Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Answer

*sorry if you are seeing this a million times on reader. I started this in February and forgot to paste it to a new post last night. I didn't want to receive hate mail from those who couldn't find it!!!*

This post has been in my head for a while. It is not one that can be thrown together in 30 minutes. There are no cute pictures to attach. There is no video to share. Proof reading is required because deep and raw emotion is attached to each word.

I think about it often and find the subject crosses my mind more and more these days. I have shared openly with a few friends and family members. But I have been holding back here. Not for the majority of the folks who read. I have kept quiet for the ones I don't know about. The ones who stumble across my page because they are in the initial stages of grief and loss of a child. Those who are longing for the chance to have just one child. I want to be sensitive to that person because I know what it is like to be that person. May I never forget what it is like to be that person. That being said,

I know I have been blessed.

A few people have asked. Others just wonder. Will we ever try again? It may take me a while to get there, but I will try my best to answer that question.

I think it is pretty apparent that I am completely and madly in love with Crosby Fox. He "hung the moon" in my little world. The joy he brought into my life the day he was born is indescribable; like nothing I have ever known. The day he was born is a day I could relive over and over and over and never tire of repeating. It is hard to believe that day was over 14 months ago. Imagining him at 5 pounds and 10 ounces is nearly impossible. I don't recall the sleepless nights being all that bad. Pumping 8-12 times a day wasn't all that time consuming, was it? It is hard to believe there was a time he didn't smile voluntarily. In my mind's eye, his voice has always been. And I am pretty sure he was born walking. The farther time moves away from December 29th, 2008, the more my heart misses my little baby and longs to hold another again.

I know I have been blessed.

I always wanted to be a mother. As a child, I imagined having my perfect little family. Naive, all I thought about was having a boy and a girl, in that order. And maybe we would throw in a third if the first 2 were the same gender. Health was assumed. Any other outcome would not happen to me. My fairytale to motherhood did not include giving birth to a child that died before she was born. While I achieved my "title", the story it depicted was nothing short of a tragedy. Yet in some ways, the tragedy made my desire to mother a child grow even stronger. The intense longing I felt made it easy to try again. I could push away the pain, fear and doubt and focus on the future that would have to include joy. I had suffered enough.

I never imagined my second attempt to truly experience motherhood would mean hearing my daughter gasp for breath. Followed by silence. Any dream of being a mother that remained was shattered the moment her life on earth was over. Becoming a mother brought me nothing but heartache and sorrow. I didn't think I would ever muster up the courage to try again. My heart was broken. My dream was over.

I know I have been blessed.

Crosby was formed without my knowledge. Without my consent, if you will. Though, clearly, that thought makes no sense. I was not ready or willing to lose another child. I did not care to visit the labor and delivery unit at Baptist Hospital only to return home empty handed. There was no doubt in my mind that we would lose that pregnancy. Therefore, I did not want to be pregnant. Yet, there was a bigger plan for our lives. One greater than my mind could have ever imagined. How grateful I am to know that my consent was not required for God's plan to be carried out. For had He asked, fear would have kept me from receiving the most precious gift I have ever been given. I would have missed out on knowing Crosby. That was not the case. By the mercy and grave of God, our story finally had the "happy ending" I had been longing to experience.

I know I have been blessed.

The joy I now know can almost make me forget the mental and spiritual battle I fought during the 32 weeks I knew I was pregnant with Crosby. The daily anxiety evoked by feeling contraction after contraction after contraction no longer stands out in my mind. In the end, to have Crosby makes every bit of the struggle worth it. He makes me think it is worth it to try again. But to expand our family would mean being willing to write a new chapter. One that may not end the way we would choose. There would be no question if we were guaranteed another happy ending. Like most families seem to do, we would decide how far apart in age we would like our children to be and go from there. I would toss Mirena aside and say,"whatever happens, happens!" But for me, to do that seems so selfish. With my medical history, I feel I am not afforded freedom to throw caution to the wind. Or is that just my excuse for being held back by fear? I don't know. That is what I am trying to discern right now.

I know I have been blessed.

When I think about growing our family, so many "what ifs" come to mind. There are a handful of scenarios I think of most often:

  • I could have a first trimester miscarriage.
  • I could have another second trimester miscarriage, occurring before the baby is viable, giving him/her no chance of survival.
  • I could have a child born at a viable age (24+ weeks) and he/she could die before making it to the NICU.
  • I could have a child born at a viable age (24+ weeks) and he/she could spend months in the NICU and survive, only to have multiple, long term disabilities due to prematurity.
  • I could have a child born at a viable age (24+ weeks) and he/she would spend months in the NICU and survive with minimal or even no long term disabilities.
  • I could carry a baby to term, or close to it, after months of bed rest, medication and hospitalization.
  • Given a nice long break between pregnancies and prepared with the information we now know about my body, I could carry a baby to term with little to know problem at all.

The list could go on and on and on. I could "what if" this topic until I am blue in the face. But so could every other person who is considering having a child. There is risk with every pregnancy. However, knowing what we do about my body's ability to carry a child, I feel it would irresponsible of me NOT to think of the possibilities. It would be selfish to only consider our needs and wants. We also have to think about our family and friends. Blake and I are not the only people who would be affected by a desire to grow our family. It nearly took an entire community to help bring Crosby safely into this world. Now that he is here, it is my responsibility to care for him on a daily basis. How can I do that while lying on a couch or in a bed for 4-5 months? How can I ask others to help raise this precious gift I was given?

At times, fear of the unknown makes me want to say I am done. But what if God has different plans for us? What if He wants me to lay my fear at His feet and trust Him in our family planning? Kind of like He forced me to do in the past.

One thing I know for sure. I have been blessed. We have been given exceedingly more than we "need" or deserve. Crosby is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received and I am striving to cherish each and every moment with him. If he is the only biological child I have the privilege of raising on this earth, I will be happy. But if the Lord's plan includes carrying another child, it would thrill my soul to experience that joy once again.

I say all of this knowing that ultimately, this is not our decision at all. Dr. B is willing to walk with us down any path we choose. While he anticipates any future pregnancy will be similar to our last, he does not know what our future holds. Like us, he knows the this will be decided by the Giver of Life. And it is He who will decide the future of our family. I am more than happy to submit to His will, whatever that may be. I have no plans to move forward in this area until I feel Him guide me in one direction or the other. For now, we will keep living this life to the fullest with Crosby Fox, believing, without a shadow of doubt, that we have indeed been blessed.


Jill Fields said...

Oh, Danielle, my heart is squeezed so tight right now...

I've been waiting on this post for awhile but never, ever wanted to ask. All I know to say is you are so strong, so thoughtful, so caring, and such a wonderful mother...I will be praying for your and Blake's discernment. There is little else to say that you didn't express in those beautiful words I just read.

I love you all!

Lucy Fleming said...


I just got on your blog randomly because it has been awhile since I've checked in on it. This is the sweetest, sweetest post. I know you have been super strong and are beyond blessed. Your strength and compassion is very admirable. Hope you guys are doing well.