I have had amazingly vivid dreams the last two nights. They were so detailed and realistic that when I woke up after each of them I was shocked to realize that none of it had happened. My dreams are usually about whatever is on my mind before I go to sleep. In last night’s dream I was laid off from my job, and I’m sure that dream was because I went to sleep worrying about hitting my sales goals. The dream the night before, though, was scarier than being laid off – I dreamed I was pregnant.

I almost hesitate to write about this. I know there are so many people out there who want nothing more than to be pregnant. And, someday, I would like to be pregnant again. I think. I don’t know. My pregnancy with Maddie su-huh-ucked. Besides my physical discomfort and the total burden I was on those I loved, the mental toll was the worst. Being terrified every day after my water broke left some pretty deep scars. And don’t even get me started on Maddie’s time in the NICU…Mike and I are going to have some pretty serious therapy bills!

The joy of pregnancy won’t be there. I’m okay with that, but it makes me sad. Mike and I were soooo excited at the beginning of my pregnancy with Maddie. Granted, we only had about four weeks before things got weird, but it was great. Bliss, even. I bought maternity clothes, I made mock registries, I decorated imaginary nurseries before it all came crashing down. I just don’t know if I can handle nine months of holding my breath, of waiting for the other shoe to drop. And that’s even if I make it nine months!!!

It isn’t just about me. If things go haywire, how will that impact Maddie? When I was in the hospital, there was another woman there whose water had also broken early. She had a two year old at home, and he cried every time he had to leave his mommy to go home at night. I could hear him sobbing as his father carried him to the elevator, “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?! Mommmmmeeeeeeeeeeee!” He was too little to understand anything other than he couldn’t be with his mother. I would break if that were Madeline crying.

I know women move on from difficult pregnancies, miscarriages, and loss all the time. I am in awe. How do they do it? How do they find the courage to go on when they know it could happen again? My doctors have no idea why I had so many problems with my pregnancy and they have no way of knowing if subsequent pregnancies will follow the same path. I can’t help but think that we used up all our karma, that because things ended well for us with Maddie we won’t be so lucky next time. How do you proceed in the face of the unknown when the risk for heartbreak is so great?