Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Better

Whew! That last post was maudlin, wasn't it? Embarrassing really. I guess the combination of crazy hormones, my first Christmas away from my family, worry about my dad, and endless free time to imagine negative outcomes isn't a good combination. Go figure!

A couple of important lessons that I've learned this week: 1) Don't arrange my IVF schedule so I have large blocks of free time during the two week wait. Keeping busy, it seems, is the key to preserving my sanity. 2) I am never alone. Thanks for the sweet supportive comments. They really meant a lot to me.

JJ's comment made me think about the age-old primary vs. secondary infertility debate that routinely appears on infertility boards and websites. Should people who already have one just count their blessings? If not, what about people who already have two? Three? At what point does a couple's (or a person's) desire for an additional child stop being worthy of sympathy? As a long-time primary infertile, it would be easy to say "I'll thank my lucky stars to have just one child, and NEVER complain about secondary infertility" (and I have certainly said this myself on many occasions). However, the reality is that most of us didn't start out dreaming of having just one child, so while the achievement of a successful pregnancy is huge, it doesn't mean that we haven't suffered serious losses along the way, and it doesn't mean that our struggle is over.

On my third date with the mysterious man that I eventually married, we had a long chat about how many kids we would have. I said that I'd like two, and he said that he'd like to have two, and then wait several years, and then have one more. I said "at my age, if we want three, I don't think we'll be able to space them out like that". (Are you admiring what a sexy third date I am--working in the biological clock already! No wonder he couldn't resist my charms.) And he said "well, two would be good also." (Always the diplomat, no wonder I married him.) So, I thought that we had it all figured out. Now we never think or talk past #1.

I realize that in part this is realism, but it's also partly cowardice. The very thought of actually having a child, and then having to start this whole process AGAIN, from square one, but without the starry eyes that shielded me from the ugly realities of infertility for a while, is more than I can bear. I guess that's one of the reasons that so many women going through IVF actually wish for twins. It would mean a harder, scarier pregnancy, and a more difficult early infancy, but the thought of never having to walk into a fertility clinic again is absolutely intoxicating.

Of course, one would be good also.

5 comments:

Tinker said...

I'm in the 'got one but would like more' boat, and I initially thought that I would be thrilled to have just the one. And I was. For a while. Once the haze of the first few post-partum months lifted, I knew I had to have more. In fact, before our son was born, I thought I would be okay with two, but his birth only made me certain that I'd like four!

I feel the survivor's guilt (being grateful that I have one at all) most strongly around infertiles who haven't been as lucky. Around fertiles and larger families, I feel determination to have my four (and twinges of jealousy that it's not going to be easy to get there).

I will push on. It means I won't be saying goodbye to my fertility clinic for the next four years or so, and that frustrates me because I'd love to be able to say "I'm done" and walk away with the relief of a big project completed, but I think the end result is worthwhile in the scheme of a lifetime.

I suppose I'm saying don't feel guilty about wanting a second child. Regardless how we get there, we're as entitled to want another one as much as any fertile.

Marie-Baguette said...

Glad to hear you feel better. The worst thing to deal with I think is the rollercoaster of emotions -- always going from one extreme (hope) to the opposite (total despair).
Bonne chance Sara! Thinking of you!

Stephanie said...

Sara,
I haven't been able to check your blog since before Christmas thanks to a crappy wireless connection. so I just read your post of ER and ET. Sorry that I wasn't here during it all to offer you support but I am praying the best outcome of your TTW. You really hit the nail on the head with your posts. Especially the one about being alone in this (I just found out yet another friend is preggo...although she had a miscarriage last year she is now 14 weeks along and was too scared to tell me so I found out in her MILs Christmas letter) Again...so happy for her but still sad for myself.
Anyway, great posts and I will be looking forward to hear how this all comes out!

Jo said...

As another that has 1-want's another, I felt that I was complete and would be fine. My son is now 19 months old, and after 2 more failed IVF's and 1 Chem, I still qualify as infertile. The pain is not any less after each failure.

I am now 43 an I can't begin to tell you how much it still hurts.
The choice is no longer mine It.is.over.

Do I feel guilty? No. Do I feel happy with my boy? Dear Lord YES. Everyday I thank God I have him. But does that mean that since we were succesful with one that we should not be "allowed" to have more? Should we all spend the rest of our lives saying we were "Blessed" and just go on?

Infertility is NOT fair. It seems that most of us that have had success once have been failing over and over trying for our second.

I do not, nor have I felt guilty about having a second child. As Tinker said, we are entitled to want another as much as any other.

JJ said...

Well thought out and well said Sara. It is hard to say out loud, I want more children, when you already have one. Especially, if it was really difficult to concieve the first.