from jen, at glow in the woods: We’ve all become much too aware of the fragility of life, regardless of what took our children from this world. I would like to hear how other babylost mamas who went on to have more children came to the decision to try again. How long did it take for hope to outweigh your fear?

i spent several days drafting an unsatisfying response to these questions, and then a few nights ago, between answering bitsy’s plaintive requests for lunch (at 3 am) and nursing boo (at 1 and 4 and 5:30), i realized this: my hope has never outweighed my fear. that perhaps hope has had virtually nothing to do with getting bitsy and boo here.

this isn’t entirely true, since once i was pregnant with them i was pretty damn hopeful that i would stay that way long enough to deliver them, breathing and healthy, into this world. but i don’t think i had hope when i wanted to conceive after losing effie and mae. i don’t think i had to get over my grief to start hoping. (i had to get over it to start ovulating, but that’s another post for another day). more, though — i don’t think i needed hope because i had, instead, something more like belief.

it wasn’t exactly belief that i would deliver a living child. certainly i would have been a fool to believe this after effie (since i did not yet have evidence to the contrary) and even still after mae (when i wondered if i had something worse than my medically-diagnosed “bad luck”). i think i believed something much less concrete — something like more children were coming. i don’t know why i believed this — i’m not generally the believing type — but somehow, for some reason, i believed. i believed that we would be able to conceive a viable child-to-be, and that that baby could live.

it wasn’t rational, this belief. it wasn’t spiritual, or even what you might call heart-felt. it was more like knowing something, oh, i don’t know…like the sun would rise, or winter would be cold. that very basic, maybe even primal knowledge: it was going to happen. whether i willed it, hoped for it, or fought it: it was going to happen.

many years ago mac and i bought our first car. new to us, she was an eleven-year-old brown beauty, sitting quietly on the dealer’s lot, outshone by her newer, snazzier car-lot companions. from the dealer’s office i looked out into the lot over to the section of used cars we could afford, saw this car, and told mac under my breath “that’s our car.” he gave me this look, a kind of “seriously,woman, what are you thinking?” look, but he agreed to take the car for a test drive. within a few minutes he knew it, too. this was our car. we took her home, and for years joked about my special powers. when i thought something was going to happen mac would smile at me and ask “like the car?” i could usually say yes or no. and if i said “yes,” i was almost always right.

the whole baby thing was a little like that. certainly not that i had special powers — god knows i would have used them to keep effie and mae with us — but that i just knew. more kids were coming. and now, here they are, my little bitsy & boo, and now that they are here? i am full of hope for their futures.