So in an effort to come up with another sharing post for today, I have decided to show and tell about my pregnancies, past and future.
In the months since Peyton's death many people have offered their opinions about what a future pregnancy would mean to/for me, and I have realized that most of these words, while offered out of love and concern, are somewhat based in misconception about what it is that I find so scary about trying again. I wish it was as simple as lightning doesn't strike twice, but seeing as I have been pregnant twice, and I have no living children, my faith in that belief system is pretty much shot to hell.
When Dru and I decided to start a family, we got pregnant (to both of our surprise) with very little effort. Believe me when I say that this blessing was not taken for granted. I never expected an easy road to motherhood. As a teen I was hospitalized for ovarian cysts, and told by doctors that childbearing would most likely be difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. This came as no big surprise to me, both my mother and sister endured long struggles of their own to have children, and I sort of accepted it as one of those things that runs in the family, like heart disease or slow metabolisms. Learning I was pregnant brought utter elation, and I couldn't wait to share the news of my pregnancy with Dru. We had decided to start trying, fully expecting it would take several months to years, and celebrated and cried and laughed about how completely unprepared we were for it to have happened so quickly. Sitting in my living room, watching my husband's eyes well with this news remains in my heart as one of the most beautiful moments we have ever shared in our married life, the beauty of it making it that much more painful for me, just a short while later, to tell him that I was bleeding, that it wouldn't stop, and that on September 11th, 2007, a day that already held so much emotional charge, my miscarriage had been confirmed.
On Christmas Eve, I found out I was pregnant again. The news of this, our second pregnancy came with more apprehension. It was sad, to lose that naive excitement that we had with the first pregnancy. We were happy of course, but also scared. Scared to feel the pain and disappointment of miscarriage again. We had lost our innocence in the arena of getting pregnant and had learned that this was a prospect that could bring pain. Cautiously optimistic, we forged ahead and hoped for the best, reminding ourselves repeatedly that lightning wouldn't strike us twice. I rarely talk about the miscarriage, about the affect it had on me and my feelings, of all things, of self worth. In my heart, as that first baby's mother, I had failed to carry him/her, to bring my child safely into this world. The lack of answers from the doctors didn't help to ease these feelings any.
So this brings me back to people and why they think I haven't yet tried again. Some think it is a fear of an unsuccessful pregnancy/miscarriage. Ironically, it is not at all. That fear left with Peyton. I carried her not only to term, but two weeks beyond. To say that I loved being pregnant is so inadequate, it was in reality the happiest time of my life. It's true, I was once a very happy person. Smiling, upbeat, nauseatingly optimistic in my expectations. I even have the pictures to prove it.
Infant Leukemia laughs in the face of my grief and taunts me with its rarity, playing on my feelings of inadequecy for once again failing to bring a healthy child into the world; feelings that come when there are no other explanations. I have no answers. My child is dead and I have no answers. There were absolutely no indications when I was carrying Peyton that anything was wrong. No signs. No symptoms. Nothing. What's even more frustrating is living in a world where modern medicine can do the impossible; clone sheep, change one's gender, transplant the organs of animals into humans; and yet cannot offer a single test to determine whether or not my next child too, will be taken from me by this awful disease. How can I try again if I don't know when to stop worrying that Leukemia will take another child from me? When can I rule it out? At birth? After infancy? Puberty? Unfortunately no expert can give me an answer, just some bullshit about the probabilities of lightning striking twice.
I wish the prospect of trying again was as simple as the judgments others have placed on me
"Have another, you'll feel better."All along I have hoped that we wouldn't have to try again, in terms of actually trying. I know how I feel. I know how terrified I am of losing another child, or breaking to the point of no return. I know that my fears can keep me from ever taking that leap of faith. I prayed that when the time came, God would help me out by making that decision for me. Oh how welcome an "oops" moment would be. I want a healthy family. I want to move past this pain, to say "okay, it has happened and I am going to do my best to put my fears aside and make this baby healthy." This was my hope, to leave this decision to God and nature, but even this has become too much to ask for. In yet another smack in the face, my grief over the child I have lost has made the prospect of easily getting pregnant improbable. I haven't talked about this here before, but an apparent side effect of watching your baby die, is having your remaining eggs retreat in fear of meeting a similar fate. I don't know that I would want to take the risk either if I were my eggs. My track record of 0 healthy children for 2 pregnancies is not very encouraging. Somewhere between my anger and bitterness at this new development, the situation is almost laughable. Here Krissy, how about some secondary IF after the death of your only child? Really?
"And what if I have to bury that one too?"
"What are the odds of it happening again?"
"About the same as they were the first time."
"Why aren't you trying?"
"The grief has made trying impossible at the moment."
My doctor has started me on hormones to try to get my body back on track, not because we are trying, but because I can't let this go. She says its not time to worry... yet, which is good because I think I have enough on my plate in that department. I was going to take pictures of the hormones for show and tell, but figured you would find very little interest in seeing a photo of little white pills. These hormones have made me even more of an emotional mess these past few weeks, as I am sure my husband would attest to, and will give me some indication by this weekend as to whether or not I am jumping over this hurdle, or standing at the doorstep of another uphill battle towards motherhood. Either way, I think I need a new lightning rod.
See what the others are sharing for this week's show and tell here.