Today was the due date for my second born in 2010. My son was born a week earlier via a scheduled c-section because of my previous pelvis fracture. It is crazy thinking back. I miss being pregnant… It is such a surreal, amazing, magical experience to have a little human growing inside your tummy. Both my pregnancies were considered high-risk because my first one was a suspected IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) which refers to a condition in which an unborn baby is smaller than it should be because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb. Delayed growth puts the baby at risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery, and after birth. They include: Low birth weight. My daughter was just under 5 lbs when she was born, but was completely healthy and gained weight very quickly outside the womb. It was a scary time those last couple of months of the pregnancy. With my son the growth was fairly normal, but there was a higher risk of a chromosomal issue. The doctor offered the option to abort at 20 weeks, but thankfully I declined. My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me, and I cannot bear the thought having to live without either one in my life. My son has a bicuspid aortic valve, which is a heart condition, but fortunately in his case, he has absolutely no problems with it. He is just a normal, crazy little boy!
Pregnancy as a chronic pain sufferer was hard though. I’m sure it can be hard for any woman, regardless of physical condition, but I can only speak for myself. I don’t take medicine regularly, but I occasionally grab some ibuprofen to take off the edge when the pain is ridiculous. During pregnancy however, Ibuprofen isn’t allowed. So I suffered, a lot. I don’t know how I did it, to be honest, but I actually also continued to work full-time all the way til the end, both times. Looking back, I wish I would’ve given my body a break. I should’ve stayed home more to rest, to prepare, to enjoy.
For a long time I begged my husband to let me be pregnant again. I don’t want another child, but I missed being pregnant so much, that I wanted to carry a child for a woman who couldn’t. I wanted to be a surrogate. I wanted to give a family the opportunity to be whole, to feel the love I experience each and every day. My husband understood my desires, but also kept me grounded and reminded me of the struggles I had during my 2 pregnancies. The uncontrollable headaches, and other pains, made it unbearable sometimes. He also told me he loved me too much, that he was too scared to loose me, for the kids to be without their mom, since every pregnancy bears this risk. So I let it go.
I still have this urge to help. There are too many horror stories in the news about abused children, and I would love to be that safe haven for at least a few. I wish I could foster all the kids who so desperately need guidance, or just a hug. I try to volunteer when I can. Right now, with this stupid knee, I can’t even drive my kids to school, let alone be useful anywhere, and I can’t stand myself. I know it’s not my fault, I know this will pass, but I just have this desire bursting inside of me to go out there and help!
Helping others makes my pain more bearable. It gives me a purpose beyond myself… beyond the disabilities. I need it.