Friday, April 03, 2009

The Road Not Taken...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
---Robert Frost

Last week, Husband and I discussed the future. Specifically our future as it relates to this journey we've been on for the past year. You know? The one where I keep trying to get knocked up, but don't? The one where we thought that by now, we'd be walking around in the sleep-deprived haze of having a newborn? The one where I've been letting people stick needles and dyes and herbs in my body in the hopes that those things can figure out how to make a baby magically appear in my uterus? The one where I'll be adding fertility drugs to that mix of needles and dyes and herbs next month? Yeah, that one.

We discussed just how long we're willing to keep this up. I know if we were younger, if we didn't already have a child, the answer to that question would most likely be: "Forever," or "However long it takes." But I'm almost 38 and we do have an amazing and wonderful son already. So the answer becomes far more ambiguous.

I think about the past several months and sadly, the first thing that comes to mind is the failure of trying to get pregnant, and the energy spent on that pursuit. How is that right? Shouldn't the first thing that comes to mind be the child I have and adore, and the husband I love? How can the absence of something that doesn't even exist become the center of my sense of being? How is that right?

It's incredibly hard not to measure out the months as failure versus success when you're trying to have a baby. And as such, every month for the past year has felt, on some level, like a failure. I continue, in general, to be in a good mood and outwardly am very positive (I think??!), but somewhere on the inside, that nagging sense of failure is catching up to me. And it's detracting from all the amazing and wonderful successes and joys that we've experienced in our lives alongside this ever-frustrating attempt to bring another child into the world.

So Husband and I have come to the decision that our baby-making days are numbered. Emotionally, it's just not healthy for us to keep going beyond a certain point. Limbo is a pretty sucky state of existence. Next month we will start Clomid, give it 3-4 months to see if it can do what everything else we've tried for the past year or so hasn't been able to do, and if not, we are done.

There's something very freeing about having made that decision. Especially given the complications of pregnancy (at least in my life), the idea that it either will, or will not, happen in that given time and then we move on with the future, whichever road that might be, is incredibly liberating. I know that I will not still be trying to have a baby when I turn 38. I will either have that baby or I won't. And I will move on with my life accordingly, and happily.

A part of me has struggled with this decision--if I can so easily put a time limit on trying to get pregnant, does that mean on some level I don't really want a second child? What if I look back 10 years from now and hate myself for not pursuing it further? Will Ethan be happy as an only child?

The truth is, I want a second child almost more than anything. The only thing I want more than a second child is for my first child to always know and feel that he is loved and adored. And there are days right now when I am so busy going to doctor's appointments and acupuncture appointments that he gets a little lost in the shuffle. The days when my period shows up are rollercoasters for us because I am battling the inner voice of failure yet again. And in general, so much of my emotional energy is placed on the non-existent instead of the perfection and potential that is living and breathing in front of me. That's a price I'm not willing to pay.

And will I look back 10 years from now and regret not purusing it further? Maybe. I have no way of knowing what Sarah at 47 will think or feel, or need, or want. So I can't live for that Sarah. She'll have to find a way to be at peace with the life she has, no matter what it looks like when she gets there. And part of me thinks that perhaps giving up this seemingly futile quest is actually a step in the right direction to ensuring that when I do get to that point in my life, I am at peace and content, and appreciating what I have and what I am capable of, instead of focusing on what I seem to be incapable of, or don't have.

So perhaps the next few months will be wrought with even more of the anxieties and pressures that trying to conceive brings. Because they are the last months, and they are going to be the months with the most interventions. But that's okay. Because either way, they will result in a wonderful and amazing new life.


Barb said...

Hey Sarah,

Great post and you know that I know exactly what you are going through. Your friends and family are here to support you.

Becca said...

Good for you. How awesome to recognize the blessings you have and meet your challenge with acceptance in the name of preserving those blessings. You will be a stronger, happier family for it.

Amy said...

I'm glad you have reached a decision. I think it will bring you peace.

Anonymous said...

we are here to support you whatever your journey may be! i think you have an incredible outlook on it. and i think good things are going to happen because of that.

Anonymous said...

Did your doc tell you that clomid isn't that effective if you are over 35? Doing 3-4 cycles of it is probably not worth it- try one or two cycles and then move on to injectibles.

Cubby's Mom said...

Sounds like a great plan to me! I'm wishing you the best of luck, and I really think you'll end up at peace with whatever happens because YOU made the decision of how long to keep going, rather than it being made for you, ya know?

Emi said...

Hey SIL- Yes making a decision is usually a good healthy step and like you said either way will be a freeing experience. Try to be gentle with yourself and not internalize it as a personal failure that you have not gotten pregnant - it's not and it does not mean anything about you.. Except that you are a wonderful and loving mother.

Bonnie said...

Wow,I know that must have been a heavy discussion. It's such a bipolar feeling to be happy about saying you won't try forever- but you're right. "Freeing" is the exact right description.

Life will take you on the right path!

lonek8 said...

I sympathize so deeply with your difficulty conceiving. I haven't had that problem myself, but my mother spent almost 15 years trying to give me a sibling so I have seen first hand what an ordeal it can be, and I assure you your son will not feel unloved or left out because you went through it, nor will he be lonely as an only child. I applaud your ability to set a deadline and your wilingness to move on from this goal to find different ways to fulfill your life. The joys of being a parent may differ when you have several versus one, but they are always full of wonder and joy (and aggravation!). I truly hope that by deciding when and how to end your fertility fight, you have relieved the pressure and stress placed on your body and that will allow you to get pregnant. Best of luck

Janet said...

Awww Sarah. Lovely post. Wishing you the best of luck! Janet (txgal)

FemaleDrama said...

I don't want to get your hopes up, but I have a very strong suspicion that once you stop trying and 'let go'-the universe may bring you that miracle you want. You already put it out there. Now just sit back,relax, and let it come. I have my fingers crossed.

Kim said...

I used clomid for both of my kids - I hope it works for you!!!! I got pregnant at 35 with Noah and 37 with Faith. No issues, not major side effects - I just recommend taking it at night.