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Monday, April 02, 2012

Imagining the Future

Do you have an idea of what your life will look like five years from now? Ten years? Of course, no one can predict the future, but most people have one or two things that they can feel certain about or at least are working towards and feels possible. Are they family related? Professional? Personal?

I can't imagine the future at the moment. Oh, I have daydreams about what I would like but in terms of realistic imaginings? I'm feeling uninspired and even, yes I will admit it, afraid.

Before we got pregnant the first time (or rather the first 'scare'/ possible chemical pregnancy- but that's something for another post), I wanted certain things. I wanted 3 children (both hubby and I came from 3 children families. I wanted a house of our own with a backyard. I wanted to work part-time at home as an artist while I was able to stay at home with the kids, and maybe have someone come into the house on certain days so that I could work uninterrupted.

Now? It all seems surreal and almost, dare I say, unrealistic?

Or maybe my timeline is all skewed.

The truth is that where we are right now, my priorities are far, far more different than I could ever imagine. Lately, when I cuddle K and snuggle my face into her hair, breathing in her scent, I feel… content with her.

For the first time in my life, I could accept it if she ended up being our only child.

Huh? What? The woman who wanted 3? Hubby wants two and heck, even after our 20 week ultrasound with K when we found out K was a girl, he joked that he wanted a boy as well, even if it meant having more than 2.

There are a lot of reasons I'm waffling on the idea of another child. It's not that I don't want another child, but it's that when I add up all the pros and cons, the con list far, far, far outweighs the pro list right now for us.

Right now in my husband's career, the reality is that we are going to move around a bit. What I didn't or couldn't comprehend before was that as exciting as it would be to move to a new country, it is extremely difficult to build a support network. Finding (let alone affording) a babysitter is even more difficult than I would have thought.

I have one friend here. One person who I text and meet up with. Her daughter is two weeks younger than K and she has a 5 month old boy now too. She's not working like a lot of the other moms I've met, and therefore I feel like she has a small amount of time to actually be there for me if I need it and I won't feel like I am imposing or being needy.

Except that she can't really drop things and help me if I needed it. She after all has two kids to look after and her husband also travels like mine. But we get along great and I know she's there to listen if I need it, and I know in an emergency, she would do everything to help.

I used to meet and make friends easily, but now one in a year seems amazing to me. I chalk it up to the anxiety that is inherent in my depression. The ever present battle I fight is more good than bad lately, but it also still means that it's stressful for me to reach out to complete strangers and say, "Hey, I'm new. Think you can help me adjust and settle in here?" Actually, just thinking about it makes me panicky in a way I never could have understood prior to my illness and subsequent fibro diagnosis.

So, my family and best friends are really far away, I have almost no support network here, and we're moving again next summer, so I will start the networking all over again.  Add to that that my husbands travels overseas and the idea of being alone in a place with a small child and an infant terrifies me.


I had post-partum depression and I am high risk for it again.

Those who read through that part of my journey know how hard it was and hard I had to fight to regain some sort of stability in my life.

And all of this was after 2 confirmed miscarriages and a lot of stress towards the end of my successful pregnancy that resulted in intervention due to high blood pressure and near pre-eclampsia. Trying to wrap my mind around doing it again in our current circumstances is beyond daunting. I mean, this is presuming that we are successful the first time we conceive again and I don't go through more miscarriages, which given my still short cycles and hormone balance issues, I'm not convinced I won't, it seems like inflicting a whole host of torture on my consciousness that I'm not sure I'd be strong enough to get through intact. I won't even get into the stress it all placed on our marriage.

This isn't even considering the financial side of things, of which another child would be that much more difficult for us to makes ends meet and add more stress to our lives.

Did I mention my fibromyalgia? Stress= fibro trigger…


All of this adds up to the fact that trying to conceive a child while we are in the UK is a really bad idea. We are pretty set at this point about returning to North America after is new contract is up, which is in 2016. Fine, so we wait. But at that point I will be 32-33. I can't even imagine what our life will be like at that point let alone want to comprehend what a few more years my do to my somewhat questionable fertility.

I told hubby about my fears and my feeling that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to have another child, all things considered. Though it took him a little bit to say so, he was bothered by it. After talking it over I told him I wasn't vetoing another child, just that for now I thought it was a bad idea, to which he agreed. Later, we will revisit it.

Four or five years down the road, will our circumstances be significantly different? Will I feel more comfortable with the idea? I'm not sure. I have no precognition skills and the future isn't mine to see, but suffice to say, all these things will still factor into the equation, but it's very possible that the answer will be very different than it is right now.

All I know is that at the end of the day, we both have to be accepting of our circumstances and the consequences of our decision regarding more children at that point. For me, I will be weighing the pros and cons carefully and considering the price I am willing to pay for a piece of a dream. How much is too much? Is it okay to go half-way and back out when it looks like it might not be worth it? Or is it a jump in with both feet situation?

I don't know. For now, I'm accepting that as a reasonable answer to questions I can't truly fathom at the moment. Right now we just keep going and handle whatever life tosses at us and hope we can handle it. The world is such an uncertain place these days. But I have a wonderful husband and an amazing daughter. I have supportive family and a lot of love. And that's enough.


"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Oh my girlie, you make me so sad that we are not closer so I can reach out and hug you!

areyoukiddingme said...

You don't have to plan every second of life. Sometimes going with the flow is all you can do, and that's just fine. There's a difference between not doing something because you're afraid something will happen and not doing something because you feel like you can reliably predict an outcome, so keep that in mind and try to figure out which side you're on. It'll be OK. :)

MrsSpock said...

I always thought I wanted 3, but am feeling so overwhelmed with 2. I keep wondering if I should have tied my tubes after this last c-section. On the other hand, I know some of these stressors are temporary, and I may feel clucky in a few years. It's hard for me to leave that open, though, because I'm always used to having a 5 year plan. Leaving that open is as hard as the not-knowing that came with IF.

St Elsewhere said...

Oh the best laid plans!

I know what you mean when you say what it will be five years from now...I am close to saying - 'who knows!'...things have been changing much too rapidly around my corner of the world too, so I know where your thoughts are coming from.

Take your heart into account when you do your pros/cons analysis.

Take Care!