Daily Routine,  Reproductive Choices,  Self Care

Big and Small Decisions with Chronic Illness

Decisions get made every day. Big life altering decisions are often considered over long periods of time, while smaller decisions may be made impulsively. Over the years I’ve made decisions that were not so great, like getting bangs in college. I’ve also made some amazingly awesome decisions, marrying Ryan is probably the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ve always considered myself a person who makes her choices and sticks with it. I’m always certain about my food order before our order is taken. I cruise through multiple choice tests, either confident I know the answers, or admitting I’m clueless and just guessing. However, recently I was worried about a decision that Ryan and I had made, concerned I wasn’t strong enough to stick with it and not have second thoughts. Here’s what happened.

New Baby

When my sister-in-law and her husband announced they were pregnant in April I was extremely excited to be getting a new niece or nephew. And not just another niece or nephew, but one that lived within a two hour drive, and in time for the holiday season!

But after my nephew Maverick was born last month and we waited for everyone to settle in before we visited I became anxious. This anxiety had nothing to do with him being a tiny baby, or feeling like I wouldn’t know how to take care of him. I actually consider myself a pretty kick ass aunt.

My feelings had much more to do with my insecurities. What if, after meeting and holding this precious gift I felt differently about our decision not to have children. I was worried about being sad, angry, regretful, or remorseful about our choices.

Affirmation

I can honestly say, none of those emotions were present as I held him while he slept, while I watched my in-laws love on their first grandchild, and while he exercised his lungs fully when he was hungry.

My primary emotion was love. Love for my nephew, but also love for my family. Both the family that I grew up in as well as the family I married in to. I’m now an aunt 3 times over and my experiences with my older niece and nephew  are irreplaceable. But I am so looking forward to making memories with Maverick.

I also felt relief. Because after watching him sleep and staring at his perfect face in the rare moments when he was actually awake, I also did laps around the kitchen, and held him in every conceivable position, and sang to him while he cried, and then I was able to hand him back to his mother.

So I don’t regret our decision. And a weekend with Maverick, who is an overall content baby has affirmed that although I’m sure I could competently raise a child with the midnight (or 3am) feedings, lack of sleep, poopy diapers, and pediatrician visits, it’s best for my health to not do so.

Everyday Decisions

My life is full of decisions, not all of them as big as having children. I always must consider what is best for me, for my health, for my relationship with Ryan. Do I do something I really WANT, even if it leaves me fatigued and in pain? Do I plan an event not knowing if when the time comes I will have a migraine and be unable to participate? What does my future look like with these constant questions?

I certainly don’t always have an answer to these questions or I probably wouldn’t be writing about them, I’d be out there doing great things. But as time moves on I do become a little bit better at guessing how I might feel at any particular moment. This has involved sticking to a routine that makes life a little less unpredictable and keeps me my healthiest. However, it also means that sometimes I am required to adjust accordingly and slow down or cancel plans when things are not going as I would like them to.

Another resource I use is the fact that Ryan knows me so well. When I bounce ideas off of him, or ask his opinion about a decision, he is always honest with me. He often sees obstacles that in my excitement I may miss.

When I have a routine in place, am flexible, and trust the insights of others, decision making can be as stress free as possible. I know that when I make a decision it is the best one at the time. And when things do not go as planned, I also know that I did all I could to ensure success.

How about you?

Do you struggle with decision making? Do you have someone you use as a sounding board when important decisions are on the line? Have any tips for decision making you’d like to share? Comment below and let me know what you think!

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