Saturday, December 5, 2009

A verbose state of speechlessness

I really am speechless. I have no idea what to think, or say, let alone what to do, so if you wish to bear with me and read my swirling thoughts, here they are.

My husband and I have not really talked about this - not since Wednesday. The closest we've come is that we'll each make tentative little statements about being a one-child family. Like this morning, our kiddo was being his normal silly adorable self, and I said, "you know, if we are only going to have one, then he's really the right one to have." He's made one or two similar comments recently as well, about positive aspects of this "choice" we're facing. It's almost like we're dipping a toe in, testing the water to see how it feels. Will we jump in?

I have truly never been so conflicted in my life. One moment (or day) I am relieved to be done with treatments - and I fantasize about my life with no more treatments - and the relief I feel is indescribable. I think about simple things, like signing up for a yoga class that's 10 weeks long, like losing the 15 extra pounds I've put on, like not having to worry about fitting doctor's appointments into my work schedule and upcoming trips. The problem with quitting treatments is of course that the net result is that I do not end up pregnant.

Then the next minute or hour I want another child so much I can taste the feeling. I have spent these moments - sometimes full days of this - daydreaming about adoption, donor eggs, even pursuing a more aggressive IVF cycle. (If there even is such an option, which I doubt.) We've talked about foster care, mostly because my sister has had a great experience - she adopted her two children from foster care, after deciding to stop pursuing IF treatments after the Clomid stage. It's worked out well for her in the end, but the road of course was full of heartbreak when a couple other children were taken from them after their respective parents decided to ... well, to parent. That's the part that stops me with fostering. And overall, the problem with all of the family-building paths that I know about, is that they're mostly expensive, and none of them have a 100% success rate.

Anyway - I can't get into all my options now - partly because I honestly don't know what they all are, and partly because it's going too far down a road that I'm not sure about right now. How do I express how I feel about pursuing a donor egg cycle when I don't even know how I feel about pursuing *any* further road to another child?

It's kind of like going to a diner. I live in NJ, and diners abound. I always take three times as long to figure out what I want to eat at a diner, not necessarily because there are more choices, but because there are more *kinds* of choices. If it's 12:00 noon, and I walk into a diner, my first choice is: breakfast or lunch. How can I compare a chicken caesar salad with french toast with strawberries? It's impossible until you decide if you want lunch or breakfast.

And wouldn't the decision be 100x more difficult if you were starving, and if the choices were the following:
1) A 100% chance of getting a shrimp caesar salad (and you have a shellfish allergy), $9.00
2) A 10% chance of getting strawberry-topped belgian waffles, and a 90% chance of getting nothing, $100
3) A 5% chance of getting a mystery plate, 95% chance of nothing, $250.

Oh and by the way, everyone else at the restaurant is ordering what they want, for the usual price, and getting what they want. Except the woman at the booth behind you, she complains nonstop that she's pregnant with a girl and she reeeaaaallly wants a boy. You're allowed to drop your iced tea on her, by the way.

Going too far down that analogy road?

Ok, now you see how conflicted I am. My main problem is that I'm comparing apples to oranges. (Or strawberry-topped belgian waffles with a chicken caesar salad.) I'm trying to decide between stopping treatments (which is a foolproof way to *not* have another child), and pursuing treatments or some other road (which is not a surefire to end up with a child, but rather just an opportunity for one. And an expensive opportunity at that.)

How does one even make that decision?


  1. Oh, this is so hard. I take a long time with menu decisions too -- and there's so much less at stake! (Although that's not to discount the disappointment of a dry, tasteless chicken sandwich.)

    When I was in your shoes, I tried to take the perspective of several years from now in the least-desirable outcome (i.e. no baby). What would it take to satisfy myself that I had tried as hard as I was comfortable with? Would I regret not doing IVF? Not pursuing foster-to-adoption? What would it take to remove any niggling doubt from my mind, so I could live the rest of my life with no regrets?

  2. I'm right there with you having the EXACT same conversations with my husband. Unfair in so many ways.

  3. I'm so sorry the IVF attempt didn't work out. Sending you ((hugs)) and much hope for clarity and peace in the very near future.

  4. I wish I could offer you some advice, but it's obviously such a personal decision. I wish it didn't have to come to this for you, or anyone for that matter. Good luck and know that we're here to read your thoughts as you try to figure it out.

  5. wow. The diner is a great analogy.
    I'm really sorry the IVF didn't work out. I wish it had been a better outcome.
    I've been thinking a lot about foster adoption these days myself. But there is a lot of fear when you have all the unknowns of joining another family with your family, so I'm vacillating quite a bit.
    I hope that you find your answer.