November 14, 2008

A Huge Helping of Indecision, with a Side of Guilt

That sound you hear that reminds you of rocks inside an empty soda can?

No worries. It's not something going horribly wrong on our car, it's just me and the thoughts bouncing around in my head. You'd think the cobwebs would muffle the sound somewhat but I guess not. Perhaps the cobwebs are so old they've turned to dust and have collected in the corners as they do in dank, dark attics.

The wee one turned two this week. Two. She's now been breathing on her own longer than it took for her to go from a twinkle in her father's eye to a bun in the oven. Two. How in the world did she get to be a toddler?

Wasn't it just last week that we saw that tiny little flicker of a heartbeat on an ultrasound screen? Yesterday that we strapped her into the carseat and drove more cautiously on the way home from the hospital than we ever have in our lives?

Growing up I thought I wanted 4 kids. 2 didn't seem to be enough; 3 was better but would give you the "middle child"; 4 seemed to be a good number. Perhaps the magic number. 2 children for each parent to wrangle. A family that would fit comfortably in a vehicle and a mid sized house around the dinner table but not big enough to draw stares and comments when out to dinner.

When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, my doctor recommended that I get pregnant quickly, have my children spaced as closely together as possible -- his recommendation was 18 months -- and then be done. As in a hysterectomy to minimize the hassle of the endo and the surge of symptoms over the years.

Then we walked the journey we did. 18 months of trying. 5 rounds of clomid. 2 miscarriages. A bout of depression. Weekly appointments with a therapist. A prescription of zoloft to pull me out of the pit of blackness. Innumerable tears and sleepless nights. Surgery to remove polyps.

Then I was pregnant. I thought that the worst of the journey was over but I was wrong. So very, very wrong. I hated being pregnant. I loved that we were going to be parents but the day to day of it stunk. There were days that I'd lay on the bathroom floor, too exhausted and sick to move and I'd cry. I'd cry because I hated the way I felt and wished for it to be over. Then I'd hate myself because I wasn't excited. We'd gone through so much to get where we were and I hated it. I wanted so desperately to be able to enjoy my pregnancy and to cherish the life growing inside of me.

I know that there are women who faced much worse than I did. I know that my struggles are a drop in the bucket compared to some. But it was the hardest thing I've ever faced. The span between May 2005 and November 2006 was the hardest 18 months of my life.

My desire to have 4 children quickly subsided when I began walking the path I did. I began saying that 1 would it. Our family would be complete with an only child. I agreed that when KT was 3, we'd discuss the slim chance of child #2.

I honestly don't know if my body can take all of that again. The enamel on my teeth is cracked from the hundreds of times I threw up; my gallbladder quit working; I am almost positive I have undiagnosed damage to my esophagus from the regurgitation of stomach acids; I have permanently broken blood vessels in my face. But more importantly than that, I don't think I can handle the emotional toll again.

The wee one turned 2 this week. I know that C wants more kids, at least 1 more. I know that he would be beside himself with joy to have a son. He's said that he wouldn't ever pressure me and he's fine if I'm done because I'm the one who has to "go through all of it".

I'm not ready tomorrow to even think about this. But it certainly makes me question my motives. When is it appropriate that my selfishness outweigh the desires of others?

What I thought was such an easy decision now has me scratching m yhead and making me feel incredibly guilty.

Maybe the guilt will pass.

Should it?

8 comments:

Sami said...

Sometimes being indecisive is a good thing. This is one of those times. Sometimes we have to change the plans we thought were so set in stone... this may be one of those times. You guys went through fire and were burned... the scars are still there whether they be from infertility or hyperemesis and once you've been burned it's hard to jump back in the fire. You'll figure it out... and you can always vent to us as you work through your thoughts about this. We're here... we're listening.

Jessica said...

After all you have been through, it's understandable that you're feeling the way you do. Things will become clear eventually.

I'm here if you ever want to talk. Love ya.

Kristin, Rod, and Victoria said...

deleted because I sound like an ass. you don't want/need to read what I was typing.

I hope you find the answers you seek. Not everyone can be as fortunate as we were, as the decision was made for us.

pam said...

You are on a hard road, I feel for you. But either way, you are not selfish.

Bryant and Candice said...

That's a hard decision. This may or may not help any, but every pregnancy is different. I have friends who had a hard time with the first one only to breeze through a second.

(((Hugs))) I hope you somehow find it easier to make the decision and have peace with whatever you decide.

Kristen said...

It is NOT selfishness. It is a decision that you have a right to make or not make. There is nothing selfish about having one child. Only you (and Cris) know what is right for you.

Flying Monkeys said...

We already talked about this but I want to reiterate that it is irrelevant what any one of us thinks. This is between you and C. Any advice I will give you will be tainted by my own journey, my own struggles, my own joys and they are different from yours. I will not fault you for choosing not to have another baby. KT will still grow up loved and cared for, a sibling doesn't necessarily equal completion. Should you choose to try again then you will also have my support, to hold back you hair and wrangle the monster that looks at me cockeyed.
I hope you and C can have an open and honest discussion about what you both need and want. Good luck.

Shannie said...

Hugs sweetie.