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.