Decisions, Decisions

I think we’ve all been here before. Let’s face it, even the most mundane day is filled with little crossroads. Just today I had to decide if I was going to go shopping after my Dr appointment, or go home. I know, it’s a no-brainer, an easy choice to make. But some decisions are not so easy. Some cross roads are so big, it’s all you can do to get through the intersection quick enough before you get hit by an oncoming train.

I walked into that doctor’s office, not knowing if I was going to ask for a referral back to the fertility clinic, or a prescription for the pill. Being in our mid-30s means it is time for us to take one action or another, when it comes to having more children another child. We need to decide if we are going to try IUI (a simple process in which nurses monitor your hormone levels and the Dr inseminates you right at ovulation) or take necessary precautions to ensure I don’t want to wake up one day, 40 years old and find out I’m pregnant. I don’t mean any disrespect to 40 year olds who are pregnant or women who had babies at 40. If we didn’t have Nick, I probably wouldn’t care how old I was, I’d keep trying until I got a bub. But I always thought my family would be done by 30, 32 at the latest! I had Nick just before I turned 30 and here we are, 35 and 36 years old – not old in most senses of the word, but in fertility years, that’s one foot in the grave, and we’re still trying to get baby number 2. Nick is sensitive, funny, cheeky, kind and caring. While we do realise how  fortunate we are to have one happy, healthy, child, I wish we could have had 5 more just like him*.

People ask why we don’t just go straight to IVF. To be honest, there’s so much about IVF that turns us off.  In comparison to IVF, IUI is inexpensive and it’s un-intrusive, and it may be enough for a couple like us, who have already conceived one child on our own. The upfront expense of IVF, coupled with the emotional and physical demands, is not something we are all that keen to undertake. But ask me again at the end of three rounds of IUI, if they have failed.

I’m hoping that by deciding to go down the path of assisted reproduction, I’ll be able to sleep at night and get some closure on this unwanted chapter of our lives. If the IUI doesn’t work, I will at least know that we tried everything within our power that we are willing to do. On the other hand, if it does work….well this blog will suddenly become very baby-focused and annoying**. I apologise in advance.

So for now we’ve decided to enjoy what is left of 2013, the Christmas silly season, the new year, the school holidays. And then we try – really try – to make this family a family of 4. While my head screams, “Are you sure you want to experience child birth again and suffer sleep deprivation again?” my heart screams, “10 years from now will you regret not trying harder?” So we’re following our hearts, knowing that it is what it is and whatever is meant to be, will be. And that no matter what path we choose, it will be the right one for us.

Have you found yourself at a crossroads lately? How did you decide which path to choose?

* Maybe not 5 more. Not this late in life. I’m too old for that shit. And I know, no 2 kids are ever the same so statistically speaking, 5 more just like Nick is impossible.

** Not saying baby-focused blogs are boring….ok, maybe they are, a little, but only to people who don’t have babies.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT! Won’t you join us? 

The Hardest Part

The hardest part about secondary infertility is not what you are missing out on, but what your only child is missing out on. My husband has 3 brothers and a sister. I have 2 sisters. Never in a million years did I ever think we’d only have one child. That was never, ever in the plans. I still dream about what kind of big brother Nick would be, I imagine the pictures I would take of him and his baby sister or brother. Fuck, I wouldn’t care if it was a baby monkey at this point.

We can convince ourselves of all the benefits of having just one. We can try to convince the world that we think one is enough, that we planned this all along. But we’re not fooling anyone. Even when Nick wakes us up in the middle of the night and we are zombies the next day, we laugh about how hard it would be to go back to sleep deprivation. But I know that deep down, we’d both go back there in a heart beat, if it was that easy.

I try so hard to be grateful for what we do have – a healthy, happy, awesome son. But it is hard to see pregnant women and to see babies. And it physically makes my heart break shatter to see siblings. To see big brothers and sisters with their little brothers and sisters. Cuddling them, holding their hands as they learn to walk, helping them, even just sitting next to them. And I can’t help but immediately be reduced to that person who only thinks about what she doesn’t have.

I started working out and trying to lose weight because it was the only control I had over my body. I couldn’t make it get pregnant, no matter what we tried. So I decided if I couldn’t be pregnant then goddamnit I’d be skinny*. Losing weight feels good. But losing weight doesn’t even come close to the same feeling of adding another person to your family. And while I mourn for what I don’t have, I’m absolutely destroyed about what my son doesn’t have. A sibling.

*Skinny is relative. I’m 12kgs lighter than I was when I started all this, which is a lot. But I’d still like to lose another 6kgs.

Once A Month…

I confess, about this time, every month, I start to wonder. I wonder what it would be like if that dreaded monthly visitor women get didn’t show up. I wonder what it would be like to POAS and actually have two lines appear, instead of just one. I wonder what it would be like to tell my husband the news – and how I would tell him. I wonder what it would be like telling family and friends who know how long we’ve been trying. I wonder what kind of post I would write here to let my readers know the happy news. I wonder what it would be like to tell Nick he’s finally going to be a big brother.

And every month, all these thoughts make it that much harder when the bitch shows up.

If I have to hear one more piece of advice, one more sympathetic condolence, one more comment about how unfair it is, I might just scream, or spontaneously self-combust. If I have to hear one more, “I can’t imagine how it must feel” I won’t be held responsible for what I reply with. If I hear one more, “Oh, that will be a big gap if it happens now” I won’t be held responsible for giving that person a gap – in their front teeth.

Now, with our only child starting school in 2 weeks, maybe they’re right. Maybe it is too late. Maybe that ship has sailed, and going back to square one is not a good idea. But maybe it’s not, maybe it’s the perfect time to have another one. Nick has had our undivided (mostly) attention for 4.5 years. He has been given probably more opportunities than some other 4.5 year olds who have siblings to contend with. If another came along now, with Nick at school, that child would get a lot of my time, also.

It seems either way we can’t win. If you have them too close together you feel guilty they don’t get enough of your time. If you have them too far apart people make you feel guilty that they won’t be “close” growing up. Either way, the important thing is that they’re loved and they know it. It doesn’t matter if they have no siblings or 10. I’m officially sick of being asked about it, talking about it, thinking about it, dreaming about it, wondering about it. I must confess, I’m ready to just move on with our life, and the new chapter we’re embarking on as parents of a school child!

Linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths for I Must Confess

and Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather