Tuesday, December 13, 2011
When Are We Going to Have Another?
Now that Matthew is *gasp* approaching 1 year old (really, I can't believe it!), we get asked with pretty regular frequency when and if we are going to try again. Let me bunny trail here for a second and say that the question doesn't bother me, for reasons I'll explain in a second, but it can be a pretty hurtful question for people who've struggled with infertility, so please keep that in mind if you consider asking it of a friend you know struggles with infertility. Because we still have 6 embryos left, in my head the question has always been a matter of "when" and not "if." But not everyone has that "luxury" if you will, so for other IF people, the question can be a source of great pain. But, I digress. For us, the question isn't hurtful. (Really, truly! It isn't and never has been, so please don't feel badly if you've asked. I only wrote the above as a caution in the hopes of sparing the feelings of other IF friends who are caught off guard by that question). As I said, we still have 6 of Matthew's siblings waiting for us in frozen storage. And barring any medical interference, we will eventually give all of them a chance to be born to us. If something tragic were to happen to me that would prevent me from having any more pregnancies before we had transferred them, we would return them to Sheila and Beau, who would carefully choose another adoptive family. All 4 of us are committed to all of these babies having an opportunity to be born, however that may be. So, Lord willing, Matthew will grow up with genetic siblings in our home. Our original plan was to transfer two more embryos this coming spring, which would put any successfully implanted babies as being born right around Matthew's second birthday. That timeline changed when we discovered how sick pregnancy makes me. With my pregnancy with Matthew, it was just me and DH and the dog. I could easily go to sleep on days when I was too sick to function. Those of you who have read a long time here know that was most days, until I was 7 and a half months along. On my worst days, I would throw up 30 times a day or more. If you've ever been sick like that for even a day or two, you know how impossible it is to function well. Unfortunately, they don't know what causes Hypermesis Gravidarum, and doubly unfortunately, it is also often worse with subsequent pregnancies than it was in your first HG pregnancy. Additionally, since we always transfer two embryos at a time, we always have the chance for twins. Twin pregnancies are even worse on HGs. If we were to try again this spring, Matthew would be just over a year old when I would conceivably (pun intended!) be the sickest. We just thought that was a lot to put on our plates. He wouldn't understand how to play independently, or how to take direction that mommy needs to rest, and he's too young for me to feel comfortable sending him to daycare or something. So, we decided to put it off a year. Our tentative plan is to try again in Spring 2013, putting the baby born around Matthew's third birthday. But beyond all that, I just have no desire to rush through this time. As much as I love all of my children, he will always be the first one I got to hold in my arms. I'll never get to have just one (small) child at home again. I cherish all of the time I just get to sit and enjoy him. That one on one time will be significantly reduced when another sibling comes along and though that new sibling will bring us much joy, it will just be different. I'm not ready for different yet. I don't want to rush through his infancy, just so I can start another baby's infancy. And I don't want to spend the end of his infancy too sick to enjoy it with him. Right now I'm delighted with life as it is. Todd, Matthew, and I are finally hitting a groove together. He's finally sleeping through the night so I feel like I can be present in life again instead of dragging through in a sleep-deprived stupor. I'm not ready for change yet. I want to be fully ready to jump with both feet in to a new arrangement before we actually do it. That's not to say that I don't eagerly await the day when I can meet all of the rest of my children, how and whenever that/those day(s) may come(s). But I want to honor the child here in our home already, and I want to make sure I am as prepared as possible to give any new children the best care I can whenever it is they come to us. I just don't think that time is now. Other parents are rockstars at having children close together in age and I have great respect for them, so I hope my explanation of our choice is not perceived as a criticism on others who are better equipped to do this faster than I am. My mom was one of those--my brother and I are 53 weeks apart. We just don't think that's a good fit for our family. Perhaps if my pregnancies weren't so rough, I would feel differently. But quite frankly, it's a little daunting to consider being that sick for that long again, especially with a one-year-old under foot. Even doing it with a two-year old sounds slightly terrifying! There's no guarantee that I'll get HG again, but in my short-lived pregnancy with our girls (the pregnancy ended at 6 weeks) I was already sick, and my NVP with Matthew came on really early. Sheila had HG with all of her pregnancies, too, so the odds are not in our favor for an HG-Free Pregnancy. I find myself missing Matthew being a tiny little baby. Those days are the days I say to myself, "maybe we could do this again soon." But, overall, we think waiting until 2013 is the best fit for our family. Infertility brought a lot of downsides, but one upside for us now is being able to prepare and plan as best we can. We know there's zero chance of us becoming pregnant spontaneously, and at this point in our life, we're ok with that. It's funny how your perspective changes.