What am I thinking?
Days like today, I genuinely wonder what the fuck I’m thinking, starting a family.
I’m on day 5 of 6 of a medrol dose pack, my third within the last 5 weeks. My back is tingling. My whole body is sore. I’ve had more seizures today than I can count. I’m sweating all over, thanks to the steroids, and I have a monster headache. I also have no medical cannabis to help curb the pain or to blame for my slow thinking.
I woke up at 9 am and had to take a nap by 10:30. I couldn’t pull myself back out of bed until 12:30 p.m., when I finally made a smoothie. Two hours later, I actually had to call my husband to help me figure out that I could just eat a few pieces of lunchmeat for lunch, since I’m not up to chopping up veggies for a salad and making salad dressing… and I also couldn’t make decisions on a delivery website. I’m currently drinking a Rockstar Recovery and can’t silence the whimpering in my inner monologue.
When I feel like this, I wonder, “If I can’t take care of myself, how the hell am I going to take care of a kid?”
The answer, of course, is that we do what we need to do whether we feel like it or not.
It doesn’t help my state of mind that my blood pressure is stupid high today. On Friday, I stopped taking my daily 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide because I thought that it wasn’t safe for pregnancy based on the linked page. I’m honestly not sure what to think, since the FDA has it listed as Category B, meaning there’s no risk to a baby. There are, however, studies that have shown that it’s possible that it can affect the baby.
I feel like I’m having to take a balanced risk. It isn’t something I want to take unless it’s necessary. On Thursday of last week, I had improved my BP to the point that it was 144/85. Today, it’s back up to 160/105. From where I’m sitting, it seems that without the HCTZ, my blood pressure is just too high to conceive and carry a kid.
(Update: I’m almost done with this entry and after some Aleve and that Rockstar Recovery, I feel significantly better. This makes me hopeful that I can manage things.)
Dealing With The Tough Questions
Yesterday, at the in-laws house, my sister-in-law asked me if we’d considered the option of adopting a toddler instead of having our own children, simply because it’s easier to care for a kid who is 2+ years old than it is to deal with babies. She’s seen how much I’ve been struggling over the last several weeks, and I know that her question came from a place of love and concern. It still gave me a lot to chew on.
I had to admit to myself that I’m worrying people I care about, just by trying to do something that normal people do every day. And that sucks.
I’m going to tell you exactly what I told her: My mom’s gonna come in town for a month when we have our baby, so I won’t be alone while Adam’s at work for at least the first month, which should give me time to figure out how to do things, and I am not willing to allow MS to take away this basic life function.
I feel like Adam deserves his own kids. I feel like my father deserves grandbabies that are part of his biological family (though I know, as someone who was adopted, he would love the hell out of any child we welcome into our family). I feel like, with all the work I’ve done to get healthy enough to become pregnant, I deserve to have my own kids.
I also was reminded by Adam that I have remitting-relapsing MS — not primary progressive. I do actually have times where I feel like a mostly-normal human being. In fact, there are times that I go weeks without a seizure. The truth is that I feel okay more often than I feel terrible. It’s just been an incredibly difficult 5-6 weeks dealing with this relapse. My perspective on my health and capabilities is completely shot from it.
Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
I’m not gonna lie. I know that I have no concept of how much work I’m signing up for… I know that it’s not going to be easy, even with a part-time nanny to help out when I’m not doing well and Adam’s at work. Heck, I was helping at the daycare center when I was 6, and I was Red Cross certified for babysitting at age 11. I worked for years as a babysitter, and I know that it’s nothing close to what it’s like to be a parent. It just means I know how to change diapers.
I’ve been looking at how much part-time nannies cost, and it’s become clear that it can’t be a regular thing. It looks like we’ll be able to get someone to help for around $10/hour. Full-time help’s just not an option. I mean, that’s $20K/year. I’ll bet that it’s possible to only hire someone for times when I’m feeling really bad and Adam’s not able to take a day off work. We’ve just got to find a good candidate.
Regardless of the price of help, it doesn’t change the fact that I deeply believe I am supposed to be a mom and that I’ll be a good one. It doesn’t change the feeling in my gut that it’s time to start a family. It just means that we have to be very budget conscious and aware of both our kids’ needs and mine.
We’re trying our best to plan things in a way that makes good sense. We’re not rushing anything.
I keep thinking about this quote:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Raising kids is really the only thing that I feel is worth all of my energy and effort. I want to be a good mom, and I will be.