Will you try for another baby?
It’s a question I’ve been asked alot. It’s a question that I’ve thought about alot. But it is also a complicated question.
When we lost Evalyn, I remember turning to Nick in the early hours when sleep just wouldn’t come.
“This can’t be it,” I told him, “I don’t want this to be the end. We’ve gone through all of this. Surely that can’t be for nothing?”
He looked at me and nodded, although at the time I was unsure what that meant and, to be honest, in that moment it didn’t matter. We had to focus on Evalyn. . . .
Days have become weeks, weeks have become months and even though it’s hard, our family is trying to look forward. We have an honest approach to Evalyn and what we hope our future will be like. Would we like another baby in our family one day? Of course! But for us, pregnancy after loss will not be an easy road. I have spoken with other loss parents, I have spoken to medical professionals and I know that any pregnancy I have in the future will be a very different experience.
It will be a pregnancy filled with anxiety, stress and worry. I already know that feeling a baby kicking inside of me will fill me with panic. I know that I will not be able to continue my day after waking until I have felt that first reassuring prod in my ribs. Every milestone we reach will be a reminder of Evalyn, of how far we have come in our pregnancy but also a reminder of how much we could lose. Outwardly, we may not appear as excited as other expectant parents. I worry that I won’t be able to let my true happiness show until we have our baby safely in our arms. But I’m guessing that is to be expected?
Another baby will not be a replacement for Evalyn. I think it is easy to pressume that when a family welcome a new baby after loss, that somehow they are fixed. That maybe their hearts are a little less broken? Other loss parents have told me that, yes, having another baby is an amazing experience, but it also highlights your loss. Your new baby may look very similar to the child you have lost. Perhaps even the same gender? And you will feel so blessed that you have something so precious in your life, but every milestone will be a little reminder of the moments you never had with your other child. I already know that a new baby will not make us miss Evalyn any less.
A new pregnancy will also mean putting our son through the whole journey again. He has made no secret that he would love a little brother or sister again one day. But Evalyn’s death has opened up a whole new world for him where babies do die. For him, this is normal. Even now, when he talks about a future baby he always starts his sentences with, if we have another baby one day and that baby doesn’t die . . . .
I know that he may have questions that I can’t answer. I know that he may have questions that I don’t want to answer. His questions that may be innocent to him may cause me inner turmoil. For this reason, he may be one of the last people we would tell. The less time he would have to wait, the easier it would be on both him and ourselves.
There will be routine monitoring as the pregnancy entered the later stages. I’ve already been told that. Which is great for reassurance. But it does mean that I will spend more time in the hospital than I would like to. Hospitals ignite panic attacks at the moment. The thought of having an ultrasound fills me with dread as I know what that looks and sounds like when it all goes wrong. I just hope that with any future pregnancy, the hospital can become a happy place for us once again.
Will we have another baby? Yes. At least, I hope one day we will. And when that day comes, I just need to prepare myself for it not being the easiest journey. But I have an image in my mind of us leaving the hospital one day and bringing Ieuan and Evalyn’s sibling home to our family. . . . .
And I’m not ready to give up on that yet.