Monday, February 04, 2008

I should give up angst for Lent

It wouldn't be Housewife in Flip Flops if I didn't drop a big angsty post on y'all right before I leave you for a month and a half. (Mostly.)

I've got the baby fever angst again. That is to say, for my newer readers, part of me wants to get pregnant again, but a really loud part of me is saying ARE YOU CRAZY YOU IDIOT PREGNANCY DOES NOT BECOME YOU. And then the mommy part of me is all SHUT UP, I WANT A BABY, MY WOMB IS SO EMPTY THAT IT ECHOS. And then the other part of me is all NO YOU SHUT UP, GO READ YOUR JUNE-AUGUST 2006 ARCHIVES, IDIOT. I hadn't felt this for a while, but then all of my friends who were pregnant when I was pregnant with Ace done got pregnant again, and I'm slightly jealous.

I wanted to space my children around 2 years apart, meaning I should've been either pregnant or trying again right now. But I'm not. Cuz I'm scared. I'm really, really tired of the indecision and the fear. I've always regretted making decisions based on fear, so maybe during Lent I'll use my copious amounts of spare time to reflect (and maybe, pray... whoa!) on the things that are keeping me from trying to conceive, full steam ahead.

Wanna list? Lucky you!

1. I'm afraid of facing infertility again.
2. I'm afraid of losing another baby.
3. I'm afraid of having another baby prematurely (duuhhhh).
4. I'm afraid of another really, really repulsive post-pregnancy complication.
5. I'm afraid of being fat during pregnancy again.
6. I'm afraid of the idea of having a child with special needs AND having a newborn.
7. I'm afraid of being a really, really crappy newborn mother again.
8. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Possible solutions?

1-4 are obviously uncontrollable, which is quite, quite hard for a control freak. They're also the most terrifying of all of my fears.
5 is not entirely uncontrollable, but it's not easy to lose weight. (I'm joining Weight Watchers some time this week, hopefully.)
6... well, I'm just not sure about that one. How do I balance Ace, therapy, possibly school and/or daycare, doctors' appointments, medicine, equipment... and a newborn?
7. I think that'll come down to mood stabilizers, and I'm not kidding. I hated myself during Ace's 1st 6 months or so. I think I'd be a little calmer now, maybe not so strict with a schedule and doing everything right, but I'd still have to deal with the horrible cow I become without sleep.
8. This one just seems stupid to me, but it's one of my genuine fears. I know a few people right now who are dead broke and happy about being pregnant, and that baffles me. I worry constantly about being able to afford Ace's future, and Drew makes good money. (Plus, we're on the fast track to being debt-free!)

Sharon said something on another post dealing with this subject that's really stuck with me: "...pregnancy is ALWAYS scary." This is so true. I'd really like to hang up that fear and get fixed so I can be done with fertility, but I think I'd regret it the moment I woke up from the surgery. I'd be really ticked at myself if I gave up my dreams of a gaggle of biological children (plus the later small football team of adopted children, a la Jolie-Pitt) because of fear.

Will nobody babysit so I can go to therapy? Please? Someone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


Sharon said...

I'll babysit. ;)
I don't have anything to say that I haven't already. I just know my experience. After losing a baby at 16 weeks (which Aidan was HOME for, since I went into labor before my scheduled d&c), I was TERRIFIED of being pregnant again. Then it happened. I was overly-cautious and a wreck at every cramp, expecting to lose that baby, too. My faith in God's plan was shot (since I was trying to follow my OWN). We got past it, despite a difficult pregnancy. I just can't imagine our life without baby #3 now. It was so worth it, even the excessive worrying.
We have $ issues, but we've always managed. We may not be able to fund our boy's college in full, but I do trust God will get us what we need.

And thought it's a pain in the ass to hear, you survived it all before. You're stronger NOW than you were then, because surviving does that to you. I know you could embrace whatever would happen on that road for you.

ONE more thing...I don't think you need to worry about being a crappy mother. I just don't think you're capable of being a crappy mom. Seriously. And I'm no pro or anything, but it's really a whole new level of confidence and relaxation with the 2nd one. You just KNOW more instinctively.

OK, sorry for the way-too-long comment!
Now find a shrink and I'll watch Ace. :)

sinister_n_evil said...

Girlie, if you lived closer... I would send you to my therapist while I took Ace off your hands...

I have been in therapy since Katrina. I was on mood stabalizers before that. I lost a baby between CJ and Charles while at work, and Charles' genetecist said that having a younger sibling would be the best thing for Charles' development.

Here is a strategy...

1. Wait for Ace to age out of Early Steps and enter Special Ed in the public school system... (UG!.. I know.. Horrid thought... Public school... but, it is the same attention that your child gets as the at home therapists now at least through kindergarden... then you can pull him out and stick him in private...)
2. Use this time during lent to begin a written journal. Explore your fears in depth. Interview therapists and find one that you can really open up to. Infertility is hard. It took me five years and surgery to have CJ. You just have to believe that all things are possible and not give up. Weight comes and weight goes... don't let it become a barrier... it is only temporary...
3. Once your issues are handled, your head is clear and Ace begins an educational routine is walking, that will be the milestone to introduce a baby into his life...

I had always told myself that when CJ was out of diapers I was going to have my second child... but CJ wasn't potty trained till 4... they are 3 years apart... and if Rob wants another one... I have a feeling that Charles will still be in diapers too...

Hang in there... you are not in this alone... if you need to talk about anything... give Rob a shout... he will give you my number...

Melinda Barton said...

I'm of the school that if something scares you, you should think of how it could be soooooo much worse. Here's how it works:

You pregnant: Scary for all the reasons you listed.
Me pregnant: Much scarier! And very disturbing. I can hear Rob screaming in horror as he reads this.

So, just think of me pregnant and raising Little Melinda Demon Spawns and you won't be so scared.

Susan said...

I don't think it's coincidence that this came up the day before Lent. Go with the plan to take your new abundance of free time to think about it and pray. And while you're at it, have a serious talk with your doctor about the possibility. I think you're an awesome mother and if this is something you really want, don't let fear get in the way.

From the Doghouse said...

As a dad, I can tell you your approach to the second is worlds different than the first; the unknown is gone.

Jennifer said...

Ahhh, this discussion! Remember my baby fever? I KNOW what you're going through (b/c I STILL am!) and I have no good answer. I am closer than ever to getting pregnant again--to prove to myself it CAN be done right and also to get it overwith because I want more children (I've had the Jolie-Pitt thoughts, too, believe me!). I was talking to a woman at a Superbowl party on Sunday about this and she was going on and on about how amazing it is to watch the first and second together--and Sharon has said the same thing. It's hard for me to imagine without having a second one, but just IMAGINE how much Ace would LOVE being the big brother!!! I would love to see those big brother blog posts!

Anyways, I know I'm rambling and not much help in this department, but if you decide to go through with this, maybe there is more hope for me? I'm going to go through a slew of doctor's visits and plan on trying around May-ish...(I will probably chicken out of my fourth self-given deadline, but Landon will be three in May and I have to get a move on--Whew!). I will pray for you to make the best decision for you and at least we both have a little boy who fills up our entire heart...just in sace #2 is never meant to be. If neither of us gets pregnant....see you in China in three years, sister!)

Watercolor said...

I emailed you the name of an incredible therapist I know.

Being single and childless, I can't offer much else to this conversation, but I do know she is amazing and so I offer this info. Look for it in your email.

The DP said...

Ok but you two make really hawt babies. It is unfair to the universe to deny ugly people chances to look at your beautiful children and be sad. Think about society.
No really. I get what you are saying but like sharon said, you are a survivor. You have done it, been there and are thriving. Thus you are more than capable of making it happen again as many times as you want.

fwapah said...

babysit? ooh ooh! pick me! me!

new york has GREAT therapists (and a built-in babysitter)