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.


St Elsewhere said...

I remember that whatever number I initially had in my mind, just like you, it came down to 'please one, atleast one' after failed cycles. I get that so well.

My limit is two. I can do with three, but have never imagined more for myself.

I was recently reading a blogger's exasperated sigh that IUIs working must surely be a myth. I began to believe it too. Almost every IUI, I was super-hopeful that I was in-fact knocked up.

We can only plan, but there are so many factors that affect our success really - atleast with ART.

Glad you have your sons. And I hope that the secret wish for the third kid happening the old-fashioned way? Well I hope the cosmic forces conspire well for it. :-)

DandelionBreeze... aka NYMum said...

'How many' is such a hard question... and IF certainly makes us rethink our dreams... thinking of you xo