I’m gonna be honest, this is awkward to write about and even more awkward to talk about, but Brad and I get asked questions about our family’s journey and future on a regular basis and I would like to save myself as many somewhat difficult conversations as possible and also just be honest about some of my current emotions.
Last week I had an appointment with one of my doctors to discuss the future regarding my heart difficulties and pregnancy. I had discussed this some with my cardiologist and he had made it seem that while my medicine would have to change quite a bit if I wanted to get pregnant that it wasn’t too big of a deal and I should discuss it with my OBGYN.
Well the conversation with my OBGYN didn’t exactly go as I expected. She told me exactly how much my medicines would have to change leading up to and throughout a pregnancy and she told me the risks to a baby involving the use of warfarin/coumodin. I nodded and told her that I had been informed of the changes that would need to be made and then she told me that if it was something I really wanted that she would walk my hand through it.
She then said, “But I do need to tell you that your risk of cardiomyopathy after giving birth is higher because of your condition.” She explained that my heart is already weak (hence the need to replace my mitral valve in November) and that after giving birth it can lead to cardiac failure. This definitely surprised me.
As any parent knows, everything changes after your first child arrives. Your dreams and desires, your schedule and plans, EVERYTHING is different when you become a parent. I have Malachi and he is the biggest priority in my life besides God and my husband. Everything I do affects him. And I am not comfortable with even a heightened risk of not being here to raise him and take care of him.
Brad and I had been often discussing our plans to continue growing our family throughout the past few months. We know we want more kids but how and when was less clear. I was open to pregnancy and was honestly planning to get the go ahead from my doctors and then possibly begin trying. Brad was a little more hesitant. You see, adoption has been our first priority for years. God had planted that desire in our hearts and we both knew it was crucial to how we wanted to grow our family. I hadn’t closed off the possibility of pregnancy, but adoption was my heart’s desire.
Well as the days had passed recently I was feeling more and more uncertain about the next step to growing our family and I had been praying for direction in which way to go. Only pursuing adoption for future kids OR trying to get pregnant and having a biological child as well. So I’m having this conversation with my gynecologist and I tell her that I had never been the kind of woman who absolutely had to get pregnant to be fulfilled but that I knew I wanted more children and adoption is expensive and emotionally exhausting and I wanted a somewhat easier option. She looked at me and said “If the only reason you are not certain about continuing with adoption is the frustration of it and not that you just HAVE to have your husband’s child, I don’t think you should pursue pregnancy.” It kind of slapped me in the face.
Okay, there is the answer I’ve been praying for.
It wasn’t exactly the answer I had been expecting and I have needed some time to process it. I grieved the possibilities that I had dreamed about and pictures in my mind of what my family could look like in the future. I know so many strong women who have struggled with fertility and I understand some of the emotions they have faced now.
I want to be clear: I LOVE adoption with all of my heart. I am not grieving the loss of having a biological child (not to diminish those who do grieve that), I am more than okay with all of my children being adopted. I could not love a biological child more than an adopted child, it’s just not possible. But after the loss of Adelaide and the ups and downs of infant adoption, I am not looking forward to being in a situation where I have little to no control and a person could back out at any moment. That was an impossibly difficult position to be in and I don’t relish being there again, but I would love to have another infant. And with international adoption, it is pretty much impossible to ever get an infant because of the long wait. We still want to pursue a Haitian adoption, but now we just have to figure out if there are other adoption avenues in additon to that in our future.
The reason I wrote this post is because it is a long, emotional and somewhat difficult conversation to have and understandably a lot of people are curious about our adoption journey and our future family plans and ask a lot of questions. I don’t mind questions about our adoption stories, but I don’t relish having to tell people that for my health, I should not pursue pregnancy. I don’t want anyone to feel bad for asking and I don’t want to have to apologize if I happen to get emotional while talking about it. These questions will still inevitably pop up from time to time, but I would like to prevent it as much as possible.
I appreciate anyone who has read this somewhat lengthy blog post because of their interest and love for us. Thank you guys for loving us for who we are and where we’re at and going on this journey with us. We are extremely grateful for you.