We Don’t Always Have A Choice

Aug 21, 2016

My cousin has always wanted to be a mother. She’s giving, extremely patient and has a heart of absolute gold. She’s kind, understanding and deserves everything her heart could desire. She also has Multiple Sclerosis. She has days where fatigue sets in and she can do literally nothing. Getting out of bed to go to the bathroom is difficult, and showering is simply out of the question. MS is unpredictable and she has no idea how well or mobile she’ll be at any given time in the future.

I know how desperately she wants a child of her own, and every time we talk or text about it I want to tell her it would be fine and that she could handle anything. It would be true, if I said all that, because it WOULD be fine, and she COULD handle it. But wether it’s the best thing for her to do, well that’s not so easy to say. My son is my world, my everything and I’ve never loved another the way I love him. He is worth every struggle I’ve ever gone through, and I would do it over a million times if it meant I had one more hour with him.

But I never had to decide, as a chronically ill woman, to have him. I was young and healthy, ready to have and care for a family. Since I’ve become ill I’ve let go of my dream of another child. That itself is devastating, and I feel selfish for wanting more when I already have the world. My heart bleeds for my poor cousin and her limited choices.

Life is not fair.

I yelled at my son tonight because, when I was bathing him he kept putting his arm down and his cast got wet. It was infuriating because of the number of times I had told him not to. But on the other side, when we went to the grocery store I dropped my cane twice and each time he ran to pick it up without me even asking him to. He pushed the cart for me too. Would I have even gone to grocery store if he wasn’t there to help me? Then again, if not for him I would have just eaten cereal for dinner and been done with it.

Then I think of those first 4 months of absolute hell I went through when he was born. At one point I told my husband I didn’t want him anymore. I thought I had made a terrible, colossal mistake. On the other side, holding him in my arms breastfeeding him is one of my most peaceful memories.

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He’s whining for me now in his room. He’s supposed to be sleeping but he has troubles getting to sleep. I understand. I remember lying in my top bunk as a kid, waiting for my parents to go to bed. It’s annoying but I also know that soon I will give in, climb into his bed and cuddle him until I hear his breathing slow down and his fidgeting stop. Then I will kiss his hair and think of how lucky I am and that nothing would make me give up my life with him.

Having to give up on the most rewarding and loving relationship in life is not something anyone would choose.

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