Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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One and Done

Even though we started our family later in life (I was 40 when I conceived through IVF/PGD and almost 41 when I gave birth), and, even though I have many IRL friends who did the same, we don’t know very many couples who went into family building with a ‘one and done’ plan.  I know some who ended up there:  my cousin who almost lost her life during the delivery of her 29 week old son which resulted in a complete hysterectomy; a friend from my son’s preschool whose daughter was also born premature and she and her husband were so shaken by the touch and go experience from her early weeks and months of life that she will be an only child; my sister-in-law who conceived my nephew through IVF and even though they have 3 frozen embryos from the same cycle, my brother-in-law is adamantly opposed to having another child, so their family is complete.

I belong to my local Mom’s Club which has almost twenty mothers in the group.  There was one mother in our group (who has since moved away), who has one son, and he was intended to be an only child.  I think she is the only person I know IRL who had an only child by design.  In fact, many of the mothers in our group have had or are pregnant with their third.

As we prepare to move and as our son will be starting a new school in September, we are meeting more and more new families.  None of them have one child.  We were at our new house yesterday (where work commenced, YIPPEE!) and our neighbor from across the street came by to welcome us.   She is a nurse and was very warm and down to earth.  She has two boys and invited us to their combined birthday party next weekend.  I introduced her to my son and my husband, and she asked, in almost a woeful way (and that is not just me projecting), “Do you just have the one?”.  Since everyone in our extended circle of friends knows we have been trying for a sibling for four years, it isn’t often that I get that question.  I rarely get that question, but I have gotten it more frequently recently.

I don’t begrudge her the question as it is, at its root, benign.  How else, save our leading with “Let me introduce you to our only son/child”, would someone learn how big our family is?  It is just that that question, posed to me, at what is increasingly feeling like a critical juncture, does pack a wallop.  But I will not minimize the struggle we have had just for the sake of pleasantries.  So, I answered her by saying, “We’ve been trying for a sibling for four years.  I am 45 so my baby shop is closed (and I gestured in a circular motion with one hand over my belly for added effect).  We are hoping to adopt but it is hard to know whether it will happen for us”.  I said it with an upbeat tone to convey that I was fine with her asking and fine with sharing but that our situation is what it is.

And, therein, is the rub.  When I started this blog it was with a great degree of earnest hopefulness.  Even if it was a dark, murky time back then, I felt that if I could tease out how I was feeling by writing it down and releasing it to the universe, I would come to know what we were meant to do in terms of having another child.  Even though I was unsure, I knew that I wanted to have another child and just needed to figure out the path.  Then, and throughout this journey, the title of my blog has expressed that hope:  It is what it is, or is it?  Even though we recently changed our filters which should yield a higher number of birth mother presentations each month, and even though I RSVPd ‘yes’ to the upcoming picnic that our agency is hosting, I continue to grapple with whether having another child is something I still desire. It is starting to feel more like ‘it is what it is’ period.

I am working toward wrapping my mind around what it will be like if all roads lead to one and done. Even if I truly am ready, by sheer force of the grueling nature of our pursuit of #2, to get off ALL trains, how will I ever reconcile expending all this effort (which says nothing of the financial expense), to end up right where I started? I have finally found peace in the happiness I feel at being a mother to my son. But there is a duality of emotion in embracing that while trying to let go of a long held/long sought after dream. I am not sure how to begin to accept, even if I am leaning toward it by default rather than by design, arriving at the decision to remain a family of three in the face of they myriad ways we’ve tried to be a family of four.

If we make the decision to end the pursuit, I know there will be relief in that. It will be a conscious (if somewhat forced) choice. I am learning that there are ways to process the decision wherein I will be able to live with whatever regret longing I may feel. And I try to put myself in the position of answering the question “is he your only one” in the future. It’s not like we set out to have one child (there would be a confidence in answering if that was the case). And, maybe, I will get to the point where answering that question simply with a ‘yes’ will be enough. I know one thing for sure, I feel like I am an eternity from that now.

“Toss your dashed hopes not into a trash bin
but into a drawer where you are likely to rummage some bright morning.”
~Robert Brault

7 comments to One and Done

  • People can’t help themselves. They’re just nosy. The Grape is an only child, and while I never say never, for now that’s how I like it. If strangers can’t wrap their minds around this (ultimately inconsequential to them) fact and press for details, I tell them I can’t have anymore. That usually shuts down the line of inquiry.
    One lady at the park tried to foist her adoption agency on me, unsolicited, a few months back, but most fortuntely lack that sort of gall.

  • such a tough situation. believe me, I know.

    I don’t think peace comes easy, especially when you (a) think there is still a chance, and/or (b) feel the decision is forced by factors beyond your control.

    but I will wish you well on the road to peace anyway, whether your pursuit for a sibling continues or somehow comes to a close.

  • First, though not the most relevant, let me say that I am still very shocked that you are 45. You look soooo much younger!
    Second, I can only imagine the struggle as you try to make a decision about your family, especially if it feels Iike a ‘forced’ decision or by default. Thinking of you as you ponder and wishing you strength and clarity.

  • Oh, boy. The question always hangs, waiting for some type of answer that just isn’t coming. Even when Scout was an infant, people began asking me if we planned to have more. My gut response was something along the lines of, “Why don’t you think my one Darling is enough?” And even now that I AM contemplating another, I know that my one Darling truly IS enough. I just wish I didn’t have to convince others.

  • Lut C.

    A more nosy variant is ‘are you thinking of having another’? I really don’t like that one.
    Since I don’t share our story with many people, I always have to wiggle out of a straight answer too.

    Acceptance, I never felt I was getting any closer to that. I recognize what you write about the duality of it.

  • I struggle with that too. For now, I answer with a simple “yes.” Because most of the people in our life know about our infertility, and therefore no more explanation is needed. Any one else doesn’t need to know.

    It’s really hard to answer that and process through the realization that we ARE done. I’m getting there, but on the days where I’m not okay, that question slices my heart wide open.

    xoxo

  • I remember when I was going through that same thing in my head – what if my son is the only child, and everytime – during my 5 years of infertility between #1 and #2 (plus the 5 miscarriages) and everytime my son would say “I want a baby sisser” (that’s how he said it, sisser) … it was like a knife to my heart. Luckily I found an amazing doctor, and he helped me get #2 .. and then when I remarried, he helped us get #3 & #4! All boys… no “sisser” in the picture for him other then the step-sister that none of us have gotten to meet (long vent) …

    I hope that you find peace with your choice of moving forward or not… and I hope it comes easily to you. I was an only child, other then wishing for someone to share things with … it’s not so bad.

    Happy ICLW from # 86 <3

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