I have two wonderful sons who were both born prematurely. I am thankful that they weren't born earlier than they were - oldest was 34.5 weeks and weight 4 lbs 13 oz, and needed a 12 day NICU stay due to not enough strength to eat on his own. With my second I had weekly progesterone injections from weeks 16-36, and he was born at 36.4 weeks and was 6 lbs even - he didn't need the NICU, but he did need some help breathing after he was born and it was scary for mom and dad.
I realize my story isn't extreme as far as premature labor goes, but I am so conflicted inside about whether or not to pursue one more child. I have always dreamed of having a large family - with three children to grow up together and support each other in life. I am terrified of having another NICU experience, but this time with two young children (they are almost 5 and 3.5 now) at home who need me.
Last June my husband and I took a leap of faith and got pregnant, but I miscarried very early, around 6 weeks - maybe just a chemical pregnancy. It threw me for a huge loop emotionally, as it took so much courage to try again in the first place, and this loss really made me that much MORE aware of how much can go wrong in pregnancy. I felt so vulnerable and helpless with the process. I fell into an anxiety meltdown - I've always struggled with anxiety, but I seriously fell apart at this time and it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. It took me the better part of this entire year to bounce back to myself, with the help of anxiety medications, therapy, my amazing supportive husband, and my own efforts with meditating and exercising and healthy lifestyle. A truly miserable year of debilitating anxiety.
I tried so hard for this past year to accept that I wasn't going to have that third baby - just too much of a risk, and a risk that I by no means NEED to take! I can't shake the feeling that I'm not done, and my heart continues to crave one last child. I don't want to always wonder the rest of my life what my life would have been like with that third child, and who I am missing out on in our family. I even very seriously looked into adoption - but can I justify $30-50,000 for adoption agency fees when I'm technically capable of becoming pregnant myself? I just can't feel right about that option, either.
My incredibly long post here....I guess is a desperate attempt to connect with SOMEONE who can understand my conflicting after having been in a similar situation. My husband isn't as concerned as I am about the early labor, he thinks all would be fine. I don't understand how it's so easy for him to be comfortable. Did you take the leap of faith? Are you glad you did? Would you consider the risk worth it? I'm just so scared of baby coming even EARLIER than my previous preemies, and if I could emotionally handle the strain that comes with that AND two little boys who need their mommy.
So conflicted in my heart. Any advice would be so very appreciated. My husband doesn't know what to tell me anymore, as we've gone in circles so many times by this point. My OB says she wouldn't consider me to be "high risk", but that it would be a very realistic expectation to assume another baby would come around the 34-36 week mark. I could handle that....but it's the fear of a much earlier delivery that I'm not sure my PTSD could handle. I would feel guilty and responsible if my child was born early and had health struggles or issues as a result - since I knowingly risked that possibility for them. But....then again, all could be fine in the end. Maybe I would even go full term. Shocking thought, that is.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my ramblings! :)