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Sunday, 02 September 2007

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Donnie

I'm immediately reminded that I haven't re-invited you to my blog yet. Will dash off to do that as soon as I finish here.

But. About the post. I think it's perfectly natural to think about #2. I did. I still do. And I feel all the things you feel about the why's of having another.

I hope you get there, Thalia. Just remember that sometimes when a body figures out how to do this pregnancy thing, often #2 can happen a little more smoothly. I don't have a lot of insider info on endo, but I do know that breastfeeding can halt ovulation and menstration, and the menstration thing is what makes endo bad, right?

off to invite you...
-D.

Kath

Dear Thalia, I can understand you so well. I'm having very similar thoughts. (I always seem to say that in response to your posts, don't I? But what do you want, truth or originality)

The materials I've read on breastfeeding (a friend of mine is a great pusher of such materials, though I've told her I plan to breastfeed anyway) seem to suggest that it has a positive effect, keeping endo at bay. (Caveat: Though there are always oblique references to studies, I'm not sure about the scientific rigor involved.)

Bittermama

I think it's completely normal to be having those thoughts when you know how much you struggled to get pregnant in the first place and that you'd always wanted more than one child. We started trying for a second when G was 6 months old and it was a long road from there, but mostly because we tried on our own for longer than we should have.

My two cents of assvice for the day: you clearly want a second child very badly. You're being realistic about what that might take and about the fact that it might not happen at all. So, don't f*** around with your chances while the clock is ticking. Talk with H. now about a plan because when you have a newborn, the conversation won't be as calm as it will be now. You should seriously consider doing a thaw cycle with your frozen embryos as soon as you're willing - 6 months seems reasonable to me - and then be prepared to move on to more fresh cycles if necessary. Yes, pregnancy with an infant to care for is very hard and potentially having two children very close together in age is scary, but it's obviously something you've always wanted and I think it's less likely to take over your life and ruin your precious first years with Pob if you have a clear plan in mind and you just do it rather than having regrets about trying on your own for too long and then having to give up.

Damn... that was awfully dreary! I obviously still have a lot of pent-up resentment about how we handled infertility the second time around.

statia

We went through those thoughts too, but pregnancy was really hard on my body. Physically, I'm not recovered from it yet. One isn't so bad, and I guess for us, we're completely content with one. In fact, every night, we count our blessings that we only have one. And it's not because the Mini is a bad kid, he's a great kid and fun, but it's very exhausting. Every single bit of it. And I don't know that I can go through that again. If I even mentioned a second to the hubs, he'd probably swing at me with a cast iron skillet.

But at the end of the day, I think of him as an only, and it does seem lonely.

Erin

I completely understand what you're thinking and how you're feeling. I loved being pregnant with P so much that part of my wanting another child is to experience that again. Infertility takes so much from us, it's hard to accept that it might also take our dream of our child having a sibling. It's the reason we're adopting--we wanted P to have siblings so badly that it outweighed my desire to have another biological child. That's not at all to say that H is wrong, it was just what we eventually felt was right.

I think you're both perfectly within reason to talk about it now, to try to come up with a plan now. Keep in mind, though (and this is where the assvice starts), that a 6 month old baby is still very, very young. Still nursing, possibly not sleeping the night reliably--dealing with the stress of IVF again with such a little baby might be a lot. Why not just agree that, when you feel ready when Pob is born, you'll talk about a timeline? That way you don't feel like you're missing a deadling if you decide to wait a little longer. I know you're worried about your age being an issue, but you also don't want to stop enjoying Pob's babyhood as you get caught in the stress of IF treatments.

And, FWIW, exclusive breastfeeding is quite good for suppressing endometriosis, from what I've heard.

Jen

I don't think it's crazy to already be hoping/planning for #2--with a limited time frame and known issues, it's quite smart, actually.

As for endo & breastfeeding, my guess is that as long as your period is suppressed while breastfeeding, then the endo won't flourish. I base this utterly non-scientific belief on pure hope and the knowledge that both pregnancy and birth control pills are supposed to help stop the endo growth, and I would deduct from that that any period-free time is a good thing to slow/halt endo growth.

Motel Manager

The endo question has been top of mind for me, too. I am probably going to go on one pill or another in the hopes of suppressing my endo until we are ready to TTC#2, which won't be too long from now.

I suspect BFing suppresses the endo since you are essentially in a menopausal state while BFing, but I've had chronic low supply, and who knows how that affects endo? Does it let it skulk back in? Anyway, I've been told to go on a low-estrogen BCP since estrogen and endo love each other too much.

Simone

Right now, I am so uncomfortable. I keep telling myself that if I survive the next 100 days I will not put my body thru pregnancy again (dare I GET the chance!) I'm sure that will change down the track....but it is really hard work!

Bea

I don't think you'd give yourself a second's peace, let alone a whole minute. It looks like soon you won't have time to worry, so you might at least get a few months' break from thinking about all of this. Your thoughts/plans so far sound very sensible, but of course you'll have to see how they pan out in real life.

Bea

Betty M

I remember that feeling so well. In some ways the desire for a sibling for L was more painful than the initial infertility. Particularly as it was only on the sibling quest that I experienced m/c and cycle failure - oh the naivety of those who had success 1st time out. We probably tried on our own too long post L but I didn't want to stop b/feeding and unfortunately it is totally incompatible with treatment. Those nights when she went cold turkey before I started on our FET were horrible. Now we are blessed with Z too I still harbour desires for a 3rd (which is kind of ridiculous because I have never ever contemplated having that many) but I have drawn the line on more treatment. I think you are right to start thinking about it before you get into the sleep deprived delirium of the early months with POB when this will probably be the last thing on your mind. It is so exciting to see you so close!

Kay/Hanazono

I've been waiting for you to write about your plans for the next baby, and I'm so glad you did. I know what you mean about feeling like it's jumping the gun a bit with Pob not having arrived yet, but I think it makes perfect sense to start talking about it now with H.

My only piece of assvice is to schedule your next meeting with the RE for just after the new year, when you're still only 40, instead of waiting 6 months to have the first meeting. Being able to say that you are 40 may make a big difference in how you feel about the cycle, and even a bigger difference (based on my recent experience) with how your medical team approach the cycle. Honestly, the things we have to think about.

Nearly there, friend!

Rachel Inbar

I stopped breastfeeding my first so that I could start trying for #2 (at 6 months) even though my IVF cycle was cancelled, I never regretted it. I remember looking at her and thinking how much I didn't want her to be an only child...

As for kids being close together or going through a pregnancy with a baby - it really depends on the baby and on how much help you have with her. My last two are 1 year and 11 days apart and it went by so fast that suddenly I had another baby. I was home with both until the older one was 18 months and it was fine (at 18 months, I was definitely ready for her to go into some part-time daycare). The older one was a really easy baby & the younger, really difficult (colic, allergies, refused a bottle, had to be held constantly until 10 months, etc.) If it had been the other way around, I never would have done it (yes, the second one was planned). Anyway, my point was that having babies close together isn't necessarily something to avoid (mine are now almost 2-1/2 and almost 1-1/2).

Ann

Sounds like you're nesting :)

To answer your question, I think breastfeeding suppresses endo.

caroline

Isn't it funny how we wish for our miracles - get them and then wish for another one?

The wonder of pregnancy made me momentarily forget about the infertility battle I had just waged - I had beat the odds and felt like I could beat them again. I think it is totally normal that you are thinking about #2 already - I think everyone who has been through what you have can understand.

On a side note - it is hilarious that everyone goes through the ritual of the bathroom cabinet clean out - I think it is a vital step in the journey :)

I keep waiting for the post announcing POBs arrival!!!

Shelley

Oh Thalia, the really nice thing is that you don't have to decide about anything right now.

I have an only myself, and it might turn out that she remains that way. The whole second-child thing occupies my mind a lot right now -- and I haven't been through half of what you've been through with infertility. Still. I do have enough problems getting/staying pregnant, and ambivalence/terror of trying again, that I have a teeny sense of how all-consuming the question of #2 can be. I wish you peace as you get ready for the big event, and as you look toward the future.

Anna

A minute's peace? What on EARTH is that?!

I really hope (first off, that all goes well with your little Pob) that you're able to have a second child. May you be that anomoly that gets pg while nursing. OR at some point and time after the birth of Pob. Sranger things have happened. May life be so strange for you. Keeping everyhing crossed for an uneventful delivery. Yay!

Tinker

I don't think that the clean-up (or the thinking it encouraged) was a bad thing. Personally I find such things especially cathartic.

As for thinking about #2 without having #1 on the ground yet, you're not alone. I was only just pregnant this time around and already contemplating the FET that would follow the birth (hopefully) that still hasn't happened.

I don't think you're unreasonable or out-of-line wanting a sibling for your little girl. How long to try for that goal is obviously the most difficult question to answer. I've been told to follow your heart and that you'll know when the time has come. It would be so awful to go through your life wondering what could have been if you had tried for another couple of months, wouldn't it? I don't think you have to set yourself a deadline just yet. Wait until the haze of the first few postpartum months has lifted before thinking on it too much -- that alone could influence your decision (it did mine).

Vanessa

I've been doing the clean out as well, and had almost exactly the same experience as you did-I found an old Puregon pen, a whole box of unused FRER hpts, loads of tampons. I too wondered about the future and thought about the past. Unlike you, though, we're done now and there will be no more attempts in tue future, but at the same time it's something to marvel at, the where we've been and the thoughts behind it all.

beagle

I can relate to much of this. I don't have number one yet (by adoption in our case, so none of the love of pregnancy factor here) but I've always wanted two children. I'm also in a similar time/age crunch. My worry is more along the line of affording two adoptions and the chances of being "chosen" twice. But the core issues are the same:

Struggling with the frustration of not being able to take for granted, not having the "choice" if you will, of how many kids we can/will have. And the challenge of, once we have the first, giving enough of ourselves to that child while trying for a second because ART or adoption are so damn draining.

I was and am an only child, it's been mostly fine. Still, I always wanted to give my child(ren) a sibling.

I imagine you'll find a way to do what you need to, while maintaining the perspective to still give what you want to, to your POB while you hope and try for that sibling.

anon

I understand your thinking, since I also thought the same. (And still do.)
But you should know, in all these calculations, that some fertility clinics expressly forbid treatment until one year after a c-section. This varies somewhat between clinics and doctors (though in my enormous research hospital clinic, the answer is an emphatic no). But perhaps you should prepare yourself beforehand for that eventuality. Pregnancy quickly after a c-section can have some rather serious risks.

Lut C.

I can relate to the mix of making plans for the future and still being frightened about how this will work out.

Kristin

I think it's normal psychosocially to be thinking about a second, but also biologically. We're hard and soft wired for it, so I don't think there's anything to feel bad about.

I had an easy first pregnancy but a tough delivery and early babyhood with my first. I decided to try again with better info for the delivery, and ended up with a tough pregnancy, an easygoing baby, then a long struggle with PPD, and once he turned 6 months, it's been sibling struggles ever since. I often feel like urging people to throw off the shackles of the conventional wisdom that says it's better to have two, and suggest doing alternative things like increasing interaction with neighbors and cousins--building community rather than having a second.

I love my second child, and wouldn't undo him or our family for the world, but I can now see the possibilities for an only child that I couldn't back then.

3 days a week I have my 18mo at a babysitter and my 4 yo home with me and in preschool, so I've had to reverse engineer some alone time for them, particularly the older.

MoMo

Thalia...I can totally relate. S and I are starting to talk about #2 but it scares me to think about it. I know that time is not on my side and I should start thinking about it. I don't want to be bitter and angery again, especially with B--I don't want to rob him of anything, but at the same time I don't want him to be alone when we are gone. Sigh...IF always finds its way back.

PBfish

#2, oh boy. I definitely feel you on this one. I'm trying not to dare to hope that I'll ever have the good fortune to get pregnant again. But still, but still...each month I hold my breath a litte...

Hetty

I think it's perfectly reasonable to wonder if perhaps a sibling might be one of the best "things" you could give little Pob. I've known a couple of adult Only Children that were just delightful people, but I've known an awful lot more that were snots. (Though that may be true of the general population as well!) And as you say, only children do have a lot of expectations on their shoulders.

That said, I've found that now, after our boys are here, my attitude toward the genetic/not genetic question has really changed. Before, I was hell-bent on having genetic children of my own. Now that they are here, if we went for a daughter, I don't think I'd care if she were genetically related or not. It's out of my system. I bring this up only to point out that perhaps your husband's attitude toward adoption may change in a few months. It might be worth revisiting then (if you want to also, that is).

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