I have never been one to dream about having kids or even feel particularly drawn to being around them. many of you know, I'm an old person kind of person. I have always felt drawn to being around the elderly and have geared my life and my career in that direction - the opposite end of the spectrum, some may say. being pregnant has never been something I've looked forward to or even given much thought to. raising a family has always been a vague thing that I know may happen in the future, but by no means has ever been a priority. pretty much the only thing that John and I disagreed on while dating was the fact that he wanted five kids and I wanted zero. in the spirit of compromise, I remember saying something like I'd be ok with two or three. maybe.
but a funny thing happens when someone tells you that you probably "can't" do something. most people get a fire in their belly and a resolve to prove that someone wrong. I can't say that's exactly what happened with me, but having Dr. J tell me about the difficulties, even the impossibilities, surrounding pregnancy and child rearing when you have rheumatoid arthritis made me reflect, search, think, and pray. a lot.
pregnancy with RA is something you have to plan for, calculate, discuss extensively with your doctor, and is essentially void of all mushy love excitement and romance. instead of just John and me deciding we'd like to have children, it'll be John, me, and Dr. J. how romantic. I'll probably recite some poetry and light some candles. maybe even bring some chocolates in a box shaped like a heart.
you see, the medications I'm taking are nothing to be messed with. they're potent and they are toxic. those are good things when you're trying to battle an autoimmune disease, but not so good when you're trying to grow a tiny human being inside of you. these meds will either deform or abort any little guy or gal that tries to take up residence in my uterus. these meds also take a year to completely leave my system. that means we need to tell Dr. J a year or more before we try conceiving and then wait another year for my system to be hospitable to a baby. or, if I get pregnant before having this well-calculated conversation, I rush to the hospital to be pumped full of another medication that will flush my system of the toxic medications. I'm thinking of including that cute little story in the baby book. maybe even include some snap shots of my panicked face or the IV stuck in my arm. ah, memories.
and then there's the inflammation. even on my current medication regime, I still have flare ups. take away those meds and I may go back to square one. if I can't even comb my own hair, how am I supposed to lug around a belly with a baby in it? my knees are pissed at me already. and then, how am I supposed to get up in the middle of the night to care for a crying baby? will I be able to hold my little darling while I feed him or her? will my fingers be able to manage securing a diaper?
so, while I may never have dreamed about having kids and I don't even volunteer in the church nursery or know how to talk to my friends' toddlers, I do want to have a family with John and I do want to experience the miracle of pregnancy and giving birth. the female body is badass, and I want to be a part of that.
just another reason to praise and thank our sovereign and gracious God. He knows what the future holds, how many children are in it, and exactly how this whole process is going to go. hallelujah! because I'm sick of worrying about it.
ps: and yes, we are open to adoption. we'll let God make the call on that as well.