As you are all aware, our first IVF cycle failed 3 weeks ago. We are spending the time right now to heal and think about what we want to do next in order to achieve our dreams of having a baby. It goes without saying that we are moving forward with a second treatment cycle, and at the moment the question is when. However, over the past few weeks we have really taken stock about what we want from our lives and whether this is the right path for us.
With our ages being somewhat against us, and the premise that we want to have a baby as soon as possible, we always thought if one cycle failed we would automatically jump right back in and start a second cycle immediately. But in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if there’s one thing I really don’t want to do at the moment, it’s have another round of IVF. That got me thinking about our future with or without children, and the questions that no one ever wants to ponder – is having children really the be all and end all? And can having a baby really be worth this amount of pain?
These types of questions will probably make mothers reading this gasp. And will also probably make you question whether I should in fact be trying so hard to have a baby if I’m having these doubts. But the truth is, isn’t there more to life than children? I know that there is, and yet being a mother is something I have always wanted. I feel I would be a good mother and in many ways I can’t imagine going through life without experiencing that. However, if Dave and I continue with our IVF and it never works, do we maybe need to look at ourselves and wonder if the universe is trying to tell us something? I strongly believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason. I know, for example, that I was supposed to meet Dave. It happened in such a way that we could so very nearly have not met each other, but I believe that all events leading up to us meeting were aligned in such a way to ensure we crossed paths.
So perhaps all events in our life right now are aligning in such a way to ensure we never have a baby. Maybe it’s just not meant to be. As I’ve said before, I feel so lucky to have met Dave in the first place and am so grateful for the terrific marriage that we have, that maybe we’ve used up all our luck and we just need to be content as we are. And I know that we would be. We have both previously said that if we’re never able to have a child, we will be content with the fact that we did everything in our power to make it happen, but will ultimately know that it was not meant to be and we will be perfectly happy in the life that we have.
So what else is there in life if you don’t have a child? Well, lots of things. Travel, late night partying, lie ins on the weekend, adventure, love, spontaneous romantic get-aways, the freedom to do anything on a moment’s notice, peace and quiet and of course the fact that it’s a proven fact that people without kids live longer as they’re not as sleep deprived as parents are – haha! Many people still have a full, varied life without having children; indeed some childless people say they have well-rounded lives because they don’t have children, not in spite of it.
And let’s face it; we’ve all been around kids who are hardly a great advertisement for child rearing. Noisy, bratty behaviour, snotty noses, destroying your house, making a mess EVERYWHERE, always interrupting, spilling food, not to mention the joy of nappy changes, potty training and bed wetting incidents. Combine that with the fact they cost an arm and a leg (and for us that would be on top of very expensive treatment to have the child in the first place); you can see very easily how I can talk myself into believing that having a child is not everything it’s cracked up to be.
Despite all of the above however, I know I am just in a phase of self-preservation. The fact is that I’m just scared. Scared to go through the IVF again and feel all the side-effects, scared that my life will once again be on hold when I’m just starting to feel normal again, scared that this time we know what to expect, scared that our 2 week wait will once again turn into a blood bath, and scared that it will be another failed attempt.
The pain we have gone through in the last few months has been unimaginable, so are we crazy volunteering for potentially the same again? Maybe we are, or maybe we’re just crazy desperate to become parents. But can it really be worth all this pain and heartache?
Despite all my misgivings, I know that even if we had the worst behaved child in the world, we wouldn’t care, because it would be ours. Everybody thinks his or her child is a genius, is the cutest, the best at everything. And of course we scoff at our friends when they say things like this as we can think of plenty of times when we have had to bite our tongue at their behaviour. But isn’t that part of the joy of being a parent? That you love your child so much that you don’t even see when their flaws are so plain to see to everyone else? I think it is, and there’s something very endearing about that and to me, that is what being a parent is all about.
Ultimately, I don’t have the answer. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to be parents and if we don’t I’ll convince myself it’ll be ok because you know what? It will be. As long as I have Dave by my side, we have our health and we’re happy, that’s all that really matters. There will always be a little part of me that would wish we could have experienced being parents, but at the end of the day, we will be content.
As for now, however, being a mummy is still my biggest dream and despite all the convincing I try to do that I don’t really care, I actually do care, and I need to focus on that and our next treatment round and cling onto the dream of one day bringing home Baby Reid, no matter how much pain we have to endure in the process.