Last week, on the day before I ran my half marathon, I was called off the cancellation list to have my IUD removed in the operating room. The mental and physical challenges associated with the timing of the procedure in relation to the half marathon were in a field of their own; I was already worried about my ability to complete the race given my lack of training and confidence. Add a minor “surgical procedure” in the preceding 24 hours, and I was certain it would be a disaster. Thankfully, the run went off amazingly, despite the extra setback.
The doubt, however, has not disappeared. Now there is this whole new consideration about my waiting and ready uterus. Over the month that it took to have the IUD removed (both failed office attempts plus the waiting time in between), I was never 100% certain that I was making the right decision by having it removed. Now that it is out, I am continuing to have mixed emotions, along with increasing anxiety.
I have always wanted 3 kids. Always.
But my last pregnancy was hard – very hard, and I didn’t even have the physical demands that I have now. I had numerous health challenges that made it difficult to stay active and stave off an enormous 50 pound weight gain. I had relentless nausea for the entirety of both previous pregnancies, and for a person with emetophobia, the thought of doing something to myself that will definitely make me more nauseous that I already am, well that just plain anxiety provoking. And if all of that isn’t enough to worry about, one of the complications I had in my last pregnancy was Cholestasis of Pregnancy. This condition comes with a 60-70% recurrence rate in subsequent pregnancies and brings with it a (slightly but significantly) increased risk for sudden and unexplained stillbirth late in pregnancy. That thought, in itself, is quite terrifying.
I realize I am worrying about everything that I have no control over if I were to get pregnant. Not to mention that all these worries are about the pregnancy itself and not with what it means after the baby is here. I have thought a little about how having a third baby would affect my life post pregnancy, but to be completely honest, I’m not as worried about that as I am about the pregnancy itself.
With all of that on my mind, I can’t help but feel anxious and uncertain about whether I am doing the right thing. One thing I can say though, is that last weekend when I was running through the mountains and enjoying what I love best about nature, I was having some beautiful daydreams about welcoming a new little person into my life.