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!)


Sylvia said...

Great, great story, thanks for sharing. I love when I get to know someone better through their writing!!

As for your feelings, I can totally imagine all those 'finally you'll know what it's like to have close-age kids' comments to be sooo irritating! It's almost as if those mothers are challenging other mothers' worth by saying, "I'M more exhausted than you. MY job is harder than yours. I know more than you."

So not true.

In my opinion, once we bring that first newborn home and get pooped on, every mother can proudly wear the "I'VE EARNED IT!" badge! :)

April said...


I really appreciate how candid you are on your blog. I remember reading on Sassy Mama's blog about being between worlds as an infertile with children (see? I still even label myself even though I've procreated). It's just so strange. And, even having children doesn't take that away, it's still a part of us, and we feel guilty having bad mommy days and stressed out days, and days where we wish we didn't have kids so we could take a bubble bath and read a book! Other moms, it seems, get to feel that way, but since we wanted it for sooooooooo long, we can't have bad days and we are even more depressed when we do have bad days since we are supposed to love it all the time. Because, of course, when we couldn't have kids, we were so ANGRY when moms would complain or have "bad days" because we felt they should be GRATEFUL and HAPPY all the time because they were a mommy, and how dare they complain!

Sheesh. Maybe I need my own blog post. That's what you should say to people who comment like this; GET YOUR OWN BLOG! :-) thanks for letting me vent too.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing, and I'm so happy for your little Caroline and Henry!

SassyMama said...

Ummmmm.... right.
Although I have days that I, too, am not so sure:).
Thanks for posting The Rest of The Story. What a journey this has been for you!

Tom Perkins said...

Oh boy, Nae, you have really been through a rough time. I can only say that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles. You have such beautiful blessings in your home. We love you and Alan very much. We continue to pray for you every day. Your wonderful children mean the world to us. Enjoy the journey & kiss the kids for me. Give Henry a grandma nap now and then. Love, Mom

Nancy Sabina said...

You're one of the realest Moms I know. Always have been. ...Even before Soren.