I always tell my children that life is full of risks. Some of them we can avoid and some we bring on ourselves by our own behaviors. Examples I use--driving is a risk, but driving drunk or riding with a drunk driver enormously increases the risk. Walking home is a risk, but walking at night or walking on certain streets at 3 a.m. is a bigger risk--and walking in a gang neighborhood wearing the wrong color is an even bigger risk. Marriage is a risk--but marrying too soon is a bigger risk, and marrying a partner with substance problems or who is an abuser is a much bigger risk. Every time I walk down my hallway I risk falling and breaking my neck. But my risk rises if I'm drunk and in the dark and my hallway is full of debris and garbage.
Life is full of risks. Certain risks are unavoidable if we wish to enjoy life. But we can lower our risk by making good decisions and increase our risk by making bad decisions. Or I may choose to accept some risks because the benefit is so high.
Pregnancy is a bit of a risk, but the odds are overwhelmingly good, and the chance of having a baby is a wonderful reward! You know, people play the lottery every day with odds of millions to one against. Even a mom with the highest risk pregnancy probably has a better than nine out of ten chance of a baby at the end. Many women who are "high risk" will be willing to accept the risk of sorrow and disappointment in order to "take the chance" of finally having a baby.
Everything comes down to a question of risk versus benefit, and personal responsibility.
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 1 Issue 51, Dec 17, 1999)
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