This seems like the $64,000 question these days. Will we? Should we? When do we want to? The short version of the honest answer is who can possibly know at this point?
It feels kind of crazy to even be talking about trying again so soon in the wake of our loss. I hope that it goes without saying that we’re not trying right this second, or even this month, or next. (I heard this rumor that you have to actually be allowed to have sex to do that, anyway.) But we had a plan. A thought-out, long time in coming, plan. We wanted to start our family, have a child, and we were ready to do that. That hasn’t changed. The only thing that has is that now it’s 6 months later, we have become parents in maybe the saddest possible way, and now we’re even farther from that goal than when we started. We’re all dressed up with no place to go. So I think it’s only natural that there is a big part of both of us that is inclined to try again, right away, as soon as the doctors say it’s okay.
And we wonder, when we’ll be ready, or if I’ll ever really be ready. And what is ready? Does ready have to be approaching pregnancy from a positive and zenlike state? Because I’m just going to guess that’s never going to happen. But if ready can be accepting that bad things happen, and good things happen, and hoping for good but knowing we can handle bad, if we have to? Then I don’t know how far away from that we really are.
And I wonder how we’ll approach a second pregnancy, publicly or privately. I think there will be a part of me that will want to keep it a secret until there is a real live baby in my arms. I’ll be staying home for months, telling people I’m just fat, lying if I have to, all to avoid the awkward conversations I’ve had to have in the last two weeks. But then there is this other part of me, that has learned from the last time. I was cautious. I was reserved in my excitement and my enthusiasm most of the time. And it didn’t stop the worst from happening, and it didn’t make me any less sad when it did. So this other part of me thinks, what’s the use in being cautious and reserved? Better to enjoy every moment, because you never know how many more moments you’re going to get to enjoy, and there’s no such thing as not getting attached when you’re talking about your child growing inside of you.
But I definitely fear the judgments. Everyone has an opinion about what you should do when they’re not the ones involved. I felt some of it even the first time around, when after years of saying I didn’t want to get pregnant I had the audacity to, over the course of several months and many long marital conversations, change my mind. I can only imagine the second time around. If we start too soon. If we don’t try again at all. If we announce too soon. If we do anything differently than someone else might have. I hate thinking about it, so I try not to, but it’s hard because people ask me, do you think you’ll try again, and then I try to answer and it feels judgy.
The doctor said she typically recommends 6 months. I don’t think that’s a physical recommendation so much as a psychological one. But here’s one thing I can promise – we aren’t trying again in 6 months. Maybe 3, or 4, or 5. 7, 8, or 9. When WE are ready, not when anyone else thinks we should. But definitely not 6. 6 months would have us getting pregnant at the same time as last year. Same due dates. Same milestones. A second pregnancy haunted by the first. Judge away, but there’s no way I’m not doing that.