Monday, August 20, 2007

Risk

I was asked over the weekend if we were going to have any more children. My reply was "no." And I left it at that. It's uncomfortable to discuss my pregnancies with others at times as they have no clue what it was like. They understand on a basic level, but not the emotional heart wrenching level. I also came across this with my OB/GYN last month during my annual. He's of the mindset that another pregnancy would be fine. After all, my pregnancy with Phoenix went quite well. If you define "quite well" as a healthy baby that got to come home with us, then yes it went "quite well". I had to remind Jason that Dr. B looks at it from a clinical standpoint. We made it to 37 weeks without severe preeclampsia and I had a successful labor & delivery. He doesn't have the option of looking at it from our point of view. I know that he and his wife had their own issues to deal with as he had shared some with us, but when he's my physician, he has the "Dr." hat on.

We won't be having any more children. The risk is too great for us to take. Yes, both my children are here with me and are healthy. Yes, I am alive. I do not take that for granted. But therein lies the kicker. I am alive and so are my children. I cannot risk losing a baby or my own life with another pregnancy. Someone might say that is being melodramatic. Well, you are entitled to your opinions. But I ask you to live one hour of my labor & delivery with Ariana. To live for one day of my pregnancy with Phoenix, at that 32 week mark when your blood pressure starts to rise and awful things enter your mind. You leave your baby at the hospital while you go home. I remember that moment in the elevator when I was being released after Ariana. To know that I was leaving empty handed for now, after watching moms & dads leave with their baby. To not be able to hold your baby because they need the oxygen or are too fragile. To have a nurse tell you you can't touch your baby too much or they will be over stimulated. To have that rib pain start up during my pregnancy with Phoenix and fearing that delivery is eminent. To be chastised by a L&D nurse in such a way that made me feel humiliated and guilty. To not know whether or not it's something you did that caused your baby to come early. To be in labor and your OB looks at you with a concerned face and says to the nurse, "run abruption labs" and you know what placental abruption means and what could happen.

I know I'd be monitored closely again during pregnancy. But I vividly remember those twice weekly doctor visits, the lab work, the BPP's, the NST's. I remember the NST at 35 weeks with Phoenix that almost had us having a baby. I remember the anxiety, the worry, the fear, the guilt. Can I do that again? Do I have the strength?

Risks. All the above are things we get to contemplate if we'd have another baby. It's not just deciding what color to paint the nursery or if we have enough baby clothes. We have responsibilities to the children we have already. And I just cannot take the risk of not being here for them. Through my involvement with the Preeclampsia Foundation, I've seen women lose their lives, or their babies. The fear of that hits at my very core. It literally paralyzes me. And for that reason alone, no more babies will be born via my body.

There is a sense of loss that comes along with that decision. There is a vague sense of loss, or so I'm told, once the decision is made to not have any more babies by anyone. But this runs deeper for me. To know that maybe we could have had another but we have these other reasons for not doing so. Ours is not a simple decision, but it's one we've made.

3 comments:

Dawn said...

Wow D, that was even tough to read. You are so articulate, and even though I will never know what you went through, you put it in such a way that one can only begin to imagine the torment and complexity that goes with your decision. You should be proud of yourself that you made such a difficult decision for the benefit of yourself and your family's future.

We all want you here for a long time! You are a wonderful woman!!!
Love you!

Sara said...

You have a beautiful family. Making that decision not to have another baby, I'm sure was not an easy one. I don't know all that you went through, and I hope I never have to. Your kids and Jason need you here. We don't know what we would do without you.

Mama said...

I found you from the Pre-e survivors and enjoyed reading. I wish all we shared was a devotion to The Pack. Anyway, I'm a "survivor" with a 3 yr old and going through the second pregnancy with all the doubts. I feel pretty good at 25 weeks, but my blood pressure did not go down in the second trimester like they say it should and The Fear is there. Even if this pregnancy is fine, I know now that I will NEVER be able put my family through this kind of worry again.