It seems many of my friends who recently had their second child or are pregnant with number 2 are certain that this is their last pregnancy, that their families are complete and the chapter on infertility and family building is behind them. That’s not where I am with things, though I kind of wish it was a lot of the time.
I’d love to end this journey here, on a high note. I’d love to never think about trying to conceive again, never go to the RE again, never feel that pang of wanting a baby and not being able to make it happen. I’d love to put the pain of it all in the past and be at peace with it.
But, we have our frostie, who opens a whole can of worms in my mind it seems. We will give that one embryo a chance to implant at some point. And I’m afraid that going through that will open up my heart and those old wounds and I will want one more so badly.
I was lying in bed, soaking up the strong baby kicks one evening, pondering if this is the last baby I’ll feel move inside me. I didn’t feel sad about the thought that this may be my last pregnancy. I just felt so damn lucky to be experiencing this a second time (and let’s be honest, I know I’m damn lucky to have experienced it a first time). To be able to give my existing child a sibling and my husband another child is just…simply amazing. The fact that our kids will be less than 2.5 years apart is ASTOUNDING to me. I remember when I was into my third year of dealing with primary IF and glaring at women in Target who looked exactly as I do now, with a toddler and definite baby bump and thinking there’s no way in hell that lady had to fight like I did to have kids. There’s no way I’ll ever be that lucky.
But here I am.
I’m that lady with the 31 week bump, grocery shopping with my toddler. Strolling IKEA with my 2 year old, stocking up on things we need for the transition ahead. Something that seemed to be an absolute impossibility not so long ago. In between toddler wrangling and actual shopping, I get the rare chance to just think about the craziness of it all and reflect on how crazy it is that I’m here.
It just seems even more crazy and laughable and insane to think about pursuing a third child. Carlos and I always imagined more that two children. We thought 3 or 4 sounded like a good number, but after infertility happened my expectations pretty much went out the window. When I think about what I’d like for Leopold and Lady Baby, sure I would like more siblings for them. I grew up with a sister and two brothers and I loved it. I loved that everyone had a sister and everyone had a brother. We are all fairly close still, though I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, we are all understanding, supportive, and proud of each other and willing to help another through anything.
I asked Carlos the other night if he thought this was our last baby, my last pregnancy and he said “I hope not. I don’t think it is.” Honestly, it surprised me. I kind of thought after what we’ve been through, he’d be more hesitant on going for more. I am more than trigger shy to even put my emotions out there for more kids, I am scared of putting my body and my family through more.
When I think about what we’ve been through in the over five years since we started to have a family, I think of both how lucky we are and how much we’ve endured. To break it down: over 2 years of TTC on our own, 2 sonohysterograms, 1 HSG, 3 unmonitored clomid cycles, 3 monitored clomid IUI cycles, 3 injectible IUI cycles, 1 IVF cycle. Countless acupuncture appointments, blood draws, transvaginal ultrasounds. A miscarriage. An ectopic pregnancy and methotrexate injections. Then the good, but still physically demanding parts: 20ish months of pregnancy (only counting the ones that stuck here not the losses…), 13 months of breastfeeding (hoping to add more to this number soon), and a c-section.
I am tired. I am lucky. I am confused. Writing it all out like that…just…wow. So, yes, we would like more children, but the logistics of making that happen scare me and I honestly can’t even being to think about how we would handle that. Undergoing yet another fresh IVF cycle soon (our RE’s suggested route if we really want more kids) or an FET both give me heart palpitations. It was a lot to go through with one child in tow and we were so fortunate that all went as smoothly as it did. I can’t imagine with more than one. Yes, I know it is feasible and we are so so lucky to have coverage for both IVF and FET, and family close by as a child care option. But there is still a financial strain ($30 co-pays for each blood, ultrasound, and doctor visit, acupuncture, and medicine cost), not to mention the physical and emotional aspects of it all.
We won’t decide what’s in store for us likely until at least 6 months after lady baby is here. We’ll have to see how that adjustment goes for all of us and how Carlos and I feel. We are so fortunate to have options and to have a frozen day 5 embaby waiting for us.
Our infertility journey is not over. Our family may be complete after two, but there is still more treatments to go through before the future comes into focus for us. That is both scary and amazing …and well, too much to even begin to think about. This may be our last, it may not.
I’m so grateful to be able to think about the possibility of a third child at all and be over 31 weeks pregnant with our second. But to know the RE’s office is again in our future brings up a whole range of emotions that I’m pushing to the side for the moment.
To be continued in a half a year or so…