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I don't know what to say. Except "I get it".

I'm still on the trying to conceive/will I ever conceive part of things, but already I feel guilty for sometimes being glad that we don't have kids yet, because then we wouldn't be able to do x or y. Which then starts the whole do I really deserve to have a kid merry-go-round. And yeah, I know it's ridiculous, but I still feel that way. Does that go away?

Tertia, oh my gosh, I can totally relate! I had my first having lived that fear. I really thought I would not conceive. I did, after 3 IVF's and multiple surgeries. I was so stressed out when he came, because I did to want to fuck him up. I wanted to be perfect. It nearly cost me my sanity. I started seeing (an still am) an amazing therapist. Within a couple months, a bit of drunk sex, and I got my freebie baby. And I got to experience the other side, I got to live through a second baby. And what a different experience. No better, no worse, just different. It has made me a better mother to both my boys.

I totally can relate. Thank you!

Nicola x

You have a few paragraphs in there that are the reason I adore you so very much. It is a relief to have someone have such exact insight in to the perils of what I've been through.

Even yesterday I was traumatized by a medical experience that put me back in that space. That out of equilibrium, when will it end, what will I do if I can't fix it feeling.

I needed to read what you wrote. Your timing is impeccable.

I adore you, my friend. I'm so happy we've all been blessed by Max's arrival in the world - without him, this wouldn't have been written and I'd have been feeling as lost as ever.

xoxo

I have only dipped my toe in the sea of loss and so can only just understand what you mean. But I understand the whole "mustkeepbotheyesonchildatalltimesorhewilldie" thing. My number three was so terribly and unexpectadly ill when he was first born that now I barely spend a second of the day not worrying about him. I can never regain that happy carefree feeling and it makes me sad. But also so, so happy that he exists and he is (fingers crossed, there I go again) perfectly healthy.

You made me cry.. maybe because i know you back in the days of 'the labour of love' even before Jan 2004. We then moved together to the ez-boards but somewhere along the way i took a fedup leave on the ttc journey and moved away from the forums but i still followed yo journey as A&K were conceived till birth. Years later i stumbled on FC and couldnt believe my eyes when i 'saw' you again there and found a link to your blog, at that time baby Max was also on the way and that was a WoW moment for me, just to catch up on you again.

OR maybe my tears were for the journey i've walked myself and the Pain Olympics i have a t-shirt for. It seemed like im listening to someone telling a bit of my story and more... Thank you for a post so well written.
Indeed you are blessed and it is okay to revel on your blessings and count them one by one. WoW what a Mom, what a life, what a family you guys have become. Thanks again Tertia for sharing your life(pains & joys) with all of us and the world.

Lv
Talitha

I have a blood, sweat, and tears baby, but have never (just changed from "not yet," as I have officially given up hope) experienced a "freebie." So, I do not know that of which I am about to speak. But, don't you think that everything that you went through to get A & K (and even what you went through after getting A & K) MIGHT have influenced the extent and nature of your joy upon receiving Max? In other words, can you really be your own control group here?

My sister went through 3 rounds of IVF to have her first, then got a bonus baby 6 months later. She reveled in both of those. Then when bonus baby #2 came along, 11 months after THAT (the same month that my IVF#3 failed, fuck you very much, whoever planned THAT one), she did nothing but complain about it (apparently she didn't think she had to actually TAKE the birth control pills to keep from getting pregnant--filling the prescription was supposed to be sufficient). I don't doubt that she now loves child #3 as much as the first two, but I can tell you that the appreciation of the miracle was absolutely NOT there for the first 9 months. I think it's all about timing and the person involved.

I am several weeks (or dear sweet jesus, please, perhaps days) away from delivering my first and maybe only child after multiple IVF cycles, and this is something I think about a lot. I worry that I won't be able to protect this child enough, or show my love enough, or be enough of the mother this kid deserves after all we fought through to bring him or her into the world. This is, of course, second only to my nagging fear that something will go wrong between this moment and the actual birth, which proves that I am a paranoid freak. I don't think I will love this baby any more or less than any other parent who conceived any which way, but I know that I will love him or her in a way that I could not have fathomed if we'd gotten pregnant any other way. Anyway, thanks for this post because A)it rings of so much truth and B)the general population (if any of them are reading) need to understand how parenting is/can feel different when you've battled to achieve it.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Your words are so true and your children are just perfect. I love this whole post. :)

It is just so true that all mothers love their children no matter how they come to them. It is pre-ordained in our DNA that we love them. We struggled for #1 and had a perilous pregnancy with him and while I believe my love for him is the same as a mother who tried for a month and got pregnant easily, I feel abundant gratitude daily to have gotten the chance to be pregnant with and give birth to him knowing some women never get to even have that experience.

We have struggled beyond measure to have #2. After an additional 5 OE IVFS, one DE cycle, and a full year off from any effort, we have decided to pursue domestic adoption. But, even that, has given me pause. Am I meant to mother two? Do I even want to now at my AMA? Life is so easy with one, yet somehow feels incomplete. Am I wavering now because I feel that our choice has come to this path?

It is hard to know, but what I do know, is that regret is known in hindsight and the prospect of that is what propels me forward. I have to have faith in the universe that if we were set on this path, that it is THE right path.

I have my "blood sweat and tears" baby and I have my "freebie" baby and understand what you are saying. But something I have to note here, is that while my "babies" have moved out of the baby and even preschool stage (boo hoo!!) I'm STILL dealing with the infertility issues. I STILL feel grateful each and every day that I even was able to HAVE a child at all, considering all my issues. It does effect my parenting. I'm paranoid about their safety because I'm now at an age that more babies are not in my future, so if something should happen to them, I think I'll just die with no purpose anymore. (Ok, perhaps a bit over-exaggerated, but not much.) I also remind myself when they are annoying the he-- out of me that I'm so fortunate to have that problem, that I sometimes let things go that I probably wouldn't if I didn't have that experience. There are just so many ways I parent differently because of what I went through. I know that EVERY parent who loves their children, loves them as much as I feel like I love mine, but I sometimes wonder if they actually APPRECIATE them as much as I do. Maybe they do, but I sometimes wonder. :)

I think my experiences have come so far from normal....I couldn't even recognize it if it came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm normal, nice to meet you".

After five years of IF, we gave up trying to conceive and adopted our son from Guatemala. I have/had all those amazing feelings about him after all the hard work it took to bring him into our lives. He feels like a miracle to me.

Eight years after beginning our TTC journey, I became pregnant (for the 4th time, after 3 early losses) and low and behold managed to carry a baby for 35 weeks. That being said, my daughter was diagnosed at 17 weeks gestation with a brain malformation called hydrocephalus. The doctors could not even give me a prognosis of her development (anything from normal to mildly delayed to severely disabled, to fetal death). Now she is 15 mths old and though she has her issues, she is doing well. The terror that accompanied that diagnosis, after everything else, brought about a whole different kind of magic after her birth.

Then, on a slightly different note, 4 months after my daughter's birth my husband was diagnosed with cancer and underwent four months of chemo last winter.

All this to say, so here I am with two miracle kids and a husband I could have lost. Let me tell you, my cup overfloweth....


I need to tell you what a life saver you have been for me. I discovered you after my daughter had gone through infertility for a very long time. I had no idea until I read your blog that there were people out there, a whole network in fact, expressing the death like pain that descended on her every month You were able to put in words the unbearable despair that she felt very 30 days -then follow that with the joy that could come at the end of the tunnel . You have given a voice to what is insanely unspeakable. I am so grateful to who you are and how you have used your acute writing talent to be the voice of these so very sad women and families.
Cathy Jo Cress
http://momlovesyoubest.wordpress.com/

Cathy Jo Cress
http://momlovesyoubest.wordpress.com/

We used to say we couldnt imagine loving a child as much as our first. That nothing would be able to match up to a child we had fought so hard for, and spent so long waiting for.

And then we got our freebie baby too. One who suddenly appeared, no idea how or when I fell pregnant, but every day I count my lucky stars for him.

now I have 2 beautiful boys, and feel blessed to have gone through both experiences - knowing what its like to fight, but also what its like to have it land in your lap

I still look at my miracle (9 and 3/4 years old) and wonder how I got to be so blessed. I find I don't sweat the small stuff and find that I need to "know" this little human who made all the mechanics of fertility a faint memory on the road of sublimeness!! I indulge her and kiss her mercilessly, as I am sure any mother of any child does, she is our "special" child.

However, I had quite an adjustment to make after she was born. I found that I "mourned" my pregnancy. I was thrilled to finally have this baby I had wanted and worked for so badly... but being pregnant was like a badge of honour. It was the prize, everyone knew we were trying and that there wasn't a procedure our bodies hadn't endured. I missed my bump and the fishylike movements that reminded my daily that I had WON and would be a mother.

I adjusted, I love my kid, but although it was a rough pregnancy, it was a great 8 months.

Thank you Tertia for being brave enough to write the words some of us are afraid to say.

All I can say is what?

I had trouble conceiving for years had it not been for me changing my habits, diet, etc I may have never gotten pregnant. The fact is their were many times when I could have been selfish but in the end I reached my final goal. you should read some of the articles posted on infertility remedies

This post makes me feel a bit torn. I've got my 2 kids after a bit of struggling (2 m/c's,2 IVF's and 2 FET's) but here's where I struggle. I also have PCOS, my mom had 2 babies with clomid and then 1 freebie. Deep down in my heart I'd love a freebie baby, but I don't do newborns very well and we're happy with our 2. We feel that our family is complete but there's always a nagging feeling in my heart - I love my 2 girls and always wanted 2 girls but would secretly love a little boy. I'm not so sure about 3 girls. Oh and I now have a Mirena, so guess there won't be a freebie anytime soon.

I "get" what you mean about the psychological space, because I experienced exactly that after my divorce (divorced young, no kids - we hadn't started trying yet). After the divorce, I eventually came to place where I truly realized in some place deep within me that I might never remarry (long story, I'll stick with "unusual career path") and that as a result I might never have kids - something I have always deeply wanted. To come to that place of knowing that all I could say was "if" (If I meet someone, If I end up in a relationship, If I have kids) rather than "when" was humbling, and it changed me and the way I approach relationships and life (thankfully, there have been relationships! no kids yet, though).

All of that to say: I get it.

You said it perfectly. I know exactly what you mean.

Sparks

Yes, yes, you are right! I actually had an easy time with my first, struggled with my second and it took four years (turns out my tubes were blocked, so we had to do IVF (2 rounds)) and then we had our frozen embryos and were thinking about when we would go back for our third and lo and behold, surprise, freebie baby! We are so very blessed, but I do feel differently for each child and I really worry about how I am going to be with my third. My first son, I was so grateful for because I wasn't sure if I would ever find a mate and have kids and I felt so blessed. With my second, I was so, so happy when we finally were able to provide our son with a brother but also so scared that there would be issues with him because of all the required interventions and now I really am scared that I am pushing my luck asking for 3 healthy children! But it is in God's hands now and we will handle however it all turns out. Not sure why I have such an irrational fear, but I truly cannot get it out of my head that we are pushing our luck (we are currently 5 months along with the freebie baby).

four failed rounds of IVF and we've got two naturally conceived freebies, and one on the way. One in a million chance, they told us. And I still feel guilty...like I've dissed all my procreation-challenged brethren. Interesting ride, this kid thing.

My story is oddly similiar to yours - long road to my twins(boy and girl)...then my freebie baby (little boy). Thank you for once again so eloquently summing up exactly how I feel about all my kids! As usual your awesome!!

Beautifully said as usual!

Such a heart touching one ..Now,people are really suffering a lot to give birth to a baby ...What u said is absolutely nice ..me too realised that all moms who love their babies http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viva-Magazine-Your-Premium-Womens-Natural-Health-Magazine/262734921452?ref=ts Thanks a lot for sharing this informative stuffs with us ...

That was a very thought provoking piece. Its amazing what one takes for granted...

This post made me cry. I'm so glad you get to enjoy your freebie!

Everything you said rang so true to me. My IF journey was long with lots and lots of bad news. After 1 m/c, I ended up conceiving relatively easily using Clomid much to everyone's surprise (and thanks to acupuncture). However, i felt like my story was still going to have a sad ending. In fact for so long I thought giving birth was a pipe dream I sometimes still think my son is adopted! LOL! Not a huge reach b/c I'm adopted myself, but I really thought we'd make a family thru adoption so I'm beyond surprised we did it biologically.

We had so many hiccups when he was little -- health scares, some serious some not so much -- that it just confirmed my fear that I wasn't meant to be a mama. When he was about 1.5, we were told he would most likely be autistic. More confirmation that I wasn't going to be one of those lucky families where everything works out perfectly.

After a couple of years of therapy, we figured out my sons quirks, and now he's a happy 4.5 year old who is attending preschool, making friends, and seems like your average kid. For the first time since I started TTC over a decade ago, I feel like I can BREATHE. Maybe this story WILL end OK, without tragedy, without heartache, without disaster. Just like you, I kind of worry that's a jynx sentence! But nevertheless the weightlessness that comes with letting go of those worries is phenomenal.

Congrats on your happy ending. Not only are you a ray of hope to those struggling, your a compassionate shoulder to cry on. What a rare gift you have.

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