Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another one?

I get the question all. the. time.

Are you going to try and have another one?

They are talking about another baby, you know.

It's the normal progression of questions that people just have to ask and can't seem to let be. When you date someone, people want to know "is this the one?  and when will you get engaged?" And then after marriage "when are you going to start having kids? how many? when when when!?" Normal human curiosity, I guess.

They are such personal questions, but in our culture, seems almost akin to asking someone how their day is going. So I get it quite a bit. Of course in our unique circumstance, I get even more questions and more curiosity. It's the added benefit of being asked "can you even have another one?" AKA is it safe? And I suppose that since I blog about prematurity and my son, one can assume that I would be open about such things and want to discuss them in detail, no matter how painful/awkward/intimate it is or (gasp!) really not anyone's business.

When it's not a close friend, I often want to tell the person to, please, mind their own business. Seriously. Who wants to talk about "trying", pre-term birth, percentages, risks, procedures, meds, and the like? But then there are the people that are genuinely close to you, family and friends, who want to know if that is on the horizon. They care about you and want to feel that connection. And that is totally fine with me. I also know that this little blogging community has just blown me away with how incredibly supportive and wonderful you are. So I guess, yeah, I would let ya'll know if we decide to go down that path one day. I will need all the prayers, support, and love I can get!

Today I saw that another preemie mommy blogger had a big ole' healthy baby. And it makes me so happy. It takes guts and, yes, risk to go down that road. Kudos to them for going for it. Such a beautiful, wonderful, magical thing. It gave me chills because I can only imagine how it must feel to have a baby in the hospital, feed it, get to hold it right away, and then leave a few days later. Pretty much sounds like heaven.

Not all of us preemie moms are the same. We all have different medical concerns. Premature birth happens for a million different reasons. For me, it was pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. There is a likelihood that it could very well happen again, so you can see why we would be very cautious with having more children. But many women, with a history of pre-E, go on to have full-term pregnancies and that is wonderful.

Jack is the biggest blessing I could have ever hoped for in this life. Everything he has taught me and the joy he brings is indescribable. Would I do it again? Yes, of course I would. But would I wish it upon our family a second time? The "not viable", NICU journey and subsequent years of challenges and stretching? No, I would not. That is something I hope never happens again.

Long story short, was this meant to answer the question - another one?

No, probably not. Just some food for thought...
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Tricia said...

We have two beautiful boys. We constantly get the question, "So are you done? Or are you trying for a girl?"

I can give you a definitive answer. We are done. For those of you who don't know me - that's all the answer you're getting. (Blogging community feels so differently to me. Especially what I've come to feel as my preemie sorority.)

I will not have another because I am scared. Selfish? Perhaps, but that's how it stands.

Maybe I'd think differently if I only had one. Maybe I'd feel differently if they'd been term. But there are no maybes. My preemies are the blessings I got.

And I could not be happier for Alexa from Flotsam who just had a term bundle of healthy joy. I wish you health and happiness no matter what road you choose!

mthompson said...

My son was born at 25 weeks gestation and passed 99 days later. My water broke due to an infection that went undetected. When I got pregnant with my daughter I was so terrified. I ended up needing to be put on medication and had to go to therapy to learn how to get through my days again. I had trouble with the pregnancy with her as well and ended up on bed rest at 30 weeks.

I am now the proud parent of an 11 year old girl and an 8 year old girl. But it nearly killed me mentally to get them here.

I am so glad I went through all of it to get them here. But even after both of them getting here safely and thriving the thought of getting pregnant again is so terrifying I can't even describe it.

Trying to stay calm while pregnant after suffering such a loss was horrid. And knowing that losing my cool could cause problems with the pregnancies was worse because I couldn't control it.

Your hesitation is totally understood here!

amy said...

Totally get it...scares crap outta me, plain and simple! I've got a different story, I had 3 term babes then our surprise ...hubby "has been fixed" but I cannot imagine doing it again. I love that you are so honest..I know that your heart still hurts bc of yours and jacks story ....I think you are a strong WOMAN and MOM for putting it out there!

gemgemmum said...

Great post.it is such a difficult decision to make after a preemie. Gemma is now 2 and a lot of people are asking us about the next. A lot are very wise "won't happen again", with no experience to comment. It is difficult to answer,sometimes they get full response to shut them up! We saw a consultant who said she hoped to get us to 30 weeks but no chance of term. Gemma was 650g at 28+2 and we are so lucky to have her,know we might not be so lucky next time so count our blessings. It wouldn't be fair on gemma,a new child or our marriage.
It is such a difficult,personal decision and like you say nobody else's business. I would love it to be different but just have to deal with it.not easy if people say don't you "want" another. Of course we would but its not to be.

Jack is a credit to you both.
Sam x

Laura Lewis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Thank you for having the courage to share your story. It is a blessing to read about your wonderful family.

Knowing that the next baby could come even earlier or more issues could be present...I could have an anxiety attack just thinking about it. Unfortunately, I have a mother in law who brings up "the next one" everytime I'm around her.

I had PPROM, but with no "why".

The Kimmels said...

I have a post quite similar to this in my draft folder. I think people are just curious after everything we have been through. It's definitely a big, personal decision!

Mandy Gramkow said...

Oh Jessi,
Bless your heart. I hear ya. I feel like I shouldn't be the one to respond to posts like this. It took us a lot of courage and prayer to get to the point to be "ok" with having another baby, and another preemie. No known reason why I went into preterm labor, no pre-e, no HELLP, no infection, nothing. I know nothing. Which I'm not sure if it's better or not. We so believed that we could have a full-term baby, and then Beckett came 3 weeks earlier at 25 weeks. :( I just have to trust that God gave me (yes, it's still a process of trusting, healing, acceptance, believing, etc) two beautiful preemie miracles for a reason. I am blessed. I am SO blessed. They are SUCH gifts. But I like you, would not want to go through it again.

Thank God for hope. Thank God we can cling to hope.

Anonymous said...

I have a four year-old daughter, Sophia who was born at 29.1 weeks and weighed 1lb. 11oz. I had pre-e. We get the question all the time about having another child. I usually just give them a vague answer, but on the inside am screaming at the top of my lungs. I am so undecided about whether or not to have another. I wish it were easy. Shouldn't I just be happy with my beautiful and healthy daughter? Will she be mad that I never gave her a sibling? Should I put her and my husband and myself through that again, not to mention the baby? Maybe I can go full-term next time? So. Many. Decisions. People have no clue when they ask about the topic what kind of frenzy it puts my mind through. You're not alone. :) ~Sarah

Heather said...

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to stumble upon your blog! I am the very, very proud mother of Blake - born at 30 weeks, in the NICU 63 days, came home on all sorts of equipment and meds, and who is now an energetic, healthy, happy little 2 year old! For months, I've been asked (by those close... and more not-so-close) when we will try again. When I tell them we probably will not, I am usually greeted with a surprised expression. The more ignorant (and bold) ones will then tell me that I'm going to be leaving Blake alone with no one to play with or that "he's fine now" so get over it and have another one. I even had someone tell me, "well, that's kind of selfish." I've been known to say, on days when overly irritable, "when you see your child on a ventilator, THEN you can judge me." Too much??? LOL I had a horrible, traumatic birth experience and though Blake is the center of our universe (and living proof that God shows us miracles on earth), I am petrified of having another experience like this one. Would I do it all over again? YES because Blake is such a blessing to us and anyone who meets him. Would I want to do it a second time... not so much. Your story is incredible, your blog is just what I needed today, and Jack... well, he's just been added to my list of heroes.

Joanna B said...

We get forward questions and comments ALL the time, just because we look different. I don't mind them, except when they are rude or inappropriate in front of my daughter. Then I usually just say "why do you want to know?" Sometimes, I just say that we don't talk about such personal issues with people outside of our family. :-)

Kim Pace said...

You know, that question in general can certainly cause some hurt. A lot of times, we don't know anyone's stories and we ask this stranger if they will have another child, try for the girl, etc. My old boss' wife had 3 kids and would be asked if she would have another (because 3 isn't a good number of kids, supposedly). What they didn't know is that they had lost one child. She would just say "no" and nothing more, but it is still painful. Just one more thing to think about before asking someone. I wonder when it became socially "acceptable" to ask personal questions so many times. I haven't had any problems with my children or pregnancies, but it is still annoying to be asked that. So much more for others.

Michelle said...

I always wonder "what if". What if I had another? Could I carry a baby to term again? My oldest daughter was born full-term and then the twins were born at 24 weeks. It's not so much that I even want another child. Three is enough for me, but I will always wonder if I could carry to term. Most of that has to do with the guilt I still feel for not being able to carry my twins to term even though I am well aware that it was nothing I did.

On a side note, a preemie mom friend of mine just had a baby at 36 weeks. She had her 24 week micro-preemie on her bathroom floor at home and she and her husband performed CPR on their 1 lb baby until medics arrived, so I am SOOO happy for her now that she gets to experience a normal birth. Her blog is www.brycemoline.blogspot.com. You might be interested in following her story because Bryce deals with some of the same issues that Jack is dealing with from prematurity.

I believe she is writing a post on www.preemiebabies101.com about having a second child after a pre-term birth.

Jen said...

People feel they have the right to express their opinions on how many children you should have no matter how many children you have. We have 8 precious children, 7 preemies with gestational ages of 36 weeks to 27 weeks. I fall into the percentage of women whom doctors don't know why I go into labor early. And, there is no progression of them coming earlier either, it's just random. So, for my husband and I we feel it is in God's hands and trust Him with our family size. That is our choice. By no means do I feel the need to tell everyone to do the same. It is a personal decision!

Having a child with special needs makes the decision to have another child even more complex. With therapies and doctors appointments, my time is much more limited than when I was parenting the other children at Lia's age. That being said, we did have another baby after Lia, and Luke was a 30 weeker with no problems at all. His NICU stay was so easy in comparison to Lia's that the newer nurses in the NICU who did not know how much we went through with Lia probably thought we were odd for being so calm about seeing Luke on CPAP for less than 2 days and taking it in stride changing his little diapers and picking him up without fear or hesitation of his wires and tubes. All this to say, yes I agree it is a personal decision and that people are very opinionated about it!

I try to keep a positive spin on those probing questions. With all you've shared about Jack, I had wondered if you would have another little one just because he seems so sweet and a joy to you that I thought another little person would be a blessing to your family. I promise I would never have asked :)

Kara said...

I just went into preterm labor with my son when I was 16 weeks along. It was (is) devastating, to say the least. People have asked if we'll try again, and we haven't even had time to grieve the loss of this child! It's definitely a tough question, and it's one nobody has the right to ask. Whatever you decide, it'll be the right decision for your precious family, and no one else's opinions matter.

The Westbys said...

I got this question a lot after I had my first son (28 weeker). And everytime I just looked at the person like they were crazy and stumbled over finding words to answer them. When we found out we were pregnant with our second son (surprise-we were told having a 2nd was not going to happen as #1 was a fertility drug baby) we were terrified. The entire pregnancy was stressful but I made it to full term! 37 weeks! Unfortunately, We still ended up in the NICU with RDS. Although, his stay was much shorter, obviously. Still pretty stressful. He is just 3 months old and I am ALREADY getting the question of when we will have another. I have to resist the urge to walk away when this question is asked. Are you kidding me? After two NICU stays...?
And I cannot even imagine how much harder this is for you with a 23 weeker.