Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Dream

I step off the elevator. "You are late." My mother-in-law looks at me and walks in the other direction. "Come. Everyone is here for you."

Why is everyone here for me?

And it is a party. A baby shower party, and I look down and I'm not pregnant. And I look at my table of people, Sam, Beatrice, and then there is a little girl with black hair and dark eyes...Sam calls her Sofie, and she reaches up to me and says Mama. And..."A boy? You are getting a boy? What are you naming him?"

I turn around again and again looking at everyone. What are we naming him? Are we adopting a boy?

I begin writing names I love. Harry Thomas. I circle it. The names of our fathers.


My eyes pop open.

OW, ow, ow. ow ow ow ow ooooooooooooow.

Beatrice. Is she hurt? She is caught between the bed and the wall. No, maybe her leg is pinned in the bedrails. Or, she fell out of bed and is wandering around her room in pain. What is happening? And before I process completely, Sam has jumped out of bed and run into Beatrice's room.

"Ow. ow. ow. ow. ow. Oooooow." It is coming from the window. Is there a child wandering lost? No, wait, of course, this happens every year.
"Bea is fine," he says. I glance at the clock. 5:15a.
"A cat in heat," I say. "It must be a cat, because only two creatures make such a heartbreakingly creepy sound. Children and cats."
"But why do they have to say OW?"
"I know. I dreamed we adopted a baby."
"Really? Just now?"
"I wish I could dream about Lucy."
"Yeah, me too. I haven't had one since she died."
"Me either."


That night, the dream and the cat, happened in June. I wrote down that morning. I couldn't shake that feeling of having another baby. So powerful that night of screaming and baby dreams that I reread this post often. Saved in my draft posts, I thought about posting it many times, but then stopped. I just didn't want my dreams and unconscious life to say we should try again. It isn't fated.

After Beatrice was born, and she lay still unwashed on my body, I looked at Sam and said, "I'm not doing that ever again." Of course, your body and mind somehow transform the physical pain of childbirth into beauty. Call it evolutionary biology, or divine intervention. It didn't take too long for me to want another baby after Beatrice. Beatrice was nine months, we began talking about planning for our next baby. Sure, I couldn't will twins, but I could have our girls (Oh, I knew we would have girls) close together so they were twin-like. They would have been twenty-one months apart by the time we got pregnant. After Lucy died, it wasn't the physical pain I couldn't take again, it was the emotional pain of her death. "I will never have another baby, Sam."

Truth is, we both want another baby in our house. Sam and I. So, we are going to begin trying again. I have wrestled with whether or not I should announce this, or not. It seems strange to not say something, and strange to say something. I asked Sam if he thought I should announce it and he said, "I don't know. I just don't want anyone to say 'Yay, you are better now.'" Shit, he hit the nail on the head.

I know most of you understand this precarious edge we walk. Wanting a baby in our home, but not wanting to replace our dead child. Happy at the thought of a new member of our tribe, but sad at the loss of another. Optimistic, but terrified. Knowing that getting pregnant does not mean the same thing as 'happily ever after.'

I don't want to be too attached to an outcome that is not guaranteed. I don't know what the state of my fertility is like; the uterus could have issued Defcon Level Four in December for all I know. I don't know what happens now. I am summoning my inner zen master. I'm trying to breath deeply and accept whatever path reveals itself.


  1. Angie, he's right. People will think it means you are over it. It enfuriated me no end. You're right. It's hard. But I think it's been good too. It's forced me to mourn Jordan in new ways and work through new things. I am afraid every day, but fatalistic too. I am riding this out, hoping for a good outcome, fully aware of all possibilities and absolutely knowing that this baby isnt a replacement for my lost child, but rather an act of defiance to fate and a commitment to the future.

    I wish you well on this journey. This is a brave step. Here for you all the way.

  2. K and I have been trying, for five months. I haven't told many people, you and one other actually. I have a feeling we may be 'with child' at the same time. I've felt that way for a few months now.
    I know you aren't all better...

  3. I wish I could dream about my girls too. All of us who have lost a child will know that you will never be "over" losing your Lucy and you will not have another baby to replace her. We can never replace the babies we lost. I wish you the best of luck with this chapter of your life. I wil be thinking of you.

  4. I wish I could dream of Dresden too.. it's actually strange, usually I have baby dreams of some sort when pregnant, and I really haven't this time.

    I haven't felt like most people think I'm over it since being pregnant.. and of course your fellows in baby loss land will never think that! Being pregnant has actually openened the door to being able to mention Dresden more often than I may have otherwise (they share a due date, and I always mention that for sure) I've made it clear from the beginning that Dresden could never be replaced, and I think for the most part people in my life have understood that.
    Congrats to you Angie! It's a huge choice and for me being pregnant again has helped, i've continued to grieve and have been able to hope at the same time.

  5. "I will never have another baby Sam"

    You know I said those exact words to my husband (even the Sam part!) just after Christian was born.

    I understand your post completely. Especially the worry that people will think we are all better now.

    I don't believe we will ever be all better and I am on the road to bringing home our second baby after Christian.

    I am praying for this next place in your life Angie. Whatever may come.

    My love to you xxx

  6. Oh wow, I can't imagine. How strange that dream must have been.

  7. Mmm ... people will think whatever you want whether you try for another baby or not. Whether you have another baby or not. Unfortunately as we all know too well, we can't make people understand.

    Just like we all know that of course if you had another baby it would not be a "replacement" ... that's not even possible! (except in other people's minds).

    As for never having another baby ... I said that to my husband after Freyja died and then again after Kees died, but I'm still going.

    Wishing you well on your journey!!!

  8. People really do think that getting pregnant again somehow makes it all better. It's absolutely infuriating, and the main reason I'm still not broadcasting this pregnancy to the world despite my ever-growing belly. Wishing you ease and peace on this stage of the journey.

  9. With you all the way...xoxo

  10. don't worry about others - even supposing that they think may be giving them too much credit.

    this path is not easy, and throwing ttc in there is like throwing sheets of ice on it. best of luck.

  11. Breathing deeply along with you Angie. (And sharing the conception vibes out)


  12. Hugs to you Angie - we know you'll never be 'better', you are just choosing a different path. At least that's the way I see the journey of TTC again.

    I'm hopeful for you Angie, your step gives me hope.

  13. I know exactly what you mean. People can be so cruel - and not even know what they are doing.

    I am not quite where you are yet, but the fact that one more person is going to try again gives me hope.

    Sending love and good baby-making vibes to you :)

  14. I think you're doing everything right, the way you're going about this. By telling us, I think you'll get the support you need without the assumption that your life will be happy ever after. We know.

    I cannot speak for your IRL friends and family. I can only imagine the assumptions they'll make, the painful words they'll say, and the painful silence regarding Lucy. But, we'll be here.

    I am happy you feel ready to try again, yet I know none of it will come easily from an emotional point of view. Be gentle with yourself, Angie.

    Peace, my friend.

  15. that dream gave me chills. all of my love through this leg of the journey...
    love, the other half of the egg

  16. It's not getting over it, it's still wanting it, the baby that is. Having another one doesn't diminish the loss at all, it doesn't change the past, but it does change the future. I hope it happens quickly for you!

  17. Right there with you, Angie. xo


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