How Do You Deal When You’re Scared to Get Pregnant Again?
Almost like clockwork, every time I am around family or friends or maybe someone I haven't seen in a while, I get asked if I am planning on having another baby. And like clockwork, almost every time, I falter and stumble over my response. Because the truth is, I am scared to get pregnant again.
I am scared to get pregnant again for a lot of reasons. Partially because I'm not sure we can handle another baby. Because I'm genuinely fearful that my body will literally fall apart this time around after a not-so-pleasant fourth pregnancy when I developed polyhydramnios and was so miserable I could barely walk. Because I'm scared to “start over” with another baby now that my youngest is three years old. And probably most of all, because I'm scared to face the potential of losing a pregnancy again.
I had a miscarriage with my fifth pregnancy, after going through four healthy pregnancies and uncomplicated deliveries. Looking back, I can actually say that from the second I took the test, I had a “different” feeling about the pregnancy–I remember thinking that I had a sinking feeling in my stomach like I knew something was going to happen. I even prepared my kids before the loss even happened, saying sometimes “babies slip back to Heaven.” Deep down, I think I knew. But still, when I saw those first telltale spots of blood, I couldn't believe it was actually happening to me. I held out hope, even when I was bleeding in the bathroom at the midwife's office, even when she showed me the still ultrasound screen, even when I had to go back and back again when my numbers continued to rise.
I hoped and hoped and hoped until all hope was lost. And the thought of going through that heartbreak again seems like too much to bear.
In a way, I realize now that I was incredibly naive through my first four pregnancies. I never once considered the possibility that something could go wrong. The thought of miscarriage or stillbirth or newborn loss never even once crossed my mind. I sailed through those pregnancies without a care in the world. And now that I look back, I see that as a blessing in disguise.
Because now, of course, I know better. Now I know about all the ways everything can wrong. I know that there are women who have suffered two, four, eight heartbreaking losses and that there are no guarantees when it comes to pregnancy. I know that there are many ways that misfortune and sadness can strike. Now I know enough to know that I know too much. And it scares me.
There have been a lot of stories I have heard of other mothers who have gone on to have their rainbow babies. And while I cherish and cling to those stories, another part of me wonders if I will ever be able to be one of them. Because the truth is, I am scared to get pregnant again.
If you have ever felt the same way, you may wonder what is the best way to deal with those fears–how to cope when you're scared to get pregnant again? I don't have an easy answer for you, but I do know this:
Hope and love are never bad things. They are risky things, of course, because they mean opening our hearts up, but risky is sometimes worth it. I am still not sure what the ultimate answer in my heart will be, but I am coming to discover that the answer for every mother is different. There is never a “right” way to determine if you should try for another baby. And there is no “right” way to protect your heart or stop from having it be broken again.
But I think beyond the fear and the hurt, deep down if we look into our hearts, most of us have a glimmer of what we are willing to open our hearts up to. I think it is up to each of us to be willing to acknowledge our own fears, to face them, and to recognize if we are allowing fear to control our lives … Or if we are choosing to protect our hearts. There is no easy answer and love and loss will always be intertwined together, no matter how hard we try to stop it. Only you can answer the call if you are willing to open your heart up to the chance for both again.
Are you afraid to get pregnant again? How are you dealing with that fear?