My daughter, who we waited nine years for, is now 9 months old. She is babbling, crawling, and already developing her own personality. She is a great eater, very willing to try new foods (and usually shovels them into her mouth as fast as I can put pieces onto her high chair tray), and she sleeps through the night. After all the struggles we had to have her, my husband and I truly feel blessed right now.
But over the last several months, the question of expanding our family again has started to come up, and I find old feelings of anxiety resurfacing.
When you suffer from infertility, planning to have a baby is not just deciding how far apart in age you want your children, or thinking about if you want a newborn in the summer or the winter. For my husband and me, having a second child will mean doctor’s appointments, weeks of injectable drugs, medical procedures, and a lot of money. There is no guarantee that it will work, and heartache is probably going to be involved. I also have a history of preeclampsia, which means that even if I got pregnant, there is no guarantee that we would have a healthy baby, or that I will be healthy enough to carry to term. Common sense says that we should just be grateful for our beautiful daughter and enjoy every minute with her.
However, common sense is hard to apply when you are talking about raising a family. I cuddle my daughter while she drinks her bottle and I can’t imagine not having another little one in the house ever again. I see my husband’s eyes light up when he interacts with her, and I want him to know the joy of another child. I watch my nephews and niece play together, and feel sad that my daughter might not have a sibling to grow up with. I have a conversation with my sister, and feel even sadder that my daughter might not have a sibling when she is an adult.
Infertility makes things that come easy for others hard for us, and that hurts. I hate the feelings of jealousy that still flare up when I hear that someone else is pregnant. I hate that my family might never be complete in the way that I thought it would be when I first met my husband. And I hate that I feel guilty for wanting more, even while feeling so grateful for what we already have.
Right now my heart is being pulled in one direction, and my head in another. I know my daughter is only 9 months old, and I don’t have to make a decision right this minute. But I’m also not getting younger, so I don’t have years to make a decision either. If we are going to get back on the treatment path, we have to do it sooner rather than later. I truly wish there was an easy answer, but with infertility, there never is.