Monday, May 4, 2015

Why I Don't Want to be Pregnant After a Loss Again Right Now

Photo by Kerry Kresl Photography

When I was six months postpartum with Zoe my mom during one of our once a week phone conversations would say, “Maybe you’re pregnant again” when I would describe some kind of physical alignment that I as a hypochondriac often feel on an hourly basis.

I would huff, “ugh” into the receiver and say, “I am so not ready for that!”  

Then mom would let me know that her friends and others had started to ask when “we” meaning Nick and I were going to start trying again.

Being pregnant again was the farthest thing from my mind.  I had just gotten MY body back!!!!  I was done breastfeeding because I went back to work and the milk dried up the longer I went without pumping, due to this my weight was finally falling off and I was getting back to my pre-babies size. However, due to Zoe getting colds every other week so was I, as Zoe and I were introduced to the germ factory known as daycare. Also it was the first time in 15 months that I wasn't suffering from extreme perinatal and postpartum anxiety due to starting on meds after I stopped breastfeeding. Most importantly though, it was the first time in 2 years, yes 24 months that I hadn't been pregnant or worried about becoming pregnant.

I was free!

So when I started hearing that the low rumbles and soft whispers of the rumor mill were asking questions about our timing and plans for another child I got annoyed.  I was another one of those things about grief, life after loss, and pregnancy after loss of a child that I don’t think people get.  You don’t have to want to rush creating your family just because one of your children died.

Now I did feel that way after Nora died.  I think that’s normal.  And I do feel this way now at times as Nick and I often begin asking each other, “Do you think we are ready to try again?” as each month comes and goes since this past December.

Maybe we come back to our question each month because of our loss and that our plans for starting a family were derailed and pushed back 18 months when Nora died or maybe we ask this question because I am in my early 30’s with my fertile time running out and Nick is in his mid-thirties and is starting to believe that his window for being an active dad is shortening?  Probably, and most likely it’s both.

The thing is, now that Zoe is here I want to spend as much time with her as I can. I hear the first two years of a child’s life are important for their development and yes, because of the loss I am afraid that if I were to get pregnant again while Zoe is under two, that my anxiety and fear would take me away from being present for her.  

I already have mommy guilt that I’m not present enough. I already feel guilty that I wanted for this child so much, that I worked my ass off for her to get here and then there are days when I drop her off at daycare a feel a relief that I can go to the coffee shop without having to carry a diaper bag and juggle a toddler. I already feel mommy guilt that in some way Zoe was a replacement and that if we rush into having another baby that child would be a replacement too.

Mostly, I feel guilty because I know that Nora's death pushed back our plans to be parents and that we feel the tugging of time at our side urging us to try again, because we know pregnancy and parenting aren't guaranteed and even knowing all of this, I still feel guilty because ALL I want is to have my body back.  

To NOT be pregnant.

Because I want to linger just a few days and weeks longer in this place of contentment with the small family I have and with a being - body, mind, and heart that finally feels it has shed it’s weighted layers of grief, sadness, pain, suffering, pregnancy after loss, anxiety, hope, fear, pounds, and breast milk.
Life is a little lighter these days without the layers.  

Photo by Kerry Kresl Photography

I want to linger here just a little longer.

And that is why I don’t want to be pregnant after a loss again right now.


  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Although i am on a different time line (my first son passed on February 1st, 2014 and i am expecting his little brother or sister any day now), your words ring so true to me. I can't help but feel this tension between having to catch up with "lost time" and my initial idea that i wouldn't want a single living child and the fact that if all goes well and i can watch this baby grow over the next few years, i want to be completely focused on him/her. And i can't wait to take a break from being pregnant.

    Looking at your family's photos, i can see why you'd want to wait and enjoy what you have. Zoe is beautiful, and i am sure her sister was too.

  2. With all that you have been through, you deserve to claim a little bit of "me" back. Enjoy your daughter and husband. When the time is right and if you feel the need to expand on your family, so be it. If not, that is you and your husband's call. I only have one child and due to my age when I had her, having more was not an option. My husband and I are more than fine with our one miracle baby (well she is almost 7) but amazing how people still ask me if I am going to have more....I will be 50 in a couple of months...people seriously? I am so glad to see you post, I stayed up til almost 2am for several nights reading your entire blog from start to finish...lots of tears shed, always on my mind still and think of your sweet Nora in the mornings when the shower doors are wet. Your daughter, Zoe, is beautiful; so happy for your family in spite of the loss you had to and still endure.

  3. We have this same convo most months too. Its so hard that we are even having this because if she was born alive then we would have never even considered it this year!

    I want to and don't and burst into tears with fear the other day when I thought I may have been, it was all so scary. People always ask when we will be trying again.

    I love this post and it really speaks to me x


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