I was just thinking the other morning that we are so blessed to have so many wonderful people and organizations to turn to for help and support. Bryce's preterm birth was catastrophic, it was at once the single best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. It tore my heart into tiny pieces and nearly two year later I'm still struggling to mend it back together.
But let's face it, I'm no spring chicken and if there were another baby in our future it sure seems like that better be the not so distant future.
This is a topic that weighs heavily on my mind. On any given day that you ask me if we plan to have another child (and seems that I am asked almost daily) I might give you a different answer.
The truth is that I don't know. And furthermore, I don't know what the right answer is.
I am an only child. It's got its perks, to be sure. But I'll never know what it's like between siblings, that person who's known you your entire life, seen you at your worst (i.e. braces, junior high, bad hair) and your best (mother hoood). The one person who you don't mind calling at 3 a.m. when your freaking out over this, that or the other. I see it with my friends and their siblings. I see the struggles and the tension as well, but it's the unbreakable bond I envy most. It's that bond that I can't quite understand that I want for Bryce.
I want to be able to give Bryce a partner in life. A partner who looks out for him, pushes him to be his best, a partner in crime and family for after we're gone.
It's funny, because just as I'm searching endlessly for answers to this burning question I come across the Hand to Hold newsletter in which the article, "Pregnancy After Preterm Birth or Loss" is conveniently placed.
It's a lot of information I already had but it's also some new insight. And all in one neat little package that I can really sink my teeth into. Thank you Hand to Hold, for continuing to surprise me with your support and resources.
Of course, the decision involves many more factors than any article could possibly address. It's a very personal decision in the best of situations. It's a decision in which a black and white right or wrong can never be.
And then there's the financial aspect. Individual health insurance policies, like ours, are ridiculously expensive. But the only option for those of us who don't work for corporate entities with the large numbers of employees necessary to offer a group plan. You'd think for the steep premium they'd offer maternity benefits but oh no, pregnancy is, after all, a "desired" state.
With a pregnancy history like mine (going from lowest of low risk to highest of high - literally over night) there is simply no way we could ever afford to pay out of pocket to have a second baby. There would be a likely cervical cerclage to begin with, followed by steroid dosing before we were even clear to begin trying, then cervical monitoring every couple of weeks from the beginning, progesterone supplementation after only 16 weeks, and well, the list goes on and on.
What will be will be. But it sure helps to vent to the world about it. And it doesn't hurt to remember how lucky we are to have our little miracle with us today. The first time I saw Bryce I could only think that he wouldn't make it, that there was no way he could survive the turmoil of his birth.
But look at him now!