August 15, 2008

Post Baby Infertile-hood

Because I think post-infertile motherhood is just like anyone else's motherhood. And because there's no such thing as being post-infertile.

I have to admit there was a time, early on, when the pain of infertility was raw and new, that I really didn't get secondary infertility. Even at the time I knew it was unfair, but I would read posts from secondaries on the IF boards and think to myself they should just can it and appreciate what they've got. I think most of us have a had a weak moment when we hated the anonymous pregnant woman in the grocery store for instance and it was the same thing. In the beginning the unfairness is a huge deal. As you accept the reality of infertility, you accept the unfairness and move on.

When I started reading blogs I got a better understanding. I read a post from a secondary about the insensitivity of random strangers asking when little so-an-so would have a baby brother. Having the pain of infertility unintentionally rubbed in was something a primary could relate to. I've thought about this a lot ever since the positive beta. It's kind of like how I would keep telling myself "If I can just get a good follicle report I'll be happy. If they can at least get a few at retrieval that's all I ask for. I just want a couple to fertilize." There was no way I could bear the weight of the whole process so I focused only on the next step. Well if I'm being honest, I never really wanted only one. I know it sounds ungrateful but I guarantee you I will always be more grateful than I can describe for Piper. But I've wondered about when I'd be ready to head back to the baby factory again since very early in pregnancy. I think the time is approaching.

I am still infertile. I have nothing frozen so I will have to start from scratch. The process will be the same but it is very different now. I get very hung up on worrying that failures might be so much harder to take. It was one thing to detach from the little cells that didn't make it when they were just cells. Now there is no escaping their potential. Before I also thought I would be able to be fairly pragmatic faced with choices about what to do with leftovers (ha!) or even more terrible decisions like selective reduction. That would be so much harder now too.

Funny how I can manage to turn success into new things to fret over. Part of my self-preservation mantra that has served me fairly well I guess. But fears about what could lie ahead are really not the big difference this time around. By far the two most significant changes are how a successful IVF has affected our marriage and that it removed the big question of whether it ever will work. The years it took for J and I to get on the same page about what infertility meant to us are over, and the big focus in our lives now draws us together instead of driving a wedge. Knowing it can work for us is a double-edge sword, I hate to allow that sliver of optimism and face the terrible disappointment, but it is nice to know that at least it was possible once. Those have got to be the most difficult obstacles I faced and they're out of the way. Hopefully that means whatever the process throws at us this time, we'll be much better prepared to handle it.