How do you prove a negative?
In our case, with pregnancy tests.
Not long before MS sent shockwaves big and small through our simple life, Nick and I had The Talk about The Future and decided to try to have a baby. It wasn’t a high-pressure situation, because we felt no real sense of urgency. If it happened, wonderful. If not, we’re OK with that, too. We had time.
We’ve been married 9 years, and in that time, have grown from us-centric, career-driven selfish beings to embracing our animal babies to being cautiously, optimistically ready for that next stage.
Well, everyone knows what happens with the best-laid plans, even if ours were of a more flexible nature.
Enter multiple sclerosis, with its capricious and cruel ways, hell-bent on dictating my future.
And now I feel an acute sense of loss for what isn’t even there.
It doesn’t help that nearly every woman I know has a baby, just had a baby, or is about to have a baby. There’s a pang of sadness when I think that I might not ever get to experience that fullness, that love, that joy.
It’s possible to have a baby with MS, but not so long as I’m on this treatment. And I want to give myself a fighting chance with this disease, which means staying on Betaseron as long as possible. But if and when we do decide to try for a baby, there’s a whole new slew of challenges, because MS usually lies dormant during pregnancy but tends to come back with a ferocity soon thereafter.
I know I should pack up this pity party, because I’m hardly the first person to go through this. And there is suffering all around, so my plight really pales in the bigger picture. I can at least keep my sense of perspective, if nothing else.
I think what gets to me most is not being in control, that now there is a prescribed list of cans and cannots.
And now I’m confronted with a loss of autonomy, the possible loss of mobility, and the loss of a future that I didn’t even know I wanted until I realized I might not get it.
This absence fills me.