Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visions Of Babies Dancing In My Head

(This is, in an offhanded way, a follow-up to last week’s post on marriage)

Yes, it’s weird, I’ll admit it.

I find myself thinking about pregnancy and babies often. I even find myself standing at the mirror, staring at my flat stomach, and wishing that it wasn’t.

I know there’s a lot of shit in my life that I need to get together before I let someone in, let alone someone that has to grow and be nourished inside of my body for nine months.

Maybe the obsession stems from the general feeling that there is something missing in my life. But I know this is one thing that I can’t do until I’m good and ready, or at least until my body can handle reasonably well being off of all of the meds I’m currently on that are not safe for a fetus.

Then there’s the question of whether I can get pregnant at all, or if I could do so safely. I’ve never discussed this with my rheum. Sure, I’m in my “childbearing years,” but it’s not as if I have anyone in my life steady enough that I would want to have a child with. To me, these are questions that you raise when you’re ready to “put a ring on it.” And yet I find myself thinking about them, anyway, in the absence of a man, let alone a ring, or a promise of forever.

I guess there’s also the feeling of time ticking down. Like I don’t know how many “good” years I have left. It’s my own summation that I will probably need a hip replacement before I’m 35. And my fear of time, or the absence of it, could be completely unfounded. But the fear is there, in the back of my mind.

I haven’t mentioned this feeling to many people, not even to my good friends, not even the married ones. Because I don’t think they’d really understand. When it comes down to it, they should be able to have children whenever they want. But for me, it’s going to be a cold, calculated, planned event. I can imagine that if I asked a fortune teller who had a crystal ball, the response would be, “The future is cloudy, it isn’t clear.” And maybe in reality, that’s true for everyone. But it feels especially true for me.

And I have to wonder, can a body gone haywire handle the miracle that is life at all? Is my body capable of supporting another human being, if it isn’t always capable of supporting me? These are questions that I will someday actually have to face.

It would be nice to ask them now and have someone who shares the desire to have the answers to them, too. But on the other hand, they could change everything, for better or for worse. And I truly don’t know what the answers will be.

As someone who was severely premature when I was born, and who is still on the small side, I would venture to guess that I’d be a high risk case in the absence of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, adding insult to injury.

As I say, these questions and ideas aren’t well formulated. I haven’t really done any research into this, as none of this is happening tomorrow. But the thought of having a baby swims inside my head, begging for primacy.

I even find myself having cravings. Anything salty or sweet that comes from a package and is completely unnatural. I feel like my body is nesting (or at least bulking up for the winter?). But maybe it’s just my hormones talking, trying to prepare me for the next stage of my life. Trying to gear me up for the time when there is someone in my life who wants to be with me forever and settle down and have children. Maybe my body is preparing now because of the long haul that it knows is awaiting it; preparing for what most likely will be a one shot deal to get it right.

Maybe I’m hoping for something to look forward to…someday…maybe…


  1. Thanks for this post. I think about this a lot, too.

    There's my RA and scoliosis, and then there's the 50/50 chance I'd pass on the heart condition that killed my uncle and necessitated surgery for me and a lot of my family.

    I want to believe my body is capable of bringing a child into the world, and I want to believe I'm capable of giving that child a happy, healthy life. Even though I'm single and nowhere near settled in life, I want it to be possible.

  2. A little hope can go a long way. It's unfair that you have to plan out something that is considered a life "event". On the other hand, you have some investment into the whole experience that may even make it that much more rewarding.

    I say light the candle, Leslie~ :)

  3. Hi Leslie,

    I can relate a lot to this post. I think it makes sense to think about these things now--even if the husband and the actual baby are hypothetical right now, the realities of your medical situation are very much present.

    I've found the conversation is really two parts: can a person physically conceive and carry a baby, and then should that person? It's the question a fertility/high-risk doc posed to me rhetorically, and I think a lot of the sentiment applies to people with all sorts of conditions. Not everyone will have medical problems that interfere with carrying a baby, but being able to care for children when our bodies are not reliable? That's a lot more universal.

    What has helped me (besides a lot of doctor appts, consults, etc) is talking about these broad issues and hearing from the many women who have already gone through this, who have made a decision to have children in their lives (pregnancy, adoption, etc) and are now making it work.


  4. What scares me now is, that Lyme can be passed into the baby. I don't want to give my kid something that can kill them. I used to look at it different when it was just arthritis I was talking about, but now it seems so much scarier.

    But I guess I shouldn't think about babies for awhile anyways. I don't even have a love life anymore!