Things We’re Forced to Live Without

The past month or so has been trying to say the least. I’ve thrown myself more pity parties than I normally allow myself to. There are days when it feels like I’m in this fog, a daze even, and I just think about my life before MCTD. More often than not, it makes me angry. Not angry at the disease, angry at myself. I get angry at my former self for taking advantage of the life I used to live and the person I used to be. I think in general, we tend to believe that in a way, most things will stay the same. Yes, we’ll age, and we might have a few life changes here and there, but I don’t think we ever really expect anything life altering to occur. I never did. 5 years ago, I was living selfishly with my husband in a beautiful house in sunny Las Vegas without a real care in the world. Work was work and that was about it. My life was work, school, friends, and fun. I expected to graduate with my Bachelors, go right on to Graduate School, and land my dream job right after. Simple as that. At the time, children weren’t in the game plan and if you asked anyone that knew my husband and I, they would tell you that we’d be the ones without kids. We thought we had our whole lives figured out then…how wrong we were…

We left the house we loved, the city that became our home, and friends that became our family because of me. Because, I couldn’t face my demons. The longer I taught [in the school system] and the older I got, the more I wanted to be a mom. I lost our first child at 5 weeks; the doctors called it a spontaneous miscarriage and assured me that it was common in women who first try to conceive. I remember everything about the hospital visit that day and later that night when I miscarried our child. I’ll never forget the physical pain I went through and I’ve never gotten over the emotional pain I felt that day. You can argue about the “validity” of a “baby” at 5 weeks, but to me, that was my son or daughter. I hoped it would be a girl so badly that I name her Ella…she would 3 years old this month.

Something my aunt told me has stuck with me to this day; she told me, “the right soul, at the right time.” In a way, she was right. Had I carried that baby to term, I would never have had Ava and that to me, is unimaginable. I can’t picture my life without that beautiful, vivacious little girl. What I am forced to picture, is a life with only one biological child. Because of my MCTD and the medications I take (particularly the Methotrexate) I’ve been told by more than one doctor that it isn’t safe for me to conceive. Add in genetic component of the disease and it just seems unfair to put myself and a child through that. I already worry that Ava may one day end up with MCTD or any of my other lovely ailments. The reality is; if I were to try and conceive another child, I would most likely miscarry (yet again) and if by some miracle, I didn’t, the chances of both the baby and I coming out of the pregnancy unscathed are slim to none. Not exactly something you want to hear nor believe but for me; it’s my reality.

I wonder if I had given birth to Ava at a younger age if I would have been able to give her a brother or sister. Maybe if I hadn’t been so selfish in my early and mid-twenties, I would be able to have the second child that both Dan and I want. I know there’s no sense in beating myself up over things that happened in the past or over things that I can’t change but, it’s hard not to. It’s hard not to hate yourself (even just a little) when you’re forced to live without some of the things you want most in the world…

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