We’ve all been asked it. Maybe once, maybe more times than we can count. Maybe we’ve even asked it ourselves, “When are you trying for baby #2?”
It seems harmless, and most of the time it probably is. Pre-baby me never even stopped to consider that it was anything other than a curious, sometimes nosey, question to ask. The mom version of me today feels a completely different way. It’s now deeper and more complicated than it seemed in the past.
The mom in me struggles every single time I’m asked this. Struggles to come up with an answer. Struggles to make a choice between telling the truth or giving a generic answer. Struggles to consider just why it’s so hard. I try to joke, try to make light of why I’m tip-toeing around your question, and I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t have to.
The truth is, every time that question is asked it’s a reminder. A painful reminder of all the challenges and struggles that came along with baby #1.
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It’s a reminder of when we first tried for baby #1. How difficult it was to dodge that question the first time around because we were desperately trying to keep it a secret from everyone until we were able to surprise them with the exciting news. How much we wanted to scream every time we were asked the first time, “We’re trying, but it’s not working!”
We consider ourselves lucky. Even though it took us over a year to get pregnant with our daughter, our journey seems so simple compared to the more difficult challenges so many women trying to conceive face. But it didn’t break our hearts any less each month that passed by with another negative test.
It’s a reminder of the fact that once I was pregnant, I was immediately faced with difficulties. It was a high-risk pregnancy from the start and stayed that way for nine scary months. I put on a brave face for most of it, but it was terrifying. It was filled with doctors and tests, and I was always in fear of what might come next. It was worth every terrifying second, but four years later, it’s still so raw.
It’s a reminder that once those nine months were over, we were hit with another curveball. We had come so far only to be faced with the kind of labor and delivery no one tells you about. The kind you think only exists in movies. Moments that haunt you and hurt you for long past your four-day hospital stay. I remember every one of those haunting moments years later. The fear, the chaos, all of it. Every time I’m asked when baby #2 is coming, it brings me back to that delivery room in an instant.
It’s a reminder that my perfect pregnancy plan was so far from it. That my baby suffered a traumatic birth, resulting in a brain injury that I was so completely unprepared for. A reminder that although you would never know the bright and beautiful 4-year-old walking this earth today is the same baby that came into the world without breathing, it still happened to us and has been an uphill battle from that very moment.
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It’s a reminder that although we wouldn’t change a second with our daughter for anything, the past four years have definitely tested us. It’s tested our patience, our strength, and our faith. It’s also pushed us to be better versions of ourselves by consistently pushing us to our limits. We’ve faced doctors and diagnoses with brave faces, only to return home and fall apart behind closed doors. It’s challenged my marriage on some days and solidified it on others.
My pregnancy and motherhood journey have been a whirlwind. It’s been a blur in some ways and so crystal clear in others. But it is mine, and it is unique. Just like every other mother out there. We all have our reasons. We have our hopes and our fears—and it is all so, so personal. We don’t want to offend you by saying that out loud, but it’s the truth.
My mama heart knows you don’t mean any harm when asking. I know you are genuinely interested and excited at the possibility of welcoming another little one into the world. One day, I will be too. But today is not that day for us. And today we want to focus on the precious little life we are raising and not worry about what the future may bring for us.