Don't you just love when someone slows down their blogging and then when they do post, it's all about really happy things? Then you probably want to adjust your bookmarks because it's about to get reals.
I have been pregnant 6 times. I have two children to show for those 6 pregnancies. Those are pretty sorry odds for any tiny lives hoping to flourish in this body. I jokingly call it my hostile womb: 1) because humor helps me cope with the crappy things in life, and 2) because if I stopped to think too much about it, I'd be really sad. But the truth is, before Emmy, we had two miscarriages and before Odessa we had another one, and recently, the most recent one. And hopefully the last. Maybe for sure the last.
That's the problem that led to this problem in the first place. Indecision and a bit of FOMO. FOMO, for those of you who don't have it, is Fear Of Missing Out. It is irrational and annoying, but sort of unavoidable, especially if you're like me and you have a bit of grassisgreeneritis. And no, that's not a campaign line for legalizing pot. It's another annoying syndrome, one that causes restlessness and self-questioning. They're all in the class of mental self-assessment, wherein you're constantly judging yourself and what you're doing and is it enough and should you be more and is there more and where is more. I try not to let myself get too carried away because, frankly, it's dumb. I have more things to be grateful for than I can possibly deserve and if I spent every moment being thankful it still wouldn't be thankful enough because I am really, really lucky to be so happy in this lifetime.
But, we live here, in the Silicon Valley, surrounded by 23 year olds who turn down 3 billion dollars for an app they invented that doesn't even cure cancer. Or herpes, which could really benefit its teen audience. So sometimes you get caught up and wonder why you're not inventing the app that could stop herpes once and for all.
Back to FOMO. I had never really considered having three children. Three seems like a lot, especially when you already have two awesome ones. But more is more, right? More love, more fun, more family. Even though it's theoretically 1/3 the time and resources for each child per parent, aren't we giving them a whole 'nother person to love and be loved by? Another phone number to call if one sibling is unavailable? It was a conundrum because I also didn't want to be "copping out," like somehow I'm more of a warrior if I have a third. I mean, everyone's doing it these days and you get more street cred if you go above and beyond. Why stop at two when three is the real deal?
Dumb, I know. It was not well thought through on my part. Even though I had asked people about it for months. Every time I met a parent of three or a person from a three sibiling family, I gave them the third degree. No pun intended. Pros, cons? Does one of the three always become a loser? Do they all get along famously? Is someone a third wheel? How often do they talk? What happens when it's two against one? I mean, I grilled people like I was holding the powerful accountable for #WeInvestigate. And the responses were great anecdotes but they didn't strongly sway me one way or the other.
The decision was finally made with a bit of caution thrown to the wind, devil may care, just do it Nike-ism. The Good Doctor was fairly neutral in all of this. I won't speak for him (isn't that a first) but let me say he was completely supportive of staying with two or going for three. Essentially, he was zero help.
For me, making a decision, even if it ends up being the wrong decision, is better than being a state of limbo. I hate analysis paralysis.
But the instant the test came back positive, I was conflicted. Happy, worried, incredulous, concerned. There were all these extra feelings associated with this test that I hadn't experienced when we were trying for our first and second babies.
The third one felt like I had stepped up to the edge, and slipped over. Intentional and uncertain at the same time.
Then when the nausea and fatigue kicked in, the "What have I done?" feelings intensified. Not to the point of any serious regret, but having those doubts at all was totally odd. I never had doubts about Emmy or Dessy. I was always certain about two. But three was here and I was not fully committed. Which seems horrible to say and there's a tiny part of me that wonders if that emotional state caused any of the physical issues that led to this baby being a non-baby.
It was a mixed bag of feelings. Like of course we would be excited to meet a new person. The two we have are just so funny and perfect and amazing. Why wouldn't the next one just add gobs more fun? But when I'm barfing and crabby and feeling guilty for not playing with the two I have, while Asian Grandma makes dinner and I'm immobile on the couch, the doubts set in about just how much this person would add versus subtract.
I have never said it doesn't take a village to raise children and I've never been in the running for a Mom of the Day, let alone Year award. Plus I think I'm a 38 on a scale of 1-10 of Parents Who Worry About How Their Children Will Turn Out. So now I'm exponentially increasing the level at which I need to perform to be a Mother of Three. I'm barely a Mother of Two. More college savings, more music/dance/soccer/math/keeping up with the Lees lessons, more all around chaos. I know some people say a third just falls into the mix, but I'm not so much a mixer as I am a careful and meticulous positioner.
Turns out, all my worries were for naught. But it was a crappy ride to get here.
This was the first non baby that actually had a heartbeat in the early viability scan. All my other miscarriages were declared very early on, and no one even developed a heartbeat. But this one had a heartarte of 80 beats per minute at 10 weeks. Very low, and the doctor even warned me that I wasn't "out of the woods yet" and to try not to "get too attached." She meant well. And she was right. Two weeks later, there was no more development and no more heartbeat. It was declared.
The whole process of it after that is just very procedural, and maybe a blog post for another time. For now, that's it. It's an empty feeling after being so fraught with emotions. There's sadness for sure, disappointment, anger that this has happened yet another time with no tangible medical information for exactly why. But there's also a tiny feeling of relief. Maybe this just wasn't meant to be. Maybe we're just supposed to be four, a manageable, easy, complete family with two parents and two sisters and...that's all. And that's enough. More than enough. Plenty. It's a miracle and blessing and so, so much to be grateful for. It seems so idiotic to have to go through all of this to reach such a simple conclusion. But that's where I am. Feeling a little dumb for going on such a parabolic journey to get someplace I should have already been.