Yeah, I’m still here.  I won’t bore you with my how-do-I-blog-after-infertility ruminations since you’ve probably heard it all before.

I just made an appointment at the local clinic to start the process for conceiving baby #2.  Woo hoo.  I have agonized over this for several reasons.

Reason 1.  We are old.  Is it ethical to go out of our way to have children when we are so damn old?  We have to go out of our way no matter what, of course.  I often do the “when he’s 20, I’ll be 66” calculations and I don’t even do them for my husband anymore.  (He is even older than I).   With regard to being old, I feel more sanguine about it now that we have survived the first several months of baby #1.  It’s not as hard as we thought it would be.  The demands of pregnancy and labor,  lack of sleep, the physical demands of carrying a little one around, the emotional stress, the financial cost.  None of it has been as hard as I feared.

It’s sticky for anyone to start wondering if it’s “ethical” to bring a child into the world.  We all bring deep flaws to the table, and any of us with a drop of humility can find good reasons why we might not do a perfect job at parenting.  Expand those flaws to include a less-than-perfect balance sheet, less than ideal genes, and /or the state of the world that our kids will inherit, and we can all talk ourselves right out of reproducing at all.  While I am sad to think that my kids might not have a dad once they hit their thirties, I don’t think I want to be childless because of it, and so we went ahead with kid #1.  Now that he is here, we hope to balance things with a sibling.  At least if we are gone from his life too soon, he’ll have some family.

Reason 2.  I’m scared.  I’d be a fool if I were not scared.  Having a pregnancy, delivery and then another baby to care for is so huge.  And knowing how scary deep the love for a child can go is sobering.  Any miscarriage or other loss would hurt ten times more since I now know so much more about what we would lose.  And knowing how much trouble a perfectly healthy child is makes me terrified of what life would be like with a medically fragile or disabled child.

Reason 3.  I’m fat.  This is actually the only reason that has truly given me pause  (apparently the other two are just recreational agonizing, at which I excel).  I am still exploring the outer margins of my fatness, i.e. with intuitive eating, trying to accept the body I have today, and questioning every automatic assumption that fat is unhealthy / disgustingly unattractive / shameful.  All that is going well.  My hope is that it will go so “well” that I start to “transition to my natural weight.”  Meaning I would like to “transition” out of being so effing fat.  The idea of going through another pregnancy at this high weight is scary.  I don’t know whether to hope that I am just as sick during this pregnancy as I was before, since that prevents me from gaining weight…. or to hope that I actually have a halfway enjoyable pregnancy.  The really sick part of me keeps whispering that getting pregnant again might be a great way to LOSE extra weight.  Heh heh.. yeah, I know.  Sick.

Eh.  The trouble, for me, comes when I consider the perfectly sensible idea that taking off some of this weight would be especially helpful if I become pregnant again.  It’s a really short trip from that concept to the idea that I don’t deserve another child if I can’t take some weight off.

I should know that willpower doesn’t take off weight any more than relaxing makes babies.  And I should know that if I could have magically resolved my eating / food / fat issues to pursue some incentive or greater good, I would have by now.  I should know that babies come through persistence, luck, God’s will, medical intervention, and all or some of the above – in ways no one can fathom.  I should know that they do NOT come because we earn them through prayer or good works or relaxing or adopting or focusing on our careers.  For me, they don’t even come from SEX.  I should know all that… I do know all that… but I don’t seem to know it by heart.

So, even though I do not want to get pregnant today / this week / this month, I made the appointment to start the process.  If I wait any longer to do so, it will start to feel like it felt when I was 9 / 11/ 13/ 15 years old, with my mother continually suggesting that we wait until I lose weight to buy new clothes.  Nope.  Not going down that road… instead I’m trying a new tack: compassion.  I’d love to be thinner before I get pregnant again, and since I had to wait through six IVFs for the first pregnancy, I think I’ve got time to eat some broccoli and lift some weights before it happens again.  If it happens sooner than we think, well, then I’ll just be one of those annoying people who got pregnant sooner than she expected to, and you can all hate me.

The appointment is week after next.

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