I’m not doing this again.
I’ve thought it quite a few times. I thought it through my pregnancy’s complications and annoyances. I thought it as they strapped me to the operating table and started vigorously pushing and pulling on my stomach. I thought it as I first stepped out of the hospital bed and felt my legs buckle beneath me. I thought it when I got quite sick after delivery.
There’s no way I’m doing this again.
But I’ve thought this before. I thought it throughout my first son’s pregnancy, delivery, and infancy. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically— but overall, things had gone fairly well. Did I want to risk it all again? Bringing a child into the world is so exciting, given all the many wonderful possibilities for that child. But it’s also terrifying, given all the many terrible possibilities. Prone to cynicism, I tend to assume things can’t go right twice. I worried I would get dangerously sick during this pregnancy. I worried we would have another miscarriage. I worried our child would be born with a life-altering disability. I worried something would happen to me and my husband and he would end up orphaned. I worried he would end up addicted, violent, or depressed. I worried he would end up unhappy. Surely, all lives involve pain. But I worried— what if his life involves a whole lot of it?
Would I have thought it worth it to do it all again?
With the theoretical Nicholas, I would have considered, maybe not. But Nicholas isn’t theoretical anymore. He hasn’t been theoretical for almost a year now. As he grew inside me I was able to somewhat ignore his reality and so he often felt theoretical. But now this potential-so-many-things sleeps beside me as I type and I know the answer plainly. Yes. Whatever he becomes, it was worth it to do it all again.
And perhaps that’s all a mother’s bias. But perhaps a mother’s bias is exactly what makes any life worth creating and any life worth living. Perhaps a mother’s bias is exactly what makes a world with pain and evil in it a tolerable world— a world that makes any ounce of sense. Because a mother can look into the eyes of a broken, suffering, sinful person and see a tiny, helpless baby. A mother’s bias sees beneath the surface, sees the root of things and knows that the root of things is good. And then a mother’s bias assumes that same bias of the Creator, and therefore, trusts that the root will one day be fully exposed.
So when I think of my child I certainly can imagine the horrible possibilities. But I also know of something greater than the possibilities. Nicholas’s sheer existence is an act of love and I sense that love to be greater than any evil he could ever commit or any pain that could ever befall him. I see the goodness from which he came and I can’t un-see that. And I don’t think anything could ever fully destroy it. A mother’s bias, yes. And thank goodness for it.
Someday, I think I’d even do it all again.