Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nothing happens unless first we dream.

I dream a lot. Really vivid, amazing dreams. Most of them are even while I'm asleep.

Last night I dreamed that I was on a game show. The only game show I would ever willingly participate in would be Jeopardy (and I would SMOKE YOU ALEX TREBECK because I am a fount of completely useless trivia), but this wasn't like that at all. It was a really awful one like that terrible Moment of Truth program where lives were destroyed or whatever. The attractive host with very nice teeth asked me:

"What is your worst fear?"

I have a lot of worst fears. If you asked me that sitting here right now I would probably say, "Birds!" and then you would laugh because I really hate birds.

If you asked me and I was in a serious mood, which almost never happens, I would say, "That I'm not a good mother". Late at night I worry about the genetic nightmare I thrust upon those two. I worry about how very much I laugh when they say "douchebag". I worry about middle school and how I will pay for college. I stress, a lot, about how someone as messed up as I am can continue to raise such happy, well-adjusted people. Because, by some miracle of God, they totally are.

I also fear I'm not a good writer. I fear I am not much of a wife. I fear that I'll never be happy staying in one place for very long and that my wanderlust will mess up everyone around me. I fear poverty. And since I'm on a roll? The thought of dying and leaving my kids behind scares the living daylights out of me.

I didn't say any of those though. What I said to Mr. Shiny Nice Teeth was:

"I'm afraid of being pregnant."

The studio audience gasped and the dramatic DUM, DUM, DAAAAAAAAAAH! music played. Cut to commercial and I woke up feeling bewildered.


I can't get pregnant. I believe that it was a miracle (and I don't use that word lightly, honestly, even though I've used it twice in this post) that I ever got pregnant with the Boy One and the Girl One way back in 1997. I wasn't supposed to. I lucked out, got two in one shot, and that was it.

Only it wasn't it. It's never been it for me.

Now, I'm thirty-four and I'm kind of over thinking about it. My kids are twelve next month. Finances have sucked for about a year (although they have gotten a whole lot better in the past few months and seem to be on an upswing now, thanks for asking). I live in a little house, I work a whole lot of hours doing a whole lot of things, and sleep about twenty minutes (lying) as it is.

It's at the point that I honestly, honestly cannot even imagine having another child.

Everyone I know is pregnant and the more I hear about throwing up and stretch marks and the actual having to give birth stuff? Makes me wonder if maybe I'm not enough of a woman to do it all again. That maybe, just maybe, even though I get burned by those women who think I'm awful because I loved my c-section and didn't breast feed (I had no milk, but that certainly doesn't matter to them. If I had just TRIED HARDER then I could have magically produced it I guess) and even though I had to give birth completely alone without anyone even to hold my hand, maybe it was how it was supposed to be for me. That maybe even though my sperm donor walked out on me when I was pregnant and it was a really, really horrible tragic time in my life, and the thought of having to go through all of that again, even if at the end I end up with something really beautiful, is really freaking scary.

In short?

The thought of being pregnant absolutely terrifies me.

Which, some may argue, is why I haven't been able to get pregnant.

I don't think it's all that simple really. Biologically there are issues. Always have been. There have been a hundred million reasons along the way to wait or to think it over again or to just stop and say, "This isn't right".

But maybe, just maybe, I've not really been that open to it all along. Because being pregnant is really freaking scary to me. In my life it's not been a fun, happy time. It's been a miserable, sad, horrible time. It took me a lot of years to decide that I did want more kids just because the whole "getting them into this world" thing really blew.

But having them in this world? My goodness. There is nothing better.

It feels really weird admitting that. It doesn't make anything change and I can't imagine it ever will, but it feels so, so strange to put those words out. Because, clearly, I need to be an even weirder girl than I already am.

Maybe tomorrow I'll dream about my butt being smaller. That one seems way less complicated.


Elizabeth said...

the way you feel is the way you feel... pregnancy is not the be-all and end-all of existence... it sounds like you feel like you have to justify the way you feel to others; I wish people could just understand and be supportive without demanding that you feel a certain way or desire certain things just because it seems right to them.

I know I don't comment here very often (um... ever...?) but I LOVE your blog and want to read your book sometime when I can find the time!!!

Sincerely, Jenni said...

Just remember, sometimes our dreams don't mean ANYTHING. Sometimes our mind just rambles while we sleep. Don't read too much into that dream, and don't worry about what you *should* or *shouldn't* be thinking, feeling or doing at this age.

When (and if) you're ready, you'll know.

Jill said...

3 pieces of advice for you, totally unsolicited, but you're kind of beating yourself up for them and it's needless: If you couldn't or didn't want to bf, that's no one's business. Unless they offered their precious milk and you refused, then they have no say. Mentally tell those people to suck it and forgive them for their stupidity/ inconsiderateness. 2. You do NOT have to pay for college. This is a common theme among bloggers our age, that we want to provide a college education, but quite frankly, no one can really afford it, unless their parents paid to put them through law or medical school themselves. Your kids are old enough to realize that scholarships exist. Several of them can be earned through extracurricular activities, drawing contests, etc. Some are also academic. I got the impression your kids are smart. If they are also hard workers, they should have no problems getting them. They could even be watching for announcements about them and you guys could work on it together, that being said there are LOANS. YOU don't HAVE to pay for them. My parents didn't pay for my education. Neither did my husband. We still have loans. Loans are very young person friendly, have low interest rates, and they work with you on getting them paid back at a rate you can afford. Officially take that off of your check list for at least 2 years until they are in high school, okay? 3. I was scared to death of getting pregnant. I was half in denial about being pregnant. I still have a baby. Your fear does NOT lead to infertility. Forever and ever, Amen. :-) STOP being so hard on yourself, woman!

Jessalee said...

I'm a vivid dreamer myself, so I know very well how real these dreams feel, except your dream was much more profound than the one I posted about yesterday (where I not only play creepy fan to Jennifer Weiner but also her nanny in the dream).

I love how our dreams really give us insight to our authentic self. Nothing wrong with not wanting to go through a nightmare pregnancy again. Some people just don't do it well (me included!). You know how much of a sacrifice it was for the nine months you carried your children. This gives you a unique appreciation, I think, of just how much of a miracle life itself is, and most especially how amazing your two children are.

Unknown said...

Ya, I didn't have enough milk and couldn't really breast feed either. And yes, I still feel guilty even though I shouldn't cuz it was either my kids grew or they starved to death. It makes me mad, that just hafta try harder and then you can. Cuz you can't always and that's just the way it is.

LzyMom said...

OMG I had a dream last night that my 3 year old daughter disappeared. I let someone I trusted take her to a haircut appt. (don't laugh) Even though I gave everyone my cell phone #, no one called to tell me where she was or what was going on. The police came and got me and I was like, look, I don't care if you throw me in jail for being a bad mom just tell me where she is!! It was awful.

Cut to today where we're outside and in 10 seconds my daughter goes from playing with the snow in the birdbath to gone. It was like my dream again. GAH! She was actually behind the house and fine. I had to explain to her how she had scared her mommy to death. She shrugged and went to jump in some mud/slush puddles.

Such is life, right? Maybe dreams kind of prep you for your fears. I don't know. I'm just glad that she's inside, warm and eating cookies. You might be glad that you're not pregnant. ?

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to have children, but now that I have two teenage stepkids and this roller coaster ride is only 3 years from completion, I have to ask myself:

Do I really want to start all over again?

val said...

hey. i don't like birds either, even though everyone else seems delighted and fascinated by them. eeww. i thought i might be the only one.

i didn't used to be scared of being pregnant, but i sure am now. the whole idea is completely overwhelming. i hear ya. love, V

insomniac ellen said...

oh don't beat yourself up so much girl. you were blessed with 2 beautiful h3ealthy kids who seem to adore you. enjoy that.

my daughter will be 35 on Sunday. She gave birth to my amazing grandson when she was 16--and our Mr. Sperm Donor was gone before the kid hit 1. She has since lost all of 1 ovary and a small portion of her cervix to cancerous cysts. in additi0on to having one removed from her second ovary.

she would love to have another child with a dad who's gonna be present but has accepted how blessed she is to have the fantastic son that she does.

Dawn~a~Bon said...

Hey, I think you're a great mom. It just sucks that you didn't have the pregnancy that you deserved. It's not fair and it's not right, but boy, you sure did end up with two amazing kids.

And breastfeeding? You know, I busted my ass to breastfeed, and NOW we've got a good balance going, but I still wonder every day if I did wrong by my daughter by not giving up when my body was not cooperating - I wonder if she would have gained weight faster and if she would eat more now if she'd been formula fed exclusively. I think there's way too much pressure and guilt involved with the whole breastfeeding/formula feeding thing, and I think as long as your kid's belly is full, it's not anyone else's business how it gets that way.

But what do I know? I LOVED my epidural and I let that evil obstetrician pump me full of pitocin!