Okay, just because it is the holidays doesn't mean that I have turned into Mary Poppins. I'll admit that I have been jolly this year, and 9 out of 10 days down right grateful. Today being an exception though, and I'd just like to give the warning first. Now if you are joyfully roasting chestnuts by the fire, stop reading. This won't have a cute little story or ending.
I am hoping that it is human nature, but it may be my nature. Something will be bothering me on a subconscious level and I will have relatively no idea what it is for the entire day. I just feel grumpy, dark and sleepy. I won't go for my run. I eat badly. Get short with other people. Watch the clock for the day to end. Basically do everything to make the feeling worse, but still not be able to really put it to rest or even know what is bothering me.
Then we have a few options, if I am really tired and stressed this mood will end in a dramatic fight or crying breakdown. Starting out about something that has nothing to do with the real problem and eventually wind down to what is really wrong. Or, if I am better rested I can just continue in the funk for a few days until it slowly dawns on me what is wrong.
I am currently living the latter. Quietly brooding. Not knowing exactly what it is but, not enjoying what I have right in front of me. Then today after a trip to the playground, I realized what was wrong. And of course then it seemed so obvious, so ridiculously that anyone but I could have seen it.
My problem is two parts of the same old thing that still haunts me: Damn Prematurity!
First off I am reading "Half Baked" by Alexa Stevenson. This is a mother's memoir of a 25 weeker. I do recommend it for a honest memoir of what occurs in the micro preemie world. I am very different from the author in multiple ways, but all the same her writing and experience are portrayed accurately.
So what is the problem? Well, I guess I am not as comfortable with my experience as I thought. And even though I often blog with intricate detail of my birthing experience and premature child. My mind has actually only allowed bits and pieces out in slow motion. And when I want them. Sitting a reading a whole book about an experience so close to what I have lived is just darn hard. There are times that I don't want to remember, or at least I don't want to remember them right now. Stop reading you say. Easy enough. I tried. I can't, it just keeps sticking with me and I have a compulsion to finish it. All the while setting the scene for me to be in a bad mood.
And then there is the second issue. As background information, I belong to a group of super supportive and outstanding preemie parents. It is a online group that has changed my life in so many positive ways I hate to even bring up this problem. In fact I really dislike that this is bothering me, and know that this is my problem not anybody in the group. All the same it was recently posted to the group, "If you knew you would have another preemie would you still have another child?". Then the members of the group could answer the question.
Now come on, this is the internet. Everybody is welcome to their own opinion and lets be rationale adults and understand that it is their opinion and nothing more. Christ, my own friends and family probably couldn't have a more polite conversation about this particular subject. So, to be honest I don't know if it is the question or the responses that has me so upset. Or the combination of both.
I don't know for sure if we want to have another child. I know for sure I don't want to have another 25 weeker. I really don't think I could survive it again. I don't think I could handle having a toddler and and 25 weeker on the verge of death in the NICU. I don't know if our marriage could survive the stress of this experience again.
Its the timeless question: Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? Well, ask anyone who has lost a loved one and they might have a very complicated answer for you. Furthermore, it is complicated and sensitive subject for anyone when deciding to add to your family. Add some medical and emotional trauma in there and you have pure confusion.
There was a few responses to this "If you knew question" though that have just stuck to me. And I will paraphrase here, as I know it was not a personal attack just an honest opinion given out to cyberspace. A few mentioned that there is no way that they would willing bring a child into this world knowing what they would have to go through to survive. The world selfish was used several times. As well that it unacceptable to put a child at such risk because you want to have another child.
If I want to have another child, I am being selfish and dangerous? Aren't we all a bit selfish when we have children? Aren't we all rolling the dice and hoping for the best. As far as I know there is no guarantee with any child or any life for that matter. Granted I have a greater chance that I would have a premature child than another person. But, I don't know for sure what would happen. The bad outcome of course shakes me to the core, as much as it did in the days before I had my daughter. Then there is the other side of the coin.
I have my daughter. My beautiful, wonderful reason I get up every morning, daughter. Her laugh, her smile and her quirky personality fill pages of my journal, my blog and our world. What would I risk for that? Something I simply can't answer.