the open door

Long time, no post. I apologize for having dropped off the face of the earth for a while there. I haven’t been reading, or writing, or even tweeting much. I’m not sure why it’s been impossible to keep up with things, I think the move really wiped my energy for a while. I literally just found my computer mouse after the move tonight (we’ve been here 2.5 months!). We love our new place and it was so worth it.

My sweet baby girl is ONE. She is amazing, beautiful and a complete handful these days. She’s into everything, climbing on everything, and suddenly very opinionated. Leopold is almost 3.5.

Suddenly I’ve been parenting longer than I battled (primary) infertility, and with this time passing and two successful pregnancies, something shifted inside. I certainly haven’t forgotten what I’ve been through to get to this point, but that pain has certainly faded significantly. Perhaps that’s just under the incessant questioning of my three year old while chasing my 1 year old. But, for the most part, I don’t feel bitter any more, pregnancy announcements don’t upset me. I feel whole and healed as much as I could be, I think.

Which leads me to the point of this post – the prospect of having a third child. That door that’s been left open, the question on every stranger’s mind these days “so are you done? Or will you have more kids?” A thought that seemed utterly impossible, even laughable for so long. (It is still a bit weird that I realize we look like a fertile family to most – two kids, 2 years 5 months a part. ) I feel incapable of daring to dream of it coming a reality. Even thinking about it seems greedy and unfair, and so I know that the IF emotional baggage is actually deep-rooted and alive and well.

We still have our one frozen embryo.  We do plan to transfer it, probably in 2015. We toyed with the idea of transferring it before the end of 2014, but decided there was no reason to rush it. I’ve had my cycle back for 5 months now, though I’m still breastfeeding, and we’re doing nothing to prevent. Every month when my period shows up, I’m not devastated or crying – I just think, huh. Yep. still infertile. Ah, well, not ready anyway. And when I see signs of fertility it’s strange not to mark them down on the calendar, or force sex. It’s just…whatever happens.

It all feels fine right now and I’m scared to rock the boat. I’m scared to transfer that one embryo we have because I’m afraid that if it fails it will send me down the rabbit hole. I’m afraid I’ll suddenly want to do a fresh IVF cycle, which was challenging enough with one child, I don’t know how I’d swing it with two in between preschool pick-ups and drop offs, and two kids to wrangle. don’t want to go through it all again and right now, at this very moment, I am so incredibly happy with the family we have and I don’t feel that anything is missing. We are happy. We are so incredibly lucky. But I can’t NOT transfer that beautiful blast. I need to do it. We will do it, I’m just scared of going through it all again. I’m scared of it not taking, of miscarriage, ectopic, an unhealthy pregnancy.

There’s this piece of me that wants to just walk away from this family-building on a high note. We did IVF, it worked, Kate was born. A successful cycle! A beautiful birth. The end. I’m afraid to rock the boat. Though I know eventually I will get up the courage to take this step, but it is a mind trip, having that embryo and even just not not trying, that open door, that question mark of will there be more? Should I get rid of the baby swing, car seat, bouncer, etc? We would love more kids, but will it happen? I can’t even dare to hope. But, we would like another child. we would be thrilled with another baby.

Only time will tell and somehow I’ll have to find a good frame of mind to go into an FET cycle. My last go at fertility treatments, ever. I can do it. I will do it. and it will be ok, whatever happens.

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6 thoughts on “the open door

  1. Oh boy. I understand all of this so well. It’s a hard thing to WANT to think about when you’re in a state of happiness!

    We decided a few blog posts ago that we’re done, but we left the door open for me to change my mind. In my mind, we are done because I finally have accepted that I’d be playing with fire even attempting another pregnancy, and it would be a high risk pregnancy for sure. I’m done. But there are those embryos in case we decide we’re not. Which makes me wonder… Is the door ever REALLY closed?

    I love that picture of the kids! And I love that you’re so happy with the current state of your family!

  2. That uncertainty is hard. I was dealing with it for a while, even though the door was never really open for us. But I wanted it to be. I wanted the choice. And yet the choice scared me.

    Recently I realized that I was really and truly done–that I would have come to that decision regardless and it felt so good to know that I could walk away feeling that our family was complete–knowing I would have felt it was complete at two had we never battled secondary infertility and felt like the choice was stolen from us. I hope you can get to a place of feeling like your family looks like you would have wanted to look, before infertility stole you ability to build it in the ways you wanted to. It really is an incredible feeling, one I wish we could all feel some day.

    (This is Esperanza by the way. I moved blogs and changed names. 😉

  3. nice to hear from you– and these are intense thoughts!!! I’d say definitely wait until after breastfeeding to implant. I went through 8 months of infertility with Eli while breastfeeding Penelope, having textbook 28 day cycles the whole time– and then got pregnant with Eli the month after I weaned Penelope completely. I don’t know if those two things are linked, but I think they probably are. No need to take any chances exposing a lactation-hormone-wonky uterine environment to that last precious embryo. I keep you in my blog reader, and will be excited to get your pregnancy announcement (even though you are craaaaazy!!! I am so over having any more kids!!!). xoxo L

  4. I read this in the wee hours of the morning and knew I didn’t have the patience to type out a proper comment on my phone. 😉

    Your statement of realizing you’ve parenting longer than you battled infertility–that socked me. Such a really profound thought, and a perspective I hadn’t yet considered. And it then made me realize that I’ve known you (and the other commenters; OMG, LESLEY! HI!) longer as a mother than as someone struggling to grow her family. Wild. We are a fortunate bunch.

    I feel that sense of healing, too. I have always championed doing what one needs to do to stay sane and reach for healing, and yet I also know quite well that I have struggled some with letting go of my infertile identity. Like, the baggage is definitely still there, perhaps packed neatly and tucked in the back of the closet, you know, behind baby toys and maternity clothes and too-small baby clothes…and then I go through those things (which I did, in the end, decide to sell, even though I really had no idea how open the door might be for #3–just felt like the reminders were a big ol’ booby trap) and I realize how tender that place still can be.

    Anyway, I recognize your feelings in my own feelings. I think you will navigate whatever comes next with your usual grace and strength. 😉

  5. Oof, I feel ya on this one. I agree with Arch Mama – it’s crazy to realize we’ve all been parenting longer than we battled primary infertility now! We were pretty sure we were done with 2…and then Jaime died… and now we kind of think about 3 sometimes. But then some days I think it’s crazy to even THINK about 3, and I’ve been getting rid of all of our baby stuff… so ya… tough decisions. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide!

  6. The idea of a third is present in my mind nearly all the time, despite Stan pretty much knowing he’s good with two. I, however, know with certainty that I will not do fertility treatments again, so in that regard we are very different. I can imagine the panicy feeling even thinking about that would give me. I can understand wanting to just walk away and end on a high note. Ugh. SUCH a mindfuck.

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