Lately I’ve been looking back at old photos and videos of Oliver. I go back and relive the day he was born, his first smile, little snuggles, his funny faces…all of it. I’ve been looking at them and yearning to hold that child again, wishing I could go back in time. Crying at the fact that I will probably never have that again in my life.
On the way home from work today, I was listening to WNYC on the radio and a new show came on, Living Cancer, a ten-part series on the new science in cancer treatment. Today’s story was about a young woman with a husband and young son, probably about my age, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had been debating with her husband for a while as to whether or not they wanted to expand their family. Then, one day she found a lump in her breast and it was diagnosed as breast cancer. When she had routine blood work done before her lumpectomy, she learned that she was pregnant.
It was risky, but she went ahead with her surgery and the fetus survived. Under careful watch of her oncologist, she underwent chemotherapy and the fetus survived. She delivered a healthy baby girl who is doing well.
I think it takes an incredible amount of courage to proceed with a pregnancy knowing that there are possible risks in doing so, to yourself and your unborn baby. I think it takes an incredible amount of courage to abort. I don’t know what I would do if I were in her situation.
But this is what I do know. I wish I was her. I wish I had an oops and found out that I was pregnant. I say this not knowing if I really want another child. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. But my body wants another, and badly. I see newborn babies in carseats, strollers and carriers and I ache; with jealousy, with wanting and longing. I look at pictures of Oliver and want to do it all over again, even the sleepless nights. Why does this woman get to bring another child into her life and I do not? I’ll never know. I just know that I wish my impossible was possible. I wish I had a chance. I wish cancer didn’t kidnap my future daughter or son. Jealousy.