I often feel as if I hang in the balance of the “what ifs”.
There are the “what ifs” that didn’t work out in Owen’s favor.
- What if he hadn’t gotten CMV? Maybe if I had chosen the unthinkable – to not breastfeed? Would his course have been different? (You can read this story here)
- What if I had been seeing a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor from the start, maybe P17 and/or a cerclage would have helped me stay pregnant longer.
- What if I had gone in one week earlier when it felt like Owen was kicking my tail bone? Is that when my cervix started to thin? Could I have still gotten a cerclage and stayed pregnant longer?
- What if we had kept Kellen out of school Owen’s first winter home, would that have kept Owen healthier? Could he be off oxygen today?
- Kyle often thinks, what if he had helped me paint the boys room and rearrange the furniture – did I do something then?
- My dad has wondered, what if I hadn’t been chasing Kellen and carrying him as he had a temper tantrum the day before I went into the hospital – did that start the labor?
There are also the “what ifs” that, thankfully did not happen. Most notably: what if he had died?
Is it logical for me to think about all these “what ifs”? No, I know I can’t change what happened and I truly believe I did nothing that caused Owen’s early arrival.
Is it human nature to think about all these “what ifs”? Yes.
For the most part, I focus on what’s happening and what is in front of me. But, I will not apologize for the occasional “what if”. I really can’t imagine that Owen will grow up never wondering how his life would be different had he not been born so soon. I promise you, my 5’ 7” brother wonders if he would have been taller than his 5’ 10” sister, had he not been born too soon.
If I don’t acknowledge these thoughts exist – If I do what so many people suggest, and “don’t think that way” (which is really just pretend they aren’t there) – how will I ever be able to help Owen work through his own, “what ifs”?
The feelings are real. They won’t stop me from helping my son succeed and I can see in Owen that he won’t be stopped from succeeding. But I do believe, it is okay to admit that the journey of life, is not quite the way I planned.