Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Greatest Risk

I was talking with someone the other day about taking risks.

The background isn't overly important but essentially this person was worried about the results of a risk that they really wanted to take. They were worried about the possible fallout. The possible negative associations and consequences.

All things that are completely normal to think about when considering risky behaviors and choices.

My thoughts for them were that the possible positive outcomes, possible positive consequences were so much better than the possible negatives that the risk was worth it. It was worth taking that leap, that jump and putting yourself out there.

No question.

I am not a huge risk taker.

I definitely don't make stupid risky choices, such as driving with no seat belts or driving after tying on a few. But I have made choices that I guess some would consider risky.

My biggest risk?

Probably carrying and giving birth to my second child.

I will never forget the well meaning nurse who, after hearing my entire situation and all of medical issues and circumstances, posed the question to me, "Is this really a pregnancy that you want to carry on?"

Yes, seriously. She, in a roundabout way, was asking if I wanted to keep the baby or possibly consider abortion.

I had been exposed to high dose radiation, as had my baby. I had a fairly serious medical condition that would require constant monitoring- weekly. This condition would also threaten my life and the life of my child. It was not a positive situation that I was in. It was so far from ideal that it resembled life alteringly bad. Her question was not unexpected. It was not meant in a mean way. It was matter of fact. It was honest. It was what she felt to be appropriate.

I was taken aback. There was a brief moment in my mind after that second line popped up that I wondered if my child would have 4 arms and be missing life sustaining parts due to my exposure and illness. There was a moment of question, of fear. But it quickly dissipated.

I looked at her, caught my breath and answered, "Yes, of course it is."

I wasn't completely sure that we were ready. I wasn't completely sure that I would be able to handle the weeks and months ahead. I wasn't completely sure that this wasn't going to kill me or the life inside of me.

But I was sure that as soon as that second line popped up I was having that baby. Regardless of anything else.

I was high risk. I saw doctors almost every week of my pregnancy, sometimes twice or three times a week. I landed in the hospital a few times for monitoring and had more blood drawn than I care to remember. And I peed in more containers than anyone should EVER have to.

The possible positive outcomes of my choice. My decision to have our baby. Which was never really a choice. It always just was. Those positives FAR outweighed any possible negative. Any possible chance that could happen.

That life FAR outweighed everything else.

I took the risk. I risked everything and yet it was nothing. It was exactly what it was supposed to be.

Risks are scary. I was terrified during my ENTIRE pregnancy.

Risks are stress inducing. My blood pressure went up and hovered somewhere around 190/100 for a good portion of time.

Risks are fabulously rewarding. I have a gorgeous carrot red haired child that most days is one of the most fabulous gifts I have ever received.

She is my greatest risk.

What is yours?


Kate said...

That is a wonderful post. I can't really think of anything. Maybe mine has yet to present itself.

womaninawindow said...

The greatest risk for me...of course, I can't stop thinking babies because of what you wrote. We were told there was a good chance our second child would be a Down's baby. The question to have an Amnio was not a question for long. That risk was too great. The risk of not knowing for a few more months was more worth not risking our child. And as it turned out, he's fine. He might have been just fine even if he'd been a Down's baby, but it's hard to imagine life any other way.

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Our biggest risks have to do with moving. We were married on a Friday in Halifax, N.S. and moved to Toronto, Ont. on Tuesday. Three and a half years later we moved to Georgia.

We don't regret either move. Yes, we don't exactly like it down here but we don't regret it! It's been an amazing experience. Just waiting for this experience to hurry up and get over! ;)

Sandi said...

Biggest risk--switching careers. I went from being an Advertising Executive on the fasttrack to a teacher.

Laski Gal said...

I take risks all the time.

Never to risk my life. You will never find me jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

But, I know what it looks like when you don't take risks, when you don't trust yourself (or even others), when you don't believe that anything can happen . . .

Your HIGH risk . . . totally worth the risk.


Momo Fali said...

We started our own business a few years ago. Quite risky, considering it was a mortgage company. Do we have great timing, or what?!!! Obviously, some risks don't pay.

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