There are a lot of questions that we get asked a lot or that I can see that people want to ask but don't. One of these being: How did you decide to have another baby?
This is our answer, it by no means represents all preemie parents or baby loss parents. For us, we knew we wanted more than one baby. When we got pregnant with the twins, we thought how perfect it was that we could get it done in one pregnancy. Obviously that didn't work out as we had planned. We knew that we wanted a brother or sister that Cohen gets to grow up with. This is by no means an effort to replace Carter. We know that no one will ever replace him, or would we ever want to try and replace him.
We thought long and hard about our decision and we knew that we wanted to have another baby. We didn't want to let the fear of losing another child or having another preemie stop us. It wasn't an easy decision...there were all of the what ifs that came back up. What if we have another preemie? What if I have to go on bedrest? What if people get tired of helping us out? Is it irresponsible to try again? What if we lose another baby?
I have never been only a preemie parent or only a baby loss parent, our experiences are intertwined and we really can't separate them out. This is only my opinion based on our experiences. It seems like having a preemie scares you just enough to never want to go through that again. You have caught a glimpse of what could have been and been through horrible things fighting for the life of your baby. It's really, really hard. Maybe just hard enough that you never want to do it again. When you have been told that your baby is dying, held his lifeless body, carried a tiny casket to a graveside, and buried your child, that's the bottom. There is nowhere farther down to go.
There is a common thread among baby loss parents that they just need to try again. I can't say what the reason is for sure, to fulfill the dream of a child, to restore faith in your body, to trust yourself again. Like I mentioned before, it's not to replace a child. I think there is probably a huge amount of healing that comes with being able to carry a baby and bring that baby home, alive.
Of course we are nervous and scared of losing another baby. And maybe none of this makes sense, but it was just something that we needed to do. To be perfectly honest, I've had a few pretty anxious days where I wonder why on earth we thought this was a good idea. I can't bear the thought of burying another baby. I'm thankful for my friends and family who are willing to talk me down off the ledge. Just please don't tell me everything is going to be fine, I hate that more than anything. I do hope everything will be fine, but we know all to well that there are no guarantees. When I was pregnant with the twins, someone told reminded me that God already knew the outcome of what was going to happen. Sometimes this is unsettling because it doesn't mean that his plans are my plans, but it also brings comfort that all I can do is the best I can, the rest is out of my control. None of the events of my life are a surprise to God, he has had them all planned out since before I was even born. I try to remind myself that worrying does nothing. It doesn't accomplish anything, it doesn't fix anything, and it doesn't make anything better. All I can do is hope and pray that this baby gets to come home with us, and trust that God is in control, the rest is out of my hands.
I truly appreciate all of you who have shared in our joy and have been praying for us during this time. If you encounter me in my highly hormonal, slightly panicked state...I'm sorry. We have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of support and encouragement we have been met with. I'm not sure what I expected, maybe criticism or questioning, but we really do have an incredible support system around us and I think that is going to help immensely during the next (hopefully) 6 months. So thank you to all of you for loving, supporting and encouraging our family.