Monday, April 23, 2012

Perfect Moment Monday - Rich

Another Perfect Moment about my children... 

After hitting publish on my previous post I realized I would have liked to add how extremely happy and grateful I am for my two boys, and that I don't take having them for granted at any moment.

We went back home to Holland over the Easter holiday (although there isn't really a home there anymore, my parents' condo is up for sale, my dad now lives more at his girlfriend's place and cleaned out a lot of stuff - we stayed there and had lots of room, but it felt cold and empty) - mainly so my two grandmothers would have a chance to see our youngest son and of course to see other family members and friends - and to stock up on all the Dutch goodies we love some much and can't get here in France (peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, licorice, etc).

It was a full and busy week. The kids were often not in bed before 10 pm because of travel or dinner with friends, etc. The 11-hour drive back home was with a fully packed car (I even bought a new bike!) and even though the boys were champs, it was pretty tiring for everyone. So the next day we took it easy at home (except for hubby, who had to go to work again). When I'd put the toddler down for his afternoon nap, the baby and I went to sleep as well. An hour later the toddler came into our room, climbed into the big bed, snuggled up with me, and promptly fell asleep again. The baby stirred a bit in his co-sleeper, so I put a hand on his stomach to keep him calm and so he wouldn't fully wake up. I suddenly felt so incredibly rich with my two boys at my side, sound asleep in the comfort of their mommy's presence. I didn't mind at all that I was now wide awake, I was so happy. I savored that moment, nothing else mattered.


On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit Write Mind Open Heart and share your comment love. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on May 28.

Friday, April 20, 2012

How many children?

This post came about after a prompt from St Elsewhere a few months ago... The idea has finally taken on enough form that I think I can write it down, even though I'm not sure I have a final answer yet.

In St Elsewhere's prompt there were three questions:

Q. How many children do you want?
Q. what issues/factors drive this 'number'?
Q. Has the number of children you wanted changed through your TTC journey? Would you rather leave this number question open and say as many as we can?

I will try to answer them as a whole.

Before we even started TTC I always dreamt of having four children, and maybe two of those would be twins. We'd have a fun and loving family. Never a dull moment. Then we started TTC and it didn't go as planned. After trying naturally for about two years, and then six failed IUIs, my dream of four children had been changed into the desperate cry to have at least one living and healthy child.

Then IVF #1 was a success. A breezy pregnancy which resulted in a healthy baby, love and happiness and the adrenaline rush of wanting to do this again. Soon. And so many people were saying that probably my body would know what to do now, and we wouldn't need IVF anymore for baby #2, #3 and who knows, #4 (which was still a desire, but I'd lost quite a few years during the TTC and IF battle so I wasn't sure if I wouldn't be too old by that time). But, when usually (or at least according to the books) life with baby becomes easier after the first three months, mine became a sleep-deprivation hell. I lost myself and I couldn't imagine wanting to go through that again. Maybe I wasn't made for this. Maybe I should be content with one child.

But of course it got better, and looking back I thought there might be things I could do differently with a second baby. So we started TTC again. But no luck the natural way, and we didn't want to waste too much time, so after a few months, we were sitting in the RE's office again. IVF#2 was a go. The first attempt was cancelled midway because of my mother's passing. The second attempt went OK, but when lying in the recovery room after ER I told myself "I never want to do this again", so much stress, so much uncertainty. Two beautiful embies were transferred, one was frozen. Since IVF#1 had been a success I thought this time around it would work too. And the dream of four children was suddenly back: twins from IVF#2 and then another child from a subsequent FET... How wonderful would that be?

Well, it didn't happen. I got a BFN from IVF#2 and the dream of four children immediately changed back into the realization that maybe I should be content with one child. 

I didn't have high hopes for the FET a few months later. But this one stuck around, and was pregnant with a second son. Another great pregnancy. Two boys. I couldn't be happier. When I gave birth to him I thought I would have this feeling of "now my family is complete. Our family building is over" like I heard some women say. But I didn't. Not that there was a feeling that I immediately wanted to do this again. No, there was just love, an immense amount of love for this new and tiny human being, nothing more and nothing less.

I let go of the dream of four children. But three children is still a question mark. In two years I'll be 40. I find that quite old to be a new mom again. And that thought I had in the recovery room after ER does come back to me every now and then, I was so adamant about it, "never again".  I wouldn't mind being pregnant again though. I absolutely love being pregnant. The first few weeks after birth? Getting used to the sleepless nights again? I'd gladly skip that. And handling three kids while hubby is away on a week-long business trip, while I already lose my patience too often with two? And thinking that now, maybe, it would work the natural way? And I'm still apprehensive of the months to come with this new baby, who's now three months old - the time when it all started going downhill for me with our firstborn. I know the two boys are quite different, and I'm a lot better prepared, but still...

So, I guess the jury is still out. It's too soon to make a final decision. However, one decision has been made in my mind: no more IVF. If we were to have a third child, then it would have to be a natural miracle.