Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hard Confessions

Lately, there is a wave of pregnancies in the blogosphere. Several fellow bloggers have either just recently announced a pregnancy or are getting ready to have their babies. Gregg and I have talked about trying for our second when Colton is about a year and a half old, so that our kids will be roughly 2 1/2 years apart.

Sometimes though, I honestly struggle with the idea of having another baby. I do want at least two kids and for Colton to have a brother or sister so he's not the only child. I'm just not sure I ever want to endure another C-section and all the emotional stuff I went through right after giving birth. The Cesarean was more painful and uncomfortable than I had anticipated it being, and there's a very high likelihood that I'll have to have another one since most doctors discourage VBACs.

My image of having the baby held close to my face in the OR right after he was delivered didn't happen. Instead, he was cleaned up, dressed, and went back to our room with Gregg who then handed him off to me after I was stitched up. I struggled with breastfeeding and felt like a failure when it didn't go right. After giving up and switching to formula exclusively, I continued to beat myself up about it for the next three months. There wasn't much physically I could do for Colton while I was still recovering from the surgery, and then I wasn't even able to do the one thing that would have been my sole responsibility. I felt like I was failing as a mother and disengaged from the baby that had grown inside me for the last nine months.

All this came as a complete shock to me because for as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a mom. I loved being pregnant and had a very easy pregnancy. Planning for Colton's arrival was one of the most special times of my life. I just assumed everything would fall into place naturally. When it didn't, I became depressed. The pain and discomfort from the C-section only made things worse. I'd like to think that after enough time passes, I'll forget all about what I went through and be eager to try for #2. Part of me also thinks that what I experienced was just the result of not being prepared, and now that I know what to expect things will be much better the second time around.

And even if they're not, I should be able to endure a week or so of crappiness for the sake of bringing another human being into this world. It's just one week compared to a whole lifetime. So many couples can't get pregnant and would give anything to have a baby naturally. There are those who have lost children. And here I am, contemplating throwing that choice and opportunity away. I have also thought about adopting our next child. There are thousands of kids out there who need a good home and loving parents. Why not provide this for a child who would otherwise grow up in an orphanage or in the foster system, if we have the means?

Don't get me wrong, I love Colton and being a mom is great. I enjoy watching my son grow and develop and interact with us. I post a ton of his pictures and brag on him every chance I get. I find it extremely difficult to write about this kind of thing because it makes me sound like I'm not grateful to be a mother or something. This isn't the sort of stuff A Baby Story is made of.

I know I don't have to decide what to do today. I also know that Gregg is fine with whatever decision I do make. He's all for adoption and has said before that there are so many kids already who need parents so why not adopt. Three of his cousins are adopted and they are just as much a part of his family as if they had been born in. Having and raising any child is a privilege.

I wish the days immediately after Colton's birth hadn't been so difficult and wonder all the time what, if anything, I could have done to make them better. I wish they weren't so difficult that I would even contemplate getting pregnant again just to avoid going through them a second time. Life doesn't always turn out the way we expect, though. Whether we conceive another child or adopt one, he or she will be very much loved and a part of our family.

Now that Colton is almost halfway through his first year, things are so much better than they were when he was a newborn. He was a total stranger to me those first few weeks, and I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of him. If anything would make me want to have a second child, it's the one I already have. Seeing this beautiful little boy grow a bit more every day and knowing that he came from me is an amazing experience, one I'm looking forward to continuing on into his childhood and young adult years. That is the only thing that can make the pain and struggle worth it. Colton is a fantastic baby, and we'd be blessed to have another just like him.

1 comment:

Angelarae said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Personally (myself included) I think a lot of us "fake it" and act like everything is perfect and hunky-dory, when, really, it isn't. I'm not a mother, so I can't speak from experience, but I think being a mom is so hard and you can't really know what to expect.