So, a common theme I have seen on the repeat pregnancy loss boards is the idea of signs, guideposts from the universe giving us strength to keep on keepin' on.
It's a no-brainer for me to continue trying to conceive until I take home a "rainbow" baby. But recently I realized that not everyone viewed my situation as so cut and dry. One friend gently questioned whether I would consider adoption or fostering... Another asked whether I was giving myself a cut-off date to give up....my parents recently questioned why I was continuing to put myself through the physical ringer with batteries of tests and blood draws... couldn't I cut my losses and accept life as a family of three with just Husband and the adorable niblet I already have?
Encountering these kinds of responses to your narrative certainly makes one pause.
Besides just providing my stock answer here, that "I will only be done when the risks of grief outweighs the joy of success," I am compelled to describe two recent instances of clarity. Two experiences that tell me I am on the only path I can be on right now.
A few weeks ago, after an exhausting business-trip, I encountered a stunningly beautiful woman on my Amtrak ride home, we became seatmates. She had a shit-ton of luggage and I, being on crutches at the time, needed a place to rest my leg. Her luggage was comfy and she was just....lovely. In all ways. I mean, I had never seen anyone exude such an aura of grace. A mother of 3 who lived in France and was visiting one of her kids in college. A former dancer and macrobiotic chef (who shared some healthy snacks with me). And somehow, in our ramblings riding along the east coast, she came to share with me that she had lost a baby at 42. And I started to cry. And she held my hand. And didn't offer platitudes. But as we talked she offered me strength and I swear, a level of comfort that no one could replicate. And during our talk my resolve strengthened, my inexplicable desire to have a baby firmed. And it was cray-cray-craaaaazy, because for the first time in my life I wondered whether God really existed. No, for reals. I am agnostic, "spiritual" if you will, but have always been kind of skittish on the question of a true "higher power" - but putting this woman in my path, on that night.... I can't process it in any other way. I needed her and she appeared before me like a freaking angel.
And then yesterday, the universe plastered a very different sign in front of my face. I was sitting in my RE's office waiting-area when a young, 20-ish woman walked in with a baby stroller, holding an adorable little cherub of an infant boy. And at first I thought she was a new mother....but then I wondered if she was a nanny or babysitter. And I watched her give the baby a bottle while staring at her phone and doing some impressive nearly one-handed texting.... and he fussed and she kept texting. And he drank that bottle up and started getting that uncomfortable look I recognized, the same "hey, lady, please fucking burp me" face that niblet would make after eating every meal. And she started rocking his stroller back and forth, not looking up from her VERY IMPORTANT TEXT, and then he started to cry. And he started to wave his little arms frantically, as if to say, "Please, unstrap me, this totally sucks, for the love of all that's holy, pick me up!" And she never looked up from the phone. And I sat there squirming, trying not to watch, trying not to judge, and trying even harder not to jump up, unstrap the poor kid and give him the burp he desperately wanted. So I was sitting there, trying to formulate a way to offer unsolicited advice or help to her, in a way that wouldn't come off as obnoxious and judge-y, when she got up and (at this point, the baby is screaming) and told the receptionist she was bringing the baby to his father in the restaurant in the lobby, and then left the office.
And I only then realized I was holding my breath the entire time.
At that moment I saw clearly that for some inexplicable reason, I want - no, I need to be responsible for another baby. I need to hug and feed and burp and soothe a baby. Me, of all people, with MY particular baby experience -- Niblet had COLIC (capitalized for effect) and it was like something out of a gross-out comedy (seriously, I was always covered in refluxed milk). But I can't help it, God help me, I want to do it all over again.
And to anyone who says, "Justonemorebaby, you're crazy, come on, at your age? After what you've been through?" My response right now: I think I'd manage just fine.