Family of 4 – A Story About Our Infertility

Tomorrow our gorgeous little boy turns 7. It all of a sudden feels like he’s grown up.  A lot of the obvious ‘firsts’ milestones are behind us, the first steps, teeth, words and sleeping through the night are so long ago now, but I remember them all.  I’ve paid special attention to everything, because I always knew, that maybe there would be no more.
No more babies, no more toddlers and toilet training, just our one very special boy and I’ve watched and loved every moment of his life.

We have a new first tomorrow, his very first puppy. Tomorrow we will become a family of four. It’s a little different to how I had imagined my family of four, but there are no complaints here. We are so excited to see his face tomorrow when we pick up the puppy!

I’m sure people think I’m crazy, adding a puppy to the mix in our very busy but happy lives. But before you go calling me mad, remember this. It’s for Aiden. He is an only child and it looks like it will be staying that way. I want him to have a best friend. I want him to have company, someone to talk to, someone to play with and someone to love, other than us. I wanted that someone to be a sibling, but I am coming to terms with that just not happening for us. It’s been a long journey of acceptance, and even now, I’m not ready to say ‘it’s over’, it’s too final, and I can’t do it.

This is not intended to be a sad story about a woman who can’t have a second child. It’s a happy story about a woman who got to have one beautiful, amazing child with a man she adores and has decided to share her story about closing the book on a second child.

Infertility is something that I have been very open about in the past, but my openness with my struggles to have Aiden made things even more difficult on me. It was hard to have to report back to people for yet another month that there was no baby on the way. The drugs were hard. It went on for a long time. It was painful, it turned me into a person I don’t really ever want to be again – but it was worth it. It was so, incredibly, worth it.

To go on the drugs needed for conception, I lost 22kgs. I did great, but it was for a baby. 100% for a baby, not myself. Mission accomplished.  After Aiden over the years gradually I gained it all back and then some. It’s ok, it happens. I put unbelievable, incredible, pressure on myself to lose weight so that I could go back to the specialist and get the drugs for baby #2. So easy right? Just do it Justine, you need to do it. But I just couldn’t. Writing this makes me well up. Because now, I’ve done it, but I’ve left my run too late.

Losing the weight this time around though, it ended up not being about a baby. It was 100% about me and me needing to change my life for myself and the child I already have, not my future imaginary children. I want to run and play with the one I have already on this earth.

We have our beautiful family, I’m healthy and happy, but it’s so easy to want more. Not even for me, but for him, for Aiden. To want that companionship and love that having a brother(s) or sister(s) brings.   Honestly the hardest thing for me is not that I don’t get another baby, it’s that he doesn’t.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t upset me. It makes me very sad, but it’s not something I want to dwell on.

Having gotten to a place where I could get the drugs, Bill and I talked long and hard about whether this is something we actually wanted. Life is so great, did we need another baby? Suddenly we felt like we actually had a choice. For so long I felt like I had no control, and now, we have control.

We recently went to the fertility specialist and discussed our options.   I got to visit with our specialist who helped us get pregnant the first time, and it was honestly so great, but we walked away with some not great odds.  Due to my age and my ovarian reserves being very low, our chances of conception even with drugs, are at 4%.  It’s not great odds.
Still, we left with the drugs almost 4 months ago and decided that 4% was better than none.

The craziest part is, I haven’t taken the drugs. I can’t tell you why, I don’t know why, but I know the prescription sits unfilled.  As strange as it sounds, we’re ok with that and I think it’s been part of my coming to terms. Even with shitty odds, I still feel like it’s my choice whether I take the drugs or not.  I’m OK, and I have a choice and I love our life. The book is closing and I’m ok with that.

So, we’re getting a puppy.  It symbolises more than just getting a puppy, it’s me letting go a little bit more. I can’t let go all at once, but I’m working on it.

PS. Lola our cat is actually part of the family but I felt like Family of 5 just didn’t make sense 😉

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