Wednesday, April 9, 2008

We know better

Sorry for the long time, no post... a lot has been percolating, but I just couldn't seem to get a coherent thought together. Then, today I was reading an article in the New York Times about how a mother is feeling after close calls concerning the lives of her daughters, something that, thank God, I have not had to face, and a line jumped out at me:

“Other parents worry about the worst,” she told me, “but they don’t really believe it could happen. We know better.”

As I contemplate another pregnancy, any anticipation, excitement, or potential joy is always tempered by this feeling. It is not just my education, although as a maternal and child health researcher I am acutely aware of all the potential complications of pregnancy, labor, and delivery... It is not just my own history (recurrent miscarriages, hyperemesis, preeclampsia) , or the history of my friends, my fierce mama tribe (infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, developmental delays)... It is instead a growing realization of how sick I was during my pregnancy with M and how long it has taken me to recover, an overwhelming gratitude that things turned out as well as they did, and a sense of not wanting to tempt fate, knowing that it could always be worse.

The cruel catch-22 of infertility/subfertility is that you repeatedly make the conscious decision to subject yourself to mental and sometimes physical pain with the hope that it will result in the ultimate joy. I cannot deny the joy, but the equation seems more complicated now. How do I remain a good parent to the child I have, while going through all the hell that conception and pregnancy can mean for me? The impulse of those who care for me is to say not to worry, that everything will be fine... and it may be, or it could be worse than I can even imagine...

Yet, YET, I still feel a drive to try for another, to have another darling child, to give M a sibling... What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, I guess I should just go ahead and punch my ticket for the crazy train.


Reba said...

I just came across your blog the other day. I am also trying for another child following multiple miscarriages and fertility issues. You took the words right out of my mouth. I had a good first pregnancy but I realize every pregnancy is different and I now have a two year old to think about. I am also worried about having multiples as a result of the treatments I am receiving(not that I don't want more than one, I am thinking of the complications). Most people say "beggers can't be choosers" but is it so wrong to want this on my terms? I am looking forward to going on this journey with you as we are in the same position. It is nice to hear from someone on the inside who gets it!

Kittie "Kat" said...

I give up. Will you EVER post again?? I miss reading about you!

Penny said...

I think these thoughts every day. I think the answer is, we're already crazy - how you want to handle it is up to you, whether it be trying hard for #2 or not trying at all.