As old as I am, not to mention being lesbian, I would have a serious heart attack if I came up pregnant. My constant time with pregnant women shifts me to forget just how hard some people work to get pregnant. It isn't that I am insensitive to it, but it isn't in the forefront of my mind usually.
Therefore, during the conference this last weekend, a friend who wants to have a baby in the worst way ticked off the litany of pregnancy symptoms, we excitedly sent some volunteers to 7-11 to pick up a pregnancy test. (It was amusing that they sell them at all.)
Between the time the women left for 7-11 and the time they returned, my friend started her period. She seemed okay for awhile, but throughout the day, she was more and more sad. Once we had a few minutes together, she asked if I could be a midwife and help her feel through her sadness.
Because of circumstances, the pregnancy would have been a high surprise (technically speaking), but she was hopeful. I listened as she worried she might not ever conceive (she's very young and has other children already). I felt her words as she shared how much she wanted another child, yet was concerned she might be finished childbearing.
It is so hard when the decision is removed from your own hands about whether more kids are in the cards or not. I remember wanting another, but the diagnosis of Disseminated Coccidiomycosis and a lifetime of massive doses of Diflucan and other meds nipped that desire right to the quick. I felt such sadness that I wasn't going to be the one to make the choice anymore. I think I believed if I was making the final decision then it would be okay to say "no more" with regards to my fertility. But, to have the decision not mine at all - that was tough and I definitely cried over it several times.
Who makes the decisions really? Is it the baby? Evolution? Biology? God? The couple? The doctor?
Do you know what it takes to make a baby? I am always flabbergasted at the miracle that is a newborn baby. To think of all the cells, all the minute firings that have to occur on-time and in sequence - all to make a toenail... it is mind-boggling. When a baby has an issue, I think to myself "it's more a miracle that the majority don't have issues!" I never, never tire of thinking, "How did that get in there?!" upon seeing a baby come out of a vagina or abdomen.
The same goes for birth... the firings that have to occur in sequence (more or less), the shift of the mom's body, the baby's body, the nutrition, the fluid intake, her health, their "dance" with each other - how come the cesarean rate isn't 80% considering all that could go wrong with the events?
Yet, birth does happen... birth does work. Babies are made with whole legs and arms and lungs and hearts and eyes and hair that grows forever (unless medication knocks it out or heredity drives the path) - and cervices open and uteri contract and babies come forth into their parents' arms and families are made. Over and over and over.
My friend felt better after our talk and her cry. I reassured her that it was far too soon to think about infertility, but that if that happened, there would be no hesitation to jump on the technology bandwagon.
She's holding the pregnancy test that came from 7-11 in case she needs it again soon.