To use the vernacular, life is all rather – meh, at the moment. Although I’m only 15 weeks pregnant, it feels like it has been an eternity already, due to the non-stop sickness. Following a bout of horrific gastroenteritis a few weeks back, this week we seem to have been struck down by another stomach bug, which is proving debilitating to say the least.
I’m finding the thought that I am not yet half-way there somewhat depressing. Although I am not ill, simply pregnant, the symptoms of pregnancy result in illness. I was informed last week that my iron levels have dropped to 7.5, requiring a blood transfusion and also explaining why I have felt more than a little tired.
Like Austin Powers, it feels like someone has taken an enormous hyperdermic syringe and sucked out my very life essence. Everything aches, from the joints in my ankles to the temples pulsing away in my head. Simply walking down the stairs leaves me in need of a recuperative sit down and I’m constantly breathless and faint.
I will elaborate in a further post, but all this has left me grappling somewhat with my conscience in that open to life is the last thing I feel. The thought of ever going through this physical experience again, together with the demands of three children, is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat and clouds of gloom.
Having reflected on this however, a few thoughts occurred. Right now, in the midst of a difficult pregnancy, is not the time to think about whether or not I am open to life. The fact is, at this present time I am, I am doing my best to nurture the baby I have inside me, I can’t physically get pregnant and thus I am being open to life in my actions, though I am more than a little daunted and afraid of the prospect of 2 babies, 16 months apart, I will undoubtedly love this baby when he or she arrives. The fact that I have not aborted the child and have been prepared to endure the physical suffering it entails (even if a little grudgingly) is testament enough. I had a similarly difficult pregnancy with my youngest daughter therefore I had some inkling that I might find the experience a grueling one. The proximity of these two pregnancies is not helping. This time last year I was heavily pregnant, anticipating the first signs of labour, Imogen being due on 3 November. In the end she didn’t arrive until the 17th, via a hastily planned section, following several false alarms.
At the moment, due to the debilitating nature of constant nausea and fatigue, my mental state is more than a little fragile. I probably am skirting the borders of ante-natal depression and thus I can’t decide on the future whilst in the midst of enduring a very physically demanding pregnancy. I am also pondering on the whole issue of “openness to life” and NFP given my current state of mind. That said I do have a just reason to be attempting not to conceive for at least a year post the birth of this next child, given the general state of my health. I was advised not to attempt to conceive for a least a year, preferably 18 months post Imogen. This child was conceived around 7 and a half months post birth. Therefore I do need to give my body a chance to recover, for the sake of my physical and emotional health and those of my family and children.
Having just cause to avoid isn’t quite the same as having a contraceptive mentality. The difficult for me comes in being prepared to accept that if we choose not to abstain, then we have to accept and entertain the possibility that more children could result. This would be the same however, if we chose to contracept, no method being 100% efficacious. This is where I fall short, where I am having my current struggle, in that at the present moment, I find the prospect of another pregnancy in a short space of time, almost impossible to deal with. Which means that as a married couple we have difficult choices and sacrifices to make in the future.
Still all I can do is concentrate on the present – looming University deadlines and an imminent house move on Friday. Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.