You may remember some of my story about being born on my mother's birthday. And then the next chapter of that story of my niece being born on our birthday. If you need a refresher, check here, here and here. Even now as I read those words, it seems unreal. And my pain is fresh. Of course, time and my beautiful niece who I absolutely adore has dulled that pain. But it didn't disappear. This post talks about the first time I met my niece. Those words paint that picture so vividly in my mind. The overwhelming mixture of pain and joy.
So there's the back story.
Fast forward to present time. My due date was Feb 2. Early in the pregnancy, I thought I might not even go that far. I had a friend who was on heparin injections and her doctor induced her at 39 weeks so they could plan when to stop her injections and avoid any bleeding issues. I assumed that's how I would be. When I learned that wasn't my doctor's protocol, I still assumed I would go into labor fairly close to my due date. Last week when I saw a substitute doctor and we started realistically talking about induction, we figured we would induce on whichever day my doctor was on call. So, he went to find out when that is. He came back to tell us she wasn't on call until February 16, when I will be exactly 42 weeks. He didn't think she would want to wait that long, so even then, I pushed the thought out of my mind. Until my doctor's nurse called me back. As it turns out, given the latest ultrasound and NST, she is comfortable waiting that long. So I will go in on Wednesday and if everything looks good we will induce late Friday or early Saturday. On February 16th. Max's birthday.
And for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to feel about that. I wrote this in one of those previous posts about my niece:
I fell like God said, you think it will be painful for her to be born on Max's birthday? You think it will be hard to be there when she's born? Just wait. I'll show you what I can do. Happy effing birthday.
And now, I can't help but think this. God said, if you thought that was bad. Just wait. I'm going to take exactly what you wanted, a daughter born on your birthday, and give it to Max....a son born on his. Screw you.
When I think about what that might feel like, I imagine pain. Out of control emotions and a feeling of empty wanting. And then I combine that image with what it will be like to give birth to my son and it doesn't make sense. Is that even possible? Maybe I won't even care. Is it even possible for this to matter in the midst of such joy? Will the pain even register? Do I want to find out?
What if, in what should be the most amazing experience of my life, all I can think about is what I don't have? What I wasn't given?
I feel so incredibly selfish. I know I should just be grateful. And I am. My God, I wanted a child and here I am. So close to getting just that. What more can I ask for?!? But I can't pretend that these emotions aren't there.
Of course, it doesn't have to be Saturday. If we asked, she would probably induce on Wednesday after our appointment. Or it could be Thursday. Or Friday. Or it could happen naturally any day between now and then.
Here's the question. Will I regret, down the road, not choosing a different day? Avoiding this pain altogether and giving my son his own birthday. And if I do that, will I regret taking this away from Max? It's not like it will change his life or anything, but it's special. I know. It's something you can't plan. It just happens. And here it is, happening for him, and I say no?
Max, by the way, is completely amazing. He understands completely. He says he won't care either way. Whether he comes tonight on his own or we choose to induce on Wednesday or we wait and do it on Saturday. It doesn't matter to him.
And again, will it really matter to me, when it comes down to it? Will anything be able to take away from my joy that day? Maybe I'll start off as fine, but when Max's mother or anyone else starts to make a big deal out of the shared birthday, will the pain start to creep in? Maybe I'll be fine that day, and then weeks down the road I will look back to a dirtied memory.
So that's what's going on. I wish so badly I could say that I don't care. But this grip on my heart tells me otherwise.