It has been quite some time since my last post about baby Gianna. Some people have said they feel like my story is incomplete, so I thought it was time I added to my story with the decision of getting pregnant after infant loss. If you would like to start at the beginning of my story of Infant Loss, you can begin with Finding Out There Is Something Wrong With My Baby.
If you have been following my story, then you may recall that my daughter was alive and on life support for two days before we decided to take her off of everything. As difficult as that decision was for our family, we knew it was best for our little angel. There were many tears, but there was also a peace that she was in a better place. Gianna was born May 29, 2008. Because she was born via emergency c-section, I had a good 6 week-long recovery period – physically. The emotional recovery period was a tad longer, and sometimes rears it’s head, even still.
It didn’t take long after Gianna’s death before the hubs and I had talks of if and when we should get pregnant again. We by no means wanted to replace Gianna, because she was still ours, and forever would be. We had heard from some people that sometimes a speedy pregnancy after the death of a baby, was somewhat healing. We had to decide if this would be right for us.
After about three months of grieving, crying, and trying to find my place in life, as a mother of 3 little boys and 1 deceased little girl, I thought I was healing quite well. The first 6 weeks were definitely the hardest for two reasons: It was still so close to Gianna’s death AND having to recover from a c-section, and be in physical pain, was a reminder of my delivery, and the baby that I didn’t have to hold in my arms. Without you thinking that my recovery was a walk in the park, I do want to say that I believe this time following Gianna’s death forever altered me, in some ways. I became more of an anxious person than I ever was before, and more uptight with my children. I spent hours each day in my lazy boy; in too much pain to get up and play with my kids – physically and emotionally. When my boys would fight, I was in too much “pain” to get up and deal with the situation, so I became a bit of a yeller. I would sit in my chair and yell at the kids to knock it off, or to be more of a help to me. My boys were only 4, 2 and 2. I put so much pressure on them – more pressure than that age of kids should have. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t help me more. Didn’t they understand how much pain I was in? These were my thoughts on a semi-regular basis for a good two months following Gianna’s death. To be honest, this thought will come up on occasion still, but perhaps that’s just parenting.
At about two months out from Gianna’s birth, and death, I started to find my happy place again. There were still some days that I would go into my closet to have a private cry, but I wouldn’t give myself long. I allowed myself a brief moment, would compose myself, and go back out to being mom, friend, wife, and daughter. Since it was Summertime, we tried to stay busy with family reunions, day trips and things like that.
Grocery store trips were probably the most challenging things for me. The reason is because I had three red-headed little boys (still do), 4 and under, and they drew a lot of attention. I can’t tell you how often people would say to me, “You’ve got your hands full. I sure hope you get a little girl.” This was so difficult for me because I DID have a little girl. She just wasn’t with us anymore. Every so often, I would get a little sass and tell someone like the cashier at Walmart that I DID have a little girl. And yes, there may have been a mean tone. I only did it twice I think. It just got tiring and difficult to keep hearing some of the same things over and over again. I feel slightly bad about it, but what can I do now? It was a lesson to me to be careful about the things I say to other people. We don’t know everyone’s situation, or their story.
Three months after Gianna’s birth, hubby and I decided that we were handling things pretty well, considering. So, we decided it was time to try that baby thing again. I was terrified that we couldn’t have a healthy baby again, because Gianna never had a diagnosis, but we had to try. I often prayed for a girl, because I knew that if the Lord gave me a boy, then the grocery store trips that I was having, would never end. It would be endless pain for me – so I thought. We felt good about our plan to try another pregnancy, so we did. I believe we were pregnant the first month we tried. Yes, I am one fertile momma.
Before we found out that I was in fact pregnant, we took the family to Disneyland. It was a nice getaway, and a fantastic time with our boys after everything we had been through. It was also a nice vacation before another pregnancy, which could be very terrifying.
A September pregnancy meant another May baby. I was nervous that this baby’s birthday, and Gianna’s birthday, would be so close to one another. I worried whether I could handle that, but time would tell.
As good as I felt about my decision to get pregnant, it was not without it’s difficulties. This post has been long enough, so I will talk about my next pregnancy in another post. Everyone who has experienced the death of a baby, needs to decide for themselves whether or not it is right to get pregnant again. It is a very personal decision that nobody can judge.
You can read my next post: Giving Birth After Infant Loss.