I’ve been in such a foul mood these past couple of weeks. Not every moment or every day, but certainly often. It makes it hard to write, because really how often can I restate how sad and angry I am that Natan died? How often will anyone want to listen as I complain that sadness overtook me as I went to sleep, or because my apartment is too silent, or because heavily pregnant women and babies make me painfully jealous? When will I forgive the relative who told my husband two months after Natan died that he expected we “must feel all better by now” and chided him for being slow with his work? And who wrote to assure me that his doctor friend told what happened “means nothing” about my ability to have children? Or the other one, who visited but never mentioned Natan or what happened to him? I don’t fixate on these two, or think of them often, but we can’t avoid them and certainly, absolutely cannot discuss it with them.
Yesterday marked 5 months since Natan was born and died, according to the Gregorian calendar. In the beginning, though I thought of time as passing in weeks. Wednesday would arrive and I’d think about how we’d made it through yet another week. For months I was thinking if he were alive, we’d be visiting him in the NICU. Now I think about how if he’d survived, we’d probably have him home by now.
I am not sure exactly how being pregnant again helps, but I think it does. My anxiety level is through the roof, of course, and I feel bad for this baby that I’m still very much grieving Natan. And I feel guilty when I feel happy to be pregnant, because it complicates my pain over losing him. And I worry, of course, that my body wasn’t ready because it happened so fast. Dr. K has assured me that’s not a concern, that I’d healed physically, was overall very healthy and should be fine. While I wish I could have had a c-section to save our son’s life, I’m strangely grateful that at least I didn’t have to lose him and be sliced open. I’d hardly give the section another thought, I’m sure, had he’d just survived. We’ll never know though, I suppose, what would have happened had I not gone into distress. It’s surreal to be wishing for lesser stages of trauma. Oh, if I’d only gone into preterm labor but not almost died….Why don’t I spend time wishing I’d never been in that terrible position in the first place?
None of that, obviously, relates to how being pregnant again helps. Of course being told I can always have other children wouldn’t help. Of course I don’t think of this baby as a replacement for Natan. As impossible as it would be, I want them both. But there is a part of this pain that will be relieved if I can have other, living children. There is a part of this pain that would have been relieved had we had other children before. The pain that is the terrible and complete silence in our house, that is the fear that not only will we never see Natan grow up, but that we might not see any children of our own grow up.
I knew women without children when I was a child, and while they might have been perfectly happy, I knew I didn’t want to be them. I wanted to be a mother. And I want it soon – I don’t want to have to wait until we’re “stable” and able to pay all the costs and satisfy the requirements of an adoption agency. Being pregnant again gives me some hope that none of those fears and concerns will come to be. Even as it adds the perhaps worse fear that we’ll have buried two children by the time this year is out.