Monday, August 17, 2015

When You're Not Sure If There Will Be Any More

Once upon a time I wrote a post on Courtney's blog, in which I stated that I did not really want to have kids spaced much more than three years apart. Three and a half years later, I am still the mother to one rambunctious four year-old. A four year-old who, at one point (around the time Daniel Tiger got a little sister), was borderline obsessed with having a baby in our family. A four year-old who, a year later, still occasionally asks when we'll be getting a baby in our house. And I have to tell him the same thing I tell everyone else who asks about a potential sibling, "If only it were that easy..."

In the years since we had Liam we've dealt with concerns about insurance, maternity leave, and job changes. But in the past year, it seems as though things have settled in to a point where having another should be relatively easy (as if having a newborn is ever easy). In February, Craig accepted a promotion that moved us closer to my family. I accepted a teaching position in a traditional K-12 school, and while teaching is never "just 9 months out of the year," this position would offer me some freedom that my previous teaching position did not. Yet, adding a fourth member to our family has seemed nearly impossible.

For over a year, we've been "not really trying to get pregnant, but also not really doing anything to prevent it," we've experienced the joy of two positive pregnancy tests, and the utter devastation when seemingly "normal" spotting turns into not so normal bleeding. The night before Liam's fourth birthday, we found out about the most recent miscarriage, when an ultrasound revealed "no fetal pole." Devastating.

And I've coped with that devastation in the same way I've coped with every other stressful situation in my life -- by burying myself in textbooks and work and every other random project that will keep my mind off the actual stressful situation.

***

In June I made a much-dreaded appointment with the dentist. He bopped in and said, "We show that you were pregnant during your last visit. So, how's the baby?"

"Um, he's ..."

"Oh, no," I thought. "He's clearly not talking about Liam. Liam's not even a toddler any more."

"Well, actually, I miscarried," I responded.

{silence}

When the dentist left, the hygienist slipped a post-it in my hand. "Here," she said. "It's an organization out of Minnesota. They do great work."

"Thanks," I said, as I buried the post-it deep in my pocket.

***

In my most recent appointment with my OB, I brought up the fact that I had recently read something about Vitamin D and fertility, and well, you know, I've always been concerned about my Vitamin D levels.

Ever so carefully, he let me know that I should indeed be taking a multivitamin that has Vitamin D, among other important nutrients, but, perhaps, before I start trying to get pregnant again, I should make sure and consider my health, including my mental health.

***

That night, I walked into my bedroom to find Liam sneaking out of the bathroom well after his bed time. "Mom," he whispered, "Do you think you could lay with me?" And, in spite of all of my fears of raising a spoiled rotten only child, I put aside whatever else I was working on and said yes.  

It's a start.