10 November 2005
So, Are You Having Another?
Katrina is three years old now, and since she's been about a year old, random people have been asking me if we're going to have another child. By random, I mean moms on the playground or other child-friendly place. Never men, by the way. Women I'm chatting with, whom I've just met. "So, are you planning to have another child?"
It is a natural curiosity, I know. I've been tempted to ask such questions myself. But I usually don't.
I never quite know how to answer the question, because I no longer believe that I have any control as to whether we'll have another child. I find it rather quaint--even naive--that people think they can plan when and how many children they will have. I suppose people who have never experienced problems with conceiving or hanging on to a pregnancy are also never proved wrong in their belief that they control the process. But Jon and I know differently. Like many others with fertility challenges, we know that conceiving and bearing a child can be precarious, fragile, and fraught with pain as well as joy.
To give you a thumbnail: We "decided" to have kids about 5 years before Katrina was born. After a few years, we got checked out. I had rare anatomic abnormalities that were partially fixed with surgery. A year later, miscarriage at 5 weeks. Broke our hearts. About 10 months later, I got pregnant again. I was a wreck the whole pregnancy, knowing way too much about what could go wrong. Katrina was born, and our whole lives changed. We truly feel that she is our miracle child.
A little before Christmas 2004, I was pregnant again. By the second week of January, our baby had died. The weeks that followed were the worst kind of deja vu.
I had extensive blood work about a month later, which found that I have a (you guessed it) rare genetic anomaly that can affect blood flow/clotting to the womb (as well as some other effects unrelated to fertility). I'm now taking mega-doses of folic acid, which is the treatment for this condition.
So, are we having another child? I usually stutter around and say that we want one, but we had some trouble having Katrina, so we don't know. Even that sounds like too much information to lay on a relative stranger (but of course, they did ask). Sometimes I want to tell them the whole saga, so that they will stop asking that kind of question. Sometimes I just say "I don't know."
That's the real truth--I don't know. But not because of any decision we have or have not made. It sounds a bit saccharine to say it's in God's hands. But it is.