When, not If

This post is a preemptive defense, against what, I’m not sure. Perhaps against life itself.

Going forward, I will be referring to subsequent pregnancies as “when” events instead of “if” events. For example: “When I’m next pregnant…” instead of “If I get pregnant again…”

I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Much more, I can guarantee, than any non-babyloss mom. But my rationale is thus:

I know pregnancy is an “if.” I know there are no guarantees that I will get pregnant again. I know there are no guarantees that I’ll carry to term, or that I’ll get a take-home baby. But I also know there are no guarantees that my child will grow up to live a long, healthy, happy life, or that if he/she does, that I’ll be around to see it. There are no guarantees in life. Babyloss moms know this better than most. I live with this “if” every day; it whispers to me every time I start to dream about what could be, next year, five years from now.

I am intentionally banishing the If.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher had us bury the word nice. She wrote “nice” on an index card and made a coffin out of a tissue box covered in black construction paper. She played the traditional funeral march (you know, dum dum da dum, dum da dum da dum da dum) and slipped that index card into its Kleenex grave. At the time, I thought it was a clever way to remind us 10-year-olds that there were more descriptive adjectives. Now, , I recognize this was slightly morbid and potentially insensitive to some students in the class. However, the analogy remains: I am burying the word If.

I have always superstitious, the kind of person who believed that if something went wrong, it’s because I didn’t worry hard enough. Yet the rational part of my brain knows that science and religion have both shown that positive thoughts lead to more positive outcomes than negative ones. I’m letting go, deliberately and with difficulty, to my negativity. I’m “poking fate in the eye until fate gives up,” to quote another babyloss mama. I’m being a rebel.

I’m saying When.

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2 Responses to When, not If

  1. meghanoc says:

    ” the kind of person who believed that if something went wrong, it’s because I didn’t worry hard enough. ” HAH! yes! though I now wonder if somehow my worry for the unthinkable cause the unthinkable to happen. or I was worrying about the wrong things. worry worry worry

    i like your attitude. when.

  2. Kerri says:

    N has me saying when now too and not “if” I get pregnant again after our loss. I keep saying if we are lucky enough…. she says I have to say “when we get lucky.”

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