A guest post by Meg Kearney.
Several months ago, I wrote a piece called My Last Baby Is My Last. It wrenched my heart to write, and it wrenched Meg’s heart to read. Please read her powerful and moving piece in response to mine.
I’m scared to be pregnant again
Every time I nurse him, I’m sad that this could be one less time I will provide for a baby. Every time I give him a bath, I’m sad that this is one less time I’ll bathe someone so small. And you may think I’m crazy, but every time I change his diaper I’m sad that it’s one less time I get to wipe a little butt. I’ve grown to love being my son’s caregiver. I love that he relies on me to keep him fed, clean, and happy. When I think too hard about it, I’m scared I’ll never get to do this with another baby.
This wasn’t the plan. Having one child. I grew up with a sister and two brothers, they are my best friends and I want that for my children. My husband and I decided two kids would be great and after that we could talk about more. It was always going to be more than one.
And then I skipped the third trimester. Yes. The entire thing. I have no idea what it feels like to have a baby hiccup inside you. My husband never felt our son kick. I never got stretch marks. I’ve always been able to see my feet. I’ve never attended a birthing class. I never waddled. I lost my pregnancy weight before I left the hospital. To say I am a mom to a preemie sounds like an understatement. A preemie is a baby born less than 37 weeks gestation. I had mine at 26.
Thank whoever is above us that he is thriving. But this isn’t about him, it’s about me. My dream to have two beautiful children, one for each hand, may forever remain a dream. I haven’t officially thrown in the towel, but I don’t know if I can do it again. I made it. I’m still here. So it’s possible to see your baby on life support one month and then bring him to the grocery store four months later like nothing happened. But I lived the journey. I know what it takes to get through 107 days in a NICU, to have your marriage tested far beyond the vows you took. And just because I survived doesn’t mean I’d be that strong a second time. If you survived a plane crash, and they told you that next time you got on a plane you had a 1 in 10 chance it would happen again, would you do it? And that’s if you follow the additional precautions. If you don’t, there is a 1 in 5 chance it will happen again.
I hope I will have another baby. I feel guilty allowing my fear to stop my son from having a brother or sister, an automatic best friend. I just don’t know yet if it will be MY baby. It took one year and a miscarriage before we saw and heard our son’s heartbeat. I’m scared of experiencing the conception journey all over again too. I don’t know if my fear will ever go away. I’m scared of being pregnant again.
By Meg Kearney
Photo by Catherine Morris Photography
Meg’s been married for almost six years and has been building a strong career as a construction manager for the past nine. December 2014 Meg and her husband welcomed their first child, August, into the world, a dream they have had for a very long time. August was born at 26 weeks gestation due to spontaneous perterm labor. He and his family spend 107 long days in the hospital, but he is now home and thriving. Meg writes about August and her family at www.18preston.wordpress.com.