Mondays are good for Recycling! This was originally posted on 1.21.08.
(If you're unfamiliar with the details of the choice we made to keep Gwyneth when we discovered Tricia was pregnant, I recommend you Read This First, before reading the rest of this post.)
I've been thinking about risk today. I've always been a very cautious person, not willing to do lots of crazy things, rarely having the guts to break the rules, etc. I'm sure that is hard to believe for some people who have read our story, knowing the great risks we've taken to keep Gwyneth Rose. Even before reading a few recent comments (some of which appear to have been posted as kindly as possible, which, again, I appreciate), I knew that the risks we're taking are hard for many to understand.
Please, know that I am only posting this because I myself find it to be an interesting conversation. I'm not trying to defend our actions, nor am I attempting to convince anyone that the choices that Tricia and I have made in life are the same choices for everyone. I'm simple putting this out there because this is my blog and I can do what I want to with it (I say that in fun).
So, here are a few things I know to be true about risk:
1) "Risk", as a noun defined by Dictionary.com:
> exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.
> the degree of probability of such loss.
2) It's impossible to live this life without taking risks. Getting out of bed each and every day involves a certain level of risk. Love, food, travel, friendship, money, and so many other aspects of every day life involve risk. There is really now way to know for certain the risks or outcomes with anything in this life.
3) Everybody lives their life based on calculated risk. There are certain things that I do and don't do that are (at least in part) based on risk factors. There are things that you might do that I am unwilling to do based on risk. My life is as "boring" or as "exciting" as I want it to be (again, in part) based what I perceive to be the calculated risks involved with each action.
4) Pregnancy is always a risk. Hopefully this isn't news to you, but a healthy pregnancy, for both the mother and child is never a given thing. In fact, The (US) Statistics Show that the risks for complications for mother/baby during and post pregnancy are very high. Every mother should be made aware of the possible risks involving her pregnancy. Preemies are born every day, many to completely healthy parents. (I'm NOT trying to scare anyone...hopefully this info comes as no surprise to anyone)
5) A person's belief system plays a huge role in determining the risks he/she is willing to take. Whether a Buddhist, Agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Occultist, etc., or no label at all, you and I make our decisions based on what we believe to be true about truth, family, faith, eternity, morality, ethics, and everyday life. And, people with different belief systems will never agree with or understand each other entirely.
6) The greatest rewards are often a result of the greatest risks. I think our story is evidence enough of that...
Tricia and I have made our choices, especially over the past few months and years, based on our beliefs. Waiting until after our first year of marriage before trying to start a family was a risk that we were willing to take based on our beliefs. Trying for two years to have a child was a risk that we were willing to take (and one that our doctors were supportive of). Stopping our efforts and moving forward with the double lung transplant was a risk we were willing to take. And, carrying an unplanned (at least our plans) pregnancy was a risk we were willing to take.
Some have criticized our choices, and many more have simply not been able to understand. And, quite honestly, that's OK with us. While we understand how others could have chosen differently than we did, we can't understand how we could have chosen differently.
PS. I've disabled comments under this post because, as I said, I'm not looking to start a debate or a preach-a-thon for any side of this subject. If you want to discuss this with me, feel free to shoot me an Email. And, as always, I don't assume that anyone will read or care about anything I have to say...if you do, thanks!