I have always been told of the unspeakable pain of infertility. That it's awful and you can hardly bear it. That seeing other pregnant people make you angry at the universe and every new facebook birth announcement is like someone poking a raw wound.
Now please don't get me wrong... I have two children. Now, more than ever, I am feeling insanely blessed that I have two.
But it's gotten tricky. According to our doctor, autism is not inherited, but it is genetic. In other words, when my genes mix with Mike's genes, a predisposition for autism occurs. If we were married to different people, this might not be true, and we might have had perfectly healthy kids (which is not fun to think about at all, by the way). All the stars aligned just right, and M ended up with the genetic autism cocktail. But the thing is, it takes way more "autism predisposition" to have a girl with autism than it does to have a boy with autism. For every 1 girl with autism, there are 5 boys with it. So the fact that we had enough autism-ness in our genes to have a girl with autism means that we have a significant amount of this genetic predisposition, thus upping our chances of having another child with autism. In fact, there is a 1 in 5 chance that a child we have will have autism. Lucky for Owen, we were unaware of this when we got pregnant with him. That was God's doing, because if I'd known, I would have been too scared to get pregnant.
After M's appointment, we were like... yeah, we can't have anymore kids. Not only would it be emotionally devastating to go through this process twice, but we cannot afford to have two children with special needs. And I was okay with that.
For like five seconds.
If you've ever asked me how many kids I wanted, I've probably always said two biological, two adopted.
But now that I "can't" have more, I feel like someone blew up my heart. It hurts. So. Much.
I am pretty self-analytical. I keep trying to figure out if it's so awful because I actually did want more babies, or if it's because I want what I can't have. I'm pretty sure I did want more babies. I'm pretty sure I secretly wanted to accidentally get pregnant one more time and then adopt one kiddo. Pretty sure that every time I've taken a "whoops" pregnancy test and it came out negative, I was really, really disappointed.
Every time I look at baby pictures of my kids these last few days, I cry. I see Owens little head and remember how much he used to love snuggling under my chin. I could get him to sleep so fast. I look at Maddy and I remember thinking she was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. Perfect olive skin, rosy cheeks, brown eyes that looked into your soul, and a quirky little spirit. My babies. The world doesn't feel right knowing there won't be more of those perfect littles in the world.
Everything about it feels wrong.
But so does risking having a child we can't emotionally and financially support.
Sooo, that sucks.
And if we're being one hundred percent honest, I always wanted girls. When we found out M was a girl, my heart danced. I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait for the pigtails, manicures, school dances, the boyfriend talks, prom, the wedding, and eventually little M babies. I wanted it all. But because of her autism, we don't know what she'll be like when she grows up, and I have to let every expectation I've ever had of her go. Including the fun mother/daughter things I always dreamed of. Because holding expectations over her head like that, only to be disappointed, is not fair to her at all. And it's not fair to me.
That being said, if there were no chance we could have another child with autism, I would want to start trying for another girl like yesterday. Not to replace M, but to fill a void.
So basically... it all just hurts. It feels like someone died. I feel enormous loss. So does Mike.
I look at M's baby pictures and it kills me, because I remember how blissful my ignorance was back then... I remember looking at her face and dreaming all those dreams of who she'd become. I dreamed of the day she'd be a swimmer like me. Turns out she is terrified of water and says "OUCH" every time a rain drop falls on her head. I remember what it felt like to have a daughter with endless possibilities.
This is where I have to stop, because it's not helpful to keep going...
I'm just sad.
And I really don't feel like hearing about anyone else's babies.