It was Baby Loss Awareness Week last week. I almost managed to avoid it altogether.
But personally and in my real life, I don’t engage in BLAW. I’ve silenced the topic in twitter and I hide all posts in Facebook.
After just the first two early miscarriages, I shared the wave of light and felt a warm comfort of shared experience. But since we lost boy3, I hate BLAW. That’s a strong word I know, sorry if you don’t like it. I mean it though, I don’t need my face shoved in our loss. It’s there with me every day, I don’t grieve according to schedule. I don’t see why others should only acknowledge that miscarriage happens one week a year, it’s there every week.
Anyway, enough bitterness.
Instead, I’ve been reflecting recently on a different facet to our grief. That of letting go of not only that particular baby but any future baby. We’re done having babies here.
We thought we were done after small boy but nature had other ideas. Having suffered a missed miscarriage and a pregnancy with the coil, I was incredibly anxious throughout my pregnancy with boy 3. After we lost him, we realised a couple of weeks later that we needed to take having another baby off the table completely. For protection of our mental health and my physical health. Himself had a vasectomy. I’d done the contraception for 15+years, so he took over. The care and love with which he took that responsibility, to save me from the anxiety and fear of another surprise and to protect the boys from the consequences of another disaster, demonstrate the strength of our family team.
But lately, I’m feeling the logic and need for that prevention deeply. I think that without that vasectomy, I’ve reached the point where I’ve sufficiently forgotten how hard I found it being pregnant and where the medical issues are distant enough that my irrational mind can almost ignore them or imagine that Drs would be able to stop anything similar happening again. That is, without that vasectomy, I’d be looking at my 41 year old self and considering one last baby before I’m too old.
It’s not a good idea. The boys are old enough to understand how scary it would be. Himself and I are enjoying a bit of adult freedom as the boys need less supervision. We love our sleep and wouldn’t want to go without again (especially after the non-sleeping fiend that was small boy as a baby). Financially, another 5 years of nursery would be painful. But most of all, I don’t think I would actually manage the constant fear of being pregnant. And if it all went wrong, would I even cope at all?
But it’s also left me with the grief of never having another baby. I love babies. I love being pregnant, the ripple of a tiny person inside you wriggling and kicking. I love the cuddles with a little lump of warmth who just wants to sleep and nurse. I love the smell of milky burps. I love the first giggles. I love the toddler affection. I miss a future that contains those things.
So that choice we made three and a half years ago? It was the right choice then and its the right choice for now too. But I miss the other choice too.