I went to the OBGYN earlier this month for a checkup. Funny side story! On my way out of the waiting room none other than Carson Daly stood up to open the door for me and my stroller. He was there with his pregnant girlfriend and little boy and looked like a tired, rumpled, normal dad. Only in LA!
Anyway, I took Elijah with me to the doctor … mostly because I had to but also because I wanted to show off my prize! I wanted our doctor and his nurse and the office staff to see the baby (er, 19-month-old) whose life had been saved because of their intervention. Elijah is our miracle boy. I cannot imagine our family without him and when I think about the two times I almost lost him and when I try to comprehend what could have happened … those are dark thoughts I don't like to think.
So, me and my miracle boy waited in the waiting room, a room that I've been in many, many times in my life. I sat there and could not help but remember all the many phone calls, the weekly visits I made there the first half of my pregnancy with Elijah, the highs and lows I experienced in that office … all the while carrying the boy sitting in the stroller in front of me in my body. He is 19 months old and so he was quickly done with his restraints. I'd come prepared with a favorite toy, my trusty iPhone loaded with Sesame Street podcasts, a grip of snacks in the diaper bag. Nothing satisfied until he settled happily on a bag of graham crackers that were my last available option (phew). He munched away as we waited, his feet swinging up and down in the way they do when he is content.
Thankfully there were enough graham crackers to last through my exam (not to worry, we faced the stroller in a direction that prevented traumatization). My doctor and I chatted about health insurance (get it together BCBS and UCLA! GOSH!) and I laughed that I wasn't worried about it anyway because pregnancy wasn't even on the conversation table at our house for the rest of 2012. It was my New Years Resolution to not get pregnant this year! He asked if we wanted more children eventually and I said my standard "Well, probably yes." He went down his checklist of questions and we briefly discussed birth control and he made an offhand remark: "Well, if you did get pregnant, you guys want more kids so it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world." And that took me aback a little.
Nineteen months is the longest I've gone without being pregnant since 2006.
There was the first miscarriage. And then four months later I was pregnant with Syd. And then nine months after she was born I found myself unexpectedly pregnant again … only to miscarry a few days later. Ten months later I was carrying Elijah, and now he's 19 months old.
My body is unoccupied and it kind of likes it right now.
I remember when Syd was Elijah's age she was so smooshy and teeter-tottery with her chunky legs and biscuit cheeks and her baby babble-talk. She would blow kisses from her high chair and wave and sing and the dimples on her little knuckles just about did me in every day. She was an easy, precious girl who slept through the night, ate well, was social and sweet and DUH, of course we were going to have another one like RIGHT NOW! And so we threw caution to the wind and it took all of two weeks for me to get pregnant again.
After an uneventful pregnancy with my daughter I was (naively) expecting more of the same once I made it past the 12-week mark. Because of the two miscarriages my doctor told me that I would have to submit to some precautionary tests the minute I learned I was pregnant and I trusted him (rightfully so, he's AWESOME) so of course I took them. Long story short, I was not producing enough progesterone to get the baby through the first trimester alive. And then the roller coaster began. I struggled hard with the awful physical side effects of progesterone therapy, the emotional toll of wondering week to week if my baby would be alive when I went to the doctor, trying to deal with bed rest with a toddler who had suddenly gone from teeter-tottery to FULL SPEED AHEAD, and especially the fear that came when my husband was suddenly laid off from his college teaching job just a month after I got pregnant.
And that was just the pregnancy! When we brought the baby home, adjusting to life with two kids utterly blew me away. It was so, so much harder than I expected. Things got better when Syd started preschool. We have had our ups and downs this year but I finally, just now, feel like I am coming out of the fog completely. Elijah is walking and is a bit more independent. The kids are sharing a room and sleeping great. John and I are tighter than we've ever been. The last year with Team World Vision has been phenomenal.
Everything is going pretty awesome right now.
And yet? I find myself thinking A LOT about future babies these days. It seems so … selfish and just plain stupid to even consider putting our family through another pregnancy again. What if I had a miscarriage? What if I had another difficult pregnancy? I mean, my mother-in-law is NOT available to bail me out this time! Elijah is a mama's boy to the max! How could I do that to him?! And Syd? Well, dudes, she's a handful. She needs a lot of attention and throwing a newborn into the mix would be insane IN THE MEMBRANE. And what if we have more Spirited Girls?! Would we survive? And isn't it nice to eat pretty much whatever I want (sushi! turkey sammiches!! soft serve! WOO!), take honest-to-goodness COLD MEDS when I'm sick and isn't it fun to run marathons and wear my favorite jeans?
All things to consider. In a year. Because for now? The womb is closed. And I'm really, really ok with that.
(just don't let me look at any baby photos, ok? because then I'm doomed.)