Once you’ve experienced an infertility diagnosis the decision to then go on and expand your family can be pretty harrowing.
What I didn’t mention last week when I posted on whether or not we would attempt to expand our family to include a third child is that on that particular day I was in a really dark place about it.
It was a place of true fear. I was afraid of having another child at a gap I couldn’t handle but then afraid to wait lest I never be able to have another at all. Nothing really seemed like the right solution. Do I choose to be sad now or do I never have another baby and live with the lingering sadness forever?
In this situation there is no choice without sadness.
There is at least a possibility for me that I will be able to conceive naturally and that is a lot more than what many other women can say.
Male factor infertility doesn’t miraculously change overnight and blocked tubes don’t suddenly let eggs through and this is the reality that many infertile families are dealing with.
Some have frozen embryos they can put their hopes in but others will need to undergo at least one more full stimulation cycle in an effort to add to their brood and even that doesn’t guarantee success.
It guarantees a great financial and emotional cost to them but it doesn’t guarantee a baby.
Given all this it has been a pretty full-on last two weeks here as we worked towards trying to make our decision. As it turns out, almost as soon as we decided yes our relationship hit another rocky patch so now I am really unsure how we will proceed. But anyway, that changes none of what is below.
A snapshot of the baby decision making process post infertility
Start talking it over with your partner like you can actually just bonk and make an instant baby like most people. The first decision after all is
“Do you really want to grow your family”
Decide that yes, you probably do want to grow your family and feel a little bit heartbroken at what that means.
Have unprotected sex around your fertile window just in case you are, in fact, a miracle and conceive spontaneously. You never know, right?!?!
Agonise during the two week wait. You will feel every little physical blip that resembles a pregnancy and be convinced that yep, you are a miracle. Infertility can bite your arse.
Feel extremely emotional about the whole thing, uncertain if you are actually ready to be a family of 3 and endlessly google “How do I know whether or not to have 3 children”. Read all those shitty articles about how parents of 3 are the most stressed. Cry.
With all the crying you must be hormonal, right? And that must mean pregnant, right? Maybe you really do want to be a mum of three. Is that relief you are feeling? You no longer even know.
Decide yes actually, you want another baby. FOR SURE. But decide it cannot be endless cycles of IVF, acupuncture and seasons of deprivation of all things enjoyable. You might be infertile but you are not mad. Yet.
Dive into a dark day. The two week wait and the symptom spotting is driving you mad. Can you actually do this again?
Take a pregnancy test 2 days before your period is actually due. Negative. You don’t feel sad but you also don’t feel relieved.
You feel resigned.
Of course you don’t fall pregnant instantly. You have endometriosis AND are less than three months from 41.
Even fertile women don’t fall pregnant instantly at almost 41.
Wonder what the hell you are fucking around for, like you have all the time in the world.
YOU ARE ALMOST 41 AND IT TOOK 3 YEARS TO GET THE LAST BABY.
Realise that if you are going to have another baby the time to start is now, even though you aren’t quite ready.
Rule #1 of the infertile: DO NOT DELAY.
Accept the age. Accept the situation. Accept the diagnosis. Make an appointment with your Fertility Specialist.
Then do everything you can to survive the making of another baby.