Kelsey, at A Birth Mother's Voice wrote about what it was like to raise children after placing children, To Have, Or Not To Have. And I wrote a comment to her that basically said I was in tears by the end of it because the first part felt as if I wrote it, and the last part gave me so much hope, since she is raising children now. And it made me aware of all the emotions I'm feeling about this topic, and how instead of just ignoring them, I should write them out and work through them.
One thing that I struggle with is being jealous of all pregnant woman, not because I want to be pregnant right now, because I am not ready for a baby right now. It's just hard to see, and it isn't a lack of happiness for them, because I have several friends who are expecting, and I couldn't be happier. But there are times when, and I've told a few friends, that there are only a handful of people who could tell me they're pregnant and not send me diving off a cliff. It just seems like lately, everyone around me is getting pregnant, and I know, it's our age, but still, it's hard to see, and it hurts. But this post is about my feelings towards raising my own children, and getting pregnant myself, and with my husband, not so much how other pregnancies make me feel, because that is a whole other ball of wax!
I'm terrified of becoming pregnant again. And I'd be lying if I told you it hasn't effected my marriage. I love my husband so much, and I feel bad for it, but I think I just kind of shut down when it comes to that aspect of our marriage. There's also a possibility that it's some of the medicine's I've been on, anti-depressants and mood stabilizers tend to lower your sex drive, but I think that most of it comes from my not wanting to become pregnant right now. Of course I'm in a loving, stable relationship, so if we were to get pregnant right now things would work out, but I don't know how I'd handle it. I am scared of what my reaction would be, how it would make me feel, what it would mean. And what it would mean, right at this moment, is that I'd be alone during the majority of the pregnancy and raising a child on my own for the first half of it's life, and that my husband would miss all those things. And I don't know how my son would react if he found out that the next child I had after him was born with their father in another country and not being around, when those were the reasons I placed my son. Sure my circumstances now are much difference, and my husband would be coming back, but I still can't help to think that. And I think Kelsey said that all a whole lot better than I did, "Knowing that I placed them, but raised other children after them?" (yes Kelsey, that is a question, and a good one at that) I'm sure a lot of birth moms feel the same way, and ask that same question, because we don't want to hurt our placed children, but for me, I placed him so he could have a better life than what I was able to give him at the time, and then decided that I wanted to do everything I could to make myself a better person, for him, and I think raising children with my husband would be a part of that, so I'd hope he'd be happy to see that I did move on, but at the same time I can't help but think what else would my son think, how would it make him feel to find out that he had younger siblings? Would he feel or think it meant I loved him less, or loved the children I raise more. Would I do those things, is that how I'd feel? Would I actually be capable of loving them the same, and would I be able to be a good mother to the children I have after placement?
Giving birth that first time was fairly easy, scheduled c-section, anxiety medicine as soon as he was born, and I didn't have to care for him at all in the hospital. I was rarely alone the whole time, aside from nights, which were the hardest, the night nurses weren't very nice, and the day after his birth was harder than the others because he had already been discharged, but I had friends in and out the whole time, which helped. I don't think I had time, or gave myself time, to process what exactly I was doing. I went into auto pilot, and sailed through it. But the next time, I'm not going to be able to just sail through it, auto pilot isn't going to be an option, sure I could get the anxiety medicine as soon as the baby is born, but will I need them? Will I be able to handle it all, as Kelsey said, "Would it bring it all back in a bad way, in a torturous way? Would I be forever thinking about all that I missed the first time around?" And to be honest, I'm not sure about the answers. I'm sure I won't go into the birth without talking to the doctors about this, and having a plan set in place in case I can't handle it, and I can only do so much to ward off those feelings, but those are real, and I think, legitimate fears. And I don't think I'll have the answers until I'm there in that moment. And even then, I might still not know.
Until then, you just don't let those questions eat you alive, and you take those feelings and deal with them one at a time. And you really won't know the answers until you are pregnant again, and getting ready for the birth of the children you're going to raise. And even some of those won't be answered until a while after you bring new children into the world, because you might not be able to hear from your placed child. We as birth moms need to just trust that our children, all of them, will understand and love us just the same. And we will love all our children all the same, it's how we're wired, it's how God created us.