April 21 – 27, 2019 is National Infertility Awareness Week. This week is used to remove the stigmas and barriers surrounding infertility and infertility treatments.
“When are you having more kids?”
“She needs a sibling to play with.”
“Don’t you want more? You don’t want them too far apart.”
Almost four years ago, my husband I did IVF to grow our family. Our time trying was minor compared to other couples who have struggled with infertility, as we tried for two years and were successful after our second embryo transfer. Even though we didn’t struggle as long as others, it was still very difficult.
After we got pregnant, anecdotes of others having surprise natural pregnancies after struggling with infertility poured in. “Your body just figures out what it’s supposed to do after you have a baby!” Yes, I could get pregnant naturally with a second baby. It happens to a lot of moms. A big part of me hopes it happens to me one day! However, I have no reason to assume it will happen. My “unexplained infertility” is still mostly unexplained. Still, others in my life seem to expect it to happen. Truthfully, this expectation weighs heavily on me.
The idea of getting pregnant again seems easy. We have three frozen embryos in a lab waiting for us, so it should be a no-brainer.
But it’s not easy. I have to go to the doctor several times, undergo multiple tests again, start medication to prepare my body for a transfer, undergo monitoring, and deal with the side effects of the hormones. Then I have to go to a lab for the transfer (which can either be easy-breezy, or as it was for me, very painful), continue medication, and go through the two-week wait. I’d have to do all of this while still living my life and being a parent. Maybe I’ll get pregnant. If not, I spend thousands of dollars and get to try all over again.
Getting pregnant naturally is a totally different process. You realize one day you’re late, pee on a stick, and BOOM. You’re pregnant.
It would absolutely be worth it, but it is not something that is easy to jump into for me. I know many others who have gone through IVF feel the same way.
I have always been very open and public with what I went through to become a mom. Still, I hear these questions and comments about my only child and our family of three frequently.
You don’t always know what someone else has gone through to get their one child. Maybe they are unable to have more. Maybe they fought really hard to have one, and aren’t ready to fight again (like me). Maybe they only want one child! All of it is okay. Families of three can be complete, too.