Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Infertility & Motherhood (Part Two)

Part two has been a long time coming, but I have good reason! Not only have we been adjusting to life with a third kiddo in the house, but I've also had LOTS of visitors. So here's the rest of the story (I hope).

If you remember, I mentioned that I agreed to do a Clomid Challenge test with my ob/gyn to assess the quality/quantity of my egg supply. I wasn't overly worried about it - I was busy working 4 jobs, not including the job of wife & mother, and didn't really have time to worry! But the day the doctor called with the results it was very obvious that the news was not good. His tone of voice told me before he did that it didn't look good. I was told that the only way we'd be able to have more children was if we did InVitro Fertilization with donor eggs - that mine were no good.

I don't remember exactly what happened next - I don't remember if I was crying before or after I hung up the phone. I don't remember if I called Alan and told him or if I just sent him an instant message. I do remember lots of crying. Sobbing, really. I vividly remember sitting at my desk in my home office unable to catch my breath because I was crying so hard. I finally got it together enough to say a very long, heartfelt prayer - I knew it was the only way I'd get through the day. Not only did I have work at home to finish, but I had to physically go to work (another job) that afternoon. I needed the strength to get through the day and I knew it wasn't going to come from me - I was emotionally spent.

Thankfully the Lord stepped in and seriously carried me through the rest of that day. He also prompted me to immediately seek a second opinion - to finally get myself to a fertility specialist (also known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist or RE). I'd had appointments with them before, but had to cancel them due to insurance or financial issues. My sweet ob/gyn sat on the phone with me as we went through every RE on my insurance list, giving me his opinion as to where he thought my best fit would be. I am forever grateful for the time he took out of his day for me.

That horrible day occurred January 15, 2008.

To illustrate miracles . . . I had a positive pregnancy test on March 22, 2008 which resulted in our little Caroline.

And while I could say that was the end of the story - it isn't, really. Having two kids 10 years apart has had its own challenges. One of the more odd ones is that I still didn't feel like a normal mom - my experiences were still very different than those of my friends. I went from not fitting in because I only had one child to not fitting in because my two children were so far apart in age. So for 2+ years I felt almost like I fit in and yet I didn't really feel I did. I had two kids, but it was really like I had two families of one kid each. There was still so much I could not relate to or subjects I couldn't really join in on because I did not have experience with two kids close together in age . . . and there were times I still felt like I was in between worlds - the world of the infertile woman and the world of mother.

And then we headed in for another round of infertility treatments in April/May of 2010, hoping we'd be able to finally have something resembling the family we'd both pictured in our mind for years. Quite frankly, I was shocked when the treatments worked! And now we have our baby Henry.

I won't pretend I didn't get a little annoyed with all the comments about how I'll finally know what it feels like to have kids close in age or how I finally get to deal with all of those horrible things - like fighting, sibling rivalry, trying to potty train a toddler with a baby running around, etc. etc. etc. Yes, I am starting to learn for myself what that is all about. And there are days I feel like I want to pull my hair out. But then there is that part of me that smiles when both little ones are screaming because I finally have that in my life. Finally I can join in conversations, maybe not right now - but soon, about all of the things those "real moms" have talked about for years. In so many ways, I finally feel like a "real mom," even though I know I've been a mom for over 12 years.

(And today is one of those days that I needed to post this so I could remember to be grateful for the screaming toddler, the unpredictable newborn, and the hormonal teenager that were all making me crazy! They are all blessings, right? Right!)