I want to have another baby. I desperately want to add a baby to our family. One does not replace the other- EVER. I know this. But it will help to heal my heart. It will help to fill the huge empty space- just as I cuddle a little extra with my children and smell their little heads a few more times than normal, in an attempt to fill that space. Maybe that’s not right to some, but I know myself well enough to know that it’s my truth.
In the few moments we talked about ending the last pregnancy, my husband said “Ok, but we’ll try again?” and I said no. I imagine that statement comes from the same place of hurt and loss that I feel. But, I told him if we terminate the pregnancy this is it. If I can’t do this one, I can’t do it. Why end this one, to just tackle it again? I already spent 6 weeks in hell, why would I do that again? If I wasn’t going to do this one, I wasn’t going to do it again.
Well if you read my Breathe In, Breathe Out, post you know that I do 24hrs a day (yes, even in my sleep) think about getting pregnant again. I want to go through the hellish pregnancy, I know this is a futile attempt to set things right. To fix the history of it. I also want to personally beat this disease. I want to triumph from it, and I don’t want to end my reproductive history like this- I don’t.
I have a crazy binder with tabs and colored paper and extra handouts. I have had a consult with an OB who I think can help me (though I’m not convinced she truly gets it- so will try to find someone else- I actually have an appointment with one today, but I’m going to cancel). I made a “to-do” list of things that would need to get done before TTC (trying to conceive) ie. buy Xmas/bday presents for the kids, as I won’t be able to get out of bed. Cook as much as I can ahead of time, for dinners. Collect easy microwave/recipes the husband can make. Collect ordering out menus. Hire help. I save a little every month so that we can hire help if need be. I have a printable typical Grocery shopping list to hand out to anyone who wants to help us. I must stock up on unscented shower, bath/cleaning products GARBAGE BAGS! All this is done in an attempt so that if I am ever blessed with a surprise pregnancy again, I will be prepared or if we ever decide we can tackle this, then I will be more prepared than last time. I think and hope that will make all the difference. Type A personality- you bet- I am an attorney after all.
I will share the binder and upcoming “survival kit” at some point. Yes it includes cups from Dunkin Donuts, to spit into. (best spit cups ever- you can make it look like you are drinking coffee in public and then toss it, so you don’t have to vomit from emptying it- ugh I feel like I’m going to vomit thinking about this)
Anyway, I ramble a bit. The reason this post is entitled terrified is that I actually, (although desperately want a baby) don’t really want to be pregnant again. I can’t breathe when I think about getting pregnant. I have a very real anxiety attack, that I have to talk myself down from. I don’t want to be fed through a PICC line, running near my heart. I don’t want to miss the better part of a year with my children. I don’t want to loose my job and have my husband look for a job and struggle even more with money. I don’t want to vomit blood. I am so very terrified of it all. HG can be worse than I had it the first time. My HG experience can look like a picnic compared to others. It looks like it was headed in a worse direction for me the second time. It came on sooner and more violent. What if a subsequent pregnancy follows that pattern?
I know there are treatment options that will keep me alive, physically. But I feel like death is a very real possibility. I truly do. That’s why I ended the last one. The fear is very very real. I don’t want to miss out on the babies I do have. And I keep thinking, the grief and pain I feel about loosing my last baby, well magnify that by 1000 and that’s what my children would feel without a mother. I don’t want that for them. The risk just feels too great for me. My OB, whether right or wrong, said she thought any more dehydration would put too much pressures on my kidneys and that dialysis could be a very real possibility. I am 28 years old. I’m not prepared to take years off my life.
Then I read Ashli’s book and I read it from the colored lenses I have now. And where others see wonderful hope and treatment options, I read and feel even more terrified. Picc lines and IV treatments – Hg women owe our lives to them. I owe my life to the IV treatments and I probably needed a PICC line for my second pregnancy, I just wasn’t offered one. But I don’t want one! I don’t want to go into a situation where I might need one. I can’t catch my breath even thinking about it, or typing this. And if I’m truly honest with myself, sometimes I feel that there is something a little off about my son. I feel residual guilt that either the medicines or the months of dehydration took a toll on his developing body. I blame his speech delay on my pregnancy whether accurate or not.
So even though I make preparations, and I wish I could beat HG, and I keep up on my other HG sisters who have made the preparations (here’s looking at you Knocked up Knocked over) and in my heart of hearts I want another baby, I don’t know if I can overcome the fear. And to set the record straight, I am not actually afraid of the physical act of vomiting. I know lots of HG women develop that fear. But I think I can handle that. I know I can handle that. What I was and am afraid of is the dehydration. I am afraid of blacking out, of hallucinating of starving to death. I am afraid that I will loose my kidneys. I am afraid that I will die.
If I ever get pregnant again, and theoretically the choice of me or the baby presents, I will choose the baby. I would never make it through another termination, alive. So do you see in my head, it just feels like getting pregnant equates to death. Rational or not. Truth be told, this doesn’t lead to a fabulous sex life. You can follow the line. Sex equals pregnancy. Pregnancy equals death.
I am probably, most likely a high-risk pregnancy. Am I willing to take that risk? I want to and I am terrified too. Other will say, “why not just adopt?” It’s just not as simple as that. I would have just said that to someone too before I had this disease. Women with fertility issues, will get it too. It’s just not that simple.
I know enough to know that I am not in any clear state to make any major decisions, but it is still something that weighs heavily on my mind. It is still something that knocks the wind out of me on a regular basis. Add it to the list of things that feel insurmountable.