Monday, December 3, 2007


I had some interesting thoughts today as I crossed the parking lot walking back to my car from the NST. I passed a car that had one of those family stickers, where every member of the family has a stick figure representing them. Under the people stickers, it said, "our blessings". Let me tell you, just by glance, one could see that they have a lot of blessings. My eyes fell to their license plate frame which read-"6 girls, 2 boys". Wow. 8 kids. Both Mr. g and I are from 5 each, and that seems like a lot.

I realized, as I kept walking, that I was feeling waves of jealousy. Ever since M died, I notice I have felt envy at large families, envy at people who started younger, who have many years to create a large family. Might make you think I always wanted a large family, right? Nope. Actually, I have never been sure of what I wanted, and in fact, spent a few years not sure I wanted children at all. It certainly wasn't something Mr. g and I ever pursued with a passion in our 20's. We always had a whatever happens, happens, attitude, although honestly, we have that about many things.

So, what is going on? I lose M, and all of a sudden I want 8 kids? That is why I titled this post replacement. I can never replace M. NEVER. He is missing from our family, I feel that so sharply day in, day out. I have heard/read many other women who have lost a baby express similiar feelings. They cannot replace the baby they lost. Period. So, no, I don't mean that kind of replacement. I think I mean, just replacement of the possibility of laughter and happiness. I think somewhere, deep in my mind, I start to believe that if I can just have many happy endings to many more pregnancies, it will help somehow. It isn't true, of course. I believe it is just the hole in my heart, still struggling to fill up, somehow.

In my thinking, it probably also relates to the jealousy I feel over people who just have their family, no roadblocks or sudden stop signs were thrown in in their path. Get pregnant=bring home baby, in their world. I believed that was the way it was going to be for me too, until I learned it wasn't. I never once entertained even the idea that I would struggle to create my family. Stillbirth? NO WAY. That was one that never entered my mind. Miscarriage? Thought of that, but didn't think it would happen to me. Stupidly naive, wasn't I?

But back to 8 kids. It's almost funny when I feel these feelings. I don't think I really want that at all. Nevermind the fact that we couldn't afford it, and Mr. g would have a severe breakdown if I even suggested it. (He keeps saying if baby girl comes home, he's done, but that is another post) Also, to be totally frank, I haven't parented a living child yet. Maybe I won't like it enough to do it again, who knows? Replacement. That is what hit me today. Except I know, logically, not even 20 children could fill the hole in my heart for one.


niobe said...

You've said this so well.

I wonder if, for me personally, another child, if I ever were lucky enough to have one, would feel like a replacement.

Beruriah said...

Very well said. I've noticed a similar thing in myself. To be even more ridiculous, I felt jealous yesterday at the grocery store of a woman with a line of six or seven girls following her, all long haired and long skirted. Jealous? Me? Of that? No way. But certainly there was a pang of wishing I had an opening for as many pregnancies with happy endings as I could possibly imagine.

Julia said...

A part of that could also be this wish to be as busy with living children as possible. Hoping that there won't be room for sadness. But underneath it all we know there will always be room for it. At least I am pretty sure that for me, there will be.

Monica H said...

Yeah, I see families that large and get a little bummed, because they could do it and I can't not because I want that many. But like you said, even if I had 20, I would still be missing the two that got away.

Lori said...

Oh, I feel very envious of large families (which probably sounds absurd since I do have three living children). But, for me, three children was always the bare minimum I envisioned for myself. I never even considered the idea of less than three. Being infertile threw up a big roadblock to that dream, and then of course losing two babies put a damper on it too. I am truly incredibly grateful for the three I have. I really am. I just can't help but feel a sting of envy when I see families with five children. After all, that's what I had. What I should have.

Carole said...

It's so true. No amount of children will ever fill that hole. But I know what you mean. I'm jealous of large families...even though I don't think I would have/could have done it. I just wish that it would have been easier.

meg said...

I'm jealous of large families too. But also of people with one baby. But I am starting to get that there is no replacement baby, after reading so many blogs and seeing that it doesn't make up for what you have lost. Where that leaves me now, I have no idea?