Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meditations on a Palm Reading

Way back in the aughts, right after a graduated from college my mom and I went to New Orleans. On a whim we decided to get a Tarot card reading on the square. I was 22 and my most pressing question was: which one of two boys I should choose.

Tarot cards said neither.
Tarot cards did not tell me what I wanted to hear.
Tarot cards were correct.

Then we decided to go the whole enchilada and get a palm reading. There I learned that I loved being around water, I was a natural teacher, and that I could slow down and worry less- I had a long life ahead (sorry palm reader lady, I have not stopped worrying). Then she said she had good news and bad news, "You will only get married once, but it will be later in life than you would like." Although 28 was what she had in mind for late, at 22 that seemed pretty young to me. I got married at 31.

And then the kicker: she said the line wasn't clear but it looked like I would only have one child. Whatevs, I thought to myself (or whatever the 2002 expression was at that point). I was 22 and believed that I had full control over my fertility choices. Absolutely nothing was wrong with me and I knew, just KNEW I would never have just one child. 0 or 2 was always my answer. Sometimes 3 but never 1. I even remember thinking this as a kid playing MASH. I was relieved at 0 or 2. Never 1. Never 1.

I loved having a brother. And we did most everything together. If you got bored you could always make your brother play a game with you or you could dress him up or you could make him be in your play or dance to En Vogue or watch a movie with you. You get the idea. Insta-boredom buster. And if he wouldn't play along you could always pick a fight. Still better than being bored!

Siblings are your link. You will always have each other. You can moan about your parents and they will understand like no other. They are a living history book of your past and they know all without explanation. My brother and I have inside jokes, inside looks, inside everything.

So DUH I wasn't going to just have one and rob my child of this invaluable relationship.

Except now, ten years later, I just might.

Two factors stand in my way. 1) The fact that I simply don't know if I can emotionally handle the pain and vomiting again, especially while trying to take care of the one baby I did get into this world and 2) Whether the fibroids will take a rest long enough for me to even be able to physically do it again.

It is not unheard of for fibroids to shrink to a size that they become asymptomatic after childbirth. But what no one knows is what the lymph node fibroids will do - can they shrink too? My latest MRI showed there were already two new enlarged lymph nodes waiting in the wings and I know my doctors eventually want me to get a hysterectomy and have all my abdominal lymph nodes removed and I'm all for that because I'm over surgeries and MRI's and PET/CT's and all the other crappy crap I have to do on a general basis. I'm tired of having so many doctors on speed dial.

So it's just a matter of when until I can no longer have another baby on my own whether I want to or not. I haven't ruled out surrogacy or adoption and I know I can't make this super final decision until I have all the facts about how my body will respond post birth. Emotionally and physically it is tough.
I feel guilt for not giving my child a sibling. I feel like I'm disappointing everyone around me. I feel like a failure for not being able to have a happy "normal" pregnancy. I feel like a wimp for not wanting to go through everything again for the sake of my child. I feel nothing but shear dread at the thought of 9 more months of pain and vomiting. And yes, snarks out there, I know I should just be grateful for the one I'm brewing right now. I'm well aware that many women can't even have the one. For a long time I thought I might be one of them. Thankfully, I'm not, and I am grateful - but it doesn't change my current emotions.

And no matter how much I wish it would no M.A.S.H. game, palm reader, or five year plan can guarantee me my future.

Which leaves me with the one thing that is SO SO hard for me. Not worrying.

If only the palm reader had an answer on how to do that.

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