Monday, April 25, 2011
The End is the Beginning
It hasn't been any secret at all that Adam & I have wanted to welcome as many as God gives us. We always thought that would happen in the natural course of things... while my pregnancies have been notoriously difficult with HG and SPD, we were willing to go through the pain to bring another darling baby into the world. I'd do it again, and again, and again... it was always, always worth it.
I'm speaking in past-tense already... it was always worth it.
I've been struggling a lot with many things, but my health has been the one I don't share too much about. I have a serious condition, but not life-threatening or anything. It's just that for me to function normally and be as healthy as I can be, I have to do some drastic things. First, I have to do things that are probably best for everyone: be careful to eat very healthy, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and get regular exercise. Secondly, like a child, I will have to be careful about going to bed at the same time every night to get enough sleep and to avoid stress in my life as much as possible. But most of all... I may have to start a medication that I will be on for the rest of my life. This medication causes fetal heart defects (among other things) in most babies whose mothers have to take it in pregnancy... and, I'm just obviously not willing to do that.
But not having another baby? Never feeling another little foot kicking for the first time INSIDE of me? Not hearing "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!" from Dr. S again? Not telling the nurses to go away because THIS mama isn't sending her baby in the nursery, and I don't care how late it is? Never, ever watching my belly grow and waiting for the signs that labor is impending? Not ever getting to study a new little face and talk about who he or she looks like?
It is probably the most painful thing I've ever had to consider.
I know that confuses a lot of people. After all, how could I possibly want it all over again when I already have four beautiful, healthy, darling children? I've been so blessed. I've never had a miscarriage or an emergency c-section. I've never had a baby in the NICU, or even anyone overnight in a hospital bed.
But maybe, if you know my heart, you can understand why I am absolutely wracked with grief. I start to cry at the most random moments.
Adam wasn't sure I should start telling people that I'm worried we won't be able to have baby five in the way we expected, since I'm definitely not ready to talk about the specifics. and won't be diagnosed for awhile yet. I feel like I've been carrying this burden of secret sadness, though, for the last few months... and I just want you to know, so that I don't have to explain why we're not already waving around a positive pregnancy test as we've always had the joy of doing before by the time all three of our oldest children have reached age 2. Lucy turns 2 in less than a month. Everyone asks us, meaning no harm at all, when baby five is coming. I don't know what to say.
This is all still very new to me. And I'm hoping we can find another way to treat my illness so that I can have another baby. I feel selfish for wanting another baby, but I do. We've always talked about adopting an older child and/or sibling group in the future, and I'm sure we will when all of my little ones are in school, so that I can devote my time to the inevitably difficult transition and bonding period, when a child who has been hurt will need to learn to trust me and my love. But for now, I do want to have another tiny little baby to be all mine. I didn't ever think Lucy would be my "last" baby, and it hurts so much to think she very well may be.
I know I do have to trust God and be patient, but it is really hard right now.
at 1:15 AM