I got my first postpartum period last week, one day short of Mini’s 8-month-day. Part of me is glad that it’s finally back so that we can start trying for Miniv2, and part of me wishes that it had stayed away for a few months longer.
The thing is, having a baby doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t make my and Manly’s genes any more likely to combine and result in another child. It doesn’t make my egg quality any better. It doesn’t make my ovaries any less polycystic. In fact, all things equal, I’m a little worse off than I was before. I’m a year and a half closer to advanced maternal age, I’m carrying an additional 8 lbs, I’m sleep-deprived, and I can’t (won’t) take any meds while I’m still breastfeeding.
What having Mini does is fill the gaping hole that was present in my soul before. I have him; if he’s all I ever get, I will still be blessed. At the same time though, I know how exhilarating and precious he is and I want more — more of the love, more of the cuddly chubby roundness, more of the potential he carries in his every breath.
I asked Manly if he wanted me to go back on birth control for a while (I still have the diaphragm I got at my 6-week check) just in case. He said no. If I was to get pg immediately? Yeah, they’d be spaced pretty close. BUT. What are the odds that I’ll get pg immediately, if it ever happens at all? I’m still breastfeeding pretty intensely, so there’s no telling if my cycle will go back to anything resembling regular anytime soon. And even if I were to wean, which I am NOT going to do, there’s no guarantee of any kind that I will ever get pg again.
So. Back to all the darkness, and everything I hate. Back to the charts, the timing, the craziness seeping into the edges of my consciousness. Back to the pain, the contempt for my own body, the self-hatred that I had just started to get under control. Back into knowing that if we are going to have a shot this month, that we need to be having sex instead of getting the few hours of precious sleep in between middle of the night feedings. Back to knowing, whether I want to or not, the countdown of days until I bleed again, this month’s potential unfulfilled.
The piper has to be paid. It’s an incredibly steep price, but the reward is so, so worth the risk.