So I couldn't think of a What If, because to tell the truth I feel so lucky and surprised to be pregnant it's hard to go to the land of what if right now. Except when I wonder every day - what if my baby's heart has stopped beating? That's the biggest what if in my conscious mind. And it happens over and over every day. I even rehearse the bad sad posts in my head because I am convinced that one day this will all be over. So yeah, I am not so happy go lucky as I would like these days
After my 14 week unscheduled visit to my midwife ( because of a fall I had while walking my dogs - and spying gang bangers - ) and hearing the hearbeat at 148 BPM I am feeling a little reassured.
So I didn't know what to write my What If about. And then last night I had the weirdest dream.
It involved our sperm donor, our egg donor and our remaining embryos. The What If was one of those greedy what if's that only people with one child are lucky enough to have. Yes, I'm ahead of the game. It was what if this baby that is growing inside me is the only one we ever have. Yes, I know that seems ungrateful to me and it certainly seems ungrateful if you are one of the hundreds of thousands ( and probably more) women struggling to have even one baby. But this is how my dreaming subconscious showed it to me:
(Insert funky dream music here)
The sperm donor had gotten hold of our bank account number and had deposited twenty Euros into our account just to let us know that he could and to mess with our heads.
We were beside ourselves......
When I woke up this morning and told Susan about my dream I had no idea what it meant. And I am not one of those people who goes around interpreting my dreams. But then I looked at the three scenarios and realized what I thought it was all about.
In all three scenarios we were not in control - yes, there was a semblance of control in that we could say we had five embryos ( which the clinic interfered with) we had an egg donor ( who the clinic had treated badly) and a sperm donor ( who was playing games with us). But how much control did we really have and how much do we have? Not a whole lot. And that, dear readers, is how the vast majority of us IFers live our lives. Bargaining with God, praying for good news, reaching out for that inevitable next plan and next addictive morsel of hope that comes with the plan. Not in a whole lot of control. The only control, I venture to say, is the kind of control that comes with letting go and knowing that our reaction to disappointment, loss, heartbreak is the only thing we can control. Or that's what we like to believe.
The decision to use donor eggs came out of a wish for some kind of control. I wanted those embryos in my body, I didn't want to be at the mercy of the whims of first parents who might not pick us ( I mean, who would?) or social service departments nosing in our business and saying our house was too small or too untidy or too below ground! I wanted some say. Even if it was just in picking donors that we liked and felt some kinship with. Some people call this buying a baby. I do not.
By some fluke I had excellent insurance which would cover most of the procedures if not the eggs and sperm or freezing. It was the quickest, least costly way to our baby - and the one with the highest chance of success. And so far it has worked. My fantasy of having some kind of control has almost born fruit. I have a baby inside me with a beating heart and the usual number of limbs and organs. But my dream showed me how little control I really have, how many things can ( and have ) gone wrong and how fragile this life inside me is.
And because I don't know what else to do, I pray everyday that this little one inside me knows how to go on living and breathing despite my worry and despite the fact that I can't control much about this whole experience. I can eat, exercise, take deep breaths, stay off of high buildings and hope that the love I feel for this baby will keep her safe.
What if my baby is born well and she is beautiful and we are the happiest parents alive? And what if, when the time is right, we have another one?