On Growth

There is a part of us -- all of us, I'd say -- that spends a good amount of time wishing for things to happen. Sometimes we are also doing our parts to MAKE these things happen, but a good portion of hopes and wishes aren't as simple and straightforward as that. Regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack thereof), we often wish for little miracles, little random bits of chaos in the form of good fortune, regardless of whether or not they'd be good for us in the long run.

As I sat there in the dark bathroom, idly reading on my ipad while those precious three minutes passed, I found myself fighting over what I was expecting. In the sink sat a plastic stick covered in my urine, and on top of that laid the hopes and dreams and potential terrors of the rest of my life.

We had purchased a three-pack of pregnancy tests a while ago, and I had completely forgotten about them. There was only one left, I realized, after I pushed aside the boxes of tissue resting in front of them and partially obscuring the bright pink box from view. That partial view had caught my eye on the way past, my head full of panic and worry (like always), so it felt as good a time as any to bring the box to light.

You see, I had been feeling kind of off for a while, lacking energy to do anything and finding myself on the verge of tears over and over again. While everything else going on pointed to an especially bad bout of depression, this part of me in the back of my mind was hoping for a more organic explanation. Maybe the exhaustion could be blamed on my body working toward growth. Maybe the tears were caused by a flooding of hormones. And, if my math were correct, I'd be around two months along, hypothetically...but admittedly, I'm bad at math.

In the real world, the one where random hopes and dreams have no direct bearing without, you know, actual work, I knew the existence of  two pink lines on that pee-covered stick would be disastrous -- and no amount of anyone telling me how "no one is ever truly prepared for kids" would make this any more or less true. My husband, stepson, and I live in a two-bedroom apartment where we constantly trip over things, stub our toes on other things, and just generally sit in one or two spaces because there's not enough room given the way we tend to operate when home. Adding a baby to that mix seemed like the seeds of pure madness.

So despite my fear of waiting several years to grow our family, I know that my body giving me the go-ahead is not at all ideal right now. It's basically the worst idea we could have, barring maybe selling my stepson into white slavery for a bag of M&Ms, no matter how delicious candy sounds sometimes.

And yet...

Part of me just wants to know it's even possible. I have enough trouble having faith in my body after fifteen years with a broken pancreas -- and now I want to put it through the hell involved in having a baby? Am I nuts? I mean...maybe I am. But I defy anyone to look at my husband's son and tell me realistically to not feel better about the idea of creating a kid with that man. Maybe the good parts of my husband would cover up some of the bad parts of me that might get passed along, and vice versa.

To make a long story short, this is one instance where I can sympathize with Tolkien's Gollum character. I feel like I'm talking to myself, fighting even, over the pros and cons of my own potential Precious. I shake over it. I teeter on the edge of crying. I wish for both sides and dread them all the same. And in the sink next to me, tucked away behind the plastic cap, was my answer, soaked as it was in my own bodily fluids -- some small reference to the birthing process I discovered I would not be going through in approximately seven months' time.

The twin waves of relief and despair keep crashing into one another on the narrow strait that is my own personal island. There will be more three-minute waits in the future, and more fear over the results (both before AND after reading them, I suppose). That is the way life goes in the journey of creating life, from what I have heard. Knowing my body is saving us from very bad timing doesn't alleviate the pain of knowing it hasn't happened for us yet.