Friday, April 15, 2011

Still Sub-Fertile

Yesterday was my doctor's appointment to increase my dosage of synthetic hormones.  I started at 3 months of 50 mg, did three months of 100 mg and now next month will see 150 mg.  Please say a prayer for my husband, the recipient of all crabbiness from excess hormones :) My doctor says that, while we're having difficulty having more children, we've had pregnancies - so we're not infertile, just sub-fertile.  So apparently my fertility is scoring a D instead of an F in school :P

I haven't noticed any real snappiness on my part (which isn't to say my husband hasn't noticed it!), but I have noticed that I'm not as reasonable as I used to be.  Hopefully that'll return in time :)

I was contemplating posting this morning and I was thinking about our decision to be pretty open about our struggles to have more children.  I know not everyone makes that choice when faced with such a personal issue, but looking back, I feel like the decision to be open about our struggles was almost a self-defense move and it's definitely been freeing.  After Little Bean entered the world only 15 months after our wedding, we received LOTS of questions from relatives, friends, and virtual strangers about when the next little bundle of joy would be arriving.  The first couple years, we just smiled or would tease that we were working on it.  Fast forward another three years which has included a near-death experience with a tubal pregnancy and our lives are much more an open book.

The trade-off to privacy is being able to talk about it matter-of-factly with people - and thankfully avoid many of those questions about when we're going to "let" Little Bean have a sibling.  Another benefit has been the support of the homeschooling community.  A fellow mom brought a meal when I was recovering from the tubal pregnancy.  Another mom has offered me a copy of a book that gives nutrition information for supporting fertility.  I'm hopeful the book will help us have more children, we shall see.  I'll be sure to let you know about any really weird food I'm eating :)

The biggest benefit of infertility has been growth.  I'm a better person than I would have been had I gotten my way from the beginning.....shocking, I know...getting your own way all the time DOESN'T make you a better person :P  Even the tubal pregnancy has brought benefits.  I'm a more compassionate person than I ever could have been without experiencing such a painful loss.  It's a hard-won way to grow, but what's best for us isn't always what we would choose....probably best that we're not in charge of that.  Kind of like a child taking bitter medicine, good for them - yes, pleasant - no. 

The little ray of hope that's left after 5 years of openness without another child comes from the little moments every now and then.  A couple years ago, I was talking with a friend about the struggle to have more children.  Her 6 year-old child walked up to me and said, "you're going to have another baby".  I smiled and told her that there are no guarantees, but that I certainly hoped so.  She looked me in the eye and said, "no, I know you're going to have another baby".  I filed it away as an interesting conversation that might one day be proven insightful. 

Truth be told, I've been feeling lately that these hormones aren't going to work and have been slowly resigning myself to the thought of never carrying a child again.  It's been a difficult thing to face and I've continued on with the treatments and am trying what I can to help improve the odds because I know that someday, I'll want to have no regrets or what if's about what I could have done.  When this is over, I'll know I did every moral thing I could have.

I hadn't thought about that conversation with the 6 year-old in a while, until last week.  I was working out with a friend when her 3 year-old came downstairs and said something about babies in tummies.  I told her that, no, I didn't have a baby in my tummy.  She then told me that I would have a baby in my tummy next year.  Of course, a 6 year-old or a 3 year-old aren't scientific sources, and time will tell if they're right, but I choose to see those moments as little messages of hope from heaven, sent through innocent children.  The little messages are telling me, "be faithful, put your trust in God, he still hears your prayer".  Perhaps we'll have more children "from my tummy" or perhaps our family will grow through adoption, I just know it's nice to hear from the mouth of babes every now and then that God is listening :)

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