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Thursday, 08 October 2009

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Dee

Beautiful post...and I'm right there with you (well, except we haven't yet scheduled my husband's vasectomy). It is definitely bittersweet realizing that you won't ever carry another child; it's a chapter of your life that has come to a close (while others have opened).

After years of struggle to get/stay pregnant, to now think that it won't be a part of you, when is was formerly such a huge part, is almost unthinkable.

Until you start to realize the good of what is to come in the future. Years of your childrens' 'firsts,' and of course, being able to eat and drink whatever you like, LOL.

I've had to redefine myself several times over, as have you and so many others in this journey to build a family. It's a hard road no matter which way it takes you but the rewards are immeasurable.

Enjoy it all my friend. You deserve this happiness, you parent you ;)

serenity

Gorgeous post, Thalia. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. And enjoy the next chapter. You deserve all the happiness in the world, and I'm thrilled for you.

xxx

Aurelia

Well, I'm glad that you know you are done, and don't have any hesitation about that. And on behalf of families who may need stem cells someday to save a life--thank you so very much for thinking about donating them to research.

It is so incredibly important to do that, and it will save so much suffering.

I do think this is a wonderful post--but I truly wish you hadn't said you have failed at breastfeeding, because in my opinion, you haven't! You tried and tried and tried to breastfeed, and your kids got lots of it from pumping and you yourself, and who cares if it's not like the myths--you have done a whole heck of a lot!

You could never be a failure in my books. Only a hero.

Hairy Farmer Family

Wonderful, poignant writing, my dear. It's surely difficult to close that particular door. Brave lad, H, props to you!

Aurelia is bang on about the breastfeeding; Junior's had plenty of the good stuff!

Sami

Wonderful post... I am happy that your family is complete for you. That's fabulous. I will continue to read as you continue your journey of parenting after infertility.

Girl Detective

We, too, decided to be done with two, and considered ourselves lucky to be able to do the deciding. I feel no biological tugging even when I see cute infants on best behavior. We haven't made it permanent yet, but my OB told me that it should be his surgery not mine. "you've gone through enough," she said. (Two hard births with long recovery times.)

Alexicographer

It's a beautiful post. I do want another (still at one) but think I am also coming to peace with having just the one if, as is far more likely, that's what happens. And yet I see from your post that even when one is at peace ... one isn't (fully). So, in comparing my actual and mental state and yours, there's that to consider.

This is an obnoxious thing to say, but I am going to say it anyway ... when my DH got his vasectomy some 10+ years before he and I ever met, he'd have said what H said. He pretty much said it up until the moment, after his then-wife left him and he and I met and started dating and then broke up because I wanted to have children and he did not want to commit to raising more children and then got back together because he decided me + more kids was better than not me. If he'd frozen some semen before having the procedure done ... it could have made life so much easier. I'm not saying H would ever walk that path, but you just never know, you know? My DH sure wouldn't have predicted lots of what's come to pass. And freezing some vials seems like cheap insurance for a person considering volunteering for infertility. For whatever that's worth.

amanda

What a great post! I'm in the process of coming to terms with the fact that we're done. In an ideal world (ie. no infertility) I really do think we'd have more than one child. But then again, that world would not have brought us Adam.

So yes, I'm here now, too. A parent, amazing isn't it?

Melissa

I love this post Thalia. I am in a similar situation. A boy and a girl 19 months apart after years of IF. I'd love to have another child, but my husband is set that our family is complete. It's hard thinking that this is it and coming to terms with this finality is hard.

Flicka

Lovely post, Thalia! I am glad that you have peace with the size your family is right now. Both your children are so beautiful. Some days I can hardly believe that we are here...parents at last.

I'm glad you'll still be blogging. I'd miss you so much if you stopped. You've been with me since the begininng.

xoxo

geohde

You just made me sniff, Thalia.

I think I have one more singleton pregnancy in me, if I am so lucky, and then I'll be in a similar place. Bittersweet, isn't it?

g

DD

I've been struggling with what to do with our one embryo for a year now even though I'm convinced we are done. As others advised me, there's no harm in them staying where they are...for now.

electriclady

Beautiful post, T. The longer I'm at this the more I realize just how much luck has to do with it. We are, all of us who have managed to have egg and sperm and lining connect, incredibly incredibly lucky, on top of whatever work we've done.

If I manage to get pregnant and deliver again, I am definitely done. Will ask the OB for c-section/tubal ligation twofer package.

Kath

Dear Thalia, it's uncanny how your thoughts often mirror my own, and how our timing is so similar. M just made an appointment for a vasectomy too, and had the initial consult yesterday. We are done too, and I am completely at peace with that decision -- as you say, the sleeplessness is a big factor -- but there is a twinge still. I held a newborn the other day and felt such warmth, as if I was finally, finally getting the hang of it. A little late now, eh?

Yes, luck and chance are a huge part of this process. A roll of the dice. Maybe things will be easier or more predictable in the future, but for now it's really, really hard to accept how some of us come out the other side and others don't, no matter how much they do or know or deserve or pray or hope.

I'm glad you're not leaving. I don't know how I could have done it without you, and I bet there are many others who would say the same.

Amelie

Thanks for sharing. This step and all those before.

Claudia

It's been a journey, hasn't it? Nice post, hope time will bring you peace with your journey. Sounds like you're starting from a pretty good place!

Summer

We made the decision recently to go for one more sibling with our frozens and if it happens, our family is complete. And if it doesn't happen. Well, our family is complete. There will be some sadness there whether or not we get a #2, but I am hoping there will be no regrets.

I'm so happy to hear you will continue blogging. More and more there seems to be bloggers who have decided to continue while parenting after infertility and I hope we will keep building on it.

Tinker

Yay for being done! Yay for not having had to battle nearly as long as some! Yay for coming out the other side with a couple of sweet (and as your progeny, undoubtedly brilliant) victories.

It was interesting to me to learn that you started to blog as I was preparing for the arrival of our first. I hadn't yet discovered this world at that point, and like you, have been puzzling out what to do about it now that the basic premise has changed. I love my cohorts dearly, but am not so sure they all want to hear about the day-to-day of my little flock, or the assorted and sundry goings on in my life. I'm feeling less and less compelled to write everything down and am not sure exactly what that means for blogging.

As for the embryos, we've chosen a similar path. I thought I could donate to another couple but having thought about it for some time now can't fathom a full sibling to my little ones out there not being a full part of everything with my kids.

fisher queen

Nice post Thalia. As always, I find so much comfort and resonance with my old blog friends. Strange to think I've never met any of you in person.

I would like to hear more on letting go of the embryos. As you know, we had a little brother for the Bear, somewhat unexpectedly. We've got one embryo left, and I can't let go of it. I never imagined three kids (look at me, assuming it would work), but I can't bring myself to donation or research...maybe if we had that many, I'd feel differently. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for your writing over the years. Even though I've been absent for a long time, I think of our little club frequently. It was a lifesaver.

Erin

Sniffling along with the others. It is so hard to let go of that, even if it's the right decision for your family.

Thank you for all your writing and I'm glad you'll still be around.

Lisa

same boat here: a boy and a girl (in my case, twins) and there were two frozen embies which i kept on ice for the full five years because i couldn't decide (for dh, it was always a no) and then we donated them to research because i couldn't do the 'big' thing (i.e. donate to a couple) for the reasons you state and i couldn't just see them perish

but i'm not sure you ever come to terms with the finality of deciding 'no more', whether you've been on the infertility treadmill or not...

grateful to have travelled some of the journey with you (i wish blogging had been around when i was on my trip but i've enjoyed dipping into this community nonetheless, seeing you all as kindred spirits)

xxx

Sparkle

I think you may have hit a point where IF meets F - knowing you will not be having any more children. I've heard my fertile friends say the same thing - there's a sadness to knowing there will be no more.

I'm not sure I understand the need for a vasectomy, but maybe because in our case its so low a risk (accidental pregnancy), we wouldn't ever do it.

Great that you will keep blogging.

heleen

Easily pregnant or with a little help from ART, with just one child or with 10, in every women's life there will be a time when she has to decide 'No more'.

I'm 41 now with twins. Sometimes we think: Oh, just one little one, that would be so nice. So easy. So nice for the kids to have a little brother or sister...

But thinking about the costs of IVF, the risks (Downs, OHHS, or just no good eggs) we decide 2 is enough...

Vasectomy: Good idea. For your reassurance but probably not his: You can still get the sperm out with a needle, if need be.

Good luck being a mum, I've always enjoyed your blog.

motel manager

I have loved reading your journey and hope to read more about the next stage.

We have no embryos left, and I was relieved about that at first when I was pregnant with #2 -- that is, I didn't have to decide what to do with them. But now I find myself wanting a third, which is crazy in about 100 ways, not least of which is that I have pushed my luck far enough already. And I don't feel willing to do the whole IVF thing again, even though my experience was relatively good all in all.

For me, I have gotten past the breastfeeding thing -- at last. I just don't really care anymore. But fertile people can still get under my skin. Such a weird thing. Not a day goes by that I am not so thankful for my kids, though. And I'm the sort of person who's prone to worry and anxiety and never living in the moment, so I think this is a gift of infertility, if you will.

Angela

Thank you Thalia. For Everything.

We will likely never meet, and I don't have a blog so you will likely never know the details of my fertility journey, like I know yours, but they are similar to yours, and also very different in other ways...but over the last several years I have cried with you, and I have hoped with you, held my breath with you, and finally celebrated with you.
I wish you a lifetime of happiness with your beautiful family, and I encourage you to keep sharing. I love your writing, and I would love to hear how the rest of the story turns out.
Many many thanks.

Lut C.

How wonderful! Your family is complete! I don't remember at which point I stumbled upon your blog exactly, but I think before Pob was conceived. You've come a very, very long way since then.
I'm so glad I did find you, because you've shared a lot of knowledge and also shared the emotional side of the story. I don't know what I would have done without the IF community and you especially during the long dark months.

I recognize the sadness too. My nearly two-year old has no time for cuddles, like my one-year old had.

I'm not at a point to consider birth control possibilities of any kind, but if you feel complete is complete, then you're so right to do just that.
I can imagine it being hard to let go of frozen embryos once you decide you're done. Ours don't seem to survive the thaw, but still, I can imagine it would be hard for me to let go.

And I share your view on our luck with ART, it is part persistence and for a large part pure luck. A bit like parenting too, I think.

rockmama

Thanks for sharing this post, Thalia!

The Mr and I know that this child that I'm carrying will most certainly be our last and are also taking measures to make sure of this fact. Since my fertility difficulties stem from not being able to carry a pregnancy through to term rather than the actual process of GETTING pregnant, (which happens all to easily) I'll be undergoing a tubal ligation after the Squid's birth AND the Mr will be submitting to a vasectomy. We're TOTALLY not fooling around.

The Mr and I had exactly the same "what if one of us dies" conversation and came to exactly the same conclusion: Being in our mid 30's and entering the dating pool again, either one would have our work cut out for us as a single parent. Not only that, but after 5 pregnancies, my body has truly had enough.

I can completely understand the sadness that most women feel on making the decision to end their childbearing years, especially if the process has been difficult. However, I believe that I have never been a "baby" person and am all too happy to have a hearty, independent toddler crashing around rather than an infant. However, I'm prepared to believe that perhaps this is a reaction to the truly awful way my daughter came into the world and that the experience this time around might change my perspective a great deal.

So pleased that you have the family that you longed for. :)

lucky#2

So thankful that you have two healthy babies and you have shared your journey with us and encouraged us along the way too.

I have to assume that admitting that childbearing days is hard for every mother, but for an infertile it seems harder.

I love you, friend. (funny to think that I have never met you yet feel a sister connection with you and my IF friends.) Glad you aren't leaving for good and wish you were on Facebook! :) Email me if you are....

Betty M

I've been thinking about this post for the last few days as so much of it resonates for me. I knew after Z that I just wasn't prepared to shut the door to the oops option however unlikely it was although treatment wasn't an option. I think now though if this one doesn't go the distance I am done for good. I don't have the frozen problem for which I am grateful as I'm just not sure i could have left them there.

As you know for me there were no blogs before yours so I am very glad both that you now have your completed family so the fertility journey has reached its destination and that you are sticking around.

Angela

So many things for your heart to ponder. Are we ever over infertility? We just added triplets to our family thru the incredible gift of embryo donation. We have 2 embries left. It's been a very soul and heart searching time for us as well. Are we done? And now we're in the position we never thought we'd be in..with extra embryos. So I can relate to questions that arise. I just wanted to let you know what an AMAZING journey we've had watching these babies blossom and the sweet relationship we have with our donor family. It's a huge decision! I'll say a prayer for you and DH! There are many options for donating in the US. Miracles Waiting, Snowflakes Adoption Agency, and NEDC. God bless!

coffeegrl

Wow. What an amazing journey and ultimate conclusion. I'm currently pregnant with our second and optimistic about the outcome in June. Thus I've already started to wonder if this is the last time I'll be pregnant - our last child, etc. It's not a decision to be lightly particularly after such a long journey. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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