Undoing a Psychological Knot

Untying a knotPart 6 in a Series on Pregnancy Loss

After we delivered our third dead baby, Drew John Warren, we just stopped trying to have babies. I went down to the local GP and got an injection for the contraception Deprovera which lasts for three months. We just couldn’t suffer  another loss. We had no emotional resources left. We discussed the possibility of stopping completely but we decided wisely that in our current state of mind we shouldn’t make any big decisions. We recognised how depleted we were and gave ourselves a break from pregnancy. My body couldn’t physically go through another so quickly again. My gag reflex was so overactive because of all the vomiting that when John was describing the smell of the local dump to me I almost vomited because of the thought rather than the actual smell.

We lived, we laughed and we loved but in many ways we were just going through the motions of life. We would have these stilted conversations about having another baby which would just peter off as soon as anything  that felt remotely like a decision was discussed. We considered some options such as surrogacy.  At the time it was illegal in all states of Australia. I just looked up Wikipedia and things have changed somewhat (legally) in this area but the issues with it are still complicated and we really didn’t want to go down that road.  I was 36 years old at the time and my clock my ticking very loudly so time felt like an issue. We seemed to just go back and forth. One week I’d been keen to ‘try again’ and John would be like ‘hold on a minute.’ And then a week  later John would be like ‘I wonder if we should give it one more go’ and I’d be like ‘hold your horses buddy’. After 8 months of futile conversation where we switched teams repeatedly we decided to get some professional help us undo the mess we had gotten ourselves into.

We saw a brilliant psychologist who helped us so much. Victoria was an older woman who was wise, understanding and knowledgeable. She listened to our long, pitiful story and had great insight into different issues.  We experienced great healing while seeing her and she was also able to help us come to a decision about whether to go again. She gave us some homework at the end of a session 3. She asked ‘What does having a child mean to you and your life?’ I remember John and I discussed the concept of children being ‘an inheritance’. Before I started losing babies I had been an avid scrap booker completing at least 6 albums but after I lost the babies I just stopped. Who would I give them to? I realised that ‘no one would want them when I died.’ Children are an inheritance. They physically carry your DNA, your history, your life and your spirit. Part of you is part of them. They are a living document that is left behind long after you’re gone. They are a voice that will remember who you were years after your death. We realised then that if we didn’t or couldn’t have a child we would have to create another type of inheritance. A ministry, a church – something that would last beyond our life and bless people for generations.

John and I are fairly decisive people and we asked Victoria about why we kept going back and forth both changing our mind a number of times. She said ‘it’s not safe’ for you to make a decision. No decision means no pregnancy and that feels safe to you both. She said ‘when one of you starts to move toward agreeing with the other there is an instinctive reaction that causes the other to take up the other position because you don’t feel safe coming into agreement because an agreement could mean another  pregnancy and you don’t feel safe or strong enough to go through another right now.’ That was so insightful and helpful.

When the time came she also helped us come to the realisation that we were willing to try one more time. She posed the question, “On a scale of 1-10 what number best represents your feelings about having another pregnancy?” I think I said 6 1/2 and John said 6. While they weren’t enthusiastic scores they were in the positive and that put us on the same page at the same time. So after a year long break we decided to have one more try. Either way we determined we only had one more pregnancy left in us.

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxo

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