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   Thursday, November 16, 2006  

Is it wrong?

Lately there has been a lot of talk among my friends and family about so-and-so's next baby and when they will have a second (or third). Because Mr. W and I have been through so much and were so adament in the beginning that we were done, we are never the topics of those conversations, which, you know, fine by me!

But I've been thinking about it. Those of you who have been reading for a while know that. I've always wanted at least two children, preferably more.

My lowercase was born 10.5 weeks prematurely. I knew it was a possibility that he would be, but I feel that I wasn't given all the facts regarding what that meant. I was told "30 weekers are just fine" by the RE who told me to give it another shot and that there was nothing he could do to assist me since the problem has always been maintaining a pregnancy.

During delivery and the appointments after, the perinatologist who did my C-section informed us that having held my uterus in his hands, he could assure us that I would not be able to carry a full-term baby. Any future pregnancies, he said, would end up in a premature delivery at roughly the same point (give or take a couple of weeks in either direction). My uterus simply isn't big enough and a 2 lb 11 oz baby was such a tight squeeze that the doctor had trouble getting his hands inside to pull him out -- such trouble that he used a vertical rather than horizontal incision into the uterus (read: labor will make my uterus rupture, absolutely ZERO chance of VBAC).

Knowing what I know now...what a 29.5-weeker really goes through, what the real risks are, how much care is required and how long the NICU stay is likely to be...assuming of course the best case scenario which God knows is rare and quite honestly, if we had it once I'm inclined to think we would *not* a second time. (Wow...run-on much?)

Knowing all of that, is it wrong to become pregnant again? (FYI, this is purely because I'm interested in your opinions. The Mr. and I are not considering this any time in the near future -- kind of hard to have the energy to even think about the activity involved in making one, which we do not given the current state of sleep in our home)

I just wonder...if you knew you would have a preemie...If you knew the risks that baby would face both for survival and then developmentally...what would you do? Is it morally right to attempt to have a child you know would be premature?

I will attempt to post my thoughts on the subject in a day or two -- once I figure out how to keep my son from throwing envelopes all over the floor and how to keep him from getting the scissors out of the box they are stored in in my desk.

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  Comments about my post, "Is it wrong?":
I have been thinking the same things lately. To me, there are just so many more factors involved in a possible second preemie vs. the first. Someone needs to tend to the firstborn while the parents are at the hospital. I know in my case we lucked out in SO MANY ways and I cannot expect that to happen again. The emotional and physical endurance it takes to care for a baby in the NICU much less one at home, plus working, plus keeping up the house. It is overwhelming.
I was able to deal with Azure's hospitalization by thinking that it was something that happened to her, like an accident victim. If I try again and have the same result I will have no one to blame but myself and I am not sure I can live with that guilt. I have enough of that already, thank you!
For me, in my mind, I am ready to adopt. T also wants a second child but is terrified of another premature outcome. He is not as convinced on adoption as I am just yet, but I think he is edging closer and closer the more he remembers what we went through at the beginning of the year. Either way, we would like to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later so we have some big decisions to make relatively soon.

I will be interested to see what your other readers have to say.
Having not had a preemie myself, I don't think I can't legitimately answer this question. What I know of experiences with preemies, I've learned from you, Blue, and Julie. And honestly, it must be so incredibly hard when your baby, that you fought for and went through so much to have, is in the NICU. I'm sure the emotions are more than I can comprehend and, I imagine, vacillate wildly between hope, despair, guilt, amazement, fear, and much much more.

Would I knowingly go into a second pregnancy knowing that the baby would be born prematurely? I can't say, it's a tough call and one that only you and the mister know in your hearts. I think Blue raises a good point in her comments that it would be even harder with #2, given that #1 would be at home and needs to be cared for as well. I imagine that would be even more stressful (if that's possible) for the three of you.

Good luck, whatever you decide. For me, even though J was born just over 37 weeks, I told myself that if we didn't/couldn't have another, she was more than I ever hoped and dreamed for. And my money's on the fact that you probably feel similarly about the lowercase.
My opinion is that it is not morally wrong. It comes down to what you think you can handle. Can you stand to go through what you did before (or worse) to have another child in your life? I think it is a very personal decision and all comes down to you. Honestly, after all the medical tests, surgery, and cancer scare of this past year with one of my twins, I just don't know if I could do it again. We were told that at 34 weeks he wouldn't be in the NICU for more than a few days. He was in for a month, and after 3 days home had to go stay in the PICU and then went on to scare the shit out of us for many more months. Was it due to prematurity? Is there some other overlying problem we haven't discovered yet? I think the fact that I don't know the answer is what scares me even more. How can I say okay to having another one when I don't know why things went the way they did with my son? If you feel well-informed about the reasons for your experience with the lowercase and understand the probable outcome(s) if you decided on a second child, then I think you can make a decision in clear conscience.
I want to preface my opinion by saying that I have not had any children. I have, however, had a pregnancy "scare" that resulted in a very late period and cried my heart out over it.

I don't know that I have an opinion about whether or not I think it's okay to try. I guess what I wonder about is the pontential heartbreak. I have friends who have had miscarriages and I have friends who are (unsucessfully) trying to have a baby.

If the odds aren't necessarily good that you'll be able to keep the pregnancy long enough to handle a viable preemie, how would you handle the loss of the second child with a first child to take care of? My cousin told me the hardest thing about having a miscarriage after her daughter was born was that she couldn't lay in her room for 3 days and mourn the way she did when she had a miscarriage before her daughter.

In the end, I think that you have every right to try for another child. You're a loving set of parents, and every kid deserves to have that. But on the flip side if you think that the risks are too high, then it's not a "bad" or "good" decision to not try again either.

What would I do? Sorry, it took me awhile to get there. I think I wouldn't try for a second child. If my first child was as hard won as the lowercase, I don't think I could do it again. But that has more to do with my own struggles and how I handle depression and such. I think that one child might prove to be enough even though my husband and I theoretically want two or three.
Being in the exact same position... I don't know how to answer. I don't think many people quite understand the situation either though. As one friend said, "but it's only 9 months (7 in my case) and a lifetime with your child". I couldn't get across the emotional turmoil the pregnancy and prematurity was. And the strong fact that another pregnancy would likely be similar, except further complicated with a toddler. I think about having my son being taken care of a nanny while I'm in the hospital - or asking to be picked up or played with - as I lay in bed. And I think about the NICU, and the roll of the dice and I just want to scream. But ultimately, I think we will try again for #2. Just not as hard. And the pain of not conceiving has a consolation prize of not being pregnant again. The post of others regarding how many to transfer is very interesting. But it is also academic to me since I don't have a choice in that. Good luck - there is not right or wrong decision here - just one that has to be made with lots of thought.
I've thought about this a lot. A friend of mine is at the point where they are deciding how many to transfer and was asking for opinions.

I could only answer based on my own experiences. As a mom who went through years of infertility, multiple losses at 8 & 19 weeks, weeks of bedrest at home and in the hospital and then having 24 week twins that spent 114 days in the NICU, the risk of prematurity weighs heavy on my mind.

I know that I would have to have another cerclage, be on bedrest, and more than likely, deliver early. It's just not something I want to go through again. Before, it was really just DH and I. Now I have two little girls who need me and honestly, I don't want to spend weeks on bedrest and months in the hospital away from them. I waited too long for them to miss even a moment.

But those are just my thoughts. I agree, it's a very personal decision. I'm not sure that I think it would be morally wrong. Whatever you decide for your family, I wish you the very best!
You pose a difficult question.

There are preemie issues, NICU, mother's health, the emotional part, the 1st child, and all that go with these things. Preemie before 30 weeks is really different from after 30 weeks; hell, preemie 24,25,26, 27,28,and 29 are all different.

I might talk to a few OB/Gyn's, neonatologists, nursery nurses, etc. to get more info before I could decide.

It sounds like your husband is not wanting to take these risks.
Well I am a mom to a premiee(he was born at 33weeks, 4pounds)& 5 angel babies due to miscarriage 6w to 19w) We new I would not have a full term pg (unicornuate uterus and other factors)) My cervix started to funnel at 29weeks, I then had the steroid shot for help his lungs and he hung in another 4w. I was told that I would never have a fullterm baby knowing this we are now pg with another baby (almost 18w)My Dr is following my pg like he did with my son I have an u/s every 3 to4w to check my cervix. But I am thinking that if this one comes earlier then when my son did I really am not to sure on #3.

I already have family members say they will watch my son when this one decides to make it's entrance (that was weighing big time on my shoulders)

With my type of uterus Dr have said the with every pg I have it makes it better for the next one. But I also have to consider that my body fights off my pg's aswell (I have to be on an IV treatment (IVIG) 3months prior to TTC and for once a month till 7months pg)

Best of luck to you.

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