I have been away from this space for such a long time. Its not that I haven't had much to say--I have so many things I've wanted to talk to you about, but what's been on my mind has been too painful to get out and that's babies. Specifically one more baby. For us.
It has never been our intention for the bean to be an only child. Well, OK, there was that period of time immediately after the bean's birth when I turned to the boy and said that I was never going to do that again! But that faded. After a few months I started to think that maybe I could go through it all again. We had hoped for two children, two years apart, so we started trying again when the bean was 18 months old. Even then, I'm not sure either of us were quite ready, but we knew we'd have 9 months to get used to the idea.
I got pregnant easily with the bean and I think we were both hoping that would be the case the second time. We were very superstitious about doing things the way we had with the bean--we inseminated at home, with no assistance from our doctor. This was the way we wanted it--just the two of us doing this thing together (and occasionally the bean waking up at inopportune moments). We soon learned that was not to be. I didn't get pregnant. Over and over again, it didn't work. I was still nursing the bean, so we started the long process of weaning. I still didn't get pregnant.
Our supply of samples from our donor started dwindling and we asked for help. I tried to hold on to my idea of getting pregnant on an unmedicated cycle, but we soon decided that we would throw all the medical interventions we could at this problem. Triggered ovulation, timed inseminations, Clomid. Nothing. We were down to our last try before we would have to make the impossible decision of whether we would spend all our savings on an IVF cycle with no guarantee of a baby or spend all our savings on an adoption with no guarantee of a baby, or just give up. In my mind, I had already given up. Even before the bean was born, I spoke to myself and to the boy about our children. They. There had always been two. I started talking myself into the idea of the bean being an only child and looking for the positives in that.
Our last cycle, we decided to try injectable drugs, which significantly increase the risk of multiples. We love multiples and if we had them, we would love the heck out of them, but we are also aware of the increased risks associated with a multiple birth. (Including the risk of losing your mind trying to take care of more than one newborn!) I had resisted injectables for that reason, but here we were, at the end of the road. So there I was, dutifully injecting my belly, sometimes multiple times a day, until I could no longer find a spot to inject in that wasn't bruised. I went to the doctor every couple days and had more blood drawn than I can keep track of. All the while, I had no hope.
I don't think I ever mentioned this here, but when it became clear that the bean wasn't interested in weaning at 18 month, I decided I would nurse through pregnancy. I had gotten comfortable with this idea to the point of being disappointed when I ended up weaning. I always felt that I would regret weaning before the bean was ready, especially if it ended up that I couldn't get pregnant again. I felt this regret so deeply, and believed so fully that I wouldn't get pregnant, that I decided to start nursing again even before we found out the results of our injectables cycle. I was actually shocked that we were able to get back to nursing after having been weaned for several months, but I was also very pleased.
Now, forgive me, but I have to tell this part of the story in even more excrutiating detail because I love it so much. I woke up 11 days after insemination and took a pregnancy test, which was negative. This was our 7th attempt in over a year and even more than the others, this negative devastated me. Fate has spoken, only one child for you. (Which is a huge blessing! We are so lucky to have even one! But we really wanted two.) I was taking medication that should be stopped if I wasn't pregnant, but continued if I was. I waited a couple days, until the day my period was due and took another test, fully expecting it to be negative, but I needed to confirm before I stopped the medication.
The boy and I were both in the bathroom getting ready and I set the test down on the counter while it developed. The boy glanced over at it and said, "Hey, what's that?" For some reason, I thought it was a joke and I was upset. How can you joke about this when my feelings are still so raw? I picked up the test and squinted at it and saw a shadow. A little faint ray of hope that darkened before my eyes into a reality that we had hoped for for so long.
Because I had started the process of convincing myself this would never happen, I've spent the last several months trying to convince myself that it is happening. Test after test, ultrasound after ultrasound. Are you really in there peanut?
And, oh the irony, that I weaned our bean in order to get pregnant but didn't get pregnant until after I relactated and started nursing again!