Okay, I’ll say it. I am scared of getting pregnant again. And I know that is a shitty thing to say, especially when I know several people close to me struggling so hard with infertility.
But it’s not without a lot of swirling confusion. My husband and I are very much done growing our family. Last month, I had a scare. My period was a few days late. I didn’t say a word to my husband. On one hand, I didn’t want to make him anxious until I was absolutely sure. On the other hand, I also didn’t want to disappoint him in case it ended up not being true. In other words, I was a hot steaming mess.
For two days, I was in agony. Could I do the newborn thing again? Hell, could I even do the pregnant thing again?? Some women glow throughout their whole pregnancy. I melt. I flub. I drag myself from point A to point B and take many breaks on the way. I’m just under 5’0” tall and my husband clears 6’1” easily. HE was a 10 lb. baby. Both my girls were born just on either side of 9 lbs. They say that with every pregnancy, the baby just keeps getting bigger. My poor back, lol.
And OF COURSE, we had just gotten rid of the baby stuff! No swing, no mamaroo, no newborn clothes, no high chair, no bottles, nothing! All gone! I know it’s not hard to find that stuff again, but that’s just more to worry about.
Then, by the 3rd day of waiting I had already rearranged our house and decorated the nursery. In my head, of course, but oh, the rug I picked out was so cute.
FINALLY, by Day 4, my period arrived. Balloon deflated. Sad but relieved. And still very confused because if turned out that I was pregnant again, I’d be happy and stressed.
Again, I feel shitty for saying it. Infertility isn’t anything to take lightly, and I don’t. But I also don’t enjoy being pregnant. This is why:
1. It is not fun.
Not enough time has passed to allow me to forget the bad stuff, and how rough the newborn stage was. Our first was such a challenging baby and I was so scarred that I fought getting pregnant again for over a year. There were nights that I would get barely 2 hours of cumulative sleep…not 2 hours at one time, cumulative. And THEN she didn’t want to nap during the day and would only do so if I was holding her, but I was so scared of SIDS that I would just sit there holding her wide the F awake. It got to the point where I would dread sundown because I knew what kind of fresh hell was waiting for me as soon as bedtime arrived.
Above all, health is the most important and biggest reason I’m scared of getting pregnant. I was born with intestinal malrotation, a congenital birth defect that affects the positioning of a person’s intestines within their abdomen. It can cause a volvulus, or in layman’s terms, a “bowel obstruction” which can restrict blood flow to the intestine. Other complications that can develop include dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, sepsis and perforation. Consequently, I had to have 2 surgeries before I was 6 months old to correct 2 separate obstructions that resulted from having malrotation. Luckily, I have had few complications for most of my life.
Now here’s where pregnancy comes in. For some reason, I grow my babies upside down. Both of my daughters were breech and I opted to have c-sections instead of turning them which had more risks IMO. While symptoms of malrotation seem to ease up during pregnancy (myself and others I know with anecdotal evidence), I just cannot risk too many surgeries because with every operation there is a chance to develop adhesions (scar tissue).
In between my daughters, I had an emergency surgery to remove a tumor on my ovary. My ob-gyn couldn’t get to it without damaging my intestine on the way there because of, as it was later described to me, “mountains of adhesions.” They had to call in another surgeon to help assist in the middle of my operation. Then when they tried to perform a tubal ligation during my c-section with my second daughter, they couldn’t get to it because of the amount of scar tissue that had developed. These adhesions could eventually cause another bowel obstruction, and unless you’ve had one, you don’t know show painful they can be. So, they are literally a ticking time bomb, and if not treated immediately, you could die. So yeah, that.
3. I don’t want to lose myself, again.
My husband and I have reached the part of our parenting journey where things are a little more steady. In addition, pandemic(s) not withstanding, we are able to sleep a little more. There is (somewhat) a routine. As their independence grows, I am able to focus a little more time on my creative projects. Things I’ve given up since having my precious daughters. This blog, for instance. My Etsy shop. Dinners with friends at restaurants that don’t have a kids menu.
And maybe…soon…acting. Again. I miss it. Well, right now, everyone does, so at least I’m not alone. #pandemic2020
Letting go of my acting career wasn’t the easiest thing I had to do, and in some ways I am still mourning it. But the light at the end of the tunnel is coming…it is faint but I can see it, like the tiniest star on the darkest night.
Or lack thereof. We are just not in a place where we can financially support another dog, let alone a baby. Childcare is so expensive that it makes no sense for me to work full time right now. So we are damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I have $10 in my wallet, maybe I’ll go buy a couple scratchers and see where that gets me. Minus $10, probably.
I am turning 40 sooner than I’d like to. Therefore, I am terrified that my body is going on a hormonal bender and just letting the eggs just pew! pew! pew! out into the galaxy that is my uterus. One of my friends is expecting twins and another just found out she is carrying triplets. I am not even 5’0” tall and imagining this body carrying more than one baby at a time is something that I’m having too much trouble doing.
Pregnancy for me was not as magical as I had dreamed it would be, truly. The newborn stage is a beast. Similarly, toddlerhood is a monster. Kid-dom is getting more delightful (and sassy, yikes LOL). However, should the miracle ever happen again, after the initial panic I am sure that joy will overcome any fear and anxiety that I will definitely have about being pregnant. I just really hope there’s only one in there!
Are you scared of getting pregnant again?