Friday, August 24, 2007

Deja Vu

I am not meaning to belittle the experiences of those with medical infertility or SIF, and I hope I am not offending any readers. If I am, please accept my apology in advance.

I felt like we were infertile before we'd even started actively trying to have a baby, and I'm starting to feel like we've got secondary infertility before we're actually inseminating for #2.

Cait and I have both known that we wanted children for what seems like our entire lives (and I mean that literally - neither of us can remember, even at the youngest ages, NOT knowing). By the time I was 24 I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to have kids despite my single status, my efficiency apartment, and my minuscule salary. But it took nine more years before sperm ever even had a chance to meet egg - nine years of wanting, yearning, aching - and then, of course, we had that little sidebar where TWO SPERM met the one egg and all the molar mess that followed. Thankfully, after another torturous wait, we did welcome Natalie, and having her in our lives is spectacular. We are truly, truly grateful for the joy, hilarity, and wonder --heck, even the exhaustion -- she brings to our lives. (And, oh, how we wish that others, who have had longer waits, and more torturous losses, could join us on the other side. It just fucking sucks that anyone who wants children should have to endure waiting and loss.)

I should be spending my time and my brain cells enjoying our delightful girl (and in truth, most of the spare time/energy/thoughts I have ARE devoted to her... except the ones worrying about plastic and toys from China and organic vs. local food and... oops, I digress) but for the past several months , my thoughts and energy have been increasingly consumed by thoughts of a second child. There was never any doubt that we wanted more than one child. That certain self-knowledge from the youngest age involved being a mother to multiple if not many children, and I know the same was true for Cait. Our conversations about how many children we want have always focused on how many is too many. (I suppose that's what all conversations regarding numbers of children are about but in our case the foundational assumption is that there will be more than one.) I stunned our doula the day after Natalie's birth by talking about looking forward to another home birth. "Wow," she said. "Most women who've had unmedicated births don't even want to think about baby #2 for at least 6 weeks, if not 6 months!" But even then I was dreaming about the time when we'd* be pregnant again... and in my imaginings, that time was now.

We do, of course, know the fallacy of trying to plan or time pregnancies, having waited longer than either of us could have forseen for our first child. But hope is like a damn jack-in-the-box, popping up again and again, whether or not you're sick and tired of the plinkety-plink little tune. And so, to my frustration and consternation, not only am I not pregnant yet, but I don't even appear to be ovulating. Making that whole pregnant thing pretty (excuse the pun) fucking difficult. Meanwhile, friends are anxiously awaiting babies, making plans for baby #2, and/or gathering up all that TTC equipment again.

And wouldn't you know, just as we start to feel like we're missing the TTC train, IRL people all around us start popping up pregnant. The planned-for and worked-for ones are a bit of a stumbling block, but the accidental ones? OOF! There's that old familiar gut-punch again.

But there's an interesting twist this time. Unlike the first two years in which we were attempting to bring home a baby without success, this time I have direct control over one significant element of the process. I am still nursing Natalie, and I know that's impeding my fertility. I don't want to wean her just so I can get pregnant. But I really would like to be able to get pregnant, so I feel really, really ambivalent and stuck. (And then there are all the women on my extended breastfeeding listserv who keep turning up with surprise pregnancies, making me frustrated yet again at our limited and expensive access to sperm.)

Agh. I don't even know how to end this rambling, disjointed whining. Except to confess that we bought a whole bunch of cheap OPKs last month and I've been peeing on sticks (sometimes twice a day) for more than two weeks now in hopes that we can achieve the lesbian equivalent of an oops I never got my period back pregnancy.

Wouldn't it be nice?

*At that point, it wasn't clear whether it would be Cait or me trying to get pregnant, although in the intervening time, we've decided on me.


  • I am not exactly in the same boat but have similar feelings. Hope you figure things out and when you do you get pregnant quickly. Babydust

    By Blogger Kimmyann, at 9:51 PM  

  • Obviously different situation, but I (personally, not the married "we") fully feel what you're saying. I pray to be one of those "oops"ers since I get pregnant easily.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that your body will decide to start ovulating so you can move forward.

    By Blogger Miss W, at 11:09 PM  

  • (((hugs))) i've been thinking a lot about you guys, and hoping/wishing we could go through it together again.

    and who the hell knows?? maybe we will.

    FX for ovulation.......

    By Blogger megan, at 8:16 AM  

  • the ooop's are the worst!

    this is a powerful post and I am hopeful that #2 is a hell of a lot "easier".


    By Anonymous calliope, at 8:18 AM  

  • I'm So eager, yet scared about how long it may take.

    We DO have Malka, and in theory, our first month back in "pool," Narda will be in DC, and we'll be out visiting - a lot.

    I'm ready to start our photo albums, but Narda keeps telling me to slow down, we haven't even heard confirmation from our agency that they got our letter.

    I totally want a housefull of kids, Narda is content at 2 - I'll keep working on her.

    But I understand the yearning, and the fears.

    Just remember, that that elephant only gets eaten one bite at a time.


    By Blogger Shelli, at 9:07 PM  

  • I totally hear you. I'm already fretting about "complications" coming up for us in ttc#2 and we didn't even want to start for about 6 more months. But, it looks like that will probably get pushed back and I worry about my fertility, etc. etc, etc....blech.

    I hope you start ovulating soon without having to wean and it all works out quickly the way it should. : )

    By Blogger M., at 10:43 AM  

  • I know what you mean - what to do is always the question. Gaye and I both are completely hopeless at getting pregnant (4 years for me and umpteen for her) and now we have Thomas (8) and Al (4 months) and already the discussions have begun - because really and truely I want to have another baby - but should we/could we and how take up an enormous amount of noise in my life! Good luck to you

    By Blogger Clare, at 11:51 PM  

  • I am right there with you!

    When I went to see "my" RE a few weeks ago, he said that he didn't think the amount I was nursing would make a difference. BUT my E2 was all f*ed up at the midcycle check, so we canceled.

    Friday I went in for Day 3s and saw a different RE, who basically recoiled in horror that I was TTC without having weaned. She urged me "in any event" not to use up all of our sperm before weaning.

    So now I'm hyperaware of nursing and I'm trying to discourage it without totally weaning, and every time I doze off doing it, I wake up damning all that prolactin and it just makes me feel insane.

    Good times.

    By Anonymous Liza, at 9:15 AM  

  • I just had baby number 2, and all I can think of is, hell no, this womb is done. I invested in a box of condoms last week so that I wouldn't have an oops/irish twins pregnancy.

    (you know whats really fucked up? I got my period last week (week 5 after giving birth) and I AM BREASTFFEDING EXCLUSIVELY! Can I press the "not fair" button yet?)

    I'm sending ya'll all of my TTC hopes! Hope you get your period soon so you can start making another deliciously cute baby!

    By Blogger Ash, at 10:15 AM  

  • As someone who's gone through both pregnancy loss and secondary infertility, let me say that not only am I not annoyed by this, but I think you have every right to feel that your experience is similar to that of an infertile hetero. Any attempt to conceive is made more difficult by the fact that no one in your marriage has testicles. It's not much different than having an infertile husband; ART of some sort is your only choice.

    I'll admit that there've been times when I've wondered if my problems are really the husband's problems, and I've envied you the option of having access to so many sperm donors. But I also know that I'm lucky to have the possibility of a free, fun conception.

    I definitely know what it feels like to get left behind by more fertile friends. (I certainly hope you and Cait never have the "my ONLY baby is in school now" freakout that I had last year!) But I'm feeling very proud of how well I just accepted the news that my best friend is pregnant again... "and I'd just bought huge boxes of tampons and condoms at Sam's Club," she said. Yet I managed to be just happy for her.

    The good news is that our kids will always know they were wanted. No accidents, only blessings. I'm wishing you LOTS of blessings.

    By Blogger Summer, at 12:00 PM  

  • It must be really frustrating to have the nursing vs. conceiving conflict. Reducing nursing could help... you probably know that though. I feel hopeful for you, because I know that unlike infertility that has no promised end, this has to be finite. You *will* get your period back, and then you will probably conceive pretty quickly based on your history. I'm sorry, though, because promises don't help when you want it NOW. Sending you red vibes.

    By Blogger lagiulia, at 10:13 AM  

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