I had a very easy pregnancy...don't hate...). After she was born, I started worrying that she would be lonely and that over time I would be lonely as well without a larger family. But, that door was closed and unless Jacob decided to open it again then I wasn't about to suggest it (well maybe just a hint or two...three). Then the rug started getting tugged out from under our feet...
We started worrying about Rae's development and then the doctor appointments started. The longer we went without an answer the more nervous I became about it being something genetic (which it in all likelihood is) and then the question of having another child became more taboo. It was also about that time that people started asking if we were going to have a second baby (ouch!) and I just didn't know how to answer them. Finally, I started telling them, "No." I became afraid to entertain the idea. Then they'd ask, "Why?" After an awkward pause I'd confess, "I'm too afraid this would happen again and that the second time it could be worse." I was being completely honest with them, but the next comments were usually something along the lines of, "Well, you don't really know that "it" (whatever "it" is) would happen again." Really...I never thought of that! How silly of me.
I had a blissfully ignorant pregnancy. The idea that something completely undetectable/un-diagnosisable could happen never crossed my mind. I am confident that it would not be the same if I became pregnant again. I would have 40 weeks to stew over all the "what ifs" and drive everyone near me insane. I digress... We have actually discussed having a second child for various reasons, but
- Rae would have someone to play with and she wouldn't be alone (only thinking about her)
- Maybe "it" wouldn't happen again and we would have the opportunity to have some of those "normal" parenting experiences that we dreamed of for 40 weeks. (all about us)
- How would we be able to financially handle another child with or without special needs?
- What if "it" happened again? Are we physically able to care for two children with special needs?
- What if the second child resents Rae and ends up leaving her alone anyway?
- What if the second child resents the care and time we need to spend with Rae?
This past Wednesday, we were asked to take something into consideration. Something so devastating that I still haven't wrapped my mind around it and all it implies. The final bit of rug left under our feet was completely removed. The doctor we saw believes that what Rae has is genetic (Duh...now tell me something I don't know) and we both have a recessive gene that combined to create one hell of a perfect storm (my words...his were way more eloquent). He went on to say that while contraceptives (condoms, birth control pills, etc...) were good (to a point) they were not 100% foolproof and we may want to consider a "permanent form of birth control." Basically, either one or both of us should have our plumbing snipped. We were just nicely
Part of me feels like a challenge has been placed before me. Who is he to tell me that I should never have more children? What does he know? There are thousands of parents going through similar situations and have perfectly "normal" second children...maybe we would be one of those? Maybe we should just do it and I'll walk into his office with a bulging pregnant belly, look at him with defiance, and dare him to say a word!
Then the "what ifs" start again. What if he's right? What if I'm wrong? What if I had to sheepishly walk into his office with another child that needed his expertise? What if...
Some may ask where's my faith that God will provide or that He will take care of the situation before there is a situation to take care of. I get that, but my faith falters. He may be unwavering, but I am not. But, it isn't just my faith in God that falters. It is also my faith in myself. I fear that if something like "it" happened a second time that I may not be able to recover. Others have more faith in me than I do and I'm sure they'd tell me I'd do what I always do, pick myself up and take care of business. Maybe they're right and maybe their wrong, but do I risk it?