Friday, November 12, 2010

NaBloPoMo 12: Type A and gold

I am a planner.  It helps me feel more relaxed when things are done ahead of time.  I am a completely Type A person--a "gold" according to the book that I read that classifies people as certain colors.  When we travel, I like to have the house generally clean and neat before we go because otherwise, I get stressed again the minute I walk through the door and see the house.  I almost always make a packing list for traveling, for myself, for the kids, and for the general family stuff that needs to come.  One time, I tried making a list for Jason.  I asked him what he wanted on it.  "Clothes" was his only input.  I gave up on making lists for Jason.  But there's usually a to-do list somewhere in my near vicinity.  I just feel more organized when I know what needs to be done and how it's going to go.

Recently, Jason and I were talking about something to do with our family and I said, referring to my pregnancy, "Since I won't be doing THIS again..."  He looked really surprised and said "Isn't that kind of ungrateful?"  It took me a minute but I figured out that what I was saying and what he was hearing were different.

I've wanted to give birth to another baby since...oh, since Patrick was born.  We'd already struggled to get pregnant with him and knew that adoption was in our future already at that time, but I really felt a pull to have another biologically.  Five years of recurring infertility later, we finally managed to get to this point with the help of some talented doctors and many dollars.

I feel like I've spent many of those years hoping for this.  Praying for it at times.  Begging for it at others.  Beyond depressed about it at many others.  To have finally achieved this point--it is a wish come true.  But I knew then, and know beyond a certainty now, that this is it.  I'm not willing to put our family or my body through these treatments again.

When I said "I'm not doing this again," what I meant was that I've been fortunate enough to have that wish answered.  For years now, my desire has been to have one more biologically and then adopt our last one.  If I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did, there was going to be one more chance (by our choice, not medically).  Just one.  And if that hadn't worked, we were both ready to move on.

But it did happen.  Somehow we hit the lottery and I'm now 24 weeks pregnant (into the realm of viability, says my cynical, infertile mind that still can't wrap around the idea that I'm really getting to do this again).  And my planning nature is feeling more at peace now than it has in years.  Infertility is impossible to plan.  You can plan when to do cycles, but you can't plan the outcome.  You can't plan your body's reactions to the medications--will they make you sleepy or bitchy or achy or all of the above at one time?  You can't plan beyond that one cycle really, because there's always the hope that one will be the key.  You can't plan for your own emotional response to the cycle and its outcome.  There is no planning that happens.

After several years of not being sure how our third and fourth children would join our family, now I know.  I've felt so up in the air about it.  Our third child will be born to us, and our fourth child will join our family through adoption in a few years.  And then we think our family will be complete.

I've spent much of this pregnancy thinking about the fact that this is the last time I will be pregnant, and I'm surprisingly at peace with it.  I'd been a little afraid that I would still feel that same drive that I felt while pregnant with Patrick to have another one biologically, but I don't.  I'm content (truth be told, more than content) to know this is my last one biologically.  I'm more than content knowing we will adopt again.

The planner in me is happy to have nailed down the vision of our family.


Nicole and Kevin said...

Erin, I can relate to so much of what you said in this post. You put into words perfectly what my emotions have been. While adoption is not in the cards for us, the emotions you described about being pregnant and the way infertility takes away your ability to plan...I couldn't have expressed it any better. Thank you. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Much love.

BBB said...

Erin - I had much the same feeling with my two babies. Sven and I said we wanted two children. We planned on it, we waited for it. But, then we dealt with infertility. On top of that Sven and I were not on the same page about infertility treatments. He was fine with just one child. For him, while he wanted a second, he would be satisfied with just one. Being a parent was all that was important to him. So, he didn't support any infertility treatments beyond checking that all our 'parts' worked. And only I got myself checked out. He didn't.

My side of feelings were quite different. To me, since we wanted and planned for it, a second child already existed in my mind. I didn't know if it would be a boy or a girl, but we 'had' a second child. Even in my oldest son's babyhood, when I put away the bassinet or the crib, it was put away with some sadness, but also with the thought, "we'll use it for the next baby."

With having that mentality, I didn't have closure. Dealing, eventually, with realizing we were NOT going to have a second was definitely a mourning period - a loss for the child that didn't come to be.

I finally did come to terms with our son being an only and with our next move I sold almost everything and what I didn't sell before the move,I was planning on selling after the move. I had accepted it.

Next month, after 2.5 years of trying (and one loss after 7 months of trying and numerous chemical pregnancies), we got pregnant. We were unbelievably happy even though we were now more financially trapped than we had planned on with the move.

WHile I too had that dread in the back of my mind that something would happen to take this dream away, we did have a successful pregnancy (a bitch of a pregnancy, but successful).

THis time I savored my baby's every moment. I didn't rush to see the next milestone. When I put away the bassinet and every one baby thing, I did so with a finality, closure. I knew we were done and I was mentally prepared for that reality. And while occasionally I would have that maternal tug for a 3rd, I knew I didn't "really" want a third. FInally our family was complete and I was satisfied.

I'm so happy for you Erin, that you got to get the closure that you wanted and needed to. We both know that it very easily could have ended up quite differently like so many other women have to deal with. We're the lucky ones.

Jess said...

I have a packing list. Actually, I just have it saved on the computer and I amend as needed for trips (actually I have a "beach" one and a "non beach" one). And it includes ALL OF US. And is necessary. For the kids, so we can survive, and for me, so I don't forget things, and for double-checking Travis' packing, because HEAVEN KNOWS it's my job to babysit my almost-30-year-old spouse. ;)

And I clean the house before we go, too. And do laundry while we're there, usually, at least.

I am a little afraid of what will happen when we go back for the FET after this. Will we (uhm, I) feel the drive to continue if it doesn't work? I don't know, and I fear the push that may give. That said, we simply can not afford any more treatments (assuming this baby makes it, if it does not...boy, that's optimistic, right?...then we get our money back from the shared risk cycle plan and can/will likely do more IVF) since our total out of pocket is nearing 140k and we do not have these kids paid off.

I don't know, how...once you KNOW things that can happen in pregnancy, how you can NOT hope to make it to this milestone or that milestone and not truly believe it until the baby is out, breathing, and healthy. And even then, you are only more comfortable if you don't know too much about what can still happen then.

It's a long road, and pregnancy isn't what people think it is.

Emily said...

Erin, I just love your blog! I think this is a really great post. Nick and I also want to adopt as well, but I really just love giving birth (not such a fan of the pregnant part) but I love giving birth. I find myself wondering often if I will feel like I am done being pregnant. With Noah I wanted to get pregnant again right away. WIth Owen I didn't start wanting another pregnancy until just recently. We talk about when we want to start actively pursuing adoption all the time, but then I always end up getting pregnant. This post was encouraging to me. It made me feel that when the time is right we will know! You have such a beautiful family and I am so happy for you!

Danielle said...

Hi! I'm Danielle. My blog is over at I'm relatively new to the blogging world, and I stumbled upon yours tonight! I'm so excited to have found it! Nice to "meet" you. :)