“I’m done,” I repeated to my husband for the millionth time that week.
Just months earlier, we saw our reproductive endocrinologist. We miscarried for the fourth time and wanted to follow up to see if there’s anything more they could do. They told me our next steps were trying IVF, or we could do an exploratory surgery where they would remove my questionable fallopian tube which was scarred from my ectopic pregnancy. We weighed our options, and even checked with our insurance about the surgery.
And then, our family endured a very different kind of loss. Our foster baby returned to his biological family after being a part of our family for a year and a half. I was pretty sure my heart had just taken as much as a heart could take while still beating.
“You know what my OB said,” I reminded him. “‘Just ask yourself if you can handle one more loss. Not five more, not two more – just one more. If you think you can handle ONE more loss, then you should keep trying. But if the answer that question ever becomes no, one more is too many . . . then that’s a pretty good indication that you are done.’
“Right now,” I looked at him solemnly, “one more is too many.”
After five years of trying and five losses, I finally came to terms that I would only have one successful pregnancy and I could learn to be content with the children I have.
When I requested he get a vasectomy, he turned to me with a serious face. “I’m not done,” he said plainly. “I just feel like our family is incomplete, and there is one more baby for us to love.”
Over the last five years, I was the one poking and prodding my husband to get on board with trying to conceive. I was the one tracking my cycle, doing ovulation predictor kits, and saying, “Come home – sex, now.” But he was always hesitant, terrified of loss, but more terrified of losing me. After two significant scares during my pregnancies, he couldn’t imagine facing a lifetime without me by his side to raise our daughters together. And yet he always relented because he knew how badly I wanted to have another child by birth.
His answer shocked me. I wanted to retort that my vote should count twice as much as his, as it was my body going through the pregnancies and losses. And yet, I remembered the years he tried to conceive against his will for me. As his loving partner, I knew what I needed to say. “Ok . . . one more try,” I sighed. “But after that, we’re done.”
I didn’t think it would happen.
At least, not so fast. Within weeks of this conversation, I found myself staring at a strong positive pregnancy test the day my period was supposed to arrive.
There was no celebration. I knew not to get my hopes up. When my husband saw the fear in my eyes, he softly hugged me and whispered, I’m sorry. I felt sorry too. I was consumed with fear that we would miscarry again, that my body would fail my baby and fail my husband. But it didn’t – our rainbow baby hung on.