yourself so well for this. Meeting with a doctor, I think, is a great way to weigh risks vs. opportunities. Doctors can sometimes seem a bit medical and self-serving, but in the end they do truly (should truly) have your best interest at heart. And if you go into planning for baby 2 with a strong plan of action, you might be able to off-set the risks of preterm labor, etc a bit. Or at least be better prepared for the possibility of those things happening. Best of luck to you, Sam, Bella, and any potential babes to follow! Lots of love!

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks lady. I do have some of the same fears, but I also know in this day and age a Dr. is often times the best person to turn to because they have SO much at risk with a high risk pregnancy. I’m hoping to be educated enough to fend off the, “Let’s just have you pop some pills” comments anyone might suggest. ::fingers crossed::

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    October 31, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I love how honest you when you write, D! It is so refreshing. 🙂

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Aw thanks. 🙂 Back atcha – especially with the post you wrote yesterday. They always make me think.

      1. Good Girl Gone Green

        October 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

        Thanks, you so sweet! 🙂 keeping writing and I will keep reading!!! 🙂

  • LA

    October 31, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Wow friend look at you. That’s awesome about going to the doctor that is a great way to help you make an informed decision. I will say this. My first pregnancy was a breeze hell I missed my first trimester due to no symptoms. The aftermath of EJ was a disaster. I was a total mess, I probably had a nasty case of PPA and I was wreck for a good year post-birth. Craig and I almost killed each other and if it hadn’t been for a deep commitment to marriage we may not have made it. That being said, this time was totally different. I threw up every day, knew I was pregnant before I even took a test. Felt like I was going to die and spent a week in the hospital. Jack’s aftermath has been in the realm of pooping rainbows. Maybe it was the counseling we went to for the months lead up to the birth but honestly my hormones just didn’t react that way. Dream labor, dream postpartum period. I can say with honesty things can be totally different, there is no guarantee but I have learned anything its that each and every pregnancy brings its own life and as different as each child is the months before and after them are too. I am praying for you and you know what the first step in anything is always brutal honesty. HUGS!

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Reading this was like a breath of fresh air. So many times I feel like people who have a rough first year pretend everything is so perfect the next time around. And it can be – or it can be rough. It’s good to see both sides of your story. We had a rough pregnancy and first year so it’s like double stress about doing it again, but this helps.

  • stephanie

    October 31, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I have to say I am one of those people who doesn’t enjoy being pregnant. My first was a piece of cake, I lost my 2nd at 17 weeks, my 3rd I had placenta previa (bedrest), my 4th I had preterm labor(bedrest), and this time so far I have had no problems. I absolutely hate the loss of control I have over my body and my life when I am pregnant. I think that the steps you are taking and the thoughts you are having are all good. If in the end you still don’t want kids or want to wait longer, you know you own that choice.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Absolutely – and this is a great comment. You’ve had all of it – and it’s encouraging to hear that you made it through.

  • story

    October 31, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Oh, I get this. I totally do. Loss of control is a very hard thing. I think it’s okay to be afraid, I think sometimes it’s healthy to be afraid. And you’re so brave to look that fear in the face and take charge of the decision.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Brave or crazy. We’ll see when we make a decision eh? :p But thanks friend.

  • Suz

    October 31, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Thank you again for your post yesterday. You are the sweetest!

    I think your upcoming doctor’s appt is a great idea. That way you’re fully informed when you make whatever desicion is best for you & your family. Cheering you on either way!

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      You’re welcome – and while you’re cheering Miranda and I are doing MF’ing backflips for your news. :p And by Miranda and I, I mean me. Because pregnant ladies should not be doing those.

  • Alena

    October 31, 2011 at 8:23 am

    In the list of posts that I recently blogged about writing and never posting. I wrote about the fear. But how I couldn’t allow fear to kill my dreams, and my husbands dreams. I wouldn’t allow fear to change the course of our life. And I had come so far in kicking PPD’s ass…I sure as hell wasn’t going to let THAT bitch ruin anything else.

    I can say, not in any way to persuade you, that this time already feels different. First, I had hypermesis with my first two pregnancies, this time I feel great {albeit tired}. I know my triggers of PPD, I know the signs for *me* {even though they can be different each time} and the moment I started feeling it I brought it up to my dr. I already have my script for AD’s, I am just waiting until I’m 13 weeks to start taking them {personal decision}.

    There are things I can’t control. There are things no one can control. We live a life of most uncertainty. And no matter what your doctor, you & your husband decide….I support you 1000000000000000%.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      I know you do, and how I love you for this. You are such a supportive person, so nonjudgmental when it comes to things like this. It IS encouraging to read that you had hyperemesis twice and not this time. Let me tell you – so encouraging. I know there isn’t any guarantee “But Alena said she didn’t get it!” probably won’t do much, but at least it’s there.

  • Jen

    October 31, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Great post. I honestly think that life in general is out of our hands. We make choices every day, some easy, like cleaning, or going grocery shopping to if and when to have another baby. However there are things that happen. We didn’t think we could get preggo with out doing another round of IVF after Brighton and then I got pregnant with Ashland with out any assistance. Or when someone looses a job, or loved one. So while we can have control over some things not everything is up to us. I guess what Im saying is that, I think its great that you are getting more info, and making choices. but not everything turns out the way we plan it to.

    1. Diana

      October 31, 2011 at 8:26 am

      I absolutely agree with you, and knowing that you understand what I’m talking about is comforting. I don’t want to control (or assume I have control) over things. I want to be informed. I want to be prepared for the unexpected in the best way I can. I had a very rough pregnancy and not finding out (medically) what went wrong isn’t the best way to start trying for another I could potentially lose or give birth to early.

      1. Jen

        October 31, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        I agree, research is key. I can’t tell you how many times I read up on stuff about infertility, or how many different drs we saw. Its ni,e to hear someine think and do some research before just jumping intothings and then wondering why/howcan this happen again. I hope you can get some answers. 🙂

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