I want Clay, but I need another baby.
I want to start this blog with a little caveat that I wish I didn’t have to write, having another baby will never ever replace Clay, nor will it make the pain of losing Clay any less painful. Clay is and always will be our much wanted, much loved first born child. His brothers or sisters will grow up knowing they have a big brother who can live in their hearts but unfortunately can’t live here with us in our home. We will always feel like our family is not fully complete because Clay isn’t here to grow up and they’ll always be a missing piece to our puzzle.
But, I need another baby. Dan told me that some of his early feelings after losing Clay were that he was extremely worried he would lose me too as I was still been stitched up in theatre when they told us Clay had died and I had lost a bit more blood than you should during a C-section, but another one of his thoughts was he was scared that I would not want any more children. However unbeknown to Dan at the time, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was actually shocked at how quickly I craved having another baby after Clay died. I was still in the hospital, it was 2 days after he had died and in my head I was already trying to work out when I could get pregnant again and if Clay dying would mean we couldn’t have any biological children in the future - I am praying this is not the case and I really don’t think it will be but as we still do not have Clay’s post-mortem results its still a horrific thought. If I could have gotten pregnant even a month after Clay died I would have (I’m not and I obviously couldn’t). I felt such guilt for even thinking about another baby, but I’ve since found out that it is quite a common feeling, not everybody wants a baby so soon after and I can completely understand why but I also know me wanting another baby doesn’t mean I love Clay any less than I know I do.
The way I see it in my head is that I have all these maternal instincts, my body after Clay died still thought there was a baby to look after so I still had all the hormones (luckily not the milk as I asked for a tablet so my milk wouldn’t come in), but my arms were empty. On multiple occasions I would sit and cradle a pillow hoping that if I scrunched my eyes closed long enough and hard enough I would open them to see Clay asleep in my arms. My heart is full of love and heartache for Clay, but my arms remain firmly empty and ache to hold our baby, I have even made a promise to myself that the next baby I hold will be our next baby.
The truth is, I’m not sure when I will get pregnant again, anybody that knows me knows I’m a planner and I would love to know when it will be, I would love if this blog was me announcing a pregnancy, but it isn’t. If I had a crystal ball I would look to a year from now and hopefully be holding our next baby. I’m not looking forward to being pregnant again, I would prefer to sleep the whole 9 months and wake up once our baby is here safe and healthy. It’s a quite sad thought on its own actually, that I will never enjoy pregnancy again like I enjoyed being pregnant with Clay and the naivety that I had throughout. I will be forever grateful for experiencing pregnancy with Clay and if somebody asked me if I could go back and not be pregnant at all and take the pain of losing Clay away, I would say absolutely not because despite the excruciating pain that has come from Clay dying, I also have the amazing memories of pregnancy, labour and of course an everlasting amount of love. I never would have been considering getting pregnant again right now if Clay was here, it sits heavy with me that we will be having to start from month 1 again so soon, 9 months seems so long when you know that taking your baby home at the end of it isn’t always a guarantee.
Clay will always be our much loved and wanted first born baby, but our next baby will be our much needed baby, I need to fill that space in my arms and the silence in the air. I have sat and thought a lot about our next baby, how if Clay hadn’t died our next baby wouldn’t exist at all because we wouldn’t be wanting another baby so soon. To me, that makes our next baby even more special, the baby we would have never known turning into the baby we need in our lives. Clay, always our first born. But our next baby will hopefully be our first ‘take home’ baby.