It’s been almost three years since we got our rainbow baby. Almost three years since we finally achieved what we had dreamed about for so long. Almost three years since we held our brand new baby in our arms – our baby. Our little girl. For many, that signalled the end of our infertility journey, but the scars left behind are hardly surprising.
Twenty four months, we tried. Twenty four months over three years. Twenty four months of peeing on endless peesticks, arranging donations, taking temperatures, wishing, hoping and then the conclusion. The inevitable period. Except for two of those twenty four cycles. It was cycle thirteen that we saw our first glimpse of a positive pregnancy test – that elusive “BFP” that people on the forums spoke about like it was an easy thing to achieve. The squinter of a line that never did really become a dark line. The blob on the ultrasound screen that never had a flickering heartbeat. The twelve hours of contractions that ended in the loss of our first baby. That life that was stopped before it even started. Then there was the recovery. We jumped right back on the horse and carried on trying, the echoes of “you’re more fertile after a miscarriage” in our minds.
It took another nine cycles. two of which involved clomid, which made me more than a little bit crazy. Another nine cycles of peeing on sticks, arranging donations, a dabble with Ovusense (which was a waste of everyone’s time) and then good old traditional temperature taking. We saw two lines! We did it! And this time my GP had been forward thinking enough to back up the clomid with progesterone pessaries, to keep baby “Chip” sticky. Through a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy, Chip became Eden. One induction later, she was in our arms.
I honestly think that infertility changed me as a person. It changed me as a mother even before I was one. It changed Amy and I as a couple. It provided me with an appreciation that I didn’t know was possible. It made me more aware that everybody is different and that some things that society sees as “the norm” are in fact the opposite. Oddly, I made some of my best friends through infertility and the fact that we went through that together when others turned the other cheek is a testament to the kind of friends I made. The kind of friends I needed and still need in so many ways.
Lately, people ask “when” we are going to have another. I think it’s because Eden is around that age where a lot of kids start getting siblings. For a little while, it was something we considered. We even asked Superhero Donor some time last year if he would be able to help and he agreed. But what happened, over time, was that we realised that the only reason we wanted another baby was because society said we should have one. It wasn’t because we want or need a second child. It was just what society said we “should” do. Don’t get me wrong – I’d got through it all again in a heartbeat for Eden. I just don’t think we need another child.
Would it be different if we could just “try and see what happens?” Maybe. Would it be different if we didn’t have infertility and loss behind us? Probably. But we do. And those scars are part of what makes Amy and I the parents that we are today. The experience may be far in the past, but infertility will always be a part of me. Just like a physical scar, the experience of going through infertility and loss will be something that shapes how I look at the world. Far from a negative, though, it reminds me to be grateful for the wonderful little human that we have.
(This post was inspired by something a colleague said today. You can read that post on our Facebook Page. Feel free to drop us a “like” while you’re there!)
Oh how timely your post is.
We want another baby, I’m not sure of my exact reasons, I know it’s not wholly for me. More because I want my daughter to have a sibling.
But six cycles in with no joy I’m getting those awful infertility feelings back again. Four years it took the first time, it nearly killed me emotionally. I really don’t know if I can do it again.
But, I think I need to.
I think these decisions are so so personal. I couldn’t do it again. I just couldn’t. But we don’t even really want another child.
When we were trying for Eden I always said if you keep trying, it might happen. But if you give up, it definitely won’t happen. That’s what kept us trying.
I hope it happens soon xx
As an extremely fertile person, there were times that I felt extreme quilt over being fertile, carrying full term, and giving birth to healthy children. Years after having my four beautiful baby girls I was told there was no doctor that would deliver more children for me, I had to have them all C-section. To many risks! The choice to have more was taken away from me. It made me think about all the people who had tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. I went back to my doctor and asked him if my uterus, falopien tubes, and eggs could be removed from me and transferred to someone who was infertile. His response took me back and broke my heart! He said no, people didn’t want my children they wanted their own! But, doctor what about the ones that would like the opportunity because they are infertile. A number of years later I had everything removed for health reasons. I cried myself to sleep that night over the opportunity that some one somewhere may have wanted or needed one little egg that my body willingly overproduced. That night I know I heard other women crying for the lost opportunity.
It’s hard isn’t it, because there’s literally no rhyme or reason to it. Especially working in a Maternity ward is see loss befall those who desperately wanted their baby and had a long journey, and then on the same day I see those who didn’t want to get pregnant but contraception failed them. Infertility really doesn’t discriminate and neither does fertility. Egg donor programmes are a bit of a mess, too. There are women wanting those eggs, but doctors are often too picky about the women that they allow to donate. It’s a crazy world!
I get that… infertility has scared me and I had to really dig deep to see if I felt like we should do it again… I struggled I really really struggled… eventually I decided that if it weren’t for infertility I would have already been trying to get pregnant… I love him so much and do anything for him… but it was hard to get him here… I do want another but I am afraid of going through it all again… when I think about IVF itself I am scared and want to say nope, not again… when I think about having another little me running around my heart swells with joy… glad you made the decision on whats best for you and your partner not what is deemed normal by society…
It’s weird isn’t it? It’s such an odd place to be in. For me, it’s about the idea of going through failure again. Going through doubting my body and the feelings that caused. It’s definitely a personal thing, but for us it was a nope to any more