Okay, I don’t know where to start with this one.
Michelle Dugger (Duggar? Hell, I don’t know) is pregnant again, this time with Baby Number Twenty.
I won’t forget her last one. I watch the show on occasion out of freaky curiosity. They don’t get welfare or anything. They support all of their children themselves and appear to do well. The kids all appear to be well-adjusted and well-mannered. But I cannot get the last one out of my head. I was just beyond the first trimester with Zach, and looking back, it was about a month before I went into preterm labor for the first time and my problems started. All I had to go on was that I had this complicated history with my pregnancy with Evan and was foolishly hoping it would be different, though all signs said it wouldn’t be. I had already suffered a placental tear. And I watched as they delivered her 19th baby at 25 weeks. I cried. I cried as a pregnant woman fearing for her new baby. I cried as a NICU RT who has had a hand in resuscitating preemies. Most of all I cried because I was watching a family go through what we could have gone through with Evan and mercifully escaped.
And my first thought when I just found out she is expecting the 20th was, “how fucking irresponsible of them!”. I mean, yes, the 25 weeker is now almost 2 years old and doing well. They credit God for that, and I credit modern medicine. I’m glad the baby is okay. I can see how this would give them license to do it again. But then again, she came close to death multiple times. She could have been horrifically disabled and had the quality of life of a rock. She didn’t die, she has a shot at a decent life, but she almost didn’t. Why tempt fate? Why have another one, given that you have already gone through this ordeal, and chance doing that to another baby? And doesn’t the likelihood of complications increase with maternal age?
Maybe this makes me an alarmist. Maybe it makes me practical and concerned for a yet-to-be-born child. Either way, it makes me the biggest hypocrite I know.
I haven’t had 20 kids. I have 2. The oldest almost didn’t make it into this world. The last one was a complete surprise, but we armed ourselves with the “every pregnancy is different” mentality until it proved to be the same horriffic experience. My doctors advised me that I shouldn’t have any more. Not that I couldn’t. Big difference. But then they later retracted the statement and now joke with me that it is time for another when they see me at the hospital. And just three days ago, John ‘fessed up that he really wants another one. Truth be told, I do too. We agreed that it shouldn’t be now, considering our current financial slump. I should complete my MBA first. We need a bigger house and a bigger car. We want Zach to be out of diapers and the issues with Evan to be somewhat stabilized. John needs to be working to offset some of my income in the event that bedrest happens. It needs to be done in a very controlled manner, with me starting off the pregnancy on the kind of footing one doesn’t have when it comes as a surprise. We want to first visit the OB practice and request that, since it doesn’t seem to help, I not be placed on strict bedrest, but am allowed to work as tolerated. And I will say no to the brethine pump and uterine monitor that is behind 36 hospital trips and admissions. I will accept the progesterone injections because we have no way of knowing if they aren’t behind they fact that Zachy wasn’t born until they took him out surgically. And I absolutely have to be under the age of 40. I had problems in my mid-20’s, after all. Beyond 40 seems to be pushing it too far for someone with my hustory.
Am I as bad as Michelle Dugger? Isn’t this reckless of me to even think this way? To chance something awful happening to me or to another baby? Evan was born at 34 weeks and Zach at 33. What if a third one is born even earlier, per the trend?
But we want a girl. And we will try in a couple of years. We will do so with the hope that I won’t have the same problems. That if I do, the baby will have the same luck as Evan and Zach and suffer limited effects of prematurity. Maybe we are tempting fate a little too much, also.