I have heard this from so many people, and now that I seem to have unfrozen during the EMDR treatment I’m mostly a ball of anger about so many things, including this.
I have been told so many times to enjoy the two children I do have. Forget about the baby that stopped growing, forget about trying for another one: be happy with your lot.
My children are amazing, wondrous beings and I love them so, so much – and I am a darn good mummy. They are my life. So why *wouldn’t* I want to have another one? I DO enjoy my time with my children, but at the same time, I have also lost a baby. It is ridiculous to think that one cancels out the other.
Nobody actually wants to have just a baby (or if they did, they’d be crazy because that’s the really difficult part!). They want a person – to grow another human being that they will spend however many decades raising and being involved in that person’s life, nurturing and guiding them and occasionally standing back and looking on in amazement.
When I got pregnant, that was what I could see – and see so clearly: another wonderful human being. I cannot feel less grief just because I already have two children. That doesn’t take the pain away; it doesn’t help me feel less sad. That baby was a sibling to my children, it would have looked like them and most likely shared some personality traits. I could see that baby in my mind until I was suddenly told it was no longer there.
I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for being sad, or for wanting to have another baby. And my partner doesn’t have any children of his own. He has always, always wanted them – and he is as much a part of the equation as I am. Telling me to stop trying is also telling him to stop wanting a child. That’s a terrible thing to say, but I’ve found myself explaining or – worse – apologising.
I cannot be any less sad about my baby just because I’ve managed to give birth to two healthy babies. Having them in my life certainly keeps me going and stopping me from going mad – before I had my son I had nearly lost it, so desperate was I to be a mum.
I know that other people have had terrible loss and don’t have children in their lives. I know that others have lost their babies after they were born. I know that other people are going through terrible things in the world. But people who mention those things – or just say that I should be grateful for what I have – are trying to quantify my grief.
Grief doesn’t work like that.
I loved my baby with abandon and not in some proportional way to its physical size or how long I was pregnant.
Being a parent is the best thing ever – I love it. And I look at my partner, who adores my children and has so much love to give, and I can see how much he wants his own child. I get that – that is how I felt. How can I not try everything in my power to make it happen for him too?
If my son fell over and grazed his knee, would my response be to tell him that he couldn’t feel that pain because somewhere, someone else had a broken leg? Of course not. I would accept his pain; I would acknowledge his tears – and try and make him feel better with a plaster and kisses. Why don’t people treat emotional pain in the same way?
Please just accept my choices.
Please allow me to grieve.