Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Subsequent Child Paradox

The other day I was watching my kids play together and my mom asked me if I ever thought what it would be like to have all three of them running around. This poses an interesting question because, the fact is, I would have never had all three running around together.

Many people knew that they were going to have more children, even before they lost their infant. We were not one of those people. Toby was a surprise and we worried about him coming along, thinking that there was almost too much of an age gap between him and Sam (three years). We were glad that he came when he did, though.

Due to the complications that I had in his pregnancy and the problems that I had with my reproductive system, there were never any plans to have anymore after Toby. In fact, we had scheduled my hysterectomy shortly after his birth. I was supposed to have it done the week that we buried him. If Toby had died a week later, there wouldn't have been an Iris. If Toby had lived, there wouldn't be an Iris.

Clearly, I would not trade one child for the other. It's kind of maddening to think that without Toby dying there wouldn't be an Iris, though. Of course, we wouldn't have known about her so we wouldn't have known what we were missing, either.

One of the reasons that the phrase "You can always have another one" is bothersome is that the person saying it does NOT know that the person to which they are speaking can have another one. Heck, I was told for years that I couldn't have any at all and we know that's not true. Iris was planned, though. There were fertility drugs, ovulation tests, etc. We were as ready for her as we could possibly be, emotional stuff aside. 

Sometimes it feels like our lives are split in two, like in parallel universes. There's the one with Sam and Toby and then there's the one with Sam and Iris. Yet they're two totally separate lives that will never overlap.

I ended up having a hysterectomy shortly after Iris was born so there won't be anymore children for us from here on out. I look forward to grandkids, though.


Anonymous said...

very well said. after our son Alexander died (he was just 21 months old) we were asked "do you think you going to have any more children" Two people asked my husband this just TWO WEEKS after he had died!! As if we could replace Alexander with another child!

We did have another baby - and of course that opens up a new world of questions, and "issues". (no, Christmas was NOT eaiser this year "because we had Julia")


Katie (LukeGrantsMom) said...

Rebecca, I like this so often you mirror a lot of my same thoughts. The part about a parallel life if very true, you just feel your whole life change course with your child dying. We had our two kids, 2.5 years apart, one girl and one boy. We were done. I cannot imagine not having Luke or not having Vivie. “If you want to hear god laugh, tell him your plans”.

Em said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed your writing so much that Ive been reading backwards...Could not not comment on this rainbow is seven and a half weeks old. I love him to the moon and back but, without the death of his sister, Eva, there would have been no Nathan. And yet, I do imagine what it would be like to have them all.