Monday, March 15, 2010


We had always planned on having two kids. My husband and I both came from two child families so that number seemed just right to us. We found out I was pregnant with twins at the 19 week ultrasound. After the shock wore off, we figured we just gotten a bonus, two kids with one pregnancy which now seems incredibly naive. Once they had arrived happy and healthy we figured we were done.

After Drew died, I wanted to be pregnant again. Immediately. This biological rather than rational desire has persisted. It isn't that simple though.

I would like Meg to have a living sibling. Although even if I were to miraculously become pregnant immediately, they would be at least 4 years apart in age. Also Meg would have to live with another thing that takes our attention away from her and she gets a lot of that from the grief already. Also I'm sure the sleep deprivation and grief combination would just add to the difficulties of being patient with a preschooler who is quite decisive and persistent.

Additionally, we've won the one way ticket to worrywart street. I'm not sure either of us can handle the first year of baby life SIDS worries. The SIDS worries were bad enough when I had two healthy babies and was blissfully ignorant about how fast things could turn bad. My grief counselor thinks I will likely have PTSD triggers about whether or not the baby is breathing. I already wake up in the middle of the night panicked and worried that Meg is not breathing. I'm sure adding another baby will not help with that.

My husband is not ready yet. I hardly blame him. It is hard to trust that things will go smoothly. Once you have had one statistically unlikely event in your life, it is hard to not think you are destined for another. Also, I was not a pleasant pregnant person. Hormones and grief is likely to make a new pregnancy even crabbier. We've agreed to discuss it again after the one year mark. We haven't yet.

It gets more difficult though. We thought we were done. So my husband had a vasectomy when the twins were infants. I wanted to not have to go back on birth control, since I have a family history of breast cancer. Besides, we figured, I had done my time taking care of contraception, now it was his turn.

Vasectomies are potentially reversible. It is not a guaranteed thing and it can take awhile for the sperm to repopulate even when successful. There are other ways around the issue including IVF and donor sperm. There is adoption as well. We'll consider all of them and have to think about cost and emotional cost of each process. I am still working up the nerve to ask the insurance company if any of this would be covered and my guess is no.

Why do I want to have third child despite all that? I think it is because the potential for adding joy to our life outweighs the fear that something else could go wrong.


  1. We felt we had a 'bonus' too. I remember my manager telling me how efficient I was, to have two children with just one pregnancy.

    I would also like my daughter to have a living sibling but yes, once something statistically unlikely and awful has happened to you it is hard to imagine anything going well. But I think you've summed up the way I feel in that final sentence, I still want to take that chance.

    I hope that you and your husband reach a decision that is right for you.

  2. God, Kairos, this post is just jumping out at me right now. I was just telling someone that having a kid is always a leap of faith, but people who have lost a child have to take a much bigger leap than everyone else. It's especially true now that we have all found each other-- we read about each other's losses and think "My God, there are so many terrible things that could happen" (at least that's what I think).

    But it's so true-- the potential for joy just makes it worth it.

    I'm glad I read this today.