Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's different this time

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2011 already and I haven't posted since summer. Well, actually, I can believe it. I compose posts in my head, but just haven't had the inspiration to write them down. My life is so different now than it was when I first started blogging. In 2006, I was desperate for a baby, totally fed up with infertility, and so full of wild and passionate thoughts that I felt like I would burst unless I found a way to get them out into the light. Now, I'm, well, mostly fine. I am still unimpressed with my reproductive system, and still have moments of feeling very frustrated at all of the external factors (the delays in my marriage caused by the US immigration system, the delays in my treatment caused by financial constraints) that probably cost me a chance at a relatively easy (if IVF can be considered easy!) path to a second child. But most of the time, I'm happy. I'm good. And happiness on what is basically an infertility blog feels weird. Inappropriate even. I haven't decided yet what to do about that--shut down the blog? start a new one? But I am going to start writing again and just see where it takes me.

One of the things that I've learned in the last six months or so, since I stopped obsessing about the next IVF cycle and just started living, is that there are some up sides to my situation. It feels sacrilegious to point this out, but when I watch my friends and relatives who have had 2-3 children in the time that it took me to have Eggbert, I notice that they aren't actually any happier than I am. Sure, they love their kids, but it sometimes seems like people who have two or more kids very close together in age don't actually have as much opportunity to enjoy their kids as I do. The logistical challenges of life with two or more children under four are undeniable, whereas life with one three-year-old is (if that three-year-old is Eggbert, anyway) actually pretty easy and pleasant. We have plenty of time for cuddles, games, and to just be. She doesn't seem to think that she has to fight for my attention, probably because she almost always has it. I know that not every child is easy, and Eggbert hasn't always been easy, but at this particular moment in time, she's absolutely delightful, and there is a tiny part of me that is almost (almost!) glad of the secondary infertility, not because I don't want another child (oh boy do I), but because as it turns out, I think I needed this special time with just Eggbert.

Having given up on my own eggs (well, more on that later), I don't feel the incessant time pressure that I felt before. That is such a relief. Obviously there is still a time factor. I don't want to have two children so far apart that they don't grow up together, and I also don't want to be elderly by the time my children graduate from high school (Mystery is only 32, so this isn't really an issue for him), but I don't feel like every month lost is a disaster anymore. Now I can seriously think about waiting until Eggbert is four or older before taking further steps without feeling like my head is going to explode at the very thought of it. Giving up was liberating.

Now, have I really given up? Yes and no. I no longer think that I will get pregnant with my own eggs, but I still hope that I will. I don't mean to, but what can I do? Every month, the thought at least flickers across my mind that maybe the 78th time was the charm. I'm surrounded by urban legends, so it's hard to forget that improbable events do sometimes occur. I hadn't realized that Mystery was also still hoping until I suggested that we lend our stroller to a pregnant friend last month, and he kind of flipped out. He denies that it's because of hope, but really what else could it be?

We haven't yet revisited our conversations about what, if anything, comes next. I'll bring it up soon, but again, I don't feel any sense of urgency anymore. We're planning to buy a house in the spring, and I think it makes sense to get that sorted out before committing any more of our financial resources to reproductive attempts. I'm also still experiencing some ambivalence in that area. Adoption or donor eggs? I realized something today (after reading this post, from the creme de la creme list). I've never been able to articulate this before, but I reject the assumption that everybody seems to make, although few actually state it aloud, that adoption is the morally superior choice. I just don't think that's true. I totally agree with the post author that the only good reason to adopt is that you WANT to adopt, which is no more or less selfish than any other family-building decision. Adoption can be a good solution for a family in need of a child and for a child in need of a family, but it's not simple. There are a lot of wrong reasons to adopt, and thinking that it's the right thing to do (or wanting to do it because it will make you feel good about yourself) is high up there on the list. However, as clear as I feel about this point, I still fear how my friends who are adoptive parents will feel if I tell them that we've chosen third-party reproduction, and I don't want to have to hide it. Really, it's the openness issue that's kind of sticking with me. I would want to be very open if we chose DE, but is our community--the community in which the child in question will have to live--ready to hear that particular truth? Can they handle the truth?

Luckily, I don't have to decide right now. I'm thinking more and more that it's important for me and Mystery to take our time in thinking about what, if anything, to do next. We're happy right now, so I think we'll just keep enjoying that for a little while.


S.I.F. said...

I've been taking my time trying to figure it all out too... But sometimes that is so much easier said than done.

Lut C. said...

I've been enjoying spending time with Linnea too, and realize it would be very different with a second child around. And indeed, still I yearn for one.

I'm glad you see some advantages in moving on to DE, especially the clock ticking less loudly.
I have an increasing sense of urgency and want to do more cycles in less time (insofar as possible).

Julie over at "A little pregnant" also said something about adoption just now (at the end of her post):

It's good to hear from you.

Sue said...

Take your time, and enjoy yourself!

Panamahat said...

Great post. Glad you are happy in the present. x

Kami said...

Good to hear from you!

Yep, that second kid is challenging. I would like to think that I still have lots of fun / cuddle / etc time, but it is split. I find my best moments are when one kid is napping or another person is playing with the second kid. As LBII gets older (9 months now) they play together and that is great too.

There are always trade-offs and it is always good to make the most of how things are - not what you might wish them to be.

Enjoy now and good luck with whatever comes next.

a field of dreams said...

Sara - I really enjoyed reading this and you're absolutely right, I enjoy my time with Callum and this helps me forget for a moment my fears and debate over him more than likely being an only child.

Thank you for your comment on my blog.

Esperanza said...

First of all, thanks for commenting on my post! I really appreciate it.

I really liked this post, especially the part where you point out that people with more children than you have aren't necessarily happier. What a great thing to realize (and remember). I'm already stressing about trying to have another child, but your post just made me sit back and think, what will I be missing out on if we start trying too early. I will miss out on a lot of time with my daughter, whom I love. It's a really good thing to think about, so thank you. I would go so far as to say that having two (or more) kids can be quite stressful and that parents who have more are also faced with more challenges, not to mentions financial obligations. I'm not trying to say that it's better to have one child, because I also want more than one, but it's silly to deny the challenges that come with two or more, because they are real and they do affect people profoundly.

Thank you again for your comment! I really enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I kind of stumbled onto here (not a regular reader) but figure I got here for a reason ;-) Being a mom of twins the same age as eggbert I can tell you that your observations are 100% right. It is VERY frustrating not being able to focus attention on a very young child who really needs and wants your attention. I'm sure you will get that second child when the right time comes, but it's good to hear people enjoying what they have, too.

Also your body might surprise you. I did two years of infertility treatments in my early 40s, had my twins after IVF at 41. I'm 44 now and pregnant the old fashioned way now. Strange things happen sometimes! Good luck and peace in whatever you and your hubby decide.

cullensblessings said...

Thank you os much for your kind words on my blog.. I am reading more about your journey and hope you will continue to write- and yes. I think happiness certainly has its place on an infertility blog.. love and light.

Antropologa said...

I'm glad you don't feel so rushed!

For me, having a child does make all the infertility stuff and other worries fade a bit. I know it doesn't for everybody, but it was great for me to get off that hamster wheel of wanting to conceive for several years after she was born. And there are lots of great things about "just" one child.

As for me, adoption just feels like there would be so many strings attached. I am really put off by the idea that not all children are willingly available for adoption (I mean, not willingly relinquished). I am not comfortable with that uncertainty that somebody may yearn for their biological child that they just couldn't afford to raise or what have you.

Maria said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment on my Sisyphus post. :-) I love that you're not feeling so pressured right's been my comfy place for quite a while now, and I'm feeling pretty good. Hopefully I can maintain these feelings when I actually cycle again. *sigh* We shall see!

Reba said...

hi sara, thanks for stopping by my place. sounds like we are in similar places, although hubs and i aren't very far down the road to the next baby yet. looking forward to reading more of your journeys. :)

Marie-Baguette said...

great post!

My Hopeful Journey said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for this blog post. It sounds like you have become very clear on your reality and it is very refreshing... Life isn't perfect and I am sure things would be different if you had 3 wishes and a genie... but you don't. I am glad that you returned to your blog and are still connected to the IF community. Thanks.

Jes G said...

thanks for stopping by from creme... i love your comment about "riding the short bus to motherhood"!! so fitting!!

WiseBursche said...

Well, all I can say is enjoy everything at your own pace with Eggbert. Take it easy and comfortable.

And thank you for your kind words on my blog.

Summer said...

That's kind of the beauty of trying to have #2 as an infertile. Although cycling and failure can still be torturous, there is so much positive to focus on in the child that you have in front of you and you can't really give in to the darkness that was so easy to sink into while trying for the first.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my cdlc post.

Kami said...

I absolutely do not enjoy my kids individually as much as I enjoyed LBI alone. Still, there are trade off's. It is nice when they play together. Still, I often feel divided.

So, my assvice is to enjoy your time together and see what comes. Oh, it sounds like that is what you are doing!

Thanks for the updates.