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Monday, October 1, 2007

There's Something In The Water

I'm experiencing a strange set of emotions. I'm not sure how to describe them. Jealousy? Panic? Contemplation? Anger? Fear? What's the word for all of those combined?


THAT'S what I'm feeling!

My friends are starting to have second or third babies. Oh, some are still pleading with God to give them their first (and I scream out with them). And some are grieving profound and indescribable losses (and, man, do I grieve with them). But many are peeing on that stick, and for the second or third time, are seeing two lines.

I am thrilled for each one of them. For true. I believe that there is nothing worse than broken dreams of a family. Whether those dreams are broken by infertility or miscarriage or death, the loss is so real and deep. And I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy. So, my heart genuinely leaps for joy when someone I love announces that their dream is fulfilled.

But, my flawed and selfish human brain is quick to turn the situation over to MYSELF, and ask, "What about MY family dream?"

I know that there's a part of me that will always be jealous of those who are able to conceive. I've had my chance, I realize, and I love Ellie with all my heart. But, there is a loss, knowing that I will never be pregnant again. I know that I'm especially jealous that my fertile friends don't have to think about fetal alcohol syndrome or lack of infant stimulation in an orphanage or the challenges of interracial families or how they're going to raise $20,000 to buy a baby, as those are concerns of adoptive parents. I'm jealous of friends who have healthy full-term babies and experience what it's like to leave the hospital on day three WITH their screaming, baby acne-ed infant.

There's also a part of me that panics every time I hear another announcement. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it forces me to think about MY family, and the possibility of growing it. I like the status quo. I like Ellie as a fairly-easy-to-carry-around 2 year old. I like not having to think about the future, and what that holds. I like not answering the questions of how we'd handle two or how much Ellie would love a sibling.

These announcements also force me to contemplate what I (we) WANT for our future family. Do I really want another one? Can I handle the lack of sleep again? Can I deal with the temper tantrums? Can I handle the paperwork of adoption? Can I take on the complexities of a biracial family? My head starts spinning. And upon the onset of the "thinking headache" I feel...

...angry. Plain ole pissed off that *I* got this bum luck (although, deep down, I know it has nothing to do with luck). That MY babies cost $20,000 when everyone else's are free (notice how anger breeds the "everyone else syndrome"?). That everyone else can have wild sex and be pregnant the next day. It all gets me seething.

In the midst of the anger, I'm usually intellectually sober enough to realize that the underlying emotion in everything having to do with babies is FEAR. I'm scared. I'm scared of not being able to handle it. I'm scared of having to go on Zoloft again, in order to bypass a nervous breakdown. I'm scared of sleepless nights. I'm scared of neglecting Ellie. I'm scared of neglecting Number Two. I'm scared of being completely broke. I'm scared of how I'm going to manage hauling a baby to all of Ellie's therapy. I'm scared of not being able to go back to work. I'm scared of the day when Number Two asks me why she looks different than mommy and daddy. I'm scared of Ellie thinking that she wasn't good enough so we had to "get" another baby. I'm scared that Richard and I will never hold hands again, because we'll spend the next twenty years holding our children's. I'm scared that we WON'T adopt, and that Ellie will have to grow up alone, and one day Richard and I will be old and senile, living in Fernwood, and Ellie won't know what to do, and no one will be around to help her. I'm scared that family vacations will be boring because Ellie won't have anyone to play with. I'm scared that God has a baby out there for us, and because of my fear, she'll be an orphan forever.

In a nutshell, I've got a severe case of Jealacontangear today.


Sunny said...

Oh you aren't alone in these feelings. I totally am there! 7 preggos at work. Effortless preggos. KILL ME!

Anonymous said...

Oh babe, I'm so with you. We are so aware that we're playing the baby lottery again and just crossing our fingers that we somehow get another miracle. We really don't know if we'll ever be able to conceive again - and that's what I'M scared of. Not knowing if it'll ever happen, and therefore not knowing when it's time to consider other options. And I too writhe with jealousy when I hear about my "oops, I'm pregnant again!" friends, even through my genuine happiness for them. Sucky.

Peitricia Mae said...

Hey luv - hope I'm allowed to comment even if we got "lucky" where the conceiving of babies is concerned. I definitely hear you on the dashing of family dreams, though - it seems so unfair to have to "revise" those dreams.

However, just watching you with Ellie over the past two years is enough proof for me that you would surmount any obstacle that the adoption of baby #2 would place in front of you. Doesn't make the jealacontangear at this point any less, but I know you would totally pull off being a mommy of two while still being your fabulous self.