Before I start, this is not your typical “I can’t have a baby post.” I am not the face of infertility, at least not as far as I know. I’ve never lost a baby. I’ve never even tried to get pregnant.
However, I do have Spondylolisthesis & Spondylosis which, in shorthand, means my vertebra on L4, L5, and S1 have less space between them than they should and have slipped forward.
This causes the muscles in my mid and lower back to try and compensate for what my spine can’t do, which leaves me in near-constant pain. I currently take medications for the joint inflammation and the pain. If I were to get pregnant, I’d have to stop taking the pain pills in the last trimester, be on bedrest for at least that long, and have to choose between breastfeeding and pain pills.
I’ve trolled through every forum related to my condition and pregnancy. It seems most women have experienced horrific pain during pregnancy that, in some cases, never went away. Many say that though their children are worth it, getting pregnant was the worst mistake they’ve in regards to their back problem. Some doctors advise having surgery to fuse the slipped vertebra together, a surgery with a six month recovery time, before attempting a pregnancy.
Even if I could quit work and devote myself entirely to a pregnancy, I worry the pain will make it impossible for me to care for a child. As it is, it takes everything I have just to get up the subway steps coming home from work. If I have to stand for the whole forty minutes on the train, I’m crying by the time I get home.
When I consider how many times a day a baby needs to be picked up, how heavy a car seat is, and how much energy it takes to keep up with a toddler, I know it’s totally out of my physical capacity. Plus, both Spondylolisthesis and Spondylosis are hereditary and I’d never want to pass this kind of suffering on to my child.
I know there’s always adoption or surrogacy, but they’re just not for me.
Selfish as it may be, I want the experience of carrying and delivering our child. I’ve spent a lot of years telling myself I didn’t want kids, but now that I’m with an amazing man, the tick-tocks of the clock are getting louder and I think I may want them…and the idea that I probably don’t have the option is crushing. When I see pregnant women or little girls with My Love’s shiny black hair, I’m hit with a wall of sadness and longing. Something inside tells me that’ll never be me.
So The Band, what do I do?
How can I accept that pregnancy and raising a child aren’t things I’m physically capable of doing?