There are no "do-overs"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I am coming to terms with my husband's upcoming vascetomy. I was the one who actually suggested it - during the last depression. In a fit, I shouted that this was all his fault - that if I wasn't on birth control my hormones would be normal and I wouldn't be depressed.
This is not a true statement, of course, but I was looking for someone to blame for my depression and he was convenient. I suggested, after accusing him of being the source of all my woes, that he get a vascetomy.

These are magic words for him. In fact, he has wanted to get one since Emily was born. He knew immediately that he did not want to travel the parenting road again. I have been the hold out. Once of twice a year, I am overcome by longing to be pregnant again. Not for any particular reason - sometimes hearing a baby giggle, or smelling the sour sweet smell of a young infant and you can practically see the oxytocin release in my brain.

But did I enjoy parenting an infant? No, I did not. The lack of sleep combined with crippling depression made me pretty miserable. I adore my daughter. I would single handedly defend her from any and all predators, but another baby?

So, as I was crying in my therapist's office about my telling my husband to do this and now he was actually making appointments ( that I have to participate in!) , and I don't know, I don't know. Maybe I want another baby?

Her calm rational voice said . Why? Why do you want to have another baby?
My honest response - So I can prove that I can do it better this time. Be a mother that is. Since I feel as though I have royally screwed up the first time.

And she paused and said "Is that a good reason to have another baby?"

No, it isn't. I still comes to terms every minute with my failings as a person and mother. I come to terms with my daughter's ADD and her brain injury. I come to terms with the small quiet voice in my head that it really is all my fault. That is the voice of the oldest child - the overachiever, the person who must be in control - at all costs. And while that is a person I know intimately, and she has been very good to me in surviving the obstacles in my life, she is a lousy companion when it comes to the un-certain science of being a mom and an imperfect person.

I don't get to "do-over" in mothering, or in life. Dreaming of another baby - a perfect baby that I can be a perfect mother too isn't useful. So, I come to terms with my husbands vascetomy and I let go of that anxiety.

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