Yep. I'm jealous. I wish I wasn't but I am. I still am, I guess would be the more accurate way to put it. I am beginning to suspect that I may never truly get over feeling jealous when I see/talk to/hear about a woman who "has it easy." After reading this post, you will see that my interpretation of "easy" is pretty volatile and is based largely on grief and hormones rather than logic.
We are staying at the same little home-away-from-home where we stayed 6 years ago when I had Matthew. We have not been back since, and I had hoped we never would. We honestly haven't ever even driven by since then. This whole hospital experience has been like one big PTSD flashback though, so what the hell, why not?
There's this couple across the hall. Their little boy cries constantly, that whiny cry that is designed to grate on your nerves. Except his parents? They don't care what he's doing or where he is in the house, so he just wanders the hallways and cries. He is probably 2.5 at the oldest. His little sister is quiet as she toddles behind him dragging her blanket. She is maybe 1.5 at the oldest. Since this place is reserved for families in health care crises, I refrained from making any judgements about the little boy disturbing everyone's sleep, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. I mean, maybe he was sick or something, right? You just never know.
That is until this morning when the mama decided to have a loud kitchen fight with her husband who was standing just outside an open door smoking. She started going off on the guy screeching that she needed to get to the hospital to feed the babies and that he needed to hurry up. Then she proceeded to light a cigarette too and go off about how hard it is to try to pump breastmilk. All while her son paced the floors screaming and crying at the top of his lungs, ignored.
That's right folks. Babies. Plural. This lovely little family has twins. I mean, what kind of world is it anyway? Wait, don't answer that. Later, one of the volunteers was telling me about the woman and her 36 WEEK twins. So don't go thinking they have extremely premature twins either. They don't
For several hours I just couldn't get over the fact that THIS couple, THIS woman have been blessed with four children, while I fight desperately for every pregnancy, every live birth, every take-home baby. Because I doubt this woman has any idea that one does not equal the others. If you are lucky enough to get pregnant, there is no guarantee your baby will be born alive, and there is no guarantee you will take your baby home. Even if you take your baby home there are no guarantees.
I was offended for all the women who have to fight to get their families. I mean, it's just not FAIR. Here is this awful couple, who already have two children they obviously cannot handle. I mean just puffing away like that while talking about your babies...
I know I am still pregnant. I know I am lucky. But sometimes it is so hard to count my blessings when I am still so terrified about getting us all through this pregnancy.
I think this all may be slightly compounded by the fact that I was asked about 5 or 6 times while in the hospital if I wanted a tubal ligation. I assume this is because I am having a c-section--it's such a simple procedure to perform while they're in there. But I find it insulting to be asked. I am 29 years old. I feel like their asking implies that they think I suck at this childbearing thing. Which I probably do. My uterus is turning out to be a real asshole, anyway.
In my heart, I really wanted a bunch of kids. Like 4 or 5. But after Matthew, we sort of decided that 3 living children would be awesome. If this pregnancy ends well, that's 2. Maybe I should just be satisfied with that. I certainly feel more reluctant to jump on the roller coaster with each pregnancy.
But how can I ever be done? When we thought I would deliver a few days ago, there was a part of me that was grieving for the non-existent future children I would never get to have. I thought, "No one will be happy to hear I'm pregnant ever again." And I was devastated for the future baby I still desperately want, even when I've been on a mag drip for 24 hours and I can't even walk to the bathroom. Even then I want that future 3rd living baby.
After being asked several times, I finally confronted Dr. VBAC to make sure he wrote in my chart that I DO NOT want a tubal so that the staff might stop asking me. I also do not want him to be foggy about my wishes while he's elbow deep in my intestines and holding a scalpel.
Whether or not we ever get to have another child, I just don't want to have to face the decision before this little guy is born safe and sound and out of the NICU (or has blessedly escaped the NICU altogether). I feel like there is a bit of an ethical dilemma here. I think it may be morally reprehensible to ask a 29 year old woman in preterm labor with a history of premature birth, placental abruption, and infant loss if she wants a tubal. I think, as a nurse, I would have a problem asking that question.
Anyway, I guess it is a bit ridiculous to be jealous of the woman with the well-behaved uterus when I am still unexpectedly, magically pregnant. I just find I identify with people who had to fight to get their families, whether that's through infertility, loss, adoption, whatever. 6 years ago, I would've been offended by a woman wandering these halls with a big old pregnant belly while my 27-weeker fought for his life a block away. I try to be aware of that as I navigate this strange situation I find myself in, but I hope no potential mother ever looks at me and thinks I had it easy and that I take it all for granted.