Deciding to expand your family post infertility

heart missing piece

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.

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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”

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Decide that yes, you probably do want to grow your family and feel a little bit heartbroken at what that means.

heartbroken infertility***

Have unprotected sex around your fertile window just in case you are, in fact, a miracle and conceive spontaneously. You never know, right?!?!

Cue headfuck.

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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.

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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.


crying infertility

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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.

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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.

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Dive into a dark day. The two week wait and the symptom spotting is driving you mad. Can you actually do this again?

darkness questioning infertility

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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.

Feel stupid.

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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.

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Rule #1 of the infertile: DO NOT DELAY.

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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.

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16 thoughts on “Deciding to expand your family post infertility”

  1. I don’t have words, mainly because I haven’t made up my mind whether or not you should have another one! 😀 Because, naturally, my opinion is what matters! hehehehehe. Man, what a way to mess with your head. And you know, I was so the opposite, I knew when I was pregnant with Mr. T, I wouldn’t want anymore!

    1. Hahahahahaha as usual you give me a good chuckle. I don’t know if I have decided in another either. I mean, future me loves the idea but current me wonders how wise it would be, particularly when the dude and I aren’t that solid.

      Wow! That’s so awesome that you knew with certainty when you were preggers with Mr T. It makes it so much easier.

  2. It’s so hard. I’m really struggling with this right now. We have 2 embies waiting for us, and good lord PLEASE let one of them work!!! My heartbreak right now comes with the fact that we can’t start back on the road until C stops nursing. I’d love to let her nurse however long she likes…but I’m 39, I’m not getting any younger. We could get lucky and have one of those waiting work for us…but we might not. It could take years to get pregnant again, so I don’t want to wait forever to start. I feel horribly guilty for pushing C off the boob when she isn’t ready to leave it herself. Is it fair to take something away from her just to have a sibling, who will also try to take things from her for the rest of her life? It sucks that wanting to grow your family causes things that hurt your heart and screw with your head. :-/

    1. I have been thinking about this comment so much since you posted it, wishing I had some sage advice for you. It truly is a shitty situation. You know C is 1 soon and weaning at that age is totally reasonable. You have given her an amazing start if you make 12 months bf. So many don’t even get that. And giving her a sibling is also an amazing gift even though she loses things by getting one she gains so much more. I hope your next baby is in those embués too. Given you had PGD the odds are pretty good. I am crossing everything for you that the next bubba comes easily for you all xxx

      1. Thank you for all of this. You’re right, giving her a sibling will be giving her so much more than it will be taking away. I have so many good memories of growing up with my sister, I do want that for her as well. I was talking with my 2 friends today about getting down to 4 nurses a day, and I told them that she doesn’t seem to care if her food comes from me or from regular food. My one friend that that means that she’s ready to wean. Which is good, but sad. It’s hard when they grow up.

  3. Oh gosh – this brings back memories… ?. No, do not delay. I spent ages reading about three children and spying on parents of three to see how stressed they looked. After about 15 months I was all “fuck that, I want three no matter what.” And that’s was much easier. You will never ever wish a baby away once it’s here. Thinking so much kind of says you already know – it definitely did for me. I wish I’d saved myself the anguish of worry and whether people would judge me. Maybe it’s something to do with the transition from standard-2 because I know that if we wanted another I wouldn’t give it a second thought now. It’d just be another wonderful person in an already noisy family. I’ll be with you all the way, no matter what, and I’ll never tell you to stop doing it to yourself or draw a line in the sand, as long as you are trying because you want to. Sending lots of love and hope for an easy ride xxx

    1. Thx lovely. M and I are pretty ugh atm so I’m rethinking it again. We did go and see the FS the other day and he prescribed another lap to just check and clear, melatonin and attempt naturally until the end of the year. Haven’t booked the lap though as I’m starting to think I just need to be happy with the 2 when the relationship is so unstable. I could do 2 on my own, 3 would be really tricky. 🙁

      1. Three as a single mum is hard. I know someone who recently separated and it’s just been awful for all of them (she has three, age 6, 3, 1). It is a tough, tough decision, and unlike other decisions it fails logic because it’s all about the heart. I am totally with you whichever way you decide – three has as many advantages as disadvantages in my opinion. There was once a dark day that was so tough I wondered that if I’d been able to see into the future I would have willingly chosen this… something I never ever thought I would think. Sigh. You know I wouldn’t change anything, but man I seriously underestimated the sheer amount of commitment involved. Anyway, what I’m trying to say not very well is that there’s no wrong decision. And I think it is very common for a mum to always wonder about that one more. My boys went to preschool and their teacher had three. She lamented how she often thought of four, but she decided she was just too old and too tired! I know someone with five who says she’d have had six if she started younger. I think we’re just programmed to love babies. It’s even crossed my mind, for about 24 hours, before I decided that it would only be a path of exhaustion and resentment. Ah, man. I could ramble on about this for ages! Got to get the boys to junior parkrun. Speak soon! Xxx

  4. Hi there, Susie sent me. I am so glad she did. I also have fertility issues. I am almost 34 and my husband and I have been trying for 3 years. It was one of things I wanted to blog about when I first started this blog a year ago. But haven’t had the courage yet. I can’t wait to get home from work to read more of your posts.

    1. Awwwww I got goosebumps reading that. It is for people like you that I am building this space. I don’t have a huge amount of my infertility content up yet but I can send you to my old blog where I blogged my entire infertility journey. The WordPress infertility community is big and welcoming so get on discover and have a look around when you are ready. And feel free to email me if you ever have any questions that you don’t want to put in the blog. I am happy to help if I can!! Thx for stopping by. I’m glad we found each other. How rad is Susie?!!?!

  5. HI Rachel! Susie sent me! I totally relate to your post. Though my two children have now grown up, years ago I had fertility problems as well. I remember how painful it was to watch other women become pregnant or raise their children while I was childless. These days, I write a spiritual/humor blog about the way we’re all part of something bigger and maybe the universe directs us in ways don’t understand. I’m thinking you might appreciate that perspective at this time in your life so I hope you’ll check out what I write about. I’m a new follower of yours and look forward to reading about how you’re doing. Cathi

    1. Hi Cath! Thanks for stopping by. How great are Susie’s little gatherings. Such a lovely way to connect. I am so sorry you had to battle with infertility. It is a brutal experience for all involved. I have popped over to your space and look forward to checking it out.

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