Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Paths

There have been many conversations around our house lately (and some tears, to boot) regarding whether or not (and how, and when) Mister and I will (or will not) pursue bringing another child into our family. I, as you all know, very much want to experience pregnancy and child birth as part of my experience of being a mother. I also would very much like to have a biological child (as opposed to using Donor Eggs, which is also a consideration). Mister, however, couldn't care any less whether or not we have a biological child. He wants to have more children, but whether or not they come from our bodies, doesn't really make a difference to him. It may have to do with the fact that he, himself is adopted, and he is totally secure and happy within his family, and never felt like he was missing out on anything being an adopted child. He never felt the need to seek out his biological parents--he always says that he had the best parents anyone could ask for, so why go searching for something else?

And, that's sort of the attitude he has with our family. Baby Boy is the best child we could have ever hoped for (and he is) so why go looking for something more? When it's time to add a sibling to our family, adoption is a great way to do it. It worked out for us once, why dive into the murky waters of ART and why on earth would we go back to the emotional roller coaster of trying to conceive?

However, he does understand that it is important to me to at least try. Or so he says.

But (and I mean a BIG BUT) we do not, at this point have the means to do IVF or any other expensive fertility treatments. We are still in debt from the adoption (and other things) so, there isn't any money to pursue ART. And, we certainly won't be doing our lives, relationship, or Baby Boy's future any good to go further into debt at this point.

Mister is a logic and statistics kind of person. He looks at the odds, and makes unemotional decisions based on reality. Chances of getting pregnant, even with IVF, are on the low side. The stakes are high, financially (and emotionally, too) so why gamble? Go with the safe bet, and pursue a path that has a 100% guarantee of having a baby at the end of it: adoption.

How can I explain my deep longing to become pregnant, and carry a baby to term? How can I fly in the face of such sound logic and say, "No! We have to choose the other path!"?

Can I?

Even in the absence of trying any expensive ART, Mister does not want to even try the "Natural" path. (Acupuncture, herbs, diet, yoga, etc.) That, too, he says, is expensive. (It can be). And why would we spend any money on something that isn't going to work anyway, when we need to spend any money we can spare on paying down our debt and putting money away for Baby Boy's college?

I don't know, how can we? Why should we?

Is the fact that I feel deep, deep down in my bones that there is a child that is meant to come to us through my body. That, though the challenges are many, that I deserve the opportunity to pursue my dream, so that I can feel that I have done all I can before I give up the dream.

Is that crazy?

Of course, I don't want to push our family into financial ruin. Not for this dream or any other.

But aren't both people within a relationship entitled to pursue their dreams, at least, in a responsible way, as long as both partners can agree? Can't there be a way to move forward that that allows me to feel some empowerment in knowing I am doing WHAT I CAN to pursue optimum fertility?

I am willing to give up many things (and I already have) to make room in the budget: Therapy, manicures, hair stylist (I have actually started cutting my own hair--and coloring of course). I am no clothes horse, and I drive a hand-me-down car. All this I do without complaint. The one thing I want, in the absence of being able to afford medical treatements, is to go to acupuncture twice a month and take whatever herbs my TCM prescribes.

This, I feel, at least, will promote and foster whatever fertility I may still possess.

Am I crazy?

Still there is another side of me that says, "I am tired." I am tired of the trying, the wanting, the hurting, the jealousy and the arguments. There are plenty of times where I look at my son, and think, "This is enough. I am happy." Those moments are wonderful.

Maybe one day soon, I will come to a place where I am totally, 100% fine with not trying anymore to get pregnant.

In the meantime, the stress of doing NOTHING is too great.

Maybe I am crazy. This is sounding a little schizophrenic, even to me.

But, for now, I am doing the following:
Acupuncture 2x month. (I have a new acupuncturist, who specializes in fertility issues, and I looooove her).
Whatever herbs (bleeech!) she prescribes.
Lots of vitamins, supplements (folic acid, fish oil, CoQ10)
Trying (TRYING!) to eat right. No white flour, sugar, caffeine, alcohol.
Trying to gain some weight. (I am one of those annoying women who actually complains about being too skinny.) But it's true, if you saw me, you'd probably tell me to eat a sandwhich.

As soon as my busy season winds down, I hope to do more for my body, such as yoga.

I'm trying to find some time each day to breath deeply. I need to learn to meditate.

I'm trying (TRYING) to think positive thoughts. I know, I know, I've even referred to myself as Miss Negativity. I'm trying to change that. Some creative visualization and positive thoughts can't hurt, at least.

I am going to see a new RE next month to get a second opinion on my diagnosis and prognosis. This is purely a fact-finding mission, since, as you know, IVF is not an affordable option right now. If it even IS an option, with my eggs, at all. Well, I'm going to find out what the deal is.

Two paths, one already traveled, one unknown and full of potholes. Which one will we take?


Tiff said...

It's a huge decision...either way you go.
I wish I had better advice, but I can TOTALLY see where you both are coming from.
I wish you luck seeing the new RE...keep us updated on how that goes.

TeamWinks said...

That doesn't sound crazy. The desire to have children and what path they travel to get there is intensely personal. It's a tough call, and perhaps one only time will tell.

Kami said...

I don't think it is crazy either. I think the drive to have children - and get pregnant and carry a child - in an innate desire and logic has very little, if anything, to do with it.

I am getting used to the idea of not having my genetic child, but I am not yet ready to give up on carrying a child. I know IVF with DE is not 100%, but some clinics have an 80% live birth rate . . . Just throwing it out there.

I hope you can find a path that makes all of you happy.

bonniekay said...

It's not crazy to listen to what your heart is telling you. In fact, it's critical. Not the only factor to be considered, obviously, but it would be crazy to ignore that it IS a factor, and a valid one.