Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Musings (finally!)

Whee! I'm back on the Internet again. Sorry for leaving this space barrenfor so long, but reaching the computer has become problematic lately. As you already know, I'm spending a lot of time in bed, so it's harder to get to my desktop computer. plus it has become difficult to reach the computer in another way, even when I'm sitting right there. I've been a keyboard-on-the-lap kind of typist for years now - but there's not much lap left anymore! So the keyboard creeps lower and lower onto my thighs, and my arms just can't reach around this behemoth belly and all the way down to thekeyboard anymore. I am definitely Technologically Challenged at the moment.

So how am I writing this - dictating it to the cats? (I only wish. That would definitely get us on Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks. If not our own Superbowl commercial.) No, I finally bit the bullet and spent fifty bucks on a laptop desk to use in bed, and now I have a Rube Goldberg kind of setup with my ancient Thinkpad. (So ancient that it still has Win98 on it, if that gives you an idea.) This thing has so little firepower that when I tried a little while ago to update my Blogger account, it wouldn't read the anti-spam "Read these letters and type them in" bit. The image wouldn't comethrough at all. So I'm typing this in Word, then I'll email it to my desktop, and then I'll waddle into the other room and get online, and from there I'll upload this post to my blog. See what I go through for my faithful readers?

Although you're right; this blog is for myself, mostly. (Though I treasure the readers I do have!) There is so much going on in my life now, in a slothlike or turtle-ish sort of way, and I'll probably never be pregnant again, so I really want to remember it. All of it - the wonderful, the annoying, the heartbreaking. (To my sorrow, I already find myself forgetting about the reduction. It was such a huge part of my consciousness for quite a while there, but now it's over and done. I suppose it's human nature to put the hard things behind us with finality. That is how we have any reserves left to deal with the future.)

Oof - sorry, I had to stop for a minute to deal with a contraction. Frankly, if I had Dr. Braxton Hicks here at the moment, I might tell him to bite me. (I know; he didn't invent them, just name them, but still.) I get some big honkin' ones these days that feel like I'm being wrung out to dry. The only good thing about them is that every time I have one of the biggies, it reminds me how very happy I am that I don't have to go through labor! I'm not looking forward to my C-section either (surgery while I'm wide awake?Oh, fun!) but at least there won't be any of this hours-and-hours-of-labor crap. It could be worse.

Getting back to who this blog is really for - the other people that it's for is my sons, eventually. I started this blog before I became pregnant, with the idea that if I managed at some point to have a daughter, I would strongly encourage her to start working on children well before the point I did. I wanted her to know how hard it was to even get pregnant, after waiting so long, and after acquiring a uterus full of fibroids along the way. I intended to be as honest as I could, with the idea that this someday-daughter would read all this as an adult, and perhaps take it as a cautionary tale (and also a way to know what her mother was like back in the distant past before she became a Mom and presumably lost all vestiges ofhumor).

And then we became pregnant - with two sons. Sons! A pretty exciting event all by itself. But I looked at my blog to date at that point, with its female-oriented bluntness and repeated mentions of docs staring up my cooter(and how little I enjoyed that) and I kind of wondered: Is this suitable for males to read? (D has been informed that I have a blog, but not provided with the URL. Of course, he hasn't asked for it, either. A bit of don't-ask-don't-tell on both sides.)

But on further reflection, I think it is suitable reading for the male persuasion. First, I think they deserve to know, at some point, about the reduction. I won't be telling them as children, and I've sworn my SIL's to secrecy, but it is a reality of life and a part of how they came to be. Perhaps I'll change my mind in 20 or 25 years, but that's how I feel now. They should know. And secondly, I think it would be good for them to have some inkling of how difficult pregnancy can be - the achieving of it and also going through it. This isn't for sissies. And it's an experience they'll never have directly.

And yet, it's also an experience they definitely should know about. I want them to be thoughtful and responsible young men, and have some forethought about getting a young lady knocked up unless it's on purpose. And also not to think that should the unexpected occur, and the young woman is suddenly expecting when they least expected it - well, abortion is not something to be entered into lightly, and perhaps not at all, if a better solution can be found. I remember when I was young and stupid, and I thought that if I becamepregnant when it was not convenient, I would "just" get an abortion. "Just"get an abortion. I can't believe I thought that then. It's not that simple, as I know now.

And yet I am not willing to take abortion on demand away from our arsenal of solutions. I think that sometimes, if the woman is in truly desperate circumstances, or if the baby will almost certainly have a quality of life that is not what I would want for myself, it is a solution, and better the woman and her doctor should make that decision than let the government get its patty-paws on it. But how often are women in truly desperate circumstances? Rarely, I think. Of course, it does happen. Yet so often the choice for abortion really is a matter of convenience. And I'm not sure "convenience" is a word that should even enter into this question.

Okay, backing slowly away from the soapbox....

I wanted to cover one more reproductive issue today, though this is a personal question, not a general one. At my appointment last week, Dr. S brought up the question of getting my tubes tied. As in, did I want her to go ahead and do it while she was doing the C-section, since she'd be mucking around in there anyway and it would save me a surgery later, should I decide on it down the road?

Well. Uh, I said. Um. Huh? I hadn't even considered it, truth to tell. Frankly, I've given very little thought to birth control of any sort since realizing a couple of years ago just how difficult it was going to be to getme preggers by any method at all. Dr. S went on blithely that she needed to bring it up now since my HMO has a three day waiting period after signing the paperwork, and while our scheduled C is a month off, who knows what the babies will choose to do, and it's better to have things decided in advance. And besides, she said, I could sign the paperwork now, and still change my mind at any time right up until the surgery. So why not sign it now?

D jumped on the idea like a duck on a June bug, which annoyed me a trifle. I mean really, it's not his decision to make - which is what I tartly informed him. Dr. S went on with her reasons. Basically, she said, it would relieve me of worrying about birth control. (Except, of course, that I haven't been worrying about it.) Also, the older I get (I'm 44 now), the more chance there is for genetic abnormalities in a fetus. And she's right about that. I'll be 45 by the time we could really start trying again, and that's getting up there. We dodged the bullet (as far as we know) with the twins, but the two that we reduced showed indicators of abnormalities - both of them had thick nuchal folds, and one had a visible cystic hygroma. What if only two had stuck, instead of four, and the two were the ones with the abnormalities? I don't even want to think about that. Or if I had (somehow!) managed to get knocked up by normal means, and only one of those four eggs had stuck - which one would it be? One of the two we have now, or one of the other two? Those are fifty-fifty odds. Not so great.

I think my reluctance to do this is mostly due to the fact that neither of the babies that will be arriving soon is a girl. I'll get past this eventually (probably the instant that I see my sons' little faces!) but I guess at this point I haven't quite resigned myself to the idea of never having a daughter. Voluntarily tying my tubes seems to cement that particular future. Oh, I know we could do IVF again - the tubes have nothing to do with that. But IVF is so expensive and so mentally difficult, I doubt we will get up the gumption for it soon enough to use my own eggs again. We're both kind of worn out on that front, and tapped out financially. Whereas an "oops" baby... well, I could dream, right? I mean, my mother didn't hit menopause until she was in her late fifties, so I still have time, right? Right?

I'm also a little skeptical, it seems, that our sons will both arrive safely! I have no reason to think they won't, but this seems to be a remnant of "infertile" thinking - you know: "I'll believe it when I see it." I am a little too well-educated now on the millions of slips possible 'twixt cup and lip, when it comes to actually bringing a live, healthy baby into the world. We are nearing the finish line - heck, I can see it up there, justpast the cheering crowd! But, you know, something could still happen ....

If Dr. S had asked me this question two years from now, I'm pretty sure my answer would have been, "Oh, sure, let's do it." Because at that point I'd be fairly confident that my own eggs had turned to crap. But of course, if all goes according to plan, in a couple of years I'll be running nonstop after a pair of high-velocity little boys and have no time to go into the hospital for a day or two to get the old tubes tied! So logically, now would be a good time to do it.

So I think I will sign the paperwork at my checkup tomorrow, but I'm still mulling over this question. And I have a month - probably - to do the mulling. Input welcome from my discerning audience!


Blogger Thalia said...

So glad to hear from you, how you must love the writing to have got through that mammoth post in such uncomfortable circumstances.

I'd say if you're not sure, don't do it - now or during the c-section. There are other methods of birth control, and it's a big, irreversible deal.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Marie-Baguette said...

I agree with Thalia. And if your husband is so keen on the idea, why doesn't he get a vasectomy? ;-)

Re: abortions, I don't believe that most women getting abortions do it for "convenience". There are blogs written by people working for abortion clinics, and the stories they tell are of terrifying circumstances.
2 of my friends had abortions while students, while on the pill (yep, some people are VERY fertile). It was a tough call for them but they would never had been able to complete their education with their babies.
I loved what you said about telling your story to your sons. I am pregnant with a boy too (we reduced identical triplets) and I want to tell him about it too. And I am already thinking of all the advice I will give him about contraception and that no means no! I am only 3 months pregnant...

8:42 AM  

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