Sunday, October 21, 2012


So, we are still in the limbo of, "yes, we need to talk about it and one day we will eat a meal together that does not involve toddler-directed instructions to remove that finger from your nose but that day has not yet arrived." That is, we have not yet talked about whether to do anything more about having another baby (who would grow into another nose-picking toddler, one assumes). (It's only occasionally with the nose-picking thing, but it is kind of gross. On the other hand, when she held out her finger the other day, booger perched carefully on the tip, and said cheerfully, "hi, booger!" it was pretty funny.)

Anyway. I digress. Probably because my brain is actively trying to digress from the fact that I have just heard that my sister-in-law is pregnant.


It is most certainly different to hear that now than when it happened the first time, about three months before I got pregnant with the afore-mentioned booger girl. Then there was a lot of raging and crying and swearing, etc. Also glasses of wine.

I feel kind of numb about it this time. I suppose I should feel something more distinct, but "should" is a word that does not go well with "feel." I feel tired about it. Weary. Lapped, sort of. Except that we're out of the race - for now - so it's not a great metaphor. You can't get lapped if you're sitting on the sidelines.

The thing is, I mostly feel enormously satisfied with, and grateful for, my life. Just as it is. I am not very good with risk, and part of me is terrified to have another child. I mean, shit can happen and my reproductive record is spotty at best, so why tempt fate? Why try to mess with the goodness we have?

I think this about 95 percent of the time, but at 2:00am, I sometimes think about the handful of times I have taken a risk in my life, and how I've usually been glad that at least I tried.

So we did try, of course. We failed, but we tried. There's no more frozen embryo out there, alternately torturing and teasing us with the possibility of just one more. We took the risk. It's okay.

But is that it? I think so. And then I don't. And then I look at baby photos and I want another. And then I think about turning 40 in three months and I change my mind. And then I think about the fact that someday my husband and I will be dead and we will leave our daughter without any siblings. And then I think about how much I like sleeping through the night (most of the time).

It feels like it will never end.

It stays dormant until somebody else shares their happy news, and then something, somewhere, hurts. Not as deeply as it once did, for sure. My joy for her is more quickly present than the first time around.

But the scars don't go away, I guess. You learn to live with them. You just look at the thing on the tip of your finger, and smile, and say,

Hi, booger.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

what now?

Since our daughter's birth,  my husband and I had agreed that one day we would try with our one frozen embryo to give her a sibling. If it worked, great. If it didn't, we would call it a day. Seven years of fertility treatment is enough.

I had made my peace with that.

I thought he had too.

Since our negative beta, he and I have not talked much about what we will do now, apart from ten seconds after I hung up with the nurse and said, "it didn't work," and his nearly-instant response was, "you know, we could try it again."


We decided to let it lie for awhile. Schedules have been busy and we've had company, and there hasn't been time to have the discussion. Probably in the next week or so. I am not sure what to do with the fact that I really feel done with all of this: sad, that there won't be another baby, so much so that I try not to think about it very much, but not desperately unhappy. Quite content, much of the time, with the life we have.

I think perhaps his hopes had gotten much higher than mine. After all, we'd done IVF twice before and I had, technically, gotten pregnant both times - only one viable pregnancy, of course, but this was the first phone call we'd had which was an instant negative. Game over.

When we started all this, seven years ago, we ended up in a discussion about how much money we were willing to spend on fertility treatments. I was willing to break the bank. Spend it all. We could earn more, but we only had a certain window of time to have a kid. I would have borrowed, begged, and stolen to get it done.

He, on the other hand, calmly and wisely (not that I assessed it this way at the time) said that we needed to acknowledge that all the money in the world might not get us a child.  That we could break the bank, beg, borrow, and steal, and end up broke, indebted, and childless. Which would suck. (He had a better way of putting it.) That we needed to be able to love the life, and live the life, we actually had, and not just long for a future we might not get.

Now, our positions seem to be reversed. So very odd, what this stuff does to you.