ambivalent

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.Β 

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…

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13 thoughts on “ambivalent

  1. Lots of great thoughts here.

    Honestly, we’d totally go for #3 if I wasn’t so scared of pregnancy nausea again. I just cannot puke all day every day like that again. I can’t. Especially with 2 kids! We’ve already said that if we decide we want another we are going to try to find the money (and emotional strength!) to adopt. We shall see.

    Family building is such a complicated thing for so many of us…

  2. I am kind of where you are. We have 2 embies on ice. We have one more chance at getting pregnant. We will NOT be doing any more fresh cycles due to my age and the risks involved there. I am right where you are thinking I never thought I’d be the lucky one who has a baby kicking in my belly and a toddler saying, “MAMA, MAMA, MAMA, Hi!” at the same time. Hell, I didn’t think I’d have any thing but 4 legged and furry children. I know I’m extremely lucky to be where I am. Our family may end up being only a family of 4 + furries, but it may end up being 6 + furries too. I’d be REALLY lucky to have that happen. Our family building journey has been up and down, bumpy and smooth, and all around cray cray, but I’m grateful for every twist and turn. I too wonder if our last FET (planning on next fall when this baby is 1ish) is unsuccessful how I will feel. Will I really REALLY want that third or will I accept that 3 isn’t our magic number, but 2 is? Honestly I don’t know for sure, but I do know I’ve been preparing for this for a while. I’ve prepared mentally and emotionally, especially after my first FET failed, that no matter what I have Raegan. And going in to our next FET I’m hoping and praying every day we have Raegan and BB#2. I’m so very thankful to be 29 weeks along with this baby and besides a few hiccups, everything is going along swimmingly.

    It’s a challenging place to be, this no man’s land of family building, not yet done for sure, but may not have any more kids….definitely something to think about, but we don’t have to make any decisions right now πŸ™‚ Great post!! Lots of things to think about for sure!

  3. I think it’s totally normal to be ambivent about it all. I know I recently wrote that I know I won’t be pursuing another child because with my DOR and my partner’a MFI and our inability to afford treatment (which we have no coverage for) it just doesn’t make sense for us to pursue that path. And honestly I’m thankful for that because I’m the kind of person for whom that kind of uncertainty is really difficult. So I understand if it feels hard to be unsure. But you guys will figure it out at some point. You made it this far, you’ll know what you can handle and what decisions should be made when the time comes. Remember, in the end, options are a good thing. I hope the options your have available will help you build the family you always wanted.

  4. I understand somewhat how you feel. I love having 2, it’s overwhelming, and financially it makes NO SENSE to think about adding a 3rd (not to mention our genetic chances of having another sick child) BUT it makes me sad thinking that I may be experiencing this baby stuff for the last time. So we’ll see. I think it’s ok not to know and just enjoy our families as they are, today. So excited for you to welcome your little one in a few months!

  5. Even now I ask JJ every once in a while “are you SURE we’re done?” Most of the time it’s a loud YES! But then he’ll make a comment like, “if we had another, I’d want a girl.” I asked him again before packing up all my maternity clothes to sell, “are you really SURE” and he said yes. Ha! I’ve always seen two kids in my future yet we haven’t done anything with birth control since I’ve had Drake. We need to get on that. But you are right lady, you are very blessed whether you have two or five children. Much love in that family!

  6. It’s a hard place to be even though it’s also a good place to be–knowing that you have the child(ren) you thought you might not and that you actually have a shot at more. I felt like that between one and two because we weren’t sure that we were done, but we thought maybe we would be. I have to admit that it’s a relief to be done and to know it. From the first positive on this pregnancy test, we knew that was it: no matter what happened, even if we never got to meet this baby, we were done and our family was complete. There’s some relief in that as weird and scary as it sounds, but I don’t think you can intellectualize it; it’s a feeling that happens, and it’s exceptionally lucky when both partners feel it. I hope very much that you and C are able to get to that point without having to make decisions that you feel sad and regretful about.

  7. I hope that when I have a #2 that I do feel done because that is our plan.. However, I worry that won’t happen. After having Lids I said I could have 5 more! I loved pregnancy and newborn age so much and will be so sad to see that behind me. We’ll see. I do think we are a family of 4 (if we are even that lucky) but I would not say that we are 100% NO to #3 right now. We’ll see what I say after two πŸ˜‰ I think I would feel definitely if I had frosties waiting though. Tough place to be 😦 I don’t think you need to KNOW now or ever. Everything will work out how it should, when it should.

  8. I understand so many of the emotions you express here. I, too, always envisioned a larger-than-normal family, always saying I wanted 4 and Stan wanted 2, so we’d settle on 3. Now I will consider myself very lucky to get 2, but I will wonder and think about #3 I’m sure. I know that we will not go through fertility treatments again. They were just too hard on me this time (and I know my journey is hardly the bumpiest of journeys!!) and I’m not willing to do it. On the other hand, I don’t know if we’ll prevent. With me it’s pretty clear if there’s a chance or not, so I’m not hopeful, but one never knows I suppose. In a way I am almost jealous of those of you with frosties… sounds silly because I’m certainly grateful to have never gone through what you all did, but I’d love to feel the “need” to give them another chance.

  9. These are such tough questions, such hard decisions. I am so glad that you have options here. Hope you’re not feeling too much pressure yet to decide.

  10. I’ve always wanted at least 4 kids, so it kills me that we might have to stop at 2! Of course, pregnancy and treatments aren’t factoring into our decision making, but the price tag of an adoption is a stopping point. Well, for Hubby anyway. I’d pretty much blow every last cent we had for lots more kids. Kids are a good retirement plan, right? πŸ˜‰
    It’s hard to look ahead and not know what you’re family is going to look like in the end!

  11. You can’t help but think about wanting more, I think, when you go through this. I, too, think the same thing: I don’t think we’ll go through *all* of our frosties with this FET so then what? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be pregnant AGAIN? (This, of course, means that I’ll actually get pregnant with No. 2, which is still up in the air.) Either way, I feel the same. xoxo

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