July 31, 2007

So I was keeping a secret from the blog. Trying to decide how much to disclose and when. Writing and rewriting posts in my head. I wanted to talk about ambivalence and what goes into making life-changing decisions and then how it feels to have made one. I wanted to talk about plans and hopes and fears and more ambivalence. And I wanted to talk about the future, about just letting go and having faith and moving forward. I still want to talk about those things, but now I have to talk about something else too.

When O was diagnosed in February, I thought that I might be pregnant. Marc and I had been talking about having a baby. Or I had been talking about having a baby. Marc had put in his two cents ("Let's do it!") and then listened patiently while I went through my pro and con lists ad nauseam. I was concerned about Olivia. She is a very hands-on little girl. She is at my side an average of 20 hours out of any day. She wants to be where I am when I am there and wants all of my attention on her. I lay down with her for naps, I lay down to get her to sleep at night, and now I get up several times a night to check her blood sugar. She still prefers to be carried. Just typing that makes me feel tired and I feared that I would not have the energy for another baby now. I know that we could wait awhile, wait until O is a bit older, but I am 36. I don't want to be pregnant at 37 or 38 and then start over with a baby when I have just gotten O out of diapers and fully into her pre-school years. I was also concerned about our resources. We carry some fairly massive debt from Marc's student loans. I didn't want to take on the responsibility of another child if we could not afford it.

But I do want another child and so does Marc. I want to raise siblings and I hope for Olivia to have another close family member who is invested in helping her take care of herself. I know that sounds like I want to have another child just so that she or he can be of assistance to O, but I don't mean that. I just want there to be more people to love and care about each other in our family.

Thankfully, I was not pregnant in February. It could not have been a worse time. But once we got O home and started to get back on our feet as a family in our new world, I started thinking again about a baby. Now in addition to my initial concerns, I felt ashamed at wanting to have another. What if this baby also developed type 1? How could I live with myself? How could I take the chance? How would I explain to that child that I knew he or she was at risk, but I went ahead just because I really wanted another baby? I wound myself around and around with worry. Constant ambivalence. I talked with our nurse practitioner whose husband has type 1 and with whom she has two children. I talked with some other D bloggers (thanks!). Marc and I eventually had genetic counseling through a diabetes research study and were told that any future children of ours were low-risk. We talked more, talked with our families. And finally I just decided to lay all the worry down, relax and see what happened.

And I got pregnant, just like that. We were going to wait to tell people, but I told my mom and Alish and Marc told his family and it just snowballed. I was still nervous, still having cold sweats just thinking about the constant worry that I will have over whether or not this child will be diagnosed. But I was excited, too. And I was excited for O, looking forward to telling her about the baby in Mommy's tummy, looking forward to seeing my two children together.

But something wasn't right. I felt crampy too often. I didn't really feel any other symptoms. I got nervous about the pregnancy. And Sunday morning, I woke up in pain and bleeding. By afternoon, it was over. I had miscarried at seven weeks.

So where am I now? Ambivalent. It wasn't meant to be. Do we try again? Do I leave it alone? I'm still too numb to start making decisions. But I wonder if being back at square one is an opportunity to make a different choice this time.

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Anonymous alish said...

or maybe make you more certain of your decision? i hope you find some peace tonight. xoxox

6:44 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Oh, Paige, I'm so sorry. I had a miscarriage, at 15 weeks, before I got pregnant with Boo. It sucked. I still grieve.

I understand your ambivalence. I've felt it too and I hated it. I felt like, no matter what I decided, I would always have regrets, one way or another. I hope you guys can come to a decision you're content with. And if you want to talk, feel free to email me. I don't know how much I helped last time, but I'm always willing to listen (and give my opinion!).

10:20 PM  
Blogger linda said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. We lost our first baby. At 12 weeks they couldn't find the heart beat. An ultrasound confirmed it and we saw our perfectly formed still little baby. Two days later I had a D+C and the emptiness was devastating. We will always feel the loss of that baby. I hope that you find healing physically and emotionally.Grace and peace to your sweet family.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Oh no Paige. I'm so sorry. I miscarried too a couple of months before we conceived Brendon. We're in a sisterhood that sucks to be in.

Ambivalence is natural. You want to provide the best possible environment for your family and so you take all things into consideration and see what can be handled.

In the end, if you decide again to have another, the baby couldn't be born into a nicer more loving family.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

Thanks for all your kind words, concern, and prayers.

I'm sorry for all of our losses, but it does give me comfort to think of all the beautiful babies who eventually found their way into your families.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous alice said...

I've been thinking about this a lot since I read your post yesterday. I almost posted a comment last night, but I'm glad I waited, because now I've had a chance to ponder a bit more.

I have an only child. It's certainly weighed on me that she'll be "alone" when my husband and I are gone. But the older we all get (she's in college now), the less I worry. She makes the most of the extended family that she has, and she also has a gift for making the people she meets into family. Perhaps it's a skill that singletons have, that they develop out of necessity.

I didn't plan on having an only child (I'm the third of five kids, so it's certainly not my model), but that's how things worked out. In some ways, she's lucky to be a singleton because she's had opportunities that probably wouldn't have come along if we'd had more kids. If she did have siblings, she would have made a great sister, but there are never any guarantees when it comes to people, so there's no telling whether she missed out out or dodged a bullet where they're concerned. ;-)

My point is that however things work out, O is going to be fine. With or without siblings, she's got good parents and will grow up to be a happy, well-loved person. Everything else just follows from that...

(btw, I have two friends who are both only children and diabetics. One's male and one's female. They're both in happy, long-term (spanning decades) marriages and each has two beautiful, healthy children. Having children was, of course, a weightier decision for my female friend because of the health management issues that were raised by being pregnant and diabetic, but she found a good doctor and both pregnancies were without complications.)

12:44 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I am really sorry for your loss, I hope you'll feel better. And it is not true that being 38 pregnant is too late, I am sure that O will be very happy girl as I was (I don't have any siblings) but I always wanted brother or sister,My Mom lost her mother when she was 11 and her father when I was 10 but she has her brother , I wont have anybody as close.Every bodies life goes differently and you never know what is truly better,I just want you O and Mark to be happy,so do what your heart is whispering you, I don't think advises in this case are necessary. Try to rest as much as you can now . Kiss O and "Hi" to Mark.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Penny said...


I am so sorry. You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer B said...

Oh Paige,

I'm so sorry. You know, it's time now to grieve. Not to take anything as a sign. You need to take care of yourself and your heart. Eventually you'll be able to think about another pregnancy but right now you're allowed to just be sad about this one.

For what it's worth, I both was pregnant at 38 (not so bad at all) and am an only child now raising an only child. Which is to say, your possibilities are still wide open and ALL can lead to lovely futures.

Take care. -- Jennifer (stellasmom)

9:37 AM  

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