For weeks I have been denying this pregnancy.
I threw out the positive pregnancy test as soon as I took it because I did not want it lying around to taunt me when I miscarried.
I grieved the loss of this pregnancy (albeit briefly) early on and never quite understood that it hadn’t ended.
I would forget that I was pregnant on a regular basis. A few days ago I tried on some jeans I haven’t worn all summer and they were a little tight and it took me a long time to remember that, hey, I am almost three months pregnant and maybe that might be why.
I thought about how we had to sell the stroller in our storage locker.
When I did think about being pregnant it was mostly with dread. I worried that if I had another baby, my career would never get off the ground. (I don’t really care about my career right now, but feel like I should. And I’m going to have pay off those student loans somehow.) I worried that R would lose his job and we’d blow through our savings in months and be out on the street with two kids. I worried that with four and half years between them, E and her new sibling would never really get to know each other properly or have the kind of relationship I’d envisioned. I worried about being sleep deprived. I worried that we were making a big mistake.
Yesterday I had lunch with two babylost friends. We talked about compulsion, about whether we really want subsequent babies or whether we feel compelled to have them. Do I want to have another baby or do I feel like I have to? Like I have been on this path for so long and I must keep on it, see it through to the end? But, what is the end? What am I doing?
R and I have been trying for two and a half years to add to our family. In that time, our financial situation has worsened, our energy has been depleted, we have learned what grief does to relationships, to self-confidence, to a sense of optimism for the future. We are, in many ways – in so many ways, worse off than we were two and a half years ago. I wondered if it made sense anymore to have another child.
And what if we didn’t deserve to have another child? What if we weren’t good enough, happy enough, rich enough?
And the worst worry of all: what if I couldn’t love this child? If I didn’t seem to want it now, would I love it when (ififif) it was born?
And then yesterday afternoon I saw this new baby on an ultrasound screen.
I climbed onto the bed shaking all over and when I pulled my shirt up and the waistband of my pants down my heart was beating so hard it hurt. The tech quickly found the baby, showed me its heartbeat, said: “There is a baby there, and it is alive, its heart is beating strong and everything looks just like it should so far.”
And I burst into tears. And I cried and cried and cried.
And I wanted that baby. I want that baby.
I want that baby.