August 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Infertility, motherhood, My life | 14 Comments

There’s a lot on my mind these days, but none of it really makes for a coherent post.

Case in point:

O has recently ramped up the tantrums. And the not listening. The throwing of toys. The fighting us over something as simple as sitting in the carseat. It’s exhausting, and it makes me sometimes question my worth as a parent. 

I HATE having to use my body to physically subdue him so that I can strap him into his carseat. I don’t WANT to overpower him.

I WANT him to sit in his carseat without fighting me.

But that’s not happening right now.


A woman on my board is in the middle of trying to donate her 3 leftover embryos, and when a match feel through because a couple chose another with 14 embryos, she expressed bitterness that they went with “numbers” over “quality.” Because she got pregnant with two babies from one transfer of two embryos. 

And I felt anger over her judgment of the infertile couple. Because, to me, embryos don’t necessarily equal babies. I mean, we went through NINE embryos before ONE turned into O.

The way I’ve always managed THAT part of IVF is to minimize the importance of the embryos. To me? An embryo represented a SHOT at a baby. And looking at it that way? Why WOULDN’T that couple go with the 14 chances instead of 3?

But O was an embryo.

And look at him.

So I wonder if I’m starting to grieve over the lost ones.

I don’t know.


I am also growing increasingly conflicted over the idea of having another baby, a sibling for O. I mean, HYPOTHETICALLY I want him to have siblings – I am tremendously grateful for my own siblings, and I know J is happy that he’s not an only child.

Then, the SPACING of siblings is important too. Too much and it’s like starting over again (and they’re not playmates). Too little and well, you’re not really ready per se.

Right now through next year would space a sibling for O pretty darn well.

But the thought of going back to the doctor.

The monitoring.

Using up our embryos, having to think about another fresh IVF cycle.

Or the opposite: a pregnancy.

And then a newborn.

WITH a toddler this time.

I’m not sure I’m ready for ANY of that.

Truth be told, I’m not sure I’ll EVER be ready, either.


So all three of these things are tangled around my heart and mind right now. I’m not sure how to break free.

I think right now, I’m wondering if I’m going to get the WANT for another baby. I certainly don’t have the desire right now. Mostly I’m TIRED and O takes most of my energy and (lately very low) well of patience.

How will I manage to find the energy to do this for TWO kids?


Let’s assume I DO have some sort of desire for a baby which pops up in the next year or so. I mean, I keep and catalogue all of O’s clothing for the next one. J and I mention often having multiple kids. Et cetera.

So fine. We decide we’re ready, we want to have another.

It’s not as easy for us as it is for other couples.

No, it means seeing Dr. HIT again. And then repeating the tests on both of us. And proving to the insurance (new now!) that yes, we’re still infertile. And then the monitoring. And the transfer. And the progesterone. The 2ww death spiral.

And as we know, embryos don’t equal babies. We have three frozen right now – two from the cycle which gave us O, and one from our first cycle.

I’m not sure if the two from IVF #3 are frozen together. And I can’t risk a twin pregnancy, knowing that O was breech, early, and little.

So we can only do a single embryo transfer. Ever.

So maybe two tries. Maybe three.

Then what?

And then.

I wonder: Is it really even WORTH it?

Aren’t we lucky enough?

Maybe we should just be happy with what we HAVE.


I mean, clearly we don’t need to make any DECISIONS for a while.  And truthfully, I am okay with cruising for a while, just focused on our family of three.

And also. I am not on birth control right now – haven’t been for almost 18 months. (Come on, it COULD happen. Right?) So maybe we won’t have to make any choices.

Still though. It’s hard to ignore the pregnancies around us.

Or the innocent questions: “Are you thinking about another?”


I  THINK about another.

But I come no closer to an ANSWER.



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  1. If you think too long about things you never do them so in my case I’m glad I didn’t get to choose this pregnancy so close to the last one.

    And thinking about it, I think its something I’d have eventually regretted not deciding to do in years to come. Parenting, it’s hard work, but once its done, it’s done, you reap the rewards later on.


  2. The more you think about it, the more you won’t be ready for it. The rational person inside us will ALWAYS have reasons not to have another baby. I’m not sure what I would have done if I didn’t get again pregnant naturally… the very smart rational woman inside of me did NOT want to even consider going through IVF again. But even as much as I’m totally freaking out about this whole thing (still) I think that our life will be so wonderful (crazy, hectic, but wonderful).

    I’m so grateful that I didn’t actually have to make the choice. Those of us that go through IVF have a whole other stack of crap to go through. Not many people have to worry about getting pregnant.And then, after making to the ‘other side’ then we have to go through it all again – knowing the pain, uncertainty and the 2 ww death spiral (perfect term, btw).

    OK – I’m blabbering, and haven’t even given you any assvice. Obviously, do what your heart tells you. I find that my heart is a hell of a lot smarter than my brain.

  3. Delurking to say – it’s okay to wait. Having a toddler is hard and you may just not have what it takes energy-wise to try for another one right now. My girls are 4 years apart (not on purpose, just couldn’t get/stay pregnant). I worried that they would not be playmates because of the age gap, but they love each other and are the best of friends now (ages 6 and 2). Good luck, I know you’ll find the right answer for you.

  4. It’ll be ok either way, I say, as I think about the same thing.

    If you intend to use the emrbyos, use the embryos when you’re ready…then wait to see what next as it comes.

    That’s what ration tells me. The rest of me is going OHMYGOSHWHATDOWEDO???

    Ration, though, is bound to be better, right?

  5. i have my doubts too, but we are pushing forward. i’ll be 37 in october and we know we want to give A a sibling and for us that trumps all of our concerns. not sure how wise that is, but that’s where we’re at. like the others have said, you have to wait until you’re ready…or until waiting any longer feels less right than diving in. you’ll know. xo

  6. You still have time to decide. You will know when the time is right.

  7. Yeah, all of these things are sooo tough.

    We are fighting day and night with Jim, and we’ve done the RE dance again and have one on the way. Which is making me scared for exactly the reasons you’ve named.

    Guess I just wanted to confirm that none of what you said is anything but real, honest life-altering decisions. No matter what you do, I hope you will be very happy. 🙂

  8. Oh man, I know…it’s like, “hello little one, since when did you get an indepedent streak?? Wasn’t it just a day ago that you were a blob of a baby who’d do whatever I wanted?? Now you’re questioning whether or not you should take your shirt off for a bath?? Staging an all out coup for that matter????”
    It’s enough to make me doubt my parenting worth too. But only for a second. Because then I remember that I CAN do this, and what’s more, I AM doing this. Every second of every day. I’m learning and messing up and then learning some more.
    Gosh I remember the inner turmoil of when or whether or not to try for #2. I loved G so much and I didn’t want to spoil what we had–the dynamic of our little family was so perfect as it was, why should we mess with it?
    And then after I got pregnant and learned it was twins, I was really scared. Could I do it? Would Grace be ok? Would she get lost in the cracks as I dealt with the twinado that took over my life?
    I was venting it all out to a friend and I said “you know what? I forget that I’m going to love them. The whole twin thing seems so scary and life altering and even burdensome, that I forget I’m going to fall head over heals for them”.
    And I did. Of course, right? But you forget about that when you’re pregnant and just worried about how to get through the next moment, sanity intact.
    If and when you decide for #2, just remember that it will all work out simply because that love force makes everything work out. And when I worried for G, my mom always reassured me “she’s not the only little girl to ever have a younger brother and sister”. It’s so true! I always catastrophize everything! But really, we are all so much more resilient and full of love and energy than we give ourselves credit for.
    It’s frightening. The whole plunge into ivf again. But it wasn’t as bad as we were anticipating, and I hope the same goes for you, if and when, of course. We tried to go into it lightheartedly, saying if it happens, yay, if not, we have one beautiful child and she’s enough. It’s God’s will. But in reality, we were on the roller coaster just the same.
    Perhaps it’s time to end my novel?
    Wait, more. I cried for our lost embryos. After G was born and I understood what a mother’s love is, I cried for each one. Because I know each one had the potential to be that brilliant point of light, blond curls bobbing, joyful giggling baby she was. It makes me sad still. But I believe in heaven, and I know that’s where they are.
    Ugh. so much more to say. Wish we were sitting face to face over coffee.

  9. I always thought I wanted 2 kids, but after what it took to get to just 1, I think I’m pretty okay stopping at 1. And that’s not to say you’ll be happy there too, or I’ll even stop here as it’s early, but it’s just to say that what you used to think you wanted and what society might think you want, well those two things might not match up with what you want now. Maybe now, just having 1, and having a perfect little family of 3? Maybe that’s enough?

    There’s a lot of benefits to having just 1, and yea, I know even I used to think a sibling was soooooo important, but I figure I can replicate some of that balance a sibling provides by forcing Tiny B to hang out with some of my friends’ kids – those are kids he’ll have to share with, he’ll have to learn to get along with, and he’ll compete with. Fine, there won’t be the same bond, but I don’t have that bond with my sister so I don’t think a sibling necessarily gives a bond – it just gives you someone you HAVE to figure out how to deal with your whole life. You can do that through other means…

  10. Have you read Dr. Karp’s Happiest Toddler on the Block. It’s great for kids as they start to enter the tantrum phase. It really helped me start to communicate better with the little one. The car seat is a battle, it won’t be the only one you fight.

  11. I don’t think I’ve met anybody who has more than one child and they said they tried for number 2 because they were ready. Myself included. Having #2 was really about giving K a sibling that she would be close in age with. Now that I have #2? I can’t imagine life without her. As Elle Bee said, you find that your love helps you deal with the day to day tasks.

    You and J will figure it all out (Toddler O, #2, etc), really, I promise…

    No, I mean it…


    Stop looking at me like that 😀

  12. I’m sure you will know when the time is right to jump back in the saddle. Our plans to start again this summer were spoiled because life and shit happened! Our plans of the perfect spacing went out the window and now things are off for awhile. It makes me sad, but it is for the best. Plus, I couldn’t imagine running after an 18 month old with morning sickness!

  13. I worry about the same things. I initially thought we’d try for a roughly two-year spacing. Then we were nowhere near ready. Now, I’m thinking maybe three years. But maybe next year I’ll once again want to wait a bit longer. It’s so hard. I’m more interested in giving A a sibling than having another child for my own benefit. But is that enough of a reason to go for another child? Plenty of children are happy without siblings. I don’t know. I’m very conflicted too. And we don’t even have a .1% chance of striking gold on our own.

  14. Yes, the freak out over whatthehellwasIthinkingtohavetwothisclosetogether will happen. But, the anticipation is worse, at least in my experience, than the reality. My two are two years and one week apart. It really wasn’t that bad-or the sleep deprivation at the time lets me forget-and now they really are playmates. Sure they duke it out on occassion, but they really do work well together. Now that they are two and four, I’m happy that it worked out this way. The biggest issue was that daycare for the two of them was more than our mortgage for well over a year. I wish that money wasn’t an issue, but that is really what is preventing us from even thinking about more-and it is something to consider.

    O will not suffer from lack of attention when you are dealing with a newborn. Honestly, he will be reaching that stage where he is more independent and self-sufficient, and I think that there is something positive to a child learning that the world does not revolve around them-you just have to be careful to make sure that he stays in orbit.

    Fear is normal. Fear can be rational, but don’t let it strait jacket you.

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