I found at least a small burst of that energy some of you mentioned in the last post, and cleaned out the bathroom cabinets. I am a terrible pack rat, and so this was a real voyage through memories, compounded by the realisation that Friday was the 10th anniversary of the day I left my home in the US to travel back to the UK. Easy to remember, given it was the day Diana died, and we woke up to the news on the radio in the middle of my bare apartment. So I've been thinking a lot about the changes of those last 10 years, marvelling that at least some of the friendships I formed in the US have survived that separation, feeling embarassed that H and I have been in this house 4 years and only now are we unpacking some of the boxes from that move.
But back to the bathroom cabinets. They're really cupboards, about 3 metres across and 1 metre high, and they were pretty packed, so you can imagine the accumulated junk. A LOT of outdated medicine. A box full of broken earrings and brooches I've never managed to get mended. The headpiece I wore to my brothers' wedding, 8 years ago almost to the day, still in its very fancy box. A huge number of different boxes of tampons, different sizes, different brands. Enough to keep me going for about 6 months, perhaps. A pair of stretchy hospital knickers and a 'maternity pad' left over from the ERPC on my miscarriage. A lot of old pots of nail varnish, all now separated and mottled, and in colours I really wouldn't wear, even if I still did manage to do my own pedicures. Lots of old makeup, some of it from my wedding. The sponge bag I took on honeymoon, with the sun cream we used on honeymoon in it - the smell was very evocative. Two puregon pens, each in their own bags, with spare needles, lots of swabs, etc. Five pregnancy tests. Four OPKs (and I'm just waiting for the partridge in the pear tree).
I threw a lot away. I put some stuff aside to take in for the collection we have at work for a local homeless shelter - shampoos I tried and didn't like, moisturiser samples, etc. I sorted everything into categories and boxes, and put it back neatly. I thought about the past.
And then I looked at those pregnancy tests, and the puregon pens, and thought about the future. I'm sure you'll all think this is utterly weird, but I've been thinking a lot about number 2. If there ever will be a number 2, that is. I've loved being pregnant so much, despite the aches and pains and the intermittent terror. I'd like to be pregnant again, but mostly I'd love for Pob to have a sibling. Yes I know only children are fine and wonderful, but it's not how I imagined life for our child. I think it's a lot of pressure, to have all that weight of parental expectations, and it's potentially very lonely later in life. It's hard not to have anyone who really shared the day-to-day annoyances of your childhood. I know I've discussed this before, but I can't find the post right now, and it's not the post I want to write now, so I'll stop there on that line of reasoning.
The point is that part of me is trying to reconcile this desire for another chid, this desire to experience pregnancy again, with the realistic notion that the likelihood I'll be able to bear another child is very low. Look what it took to get us to this point. By the time we start trying again I'll be 41, our chances will be low and declining of conceiving and carrying to term again. Yes, we've got enough frozen embryos for at least one cycle, and I'm not going to leave them in the freezer, but given previous experiences I don't hold out much hope that we'd be successful with them. I'm prepared to try another fresh cycle, just to see how we do. I'm prepared to try naturally, but unsure how we control the endometriosis while we do so (and by the way, anyone know what's likely to happen to endo while breastfeeding? Should I be considering some way of suppressing it?).
We will try. H and I have discussed it. He's keen to put a time limit on it - say 18 months from when we start, which I imagine will be from when Pob is about 6 months old - and then call a halt. He's not (currently) prepared to discuss adoption for a second child. He wouldn't be keen on donor eggs. He doesn't want trying for a second child to take over our lives in the way infertility round 1 did. I understand all of that. I want to be able to focus on Pob and doing the best for her, not on being consumed by a new round of infertility. But what if I think having a sibling is one of the best things I can do for her?
This whole train of thought is really quite bizarre when part of the time I'm still worried that Pob won't make it - like every time she's been quiet for a couple of hours. On the one hand I don't have my first born yet, on the other I'm worried about procreative strategies for the next, but unlikely, one. You'd think I'd give myself a minute's peace, no?
I think it's a combination of being the kind of person who always finds something to worry about, with the enjoyment of this pregnancy and wanting to experience it again (although knowing it would be very different with a small person to look after at the same time), the worry I've had for a long time about parenting an only child, as well as wanting the best for Pob. And cleaning out the bathroom cabinets, that's where the trouble really started. I knew it was a bad idea. It might have generated cleaner, neater cabinets, and a large black rubbish sack of trash, but it got me thinking. Always a bad idea.