Back at the beginning of April, I had a telehealth appointment with a new high risk MFM (maternal fetal medicine) team to discuss a second pregnancy. It was decided by my transplant doctor and me to switch OBGYNs so he would have better access to my health information. The team I spoke with was fantastic. The two doctors really listened to me and I could tell that they would have my and my baby’s best interest at heart. 

During the call we spoke about all that went on during the last trimester in my first pregnancy; me getting prograf toxicity, cholestasis of pregnancy and preeclampsia. We discussed my kidney bloodwork results from January and the results that had just come back that week. After the doctors had all of the information, they gave me the green light to move forward with another pregnancy. When I heard the news my heart skipped a little happy beat; then came the sentence:

“Though you are healthy to proceed with pregnancy number 2, we do think it would be best to wait 18 months to get pregnant.” My happy heart sank!

I responded with “Do you think my age would cause any more concern? I am 34 now, at 18 months I will be 35. It took my husband and I two years to get pregnant with our son.” 

The nice doctor’s response was “No, with pregnancy these days we would be ok with you having another baby at 37, 38, or 39. When you get pregnant again we would monitor you very closely and given that you are considered high risk we would do that no matter what. Your age is not a concern to us.”  

So there it was, I heard the answer I thought I wanted; I could try to get pregnant again… so why did I break down in tears when I hung up the phone?  

I did for many reasons.

I felt guilty for having this discussion so soon after my son’s death. I thought getting good news like this would give me some sense of hope, which I desperately needed, but instead it made me feel sad and disheartened.

I feel like time isn’t on my side which makes me feel anxious.

I don’t want to go through the trying phase again – counting the days and using the sticks to know when our chances are good.  Each month feeling disappointment at the sign of not being pregnant.

There was more guilt for being angry about a second pregnancy; getting another chance was a blessing wasn’t it?

BUT more than anything, I cried for my son.

When I gave birth to him that was it for me; I had everything I ever wanted. I had no intention of having another baby, at least not trying for one. Of course we would be happy if it happened but we would be ok if it didn’t, we were happy to have our son.

My dreams have been crushed. My faith has been lost.

Weeks have gone by since that phone call and I get more conflicted with each passing day. I am a part of the ‘Loss Mom Club’, stripped of my ignorance; I now know too many bad things can happen. I have met so many amazing women in this ‘club’ which has given me the much needed support but also more information of what can go wrong. We all have very different stories.

All this knowledge terrifies me.  

I know babies can lose their heartbeat at any gestational age for a multitude of reasons.

Complications during labor can cause a baby to die during birth, days, or even weeks after.

Babies can be born healthy and get a fatal infection at the hospital; which is presumably one of the safest places for a new born.

Babies can leave the hospital healthy and end up dying at home with no known reason.

Doctors are not miracle workers as I once perceived them to be.

I know all too well that losing the baby you loved with everything you had breaks your heart; it will never be the same. When this happens you never go back to being you.

Knowing all this leaves me wondering – do I have it in me to try again?

3 thoughts on “The Answer I Thought I Wanted”

  1. Mallory, It’s never too soon to ask your doctors about a second pregnancy and put your mind at ease. Embrace the positive advice from them knowing that your dream can still be a reality for you in the future. Don’t lose that hope because that’s just the blessing you needed to get you through this.

    All the feelings and emotions you talk about are all the unspoken reality “loss mothers” are living with everyday. These are unfortunately all the unknowns and what if’s you may never get answers for, nor be able to erase from your mind. It’s heartbreaking but somehow life goes on. I am grateful for these connections you are making with others in the “loss mom club”. I’m sure it helps to not feel alone in grieving the loss of your baby. You have an aching heart filled with lots of love for your son and nothing will ever take that away. Your dream always has been to become a mother and you have, but sadly not how you imagined. Please don’t feel guilty because you have thoughts and desires to have another baby someday. Theodore will always be your first born nothing will change that…ever.
    With unconditional love, Mom

  2. Mallory,

    Beautifully written.

    I can relate to much of what you are saying since I could not experience the joy of carrying a child. I went through the anxiousness you express and grieving process also. I questioned why me? I watched my friends have children like it was easy. I realize your heartache is much more than mine and it breaks my heart that you have to endure this pain. Your thoughts bring back many of those distant memories.

    You know, the doctors don’t always know best. I have had many friends that were told their chances of becoming pregnant or having a healthy were limited. Many of these women left it up to God and with good results. Have faith. Dig deep for that faith.

    I think the anxiety you express is the worst. The monthly process of waiting is excruciating. The let down horrible. My friends have experienced faster results the second time around. Hope for this.

    As your mom said, Theodore will always be your first. Having another baby does not diminish his life. No one is going to pass judgment on the timing to have a second baby. You and Albert do what is right for you.

    Love you. Aunt Debbie

  3. Thank you for having the courage to share. My heart aches for you. But my faith knows you will be happy again. Hang in there my friend. Lots of us are surrounding you with prayers!

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