Friday, May 02, 2014

Family Planning

When I hear young or inexperienced couples talking about "family planning" (how many kids they want and when) it sometimes both irritates and amuses me, basically for the same reason. Our ability to determine such things is (the majority of the time) completely out of our control! Ok, maybe not completely. And definitely not for everyone. I know there are some people who get pregnant just looking at each other. So maybe that's where my irritation (possibly jealousy? Sure.) comes in. My fertility is determined by numerous doctors and nurses and lab technicians, and ultimately, God. And yet, here I planning. Granted, since mine does involve so many parties, and serious financial investment, I guess it makes sense.

Shortly after I had Elsie, I remember having a distinct feeling that I wasn't done. Not necessarily in that spiritual "there's another child/spirit waiting to come to our family" kind of way. It was more of me just feeling that I for sure wanted at least one more, and I wasn't ready to call it "quits" at two. Owen and Elsie are about 2 years and 5 months apart. It's been a good gap. Not too far and not too close. They play well together (sometimes) and love each other (on their own terms) and seem to enjoy being siblings (for the most part). I've enjoyed watching them learn and grow together. Nothing warms my heart more than to hear my children giggling with each other, or when they spontaneously give each other hugs and kisses. It is The.Best. So...why not add another to the mix?

Well, I've been contemplating this for a while. Elsie has been a more easy-going baby than Owen, so I considered having them closer together. However, Elsie is also still my baby, and I don't feel any rush to make her grow up. Yet with our infertility issues, it does take some advanced planning to make anything happen. So back in January, Miles and I decided to go in for a consultation with our doctor to discuss our options.

Currently, we have two frozen embryos. Dr. Heiner said that they both looked good and our chances of having a successful pregnancy with implantation are good. He asked about our timetable. At the time we were discussing plans to travel abroad to Japan and/or Germany. We thought we had dates settled for that, so we talked about working around our trips to avoid traveling while in my first trimester. That meant that we had to do a transfer within two months time. I was still nursing Elsie at the time, and the doctor said I had to be done with that so my medication would not get into the milk and transfer to Elsie. He also told me to schedule another saline sonogram to check and make sure that my uterus was looking good for a transfer. He said I didn't need to do any other tests. I was very happy to learn that Miles and I could waive STD testing. It's so unnecessary and expensive! I think the only reason we could bypass it was because it wasn't a fresh cycle. I guess that's a plus.

In February I went in for the saline sonogram and they said everything looked fine. However, I started weaning Elsie and she was having a hard time with it. It made me sad to force an end to her nursing when she (and honestly I as well) was not ready for it. So I made a decision then that I was not going to do a transfer until after our trip to Japan. Well, within a month our plans changed and travels were put off until the fall. This meant I could do a transfer sooner, but it also didn't have to be right away. So it changed to May.

Here I am May...awaiting cycle day 1 to begin this process. I don't know exactly what it will look like this time. Sadly our nurse, Katie, no longer works for RCC and the new nurse was not as happy to answer all my questions. However, I do know that it will all be fairly fast and painless. At least that is my hope...

A dear friend of mine who also goes to the same office recently did her third fresh IVF cycle. She got a positive pregnancy result, but found out at week 7 that she was going to miscarry. My heart aches for her. Deeply. Struggling with infertility is something that has been so hard. And yet, one of my greatest fears is having that hope of a life to come, only to have it taken away just as quickly. At least with negative pregnancy tests, there's no life and no hope to crush. We have been so blessed and fortunate to have success each time we have done IVF. Yet it's never a guarantee.

So here I planning. And while I have all the ability in the world to plan around trips and seasons and birth dates and sibling separations, it is still completely out of my control. Here we go again on this crazy roller coaster.