I will never be pregnant again.
Really. We have decided that we don't want any more children. The newborn stage with Junior has persuaded me that no matter how much I love my children, I don't need to be that sleep deprived again. Nor do I really want that emotional struggle with breast feeding again. If we'd started earlier, if I had that much more energy, if we even had the option of conceiving easily, when we wanted to, then it would be on the cards. But two children is perfect for us, and I can't help thinking that having three would start to get very complicated in the parenting stakes - speaking as one of three children.
Just because we don't want them, doesn't mean we wouldn't have a surprise. It's very unlikely, but it has happened to others in our community. Well, we are taking steps to remove that option. H has had the preliminary consult for a vasectomy, and has said he will make the appointment before the end of the week. He said, very forcefully, when I pushed him on whether he was happy with permanently ending his fertility, that even if he ended up in another relationship because I had died, he would have enough on his hands with his two children and would not want more. He is committed to the family we have.
We also have several frozen embryos. I can't actually remember how many, somewhere between 6-8. But they were never the best embryos from any cycle, and if we wanted to use them it would be a long and probably painful process of suppression, estrogen, trigger, progesterone, transfer, and possibly a chemical pregnancy or two before we were done. And besides, we don't want any more children. We don't want any more children.
As others have written, though, it's hard to let frozen potential children go even when you know a pregnancy might kill you, let alone because having more children just isn't right for you and your family. Nevertheless, I am psyching myself up to remove our frozen embryos as an option. We will donate them to research. There is no option that I know of to donate them to another family, and even if there was, I'm too old to be an egg donor in the UK so fairly sure that would rule us out. I'll make that call tomorrow. Or the next day. Or after the weekend, perhaps. Well, we have mentally let them go, at least.
With the vasectomy/donation double hit, we will have no other chances to be pregnant again. And I am sad about that, no matter how I think through the misery of sleep deprivation and the pain of failing again to breastfeed my children successfully. I am sad that Pob will not have a sister. I am sad that I will never again use the little white Egyptian cotton babygro with the two little embroidered silver feet on the breast, the babygro which was the first thing I ever bought for Pob. I am sad that I'll never again have that newborn on my chest, conked out between one suck and the next. I have fallen in love so hard with my babies, both times. I fell in love at different points, and it didn't preclude moments of despair and frustration at the screaming infant at a later point. But I won't get to fall in love like that again.
It's sad, but it's wonderful, too. Wonderful that I got to experience that at all. Five and a half years ago we started trying to conceive, and four and a half years ago I started writing about it. There were moments on the journey when I was convinced it would never happen for us. And then moments where I thought Pob would be an only, and mourned for her and for us that sibling relationship. But now here we are, a family of four, and those who meet us now assume it was all smooth sailing - after all, our children are only 21 months apart, and who would 'choose' that? And we have the boy and the girl that people assume must be what we wanted. We have been so incredibly lucky.
And yes, some of that luck is because I pressured and argued, researched and fought for the best treatment, the best treatment as soon as it was possible, fast, no waiting. But that's just a small part of how we got here. An important part, but a small part. Others argue and fight and research and it doesn't happen for them. I have no rationale for why it happened to us other than the weird quirks of my biology, the randomness of that sperm and that egg, and that sperm and that egg and that test tube and that embryologist and that catheter and that drug and the resulting embryo happening to hit the uterine lining just so, and find just the right blood vessel to colonise, and...
So the fertility journey is done. So what, pray, am I doing with this blog, with this blog title? Not writing much, that's for sure. But this isn't goodbye. It's my space, it's our community even if the community I am truly part of now is more naturally those parenting after infertility, with a strong emotional connection on my part, if not on theirs, to those who were in the trenches with me but who didn't make it out, whose embryos never quite found the right bit of the uterine lining. I will try to change the title to more accurately reflect my life now, but I will remain here until they consign Typepad to the dust. The blog got me through, you got me through, through infertility and pregnancy and breastfeeding and the start of parenting.
Junior is stirring. This post didn't end up being what I thought it was going to be. But it is what it is. And I am here, now. A parent.