On another pregnancy.

Dear Coquette,

A year ago, my husband and I lost our daughter while I was 36 weeks pregnant. We were and still are completely devastated, and to make matters worse, our wounds were re-opened just two months ago when I suffered the loss of another pregnancy.

My husband has a decent job and I am currently a full-time nursing student so although money can be tight, we get by and would have more than enough to provide for a child. After the miscarriage two months ago, we initially wanted to go full force into trying again with the okay from our doctor since I’m finishing school up in just two weeks, but don’t know for certain.

I, for one, feel as though the bad things that have happened to us are signs from the universe telling my husband that now is obviously not the time, so we decided, tearfully, to put off trying for a baby so I can continue my education even further and enter in a two-year program. The thing is, we both struggle with the decision we’ve made ALL the time and are so conflicted. One minute we’re talking about me getting me an IUD and the next, we’re crumbling at the sight of a baby and say, “Screw it. Let’s try and have a baby anyway.”

I know you’ll be straightforward with your advice, and to be honest, we need straight talk because most of the time, our family and friends give us sugar-coated answers because they are afraid to hurt our feelings during this “sensitive” time. I used to say that there’s never a right time to start a family and that no matter what situation arises, we would make it work, but I don’t know if simply making it work will be good enough for our hypothetical child that we want to give everything to. 

I will be a high-risk patient who may have to be put on complete bed rest, so should I put off school even further? Should we wait until years down the line when (I can only hope) we’ll be even more financially stable? Or should we throw caution to the wind and give in?

Well, the good news is that none of the bad things that happened to you were signs from the universe regarding your reproductive fate. The universe is indifferent to your suffering, so you needn’t bother salting your wounds with superstition. 

Instead, listen to your doctors and listen to your body. Are you physically and emotionally prepared for the rigors of a high-risk pregnancy, or worse yet, the possibility of another miscarriage? This is the heart of your dilemma. Everything else is rationalization, and no one but you can know the answer to the fundamental question: Are you ready to do it again?

The only way you can get this wrong is to not be honest with yourself. Don’t be distracted with arguments about your education or your financial stability. They are important practical considerations when starting a family, but you already decided to do that two years ago. This isn’t a question about whether to start a family. This is a question about whether to start a pregnancy. 

To arrive at an honest answer, you need to filter out all of the irrelevant noise. You need to make a candid assessment of your strength, and recognize that there is no shame in coming to terms with your limits. Ask yourself, can you handle the uncertainty of a high-risk pregnancy? Could you handle the trauma of losing another baby? Are you ready to do it again?

If you’re strong enough, then you have an answer. If a negative outcome would break your spirit, then you also have an answer. There is no right or wrong answer. There is only the honest one.


One thought on “On another pregnancy.

  1. Elise says:

    This is the best advice you’ve ever given, and the first time I’ve been moved to comment. I was in this situation, more or less, and didn’t decide I was done trying until I was sure I was done trying. After 5 losses, I couldn’t take any more and I knew that for sure.

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