Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We want to do what?

Lake Arrowhead.

Huntington Beach.

San Diego.

Sleep.

It's all good though. I've been happy; the sleep part was probably just a little bit catching up and a little bit giving up caffeine and not giving up meds that have sleepiness as a side-effect.

Yeah. Happy.

My therapist thinks I need to have six months of stability under my belt before we try to have kids, but the very idea of watching every emotion to see if it's a depressive episode and watching the days click by is so counter to everything I have been working on as far as mindfulness goes that I cannot subscribe to her philosophy.

Meanwhile, my psychiatrist says she'll support me whatever we decide to do.

Our pastor is worried about the hormonal changes that pregnancy triggers in women, and how I'll handle the mood changes. He also worries about the financial aspects of it all.

A couple of friends say we'd make great parents.

We say why not and what are we waiting for?


And now, you, my eighth reader, are sitting there with your jaw on the floor.

Yes, after Disneyland, and explaining to two friends for the last time that we decided not to have children because we didn't want to have to take care of anyone, having already raised so many people and been caregivers even in our professions, that we wanted to have time just to care for each other and that we felt like we had the right to be selfish.

But I have never given that explanation without feeling a sense of defensiveness and resignation and intellectual conclusion.

When we think of having children we feel excited. Inexplicably excited and hopeful.

If it seems like this is a rash decision, it's rash as our engagement and our marriage.

Six months after meeting.

One year and four days after meeting.

Respectively.

When we made the decision to spend our lives together, we knew what we were looking for, we knew we were moving quickly, but we knew what felt right. Sure, we were a little scared and also excited, but we also just knew what we were doing was right.

And so it is.

As I have said before, I have spent my whole life wanting children. After the miscarriage and ensuing depression, I managed to talk myself out of it. I told myself it wasn't fair to a child to have to have a depressive mother, but I feel so good now, I feel like I can manage my depression, and because I am so responsible about taking the very meds that make my impending pregnancy risky, I feel like I can be a good parent.

As good a parent as so many people I see who are less purposeful about becoming parents.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared of: getting depressed again, having a miscarriage, not being able to get pregnant, being a parent...

I am scared.

But I also know I can manage depression, probably will have another miscarriage, might not be able to get pregnant, might be a parent.

All of those possibilities leave me feeling hopeful and strong.

Justin and I haven't gone into anything with naive expectations or romanticized visions of constant joy. We've faced very difficult situations together and thrived. Having children, or at least trying to, is one of those situations for us.

This time is going to be different. I am not going to hope too much. I am not going to pay too much attention. I am not going to let this experience rule my life. As with so many other things these days, rather than approaching a major project, I will spend my days working on having a good day.

Since January 2006, when I had to stop teaching and my whole life spun around, I have been a captive student of life. I know for sure I am not finished learning, but I know that what I have learned will help me be a good human being.

And I have learned that I am a human being, not a human doing.

If one day I have the privilege of becoming a parent, I can only imagine that the focus on being will help us all.

Off we are on another adventure! Don't anyone hold their breath...

3 comments:

Penny said...

I am happy for you both that you have made this decision. I was never sure whether or not you could not have children after the miscarriage or what the status was. I also didn't want to ask because I felt it was prying and the timing of your miscarriage and your depression coincided with my second pregnancy and child. I didn't want to rub salt in your wound. I believe that you will be okay because you know yourself so well now. Let things come as they may, and I think that this is a chance you have to take to make a dream come true.

OakMonster said...

I echo your pastor's concern about hormonal changes. But you guys know best of what you can do. Good luck!

KI said...

Yay! :-) So excited for you. And so great to see you last week :-)