Role Reversal

October 12, 2006

We haven’t officially talked about it, but I think we really are trying, not just not trying not to get pregnant. In the last four nights, we’ve had sex three times. My husband’s whole attitude is different from what it was before. He hasn’t reached for condoms or any other birth control even once. It hasn’t even been mentioned. If I asked, I’m sure he would tell me he doesn’t care either way. I suspect the truth is that he wants another, however. He’s just been so adamant against wanting another and just relenting to eventually try for another because he knows I want one. To admit he also wants one would mean he was wrong about that first attitude. And God forbid he admit he’s wrong.

Now that we’re trying, though, I’m starting to have second thoughts. I remember all too well what pregnancy is like. The pregnancy with PJ was awful. Morning sickness, near-miscarriages, bedrest…the list goes on and on. I finally started to enjoy the pregnancy, despite the remaining discomfort, about a week or so before PJ was born. Then the premature labor and birth, the resulting stress, post-partum depression…I had nearly every complication possible. Do I really want to put myself through that again? Can I handle going through all that again?

For that matter, how could I possibly deal with the same killer morning sickness while trying to take care of an emerging toddler? And what if I end up on bedrest again? I have no idea how I could care for PJ while unable to get out of bed. I don’t know anybody to come help either. Is it fair to PJ if the pregnancy doesn’t go well and he’s deprived of a mother? Is it fair to him to lose both parents for a time if the next kid has an endless NICU stay like PJ did?

I knew even during the hell that was PJ’s pregnancy that I was going to want at least one more kid, but I wish there was an easier way to get one–or at least one with guarantees that things wouldn’t be as bad as they were with PJ. Maybe it’s the uncertainty that’s worrying me the most.

I confessed all these concerns to a good friend of mine not long ago. She’s been through very similar circumstances and is also debating whether to try for more children after the horrors of her first pregnancy. She had some wisdom for me that came from her many hours of weighing the pros and cons of the matter. She reminded me that it is all in God’s hands. If he has in mind for me to have more children, that will happen one way or another. And he won’t send me any circumstances that I won’t be able to bear. The next pregnancy may not be easy, but if God let me get pregnant, he will also help me get through it. Whenever the worries about the consequences of us “trying” get to me, I remind myself of that piece of wisdom. It really does give me a measure of peace. Why worry about the “what-ifs” of a situation that may not even happen? I certainly don’t want to borrow trouble.