The adoption question

The first therapist I saw after Noah died asked me, 15 minutes into our session, how important having biological kids was to us. The question stopped me in my tracks. She had just finished saying something about how traumatizing both my HG and Noah’s death were for our older son Owen, and the followed it up with that question. The question was like a ticking bomb. I’m not sure I ever answered it. Just launched into all the reasons things I was doing to make the HG easier to deal with next time (if we are lucky enough to get a next time) and how the genetic tests were all normal, and how we were not likely to lose another baby to the same issue again.

I was so horrified that she asked that. That she implied that that was a better choice for my family, that I never went back. I actually wrote her a letter explaining why I wasn’t going back.

I feel like I’ve been faced with that question again recently. I’ve had a friend tell me how scared they are about the idea of me getting pregnant again. Afraid that I might die. Funny enough, that is one of the few things that doesn’t scare me. In a different situation, I think it would be a valid concern. But I have a very proactive doctor that has a good success rate with HG. Sure, I could get an infection in my PICC line. Or have complications from surgery to place a feeding tube if it comes to that. But those are risks that come from any surgery or procedure where there are holes in your body. And I would never dream of telling her I was afraid she would die because she chose to get her tonsils out. Partially because I wasn’t. Sure it’s surgery,and sure there are risks, but not enough that the outcome isn’t worth those risks.

But that’s not the real reason I’ve been faced with that question.

We got a copy of a letter that the perinatologist so sent to my Ob along with the amnio results. As we knew already, the amnio results were normal. What happened with Noah was probably a fluke. It’s possible that it’s a recessive genetic condition that there is no test for yet, but that is unlikely. The letter stated that they think we have a 1-2% chance of recurrence. But that’s not what is scaring me. What is scaring me is this: they said that because Noah’s hydrocephalus progressed so rapidly, that they cannot clear me/a new baby with a 20 week ultrasound. That they will recommend an ultrasound every 2 weeks through the 2nd and 3rd trimesters to monitor the brain. So there will never be a safe zone. They are worried enough for regular ultrasounds. I will have to go to an ultrasound every 2 weeks, for the whole pregnancy wondering if that will be the week that they will tell me my baby will die.

I don’t even know how to comprehend it. I had basically thought prior to this that we would avoid buying anything or making plans until the 20w ultrasound, and then that was it. We would be safe. Sure, I would worry about still birth, but that hasn’t been my history,and while it was possible, I wouldn’t focus on it. Now, I don’t know what to think. How will I ever feel safe planning a baby’s room? Buying a car seat? When I know that any week. I could show up for my ultrasound, and find out it’s the end.

So it does bring up the question again. With a heavier sense of dread. What’s funny is that she asked the wrong question. It’s not necessarily the biological child that is important. It’s carrying the child. I would probably go down the embryo adoption route before traditional adoption. And not because I’m against adoption. More because the wait and the money, and the risk scare the crap out of me. It seems like every adoption story I have read this week has been about it falling through. Or a custody/paternity challenge. And I just can’t imagine going through the wait, and the money, and the emotional investment to have it ripped away. To me, right now, it doesn’t feel any safer that trying again on our own. It doesn’t seem any less likely to end in heartbreak.

So off we go again, even more scared, but carrying on. Praying that some day, we will once again bring home a living baby.

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11 thoughts on “The adoption question

  1. I’m going to be having 2 week ultrasounds from 18 weeks, moving to weekly, then twice weekly. It my case, if what happened with taidgh starts to recur after 24 weeks,they’ll get the baby out alive, and we’ll take out chances at a micro preemie. Because leaving it in would be a death sentence – in my case, my body failed, the baby was fine. I’m just taking it one day at a time, and I’ll be doing a lot of baby shopping on amazon prime while holding my hour old healthy child God willing

    If this doesn’t work out, we’ve decided to become foster parents – it would be giving children a loving home when they need it the most. I just love kids, but maybe more than one of my own isn’t what’s meant for me. I feel pretty okay about it all somehow.

    I hope you’ll be able to have peace with what’s going on in your life, and however things turn out, and will be praying that it will turn out to be a happy, healthy biological pregnancy and baby xx

      • The placenta calcified to the point where he wasn’t getting fed – if I had had an ultrasound between 20 and 28 weeks they’d have caught it, but everything seemed great, and I felt wonderful. They think it must have happened very quickly, which is why I’ll have a lot more scans this time round.

  2. Phew. That diagnosis must be tough to hear. I’m so sorry.
    I suppose there never is a real safe zone, in that something can go wrong at any time, and having been on the wrong side of statistics we’ll always be scared… but the fact that they want to do so many ultrasounds makes the risk look very real.
    Thinking of you, and hoping so much you’ll get to bring home a healthy baby soon.

  3. Hello from iclw. Your post touched me as we are going through the domestic adoption process right now. I gave up on the idea of being pregnant myself (7 weeks was the longest I was ever pregnant), and I still grieve for that, even though I am committed and excited for the adoption process. I completely understand your feelings and thoughts, and you should never feel like you “have to” go to a place you are comfortable being. My thoughts are with you and I hope that while the extra ultrasounds are troubling, they will also bring you comfort throughout your next pregnancy.

  4. Oh man. I can’t even imagine how stressful this is. But I can totally relate to therapists saying dumb things. After my best friend died in an accident 7 years ago, a friend talked me into seeing someone. It took me awhile to open up, but right after I finally broke down and told the entire traumatizing story of his accident, the therapist said “Uh huh. And… have you had any strange dreams lately?” It was like when a record screeches to a halt. What??
    Yikes. Anyway, I’m definitely pulling for you over here. Someone else recently pointed out that it’s amazing how our future babies will have been prayed for not only by friends and family, but even by complete strangers. Hang in there.

    • Thank you. I am glad for all the wonderful thoughts. A friend told me today that if I couldn’t have faith for myself that she would try to have it for me. As silly as it sounds, it really did help.

  5. I’m sorry you will have to have so many ultrasounds and that there won’t ever be a “safe zone.” We will never have a safe zone either, except for when the baby is old enough to deliver. It is terrifying. I also have that deep need to carry another baby and have a live birth. It is very important to me. I remember after Lucy died being very offended when people asked me why we didn’t “just adopt.” As if it’s just that easy. You do whatever feels right for you and your family. We are actually starting the adoption process and still TTC because both are important to us. I am praying for you and I really think God has another earth baby for you. Keep hoping!

    • That’s the crappy thing. Adoption isn’t easy. Anyone who has been down that road will tell you that. Not having a safe zone is terrifying. For us, if we have a repeat of Noah’s problem, they wouldn’t be able to do anything until 36w, in or out. So it is hard thinking that for us, 24-35 weeks (when they are “supposed” to be viable) still won’t mean anything.

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