When I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy my husband and I had a heart-to-heart with Dr. Heart about babies.
Now, I`ve never been the girl who gets gushy over babies. They cry, they puke, they poo and they can`t make jokes. I was convinced I would be the one to break a baby if I had to hold her. Despite all of that, I wanted my own, but not until I was about thirty.
A few things changed since I made those plans. My biological clock started ticking very softly when my mom-in-law was sick; we thought about starting our family so she could meet her grandbabies. And when she was dying, we really thought about it.
It turned out to be a good thing that we decided not to bump up our baby plans, because they didn`t find the cardiomyopathy until three months after she died. If I got pregnant with a sick heart, I`m not sure we would have made it.
The clock got louder when I had my first snuggle with a baby. He nuzzled into the hollow of my neck and I melted. He was so beautiful and helpless, and he wanted me to love him. Me. With my past. With my flaws. My love was enough for this small baby. And his love for me in that moment was so innocent and pure, with no guilt, no demands, no judgement.
I didn`t know babies could show love until that moment.
The rapid tick-tock shocked me when Dr. Heart very gently told us that we could not get pregnant while I was taking my heart pills. He asked what birth control we were currently using (The Pill), and told us why it was important to double-up (always use condoms or spermicidal foam as well).
The meds I needed to fix my heart were known to cause major birth defects, including under-developed skull, and could also cause foetal death. My own heart pulled the plug on my clock. But it was one of those old-fashioned wind-up clocks. Daylight charged the glow-in-the-dark hands; it was the only thing I could see as I was trying to fall asleep every night.