Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I keep promising myself that I'm going to post more often. I also keep promising myself that I'm not going to post about my, for lack of a better word, dissatisfaction with my reproductive/family building future. But I'm finding that to be a bit prohibitive. I'm not one of those people who can make mundane family life exciting reading. Most of you who still read have arrived at parenthood as well. You know what life is like with a toddler. You know that it is intensely joyful, funny, and mind-bogglingly incredible despite it's frequent swings into insanity and utter annoyance at having to put the choochoo tracks back together every 2.3 seconds in order to prevent emotional meltdowns of nuclear proportions (meltdowns that aren't always the exclusive domain of the toddler).
I realized then that if I want to reach one of my goals, I'm going to have to foresake the other. At least today. I'm sure that our regularly scheduled blog silence will be back again soon. Because I really, really can't stand being "that whiny blog." But here goes.
I am dissatisfied with my reproductive future. In extreme levels. My entire life I've known I wanted to have children. Read that sentence a few times if you need to. That last word is really important: children. I honestly always thought I would have a house full. I come from several generations of "large families." My mom is the oldest of 4. Her mother was the 2nd of 9. Her dad was the middle of 3 (though it was HIS father's second family and he had several older siblings from the first family, a couple of whom joined us for family functions). My stepfather, who became "my dad" when I was 5, is the middle of 7. And we are all EXTREMELY close. I know each of my great-aunts and uncles well as well as their children and grandchildren -- I grew up with some of them, babysat the younger ones, was babysat by some of the older ones... Even my biological father, whom I am not at all close to, is from a large family -- he's the oldest of 5.
And so I always just assumed that I would have a large family. Obviously, if you've been reading for any length of time, you also know that I knew it wasn't going to be just lay down with the husband for a bit and then gestate happily away. And then came pregnancy after pregnancy after pregnancy with nothing to show for it but bills for my use of the operating theater. Until finally, finally there was bed rest, and normal sonograms, and a belly that popped...and contractions, and pre-term labor, and magnesium sulfate, and steroid shots, and emergency c-sections, and two months of NICU, and hope, and joy, and love, and FEAR.
It took me a while to be comfortable with it all and I kind of am. Most of the time. Because most of the time the past is just the past. Most of the time. But it's something that has left Mr. W with a bad taste in his mouth. He doesn't want to relive any of it. The wife crushed and desperate after yet another miscarriage; the viewing of the c-section (seriously, the drape should be higher when the husband is 6'4!); the NICU and all that entails. He wants no part of it.
And in all honesty, I don't really want any part of it either. You know...except the one part. The baby part. We have an incredible NICU here; really great perinatologists. The best possible location to be in when your reproductive abilities are as screwed up as ours are.
I've fleetingly thought of surrogacy, but I'm not really a candidate (or wasn't considered one when I last was seen by an RE and since I carried exactly as he predicted, I'd say I'm still not)and the local clinic doesn't handle it at all. Donor eggs, donor sperm, no problem (in accessing the technology and treatment), but someone to donate their uterus? No way.
I've looked at adoption. Mr. W and I had wanted to adopt from Guatemala before the birth of the lowercase. But that isn't a viable option right now. And having read some recent adoption horror stories...well, I'm a bit afraid of the heartbreak.
And Mr. W isn't on board for ANY kind of adding to the family yet. For fuck's sake, I couldn't even talk him into bringing home a puppy!
But of course, everyone else is moving on. EVERYONE that I know is having or TTC their second. And I'm not. No matter how much I want it. I'm just...not.
It just really sucks that there can be no compromise in this arena. Either one parent gets what they want or the other does. You either do it, or you don't. And I hate it that I'm the one who has to lose in this arena.
I've even thought about looking up stats for second births from others with unicornuate uteruses. What kind of successful outcomes...how early I'd be likely to deliver...but I already know the answer to that. I would 100% have another preemie at roughly the same gestation. I would 100% have another c-section. I would 100% have more NICU time.
In a nutshell: I am dissatisfied with my utter lack of a reproductive/family-building future. And I don't see any chance of that changing any time soon.
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