Saturday, 20 May 2017

Just the One?

Reid and I with 10 week old Isaac


I've touched on this topic a few posts back, I wasn't sure if I felt comfortable posting about it in too much detail - but I've decided to once again be open about how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking and what a difficult time I'm having trying to decide if I will ever have another baby.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist this week (he is wonderful, I absolutely wouldn't have gotten through the past year without him), and he asked me point blank "are you going to have another baby?"  His questioning was mostly do with the medication side of things, the weaning process, what I would feel comfortable taking while trying to conceive, then after conception - all that medical stuff, but we both know it's a much deeper question than that.  Isaac is nearly 15 months old now - the questions and comments started long ago: "he needs a play mate" "wait until you have two to run around after!" and on it goes.  I asked my psychiatrist how likely it is that I will get PND again.  The look on his face said it all.  The chances are incredibly high.  Like, really high.  Obviously it will be different, that's the one thing I am clinging to.  I would be prepared, I would be educated, I would be ready with strategies and a team of medical professionals.  There also could be a miracle and I wouldn't get it again; but with my anxiety still being so high, my mental health still not entirely managed and my general feelings about motherhood - it's a pretty darn high risk.

Could I do it again?  Could I feel like I don't want to exist, that I don't want to do it, that I have made a mistake?  That this precious baby would be better cared for by someone else.  That feeling that I should never have become a mother.  The tears.  The sleeplessness.  The pain.  The physical, but more to the point, the emotional pain.

But... could I never again have those newborn cuddles from my own baby?  Those tiny fingers and toes and precious first smiles, first coos, first laugh.  I feel part of me was absent from this with Isaac - but would I feel present if I tried again? 

I never imagined I would be in this position.  The longing for a big family is something I took completely for granted until all of a sudden my mind has possibly changed.  But I just don't know.

My heart wants another baby.  My mind doesn't know if I can cope.

Reid is worried about this conversation, every time I bring it up.  It must have been so hard for him.  It must BE so hard for him to see his wife struggle so much and to have been so unwell for so long.  It's something I need to figure out, whether to wean from my medication, how long that might take, what would I feel comfortable taking while pregnant (if anything).  What would these things mean for my physical health - I'll be back at work in five weeks, I need to be able to cope with a whole new routine.  I wouldn't be wanting to try for quite a while yet, but the bottom line question still needs to be answered - do we want to try? Ever again?  

It's no shock that I over-think things.  It's my nature.  My anxiety likes it that way - I do try to fight it, but until I have carefully argued each side of a decision, I find it hard to make one.

I am open to advice and thoughts on this topic - is there ever an easy answer to the question of growing your family?  Especially when severe postnatal depression is a high probability.  I am at a big crossroads here, I know I have plenty of time, but I just can't get the question out of my mind. 

One or more? What are my limits? I know that ultimately nobody can answer these questions other than Reid and myself and it's not going to be an easy decision for us either way.  We have a beautiful little boy and for that I am so thankful, he brings us so much happiness and is worth every single bump in the road so far; but the question remains: one, or more?

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