Tuesday, September 11, 2007

One of the things I haven't been writing about

When I wrote about whether one should talk (or write) publicly about trying to get pregnant, Chris and I weren't trying yet. Technically, we still aren't. We are planning, not by timing sex or considering names, but by visiting the fertility docs. Last month we went in for our mandatory $300-and-no-insurance-will-cover-it consultation. It went a lot more smoothly than last time.

Last time, I started crying the moment we sat down in the doctor's office. I remember looking at the photographs of his wife and children and resenting his success. Every time I looked at him I thought: "stop being so cheerful, you don't know what I am going through, you person with children."

This time I sat in the consultation room, cheerfully discussing our last round of invitro fertilization three years ago, secretly thrilling when the doctor spoke glowingly of our high quality fertilized eggs. The meeting took longer than I thought it would, as the doctor and resident kindly asked about my pregnancy and labor, things that technically don't have much to do with whether the IVF itself is considered successful.

I have been wanting to write about moving toward a second round of IVF. Last time I wrote about it secretly, only making my words public after I started this blog, more than a year after the pain and fear of the process were behind me. I am finally moved to write about it after reading the words of other people discussing their own struggles. That and the fact that I am thinking about this a lot lately, and it feels like I am hiding something if I don't write about it here.

I've written this before, but during the months and years of trying to get me pregnant, and then of testing for possible reasons for our infertility, I felt alone. I felt we were the only ones with this problem. I was so completely wrong, something that I became aware of once I started talking to other people about our efforts. I heard other couples' stories and those of friends' sisters, cousins, uncles, friends. The research I have read suggests as many as ten percent of reproductive age couples deal with infertility, but it doesn't actually matter to me exactly how common this is. I know we are not alone.

Going through IVF the first time was scary, uncomfortable, expensive and emotionally draining. This time it will likely be significantly less intense on all fronts. We've gone through this before, and successfully. Last time I knew that if we could never have a child, I would feel devastated. If we can not have another, I will be sad, but I will not be crushed. Ada is fantastic and Chris and I will be fine if our family never grows past three.

On some days, I like the idea of keeping our family small. Like many parents of a single child, I wonder why we should not leave well enough alone. I love Ada and know that the first year of life with a second child will be hard on her as well as us. But I also love my sister, and I want Ada to have a sibling. I can't guarantee Ada will be as close to her sibling as I am to mine, but writing on a day when talking to Karen was once again better than therapy, I want to give Ada a chance for that kind of relationship.

So I will be writing about what we are going through this time around, letting you know that I've had a trial transfer and started acupuncture. This means that when we have the eggs implanted, writing about whether the process worked. This means discussing the pregnancy early, much earlier than I did last time, when I held superstitiously to the rule "do not talk about pregnancy until the second trimester." I know that this means that I may be writing about failed IVF, or about a miscarriage, or about the top of my head falling off when I find out I'm carrying twins. All these things scare me, but it is because they scare me that I want to write. If anything bad happens, I will need to write about it. With all that, you might as well know where we're heading, right? And hopefully I will just get to write about fear, and love, and nausea. Of explaining my expanding belly to Ada and wondering when to tell my office.

The thing I know this time is that I am not alone. You are here with me, so close I can practically feel your hand on my elbow. You have told me your secrets, shared your hopes and fears. Now it is my turn. I am scared, but I am not alone.

8/28/07 Concert on the lawn
Here's to sharing! We are talking about juice, right?


  1. Best of luck. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

  2. All fingers crossed -- I very much hope you get to 1) have a baby and 2) keep your head on. I'm glad, too, that you'll be talking about it all here.

  3. i'll be here reading the whole way. yay for the potential of a new nonlinear baby! fingers crossed and all that.

  4. We really love you guys, Nora. And whatever you need (even if it's a really big bag of baking soda), we're here.

  5. Nora, I'm definitely here.


  6. I'm here! I'm here! Doesn't it feel good to get that off your chest and to know what your plan is instead of thinking about it over and over? I can how you must have let out a big sigh at the end of writing this.

    I'll be waiting and hoping for you (and I won't even be resentful if you get pregnant before me because that is sooooo first pregnancy.:))
    If, at any time, you feel overwhelmed or need a virtual hug I'll be ready..(but you won't. Only positive thoughts..)

  7. You're right: you are not alone. And I always found talking with others who were there, or had been, or frankly, just talking to an understanding audience helped me.

    It was much easier the second time for us; I hope it is smooth and short, all the best it can be for you, too.

    And my goodness she is adorable...oh that baby roundness, and little curls.

    Using My Words

  8. (un)relaxeddad9/13/2007 6:12 AM

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. And I think you're very brave!

  9. Hey - good luck. A community of fellow IF folk makes things easier - I found it through on-line forums and off-line ad-hoc local groups - but the blog world is amazing.

    And yes, you aren't alone.

  10. thanks for your honesty and your willingness to let us be with you during your journey. as for me, i'll be out here cheering you on and sending silent "NO TWINS!" mojo your way.


  11. when I started my blog it was in pursuit of the release for honesty you allude to here. I was drowing in the wrastle of work, failing child care arrangements and a job share shutdown... all on top of a "surprise" pregnancy ... I know that the little chatter our keyboard characters afford us is a worthwhile/helpful/useful bit of work.

    Good luck. But didn't you read my post yesterday?