Broken

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (among a host of other "months"). But this is the awareness that sits closest to my heart.

I have lost four babies, in varying stages of pregnancy.

I also have two living children. They are the absolute light of my life. They can drive me batty at times, it's true. But I absolutely love watching them grow and learn, testing their curiosity and their questions, learning how to use new words, figuring out how things work, and just the sheer wonder at nature. It's like everything is magical.

I love my family the way it is. Now that my son has just turned two, I feel like I'm finally starting to get a little bit of "me" back. I feel the haze of infancy and nursing 'round the clock and crazy hormones drifting away, and I am finding that I can think more clearly again, reason, use logic even, instead of using words like "thingy" for, well, everything.

But here is my dilemma. I feel I am at a crossroads. My husband and I had always intended to have at least three, maybe four, children. We technically have six, though only two of them are here with us. But the two we have would likely have joined their brothers and sisters had it not been for some extreme medical intervention. I had surgeries to keep my babies in, and surgeries to take my babies out. I was on bedrest. I was prodded for ultrasounds every two weeks during one pregnancy for at least half of the pregnancy. While my pregnancy with my son had the fewest complications, his birth had the most. I was quite literally traumatized. When you're strapped to a table shaking uncontrollably because your body is going into shock from loss of blood, and there's a blood transfusion waiting for you a few feet away, and the doctors tell you they're waiting to close you up until some specialists arrive because the tearing was so odd they want to make sure it's done right...and all the while, your husband has no idea why you're not out of surgery three hours later... You might be traumatized. Maybe.

Because of everything that happened during my son's birth, I've come to absolutely fear my body. I had already doubted its abilities, having lost three children (and nearly lost one) before he was born. But his birth sealed the deal: I was officially broken. Might as well just slap an "out of order" sign on my uterus. We're done. No way my body can handle any more of this.

Even though I felt this way, there's still this debate going on in my head. "Maybe we could have another. Maybe it would be healing. Maybe there's a chance..."

And then I think of life with an infant. And I kind of shudder. I don't know that I want to go through that again. And I especially don't know that I want to go through birth. Like, EVER again.

And yet, for some reason, I feel guilty for this, for wanting to be done.

I think the biggest thing is just feeling like my body is a failure. I couldn't have even gotten my two living children into the world by myself. I am just...broken. And I think that's what I'm having a hard time coming to terms with. That I'm broken, and I may not ever be "fixed" enough to actually have a kid "the right way." My experiences, sucky as they are, might be it. And that...just really sucks. Really.

So that's where I am right now. I don't mean this to be a downer post. I just need to process, and I want to be real. And I'm sure there's someone, somewhere out there who is in a similar place.

I'm just on this journey now to accept my broken pieces for what they are:

Pieces of me.

Not the whole of me.